Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Just Shriek and Punch the Zombie Nick.

New Girl Season 2 Halloween 

           When it came to New Girl, I was all about Schmidt for a while, but in the new season, the most memorable moments come courtesy of the Ron-Swanson lite, surly sweet Nick Miller (Jake Johnson, not to be confused Jack Johnson the Hawaiian strumming, sweet styling singer, even though I almost typed his name first).  Sure, Schmidt had a great moment dressed as Lincoln (because according to his logic, everyone thinks of the venerable President at least once a day).  Still, the past two episodes shined when Nick was Nick-confused, emotionally stunted, and yet goofily caring and kind.  Two episodes ago, as he struggled to express his love for Schmidt after Schmidt bought him a cookie, "just cuz,"we got a glimpse of when Schmidt and Nick met in college, which was dumbly true to how shallow most friendships start.  When Nick finally returned the gift with a cookie of his own for Schmidt, he stutters, "You give cookie, I give cookie," in an adorably confused chant until finally breaking down.  It was a great moment of comedy and truth as he struggled to express real emotions.
       In last nights episode, Nick once again had a truly fantastic moment.  Already admitting to having a fear of haunted houses and relationships, essentially saying they are one in the same, Nick braves a haunted house for Jess, worried she's about to tell an unfeeling doctor that she's interested in a relationship.  Nick runs like he's an extra in The Walking Dead, frantically searching for Jess amidst the ghouls and monsters.  Poor Nick is attacked by a zombie, or so he thinks.  He punches the zombie in the face, only to find out he punched Jess.  Shrieking like a banshee  or more accurately a little girl, he's attacked by a pack of monsters,who defend their fellow haunted house worker violently   Poor Nick is caught in his worst nightmare, and it makes for a perfectly hilarious moment.
      Kudos to New Girl for allowing its characters to shine, giving opportunities for all of the characters to develop and be ridiculously awesome.  For all his valiant efforts, poor Nick lets Jess get her revenge, punching him in the face in the last second of the show.  For now at least, he wins the award of my favorite character on the show.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Whales, Wizards, and Frankenstein

Dr. Whale/Frankenstein...and the Wizard of Oz???

             I will not recap all of last night's Once Upon a Time.  I only wish to address a major question.  Last night, it was definitively said that the identity of Dr. Whale's "fairy tale" character is Dr. Frankenstein.  However, the magic-loathing scientist was also called a wizard on more than one occasion.  Add to that the easter egg hints that Rumple and Mad Hatter gave when they discussed a land that could be reached via a pair of shoes (hello ruby slippers).  Until the end of the episode, when Dr. Whale was in his gothic mad-science castle, I was convinced he was in fact the Wizard of Oz.  I am still  pretty intent on Dr. Whale being both characters.  After all, Rumpelstiltskin has turned out to be the Beast, the Crocodile of Peter Pan, and who knows who else.  Once Upon a Time plays with the idea that one person/character can inspire many tales and have many personalities.  The show is certainly playing with characters outside the traditional fairy tale realm.  As the season continues and we learn the identify of Henry's father and the true intent of Captain Hook, perhaps we will revisit the Wizard/Doctor, and maybe even venture down the paved yellow bricks, off to Oz.  I will say last night's episode was a little weak except for the Doctor's scenes.  I hope Emma and Snow are given more to do.  It'd be a shame if the second season falls short of the wonderful debut.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Copper Finale: Fires, Assassins, and Heroes Oh My

Copper Finale

                I've raved about Copper throughout its ten episode first season.  Depicting the complex life of Kevin Cocoran, the charmismatic Irish cop in 5 Points New York, the show built a web of characters and mystery with dramatic flair.  The season finale was no exception.  Without spoiling the ending I can reveal that I found myself more and more rooting for Robert Morehouse, the affluent young man who makes up for his lost limb in wit, charm, and cunning.  He, much more than the Copper himself, proved the real hero as he fought to prevent a plot involving Greek fire destroying most of New York.  While Morehouse, like all characters on Copper, isn't always morally upright, his ultimate choice to risk everything, including his relationship with his father, is downright heroic. As for one of the main ladies of the show,  I wanted to scream at Elizabeth Haverford, a wealthy key player in the Copper world as she revealed she betrayed Robert and the country, having a hand in the fires.  The fact that she consorts with John Wilkes Booth the actor (yes, as in that Booth) is a dead give away to her place in future episodes.

