31 January 2011

The Green Hornet

I saw this movie over the weekend and really enjoyed it. I'll say this - it's worth the price of admission just for a Christoph Waltz/James Franco scene at the beginning. After that, the rest is gravy. And I like gravy.

I hadn't been too thrilled to see this movie until I started hearing decent buzz (PUN!) on it. I was even a little afraid that my beloved Christoph Waltz had made a bad decision to play a cartoony villain. How dare I doubt him. The movie's funny, but not kid's-movie funny. Waltz is freaking hysterical. Inglourious Basterds kind of showcased his (darkly) humorous side, and it's on full display here. I always find Seth Rogen amusing, and Jay Chou is not just a hottie Asian - he's a funny hottie Asian. And I want one of him for my very own, to make me awesome coffee every day.

The movie's funny and cool and stylish. There's really only one glaring problem: Cameron Diaz. Though I have to say, I enjoyed the joke they made about her being old. Because she is. See - the movie laughs at itself -- and its old, hagged-out lead actors!

30 January 2011


The Team heads to the Massive Dynamic compound where they're working on the Peter Doomsday Machine. They've pretty much assembled the thing, they just can't get it to work. Except that when Peter walks into the room, the machine has a reaction and his nose starts to bleed. Your power source is here!

They run some tests and find Peter has an elevated heart rate, but that's about it.

Meanwhile, Walter's still on his quest to piece his brain back together, and asks for Nina's help. She finds a serum Bell developed and Walter snorts it quickly. Because he's snorted worse. Turns out it was 1 of 3 possible serums, and this one was made for a chimp.

Lucky Astrid gets to read through Fauxlivia's diary - and Peter must have been good, because he's all over that thing. No one wants Olivia to read it, including Peter - he doesn't want her to read it because it probably makes him look like a fool for believing Fauxlivia. Awww, someone doesn't want to look like a jackass.

Meanwhile meanwhile, a couple shapeshifters have turned up dead (with their storage discs removed), including the Massive Dynamic doctor who ran the tests on Peter.

The person who's killing shapeshifters is Peter in a hoodie, looking badass. Huh? What's he up to? When Peter sneaks into the last shapeshifter's house to kill him, the dude is ready for him. But Peter kills him, in spectacular fashion, meat-cleaving his fingers and spraying mercury everywhere. Love it! But seriously - why is he doing this?

Peter had solved Fauxlivia's code that told who the shapeshifters were - and he's been taking the data discs to try to figure out what's going on. Walter catches him killing the last one. Peter thinks it's all good because they're not human after all, they're Other-worldy soldiers. Walter's upset by it, and thinks that the machine has made him evil, but for now he keeps the secret and doesn't tell Olivia. I just think Badass Peter is BADASS!

Walter's Food Thing of the Week: He prefers grape bubblegum. And bananas are his least-favorite fruit - mine too!

This Week's Code: ALTER.

23 January 2011


Walter's up early, cooking up something green to inject into his ass. He claims it's going to make him smarter and fill in the blanks that William Bell removed from his brain.

Great Scott! It's Christopher Lloyd! He's an old dude in a nursing home, visited in the middle of the night by his dead-for-25-years son. The son was sent by an Observer to give him a message, but we don't know what the message was because Christopher Lloyd was sleepwalking at the time and doesn't remember. So it's up to The Team to help him remember.

Meanwhile, The Observer's in Brookline, stopping a jewelry store robbery, complete with catching bullets, kicking the robbers' asses, and saving an asthmatic woman.

Walter uses hypnotherapy and some kind of aura-reading glasses to work on Christopher Lloyd. His son told him that he would meet Walter Bishop and that Christopher Lloyd would help him.

The Observer pops by once everyone else has gone off investigating, asking to speak with Walter. Walter wants to know how to save Peter from the Doomsday Machine, but The Observer tells him that there are many possible futures and he can't help. Instead, The Observer asks Walter for help and gives him this message: "Give him the keys and save the girl." He also tells him about a chain reaction of events - Kid Peter caught a firefly, so a little girl didn't, so she stayed out too late, so her dad went looking for her in the rain, and he skidded and killed a pedestrian - and the pedestrian was Christopher Lloyd's dead son.

As Peter and Olivia are coming back with the chick from the robbery, The Observer causes a car accident, making her go all asthmatic again. (But he left the store with her inhaler.) Walter shows up and Peter says, "Give me the keys and save the girl." Walter's worried that this whole thing has been a chain reaction to kill Peter and restore the balance Walter disrupted when he took him.

While Walter rigs a homemade inhaler out of a soda bottle and a pipe, Peter finds The Observer. The Observer uses his pulse gun to knock Peter out, after Peter asks what's going to happen to him and the whole Doomsday Machine thing.

The Observer disappears, Peter survives, and now everyone's confused as hell as to what The Observer is up to, if it wasn't killing Peter. Once Peter gets back to the lab, he grabs some milk from the fridge - only it's not just milk, it's got Walter's brain-building concoction in it. Peter falls to the floor in seizures. Olivia calls Walter and gets instructions on what to inject Peter with to get the seizures to stop. Walter thinks The Observer was there to save Walter's life - to prevent him from drinking the milk, which surely would have killed him.