             By episode's end, the protagonist Kevin Cocoran is left broken and destroyed in the wake of revelations about his wife and child. He did have a moment of great moral magnitiude when he was given the choice to let his former friend burn, but it was a little surprising that the final episode of the show was the least Kevin-centered, but then again, so much was revealed about him and his life that they may have wanted to save more for the next season.  I for one am very interested in the future season of Copper, a show that knew it's own idendity from day 1.  Bravo on a riveting season with few flaws.  (I could have handled not having cheesy music during the slower, sweeter moments.  I don't need a few notes to tell me "Say awwww here".)  When season 2 of Copper arrives next year, I will certainly be visiting the sorted and fascinating world of 5 Points.  I just may leave the brass nuckles to Copper.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The One Movie to Rule Them All

               The season of unique, Oscar contending, thought-provoking film is upon us.  That's not to say you can't go out and see a light hearted movie (Wreck it Ralph, Fun Sized, The Legend of the Guardians...).  In no particular order, I'm listing movies I'd like to see coming out in the next few months.  Though let's face it, many of these films will be relegated to dollar theaters or Netflix.  There are a few however that demand to be seen.


Cloud Atlas

1.  Cloud Atlas

Maybe it's because  the trailer features one of my current favorite songs Outra by M83 and has the always lovable Tom Hanks as the narrator that I am so intrigued.  This film, from the minds of the Matrix creators, features a bevy of stars in a transcending poem of a movie.  I am incredibly intrigued and confused in equal parts, which certainly makes me want to see this film.  If you don't know who Ben Whishaw (of Bright Star and Brideshead Revisited) is, you will after the film.  Cloud Atlas comes out October 26, 2012.  Read more about it here.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

This mainstream/indie hybrid based on the popular novel and featuring Emma Watson and Logan Lerman has already come out.  I may not see it in theaters, but it has enough charm as a  film about finding people who understand you and learning to understand yourself to merit a dvd viewing.


3.  Argo

Argo is already being considered the movie to beat.  I love a story so preposterous it has to be true.  Ben Affleck's vision of the story of a group of people who pose as sci-fi film makers to smuggle out hostages has gained Affleck immense praise.  I am slightly nervous to see the film (I was burned by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a film that would be more accurately labeled.  Talking Talking Sleeping Slumber).  Even so , I'm sure I will cave and see it.  Argo is also already in    theaters.

4.  Looper

This sci-fi film about a renegade time traveler forced into a vicious cycle where he must assassinate himself apparently has a killer ending.  I need to see Looper soon to avoid the ending being spoiled.  The movie, which is out now, stars Joseph Gordon Levitt, Emily Blunt, and Bruce Willis.

Chasing Mavericks

5.  Chasing Mavericks

Another film based on the true life, Chasing Mavericks tackles the life of a surfer willing to sacrifice his life in pursuit of the water's closest thing to Everest.  See a more detailed discussion of the film here.  It releases October 26, 2012.



1.  Lincoln 

This Spielberg film destined to be a classic chronicles the life and struggles of our beloved and complex national legend.  I have already gone into details about the film here.  Lincoln debuts November 9, 2012.  I dare you to pay for your ticket in pennies.

Anna Karenina

2. Anna Karenina 

I am a sucker for Joe Wright films.  Pride and Prejudice is in my top two favorite films of all time, and though Atonement is not the kind of film I want to watch over and over again, I still can appreciate its haunting power as a film.  If you've seen his 3 plus minute long shot of Dunkirk, you know what I'm talking about.  This film features Wright's muse Keira Knightly as the woman torn by power and love in the infamous Russian tale.  Wright's version will take place predominantly in a theater, which baffles some Karenina fans.  I for one like the idea, mainly because I trust in the liberties Wright takes as a visionary.  That, and I'm not very familiar with the details of the book.  The theater film hits theaters November 16, 2012.

Life of Pi

3.Life of Pi

A book beloved by many is now, like so many books before it, the inspiration for a film by Ang Lee.  I never read the book in high school, but after watching the transfixing trailer for the coming of age tale, I may have to catch up with the millions who swear by the story.  Life of Pi comes out November 21


Les Miserables

1.  Les Miserables

When it comes to December films, I am sure there are more movies that I will eventually see, but when I first set eyes on the trailer for the musical version of Les Miserables, I knew I was a goner.  It was a moment of "Hello new movie favorite."  For more details on the film which comes out Christmas day, read here.

The Hobbit

2.  The Hobbit

This and Les Miserables are the two movies I have anticipated the most.  It's taken a while, but Peter Jackson's spin on Tolkien's classic is almost here! Martin Freeman is sure to fill the large feet of Bilbo Baggins, which is important, considering those feet are going to be in 3 films.  See more info about the movie coming out December 14, 2012 here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Crocodiles and Captains

Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time

               If you watched last Sunday's Once Upon a Time, "The Crocodile," you now know the beginnings of Captain Hook, at least according to OUAT.   In all of his swashbuckling  Irish, guy-liner glory, Hook inspired fandoms before he even appeared on the show. Played by Colin O'Donoghue, Hook's story was, as always, different from what I expected.  This time, that wasn't always for the better.  Good old Rumplestiltskin loses his wife to the Captain's charms.  Frankly, I hated that part of the story.  Rumple's wife abandons her child and deserts her husband for selfish love.  When Rumplestiltskin rips her heart out later, causing part the Captain's hatred of him, I wasn't that devastated.  The best and most surprising part of the origin tale followed that Rumple, with his slick skin and gleaming trickery, is the crocodile who plagues Captain Hook.  Hook loses his hand over a magic bean that serves as a portal to other worlds.  Rumple slices the Captain's hand clean off to get the bean, only to later discover the Captain tricked him (and went off to Neverland to plot his revenge against "The Crocodile").

               Once Upon a Time, this one time, I didn't love your intro of the Captain.  You redeemed yourself though, with a very interesting and twist filled ending (which promised interesting beginnings).  While I still have a Sheriff sized hole in my heart, I will gladly welcome the addition of the swaggering pirate whose evil/good mixture makes him as dynamic as all of Once's characters.  On a side note, the creators of the show (who just happen to be Lost writers, which explains A LOT) revealed that the Sheriff/Huntsman was originally going to be Sherlock Holmes and that other characters that are not strictly fairytale will appear in future episodes.  I had always assumed the Sheriff was initially supposed to be Robin Hood.  I like the surprise though, and the fact that the show is raiding the shelves of stories for more great characters.  That and the fact that the writers started raving about Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock, which made me love them even more.

                Back in Storybrooke, I enjoyed Rumple's alter ego Mr. Gold facing Belle with honesty, owning up to the notion that he collects magic (and power) to hide his fear.  As for Belle, the library scene, and the fact that she's becoming more complex and empowered  made me grateful that Emile de Raven is now a series regular.

              I am certainly excited for next week's episode, where we find out the fairy tale identity of Mr. Whale.  It looks as though he is not the Whale from Pinocchio at least at first, but will instead be Dr. Frankenstein.  I always assumed that Dr. Whale was a man in the fairytale world who did something terrible, causing him to be cursed and turned into a whale.  I doubt I can actually predict OUAT writers, but you've go to admit it's an interesting theory.  To see how wrong I am, tune in Sunday at 8:00 on abc.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Et tu Internet?

            Okay, so I need to preface this by saying how much I appreciate the internet as a gateway to friends, information, and entertainment.  I love it and can't imagine life without it (and fully acknowledge the irony of using the internet to rant about the internet).  As a member of the generation who used floppy disks and heard the distinct errrchrrrrping of dial-up, I am in awe of the leaps and bounds the internet has made and more than a little scared of how dependent we have become on it.  Still, every so often, you come across a terrible pop-up, comment, or lie that ruins something.  The internet can betray you like Marcus Brutus stabbing Julius Caesar in the back.  Et tu Internet indeed.
          Today was such a day.  While looking up a trailer for the new season of Downton Abbey, I accidently stumbled across a truly horrible spoiler for season 3 when I made the rookie mistake of looking at a few of the comments under the video I watched.  The comments revealed a very important and devastating plot twist, which is incredibly frustrating considering series 3 is currently airing in the U.K., not here.  Sometimes, it's nice to know little spoilers, but no viewer wants a spoiler that truly changes everything.  In the age of the internet, shows shouldn't have several month delays between countries.  Viewers may be lost, especially when controversial spoilers are released before the show even airs.
          I can't help but paraphrase one of my other favorite shows, Firefly (after just paraphrasing from it in my last blog post.  What can I say, Firefly can be used for everything.)  Curse you internet, for your sudden but inevitable betrayal. Okay, now I can go back to loving the internet  and avoiding comment sections until American programming wises up and airs U.K. hits at the same time as the U.K.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

An Arrow in the Back

Oliver washing up on the island with his father.