In the end, we find out it was all a test - to make sure Walter was willing to let Peter die. And now that they know he was, The Observers say he will be willing to do it next time. Not sure what that all means, but I do love a good Observer/chain reaction story.

Walter's Food Thing of the Week: When high and injecting himself with homemade fluids, Walter orders pizza at 2 in the morning. Also, Walter and Christopher Lloyd bond over their mutual love of strawberry milkshakes.

This Week's Code: UNITES.

22 January 2011

Top Chef All-Stars

Quickfire Challenge: Butcher fish with the quality and speed of the most famous fish butcher in NYC. Then the winners of that round have to make a dish using the head, bones, and assorted leftovers from said fish. *puke*

Winner: Dale. YES! So he gets immunity. He better have won -- he's apparently been cooking with fish heads since childhood.

Now it's time for RESTAURANT WARS!!! This time, the winning team will be decided 100% by the random diners. So clearly they should just send Fabio out to the front of the house -- he can take off his shirt, kiss some babies, speak with his accent, and get all the votes. They could serve Pop-Tarts and they'd win.

Dale had the most brilliant idea ever when he chose Marcel as the opposing team captain. Because Marcel is a Giant Asshole and not a good leader. Smart to get that team started off on a bad foot that way.

Dale's team made their menu much more accessible - everything looked fabulous. Again, that's smart -- you want the regular-people diners to like everything. People like me don't eat oxtail and lamb, but they do like to start their meal with a fresh bag of potato chips with fried herbs. The judges freaking worship their meal -- this doesn't bode well for the other team.

Tiffany sucks as Front of the House (it's cringe-worthy), but she was really probably the best option on a team of Marcel, Michael, Antonia, and Angelo. I mean, you need those guys cooking. But octopus? No thanks.

I was worried it was just the editing making Marcel's team look like a mess. But nope - they lose - only 17 out of 76 patrons chose them as the best. LOSERS! There's a pretty good fight between Marcel and Michael during the judging. Marcel gets thrown under the bus a lot, and rightly so.

Winner: Richard. Hey, it was his idea to have fresh potato chips on the table. He should have won for that alone.

Line of the Night: "Prison breaks are organized with more efficiency and teamwork." Guess which team Anthony Bourdain was speaking about there.

Bye-bye: Marcel. YAY! He's a major dick and I'm quite happy to see him go. The whole disaster was on his shoulders. And Dale masterminded the whole thing!!!! It's all part of the game!

18 January 2011

Top Chef All-Stars

Marcel's on the rooftop, raving, being an asshole, and doing his best "urban" impression. It's weird.

Elimination Challenge: No Quickfire, just an Elimination. You have 5 hours to catch as many fish as you can (in teams) and then cook 'em up. There's also a double elimination. The whole fishing thing is dumb - how does that prove you're a good chef? It doesn't. But I'll tell you what - I'm definitely going to Water Taxi Beach next time I go to NYC - fabulous view of the other side of Manhattan!!

There are lots of yummy-looking fish dishes (once they're cooked - I don't need to know anything more about a fish's bloodline). For some reason, Richard, Marcel, and Fabio decide to just make one dish among them. And it's not like it's a home run - they get slammed for it. Jamie's her usual bumbling self.

Winner: Carla. She made a lettuce wrap that was like a deconstructed smoked fish bagel. Carla rules!

Bye-bye: Tiffany and Jamie (finally!). This is Ginger Tiffany, not Black Tiffany. I'm fine with it - apparently her fish was kind of gross. So bye-bye, bitches!

12 January 2011

What the What?

Ladies and gentlemen, NAACP Image Award nominee Justin Timberlake.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Don Cheadle - Brooklyn's Finest
Idris Elba - Takers
Justin Timberlake - The Social Network
Michael Ealy - For Colored Girls
Samuel L. Jackson - Mother and Child

The curly hair? The soulful voice? What exactly qualifies him to be the one and only white dude nominated for an award meant for people of color? (Not to mention, it's Justin Freaking Timberlake being nominated for acting....)

09 January 2011

Top Chef All-Stars

Quickfire Challenge: Daddy Tom comes out to cook a dish as quickly as he can, and then the other chefs have to make something within that time period. In 8 minutes and 37 seconds, he shucks some clams, fillets a fish, chops some veggies, and cooks it all up. Go Tom! Poor Dale ended up with like 2 limp egg noodles, and Jamie had 1 clam. A few of the fish dishes looked really good though. Winner: Mike, who had one of the good fish dishes.

Elimination Challenge: Take over a Chinatown restaurant to serve dim sum during the lunch rush. And they have to work as a team. Dim sum makes me puke. Chicken feet. Turtles. Frogs. No thank you, I'll just have the vegetarian stuff.

Dale and Angelo should kill this challenge, as they both do Asian/dim sum. And they do.