           Curse you cliffhangers, with your sudden but inevitable betrayal.  Tuning in for the second episode of Arrow, the CW's superhero attempt, I found myself flipping back and forth between it and The Middle.  The lead actor who plays Oliver Queen/Arrow possesses a great deal of charisma as he plays the billionaire with a giant chip (er, island) on his shoulder when he returns after being marooned on an island for five years.  It's just that I don't think the show has is groove yet.  It still doesn't have its identity yet and contains some rather annoying characters (I'm looking at you Oliver's bratty,poor rich girl sister).

         That being said, anytime the episode entitled Honor Thy Father flashed back to Oliver's experience getting shipwrecked I was riveted.  In the first episode, we learned that Oliver's father shot a fellow survivor and himself to give Oliver a better chance out in the open water.  In the second episode, Oliver washes up to an island and desperately grieves for the father he lost.  Maybe I just have an affinity for island narratives (Lost), but I suddenly stopped flipping away from Arrow.  By the end of the episode, I couldn't.  The end gave a taste of how Oliver became Arrow, the hero with a love of all things archery.  As Oliver buries his father on the presumably deserted island, he is shot in the back by a mysterious archer, collapsing to the ground in the final seconds of the show.  Curse you cliffhanger.  Curse you.  Just when I thought I wasn't going to watch Arrow, I was drawn back in by the promise of a unique origin story.  I'll be back for the next episode, which will probably draw me in in the last few moments.  I just hope that the rest of the episode isn't just filler for a good ending.  That would be true betrayal, and will lose viewers faster than Oliver's trigger finger.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pitch Perfect: Pretty Much

           It's hard to totally lose yourself in a movie now days.  Man does that make me sound old and cantankerous. Still, few movies, especially movies with gimmicks and formulas, totally get it, accomplishing their ultimate goal of entertaining.  Pitch Perfect did it right.  The movie about the surprisingly entertaining world of the competitive college a cappella, hit every note perfectly.  Was it predictable?  Yes, but in the kind of classic way that great eighties movies were predictable.  Anna Kendrick, playing the "tough girl" dj Beca who finds herself suddenly deep in the world of five million part harmonies, classes the movie up like she does in every movie she's in.  Without being heavy handed, the movie is just fun, featuring the hilarious Bridesmaid star Rebel Wilson and the genuine talent of its many unknown stars.  It's what Glee wishes it was- an entertaining mixture of drama, humor, and jams (during times that actually made sense to break out in song-like in practice or competitions, not just randomly and unnaturally belting in the hallway).

        Pitch Perfect deserves the hype.  It wasn't flawless. I wished Beca took control of the group far sooner in the movie and some of the jokes were just sort of gross.  Yes it wasn't perfect, but it sure was close.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Premium Rush: Brakes are Death, but so are Taxis

            If you haven't seen Premium Rush, the movie starring Joseph Gordon Levitt as a bike messenger who ends up with a priceless package, you are not alone.  The movie debuted modestly, and has since hit the dollar theaters.  While I won't pretend it was an absolutely incredible story, I enjoyed the film for embracing its identify as a high stakes car chase story with bikes replacing cars.  If anything, it made the tricks and skills all the scarier knowing that no metal or steel or even plastic protected the body of a biker from slamming into cars, people, and the cold hard ground.  Its star Joseph Gordon Levitt got in some nasty scrapes while filming, as seen here.

        Levitt stars as Wylie (Yes, like the Coyote), a young man who refused to take the bar, opting for life as a struggling bike messenger on a bike with no gears and no brakes.  Wylie claims that "brakes are death," and speaks of donning a suit to go to work as if it were a suit to go into the grave.  He is unbelievably reckless, but handles his bike as if it were a third leg, plotting and weaving the streets of New York with a mind capable of calculating risks in an instant.  The plot of the film picks up when Wylie is given an envelope to deliver.  This envelope contains a ticket to a great deal of money, causing a corrupt and truly over-the-top cop/villain with serious debts to pay to go after Wylie.  The chase begins, churning and accelerating the film with interesting shots and fancy moves.  There were a few moments when the chase became a little tedious and the plot felt a  little more suited to an episode of a USA show, but overall it was an entertaining ride I would recommend renting on Bluray or DVD.
          Though Premium Rush was at its core a cheesy action film, it did pose a loose philosophical question.  In life aren't we all pedaling without breaks? Keeping on swimming?  Always moving forward like Wylie feels he must?  If we simply stop, we are stagnant or dead.  While I don't think it is wrong to be a little safer than Wylie (avoiding hitting taxis and pavement) or put on a suit and go to work, I do appreciate his attitude even if I don't agree with it totally.  If we steamroll through life, we may miss out on people, places, and moments that deserve a little peace and slowness.  We should move forward, but not to run away from life, but to run into it.  I think I put more thought into the movie than I should have.  I'm stopping now.  Enjoy the movie for its simple fun dodging taxis and pedaling to the end.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Arrows in the Hearts of Couch Potatoes