Did you know that you have to cut the nails off of the chicken feet? Because you do. Casey's chicken feet turn out to be a disaster, maybe because she had to run food while someone else finished it, maybe because THEY'RE CHICKEN FEET! Dim sum service was total mayhem, with a ton of hungry, testy old Chinese people and chefs taking too damn long to plate their stuff. Since service was a disaster, you know they're gonna get yelled at -- and throw each other under various buses.

Winner: Dale. YAY! I love him, because I love how he's all, "We're morons, we sucked tonight, no one should have won."

Bye-bye: Casey. Wow. That's awful. Jamie escapes again and CASEY has to go? But I guess if you're just judging on the one dish and not how eternally-awesome someone is, then it's life. Her thing was inedible. Ugh.

02 January 2011

Baloney & Cereal Twenty-Ten Sillies: Movies

Well, I'm not able to see The Fighter or 127 Hours this weekend, but I think those movies are more about the performances anyway. So I'll just move ahead with my Best Of list. To be a great movie, you need to be something I want to see again, solid, and entertaining. This is my list of must-see movies for 2010.

9. Shutter Island. I didn't review this movie because I didn't see it until it was on the plane home from London. But it was creepy and cool. I even knew the "twist ending" in advance and I still really liked it. Man, I don't even like Leonardo DiCaprio and he's in 2 of my Top Movies. Maybe I like him now.

8. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Because this list needed a comedy.

7. Black Swan. It's beautifully-filmed, and should be seen for Natalie Portman's performance. Plus it's creepy and will stay with you for a while.

6. The Book of Eli. The best post-apocalyptic movie of the year. I loved the browned-out look of it, the coolness of Denzel Washington, and the ending that sticks with you.

5. Kick-Ass. Best superhero movie of the year. It's fun watching kids kick adult ass, but it was also a touching film.

4. The Social Network. The best Facebook movie of the year. The script and cocky asshole-ness of Jesse Eisenberg make for a great movie.

3. True Grit. The best Western of the year. A great movie populated by those bizarre Coen Brothers characters you love. Standout performances by Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and that new girl.

2. The Town. Best crime drama of the year. Exciting, great performances, and Boston accents!

1. Inception. This was simply the most original film of 2010. It's not a remake, it's not based on a book - this is all Christopher Nolan's genius. Stylish, slick, gorgeously-shot, and deep enough to warrant post-film discussion that makes you feel smart. It's brilliant and a whole lot of fun.

To round out a Top 10 list...

Best Movie I Never Saw But It Literally Haunts My Dreams:
The Human Centipede. I've had several nightmares about this movie, even before I watched the trailer. I'm obsessed with it, I've read everything about it, but I can't watch it. Actually, after watching the unedited 25-minute clip of Daniel Tosh explaining the movie, I think I could watch it some day. In the daytime, with a couple friends and a couple drinks. I think it's the kind of movie you can make fun of, view as a comedy... and hope it won't continue to haunt your dreams after......

Tosh.0Tosh Tuesdays 9pm / 8c
Spoiler Alert - Human Centipede - Uncut
Tosh.0 VideosDaniel ToshWeb Redemption

01 January 2011

The Black Network and The Social Swan

I took in a double feature today, in my quest to see the rest of the Big Movies of 2010. I started with The Social Network. I had heard the movie was really good, but something about watching douchebags play douchebags just didn't appeal to me. But I finally decided it was my duty as an Oscar-watcher to see it. And it's definitely good, but also definitely about douchebags, some more sympathetic than others. The way Jesse Eisenberg plays Mark Zuckerberg, he makes him look like suuuuuch an asshole. Just a royal A+ prick. He's the Villain of the Year. The dialogue (and the performances of the dialogue) elevates the movie beyond just a standard origin-of-Facebook story. You get pulled in to how the whole thing got started and the excitement of building a company, along with the thrill of revenge and screwing over your friends. Bonus: Trent Reznor worked on the score. And it's awesome!!! The movie's very good. Best movie of the year? Nah, it's a little too cookie cutter for that. But it's done really well and one of the best and solid entertainment.

Black Swan is also very good, but entirely different from The Social Network. It's straight-up effed up, though not as much as I was expecting. You definitely leave the theater feeling dazed - and I love when a movie does that to you, and sticks with you. The thing is, I'm not quite sure what was real. I'm pretty sure we were seeing everything that Natalie Portman's character was envisioning in her mind. And the girl definitely lost her mind in the pursuit of perfection.

At times I thought it was a little too Showgirls-esque. I mean, Showgirls is essentially this movie set in a strip club, with more crazy and less literally-going-crazy. Portman's character was screwed up to begin with, with obvious mental issues, OCD, and your usual suffocating stage mom. In striving for perfection in her dream role, she totally loses it.

Portman definitely deserves the Oscar for this role. She's great in it, plus clearly did some borderline-scary training (and starving-herself) for the role. I do enjoy when an actor transforms themselves like that. Darren Aronofsky does a great job of directing it too, focusing on the themes of duality and blurring the line of what's real. I also like how you really hear the breathing during the dance sequences. He just makes the whole thing seem "off" -- it's creepy when you can't really explain why and scary when you can't pinpoint what's scary.

You know what? Maybe it's Inception-meets-Showgirls-meets-ballet.