Arrow, the CW's new superhero drama

          I  realize  I have a major problem when I sit down to watch new network shows this season.  None of the new crop of series capture my attention enough to make me sit and watch the whole thing.  I end up bouncing around several shows at once, committing to none.  Yesterday was no exception.  I mostly watched the premiere of Arrow, a series about former playboy billionaire Oliver Queen, who after being stranded on a mysterious island for five years returns and takes on the vigilante role of Arrow.   The series has potential, though it feels a little like Smallville trying to be The Dark Knight in its strange hodgepodge of moody lights, brooding billionaires, and light characters.  There was a twist at the end of the episode which may bring me back, but I'm not 100 percent sold on it yet.

         The same goes for Nashville, the new soapy drama about an aging country star played by the always wonderful Connie Britton.  (She was the pillar in Friday Night Lights.  Truly the show wouldn't be half as good without her..)  Britton's character must battle it out with a new up and coming country brat played by Hayden Panettiere as they are forced to go on tour together.  The show feels a little like Revenge if Revenge were twangier and filled with obnoxious tarts.  I didn't stick around for the whole episode.  I may try to watch it again, but I just don't think it deserves the hype it has received.  Lauded as "the best new show on television," Nashville certainly wouldn't get that description from me, at least not yet.  I'll reserve judgement, if I decide to give it another chance that is.  I feel more inclined to watch Arrow over it.

        What then, should a television lover do if new shows are failing?  Turn to tried and true shows, give a few of the new shows a chance to gain momentum and improve, and sample a bit of everything.  Oh, and check out one of my favorite new comedies, Ben and Kate.  You won't have trouble committing to the adorable (and only thirty minute) show about a sweet (only moderately strange) brother/sister relationship.

           At all costs, avoid the competition trap on television.  I can't handle another X Voice Dancing Idol Star.  Give me stories.  Demand them story lovers, and they will come.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Community is Grounded

Annie expressing the feelings of  Community fans.

         Lame. Lame. Lame. Lame.  I was reduced to chanting this like a feisty five year old when I heard the bad news.  NBC has indefinitely delayed the new, shortened season of Community.  The new  fourth season was supposed to air next Friday, but now, NBC is holding it back, saying it will fit it into different scheduling.  They are trying to spin it in a positive way.  Fridays are terrible for new tv and all that, but really, in this age, many of Community's hardcore fans would have watched it online or dvrd it.  Now the possible last season of the quirky, prickly, and absolutely endearing ensemble comedy is in limbo.  Community fans, rally up or wait it out.  Just be on the lookout for when NBC finally airs it.  The show is in your hands, so get out there and watch tv, convert your friends, and demand for six seasons and a movie.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Once Upon A Time: Through the Looking Glass

Charming gives a rousing speech to the citizens of Storybrooke
             The second episode of Once Upon a Time's second season didn't shy away from jumbling the timeline and continuing its tradition of pulling out a huge shocker in the end.  If you haven't seen it, stop reading now.  If you have, is your mind beginning to implode as you deal with multiple worlds, storylines, timelines, and characters?  To quote one of my other favorite shows, Doctor Who "people assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big bowl of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey ...stuff."  OUAT has always made me question its timeline, and the way that time moves in multiple worlds.  Some characters age, some don't.  Storylines are told out of order, backwards, and sideways.   Like Lost before it, OUAT forces me to give up on understanding everything to save my brain from a headache.  It's worth it when a show is brilliant, which OUAT is.

         This timey wimey episode, Storybrooke recovers from the return of their memories, the reappearance of magic and the attack of the wraiths.  Everyone is desperately displaced, searching for answers and lost loved ones while clamoring for the leadership of Prince Charming.  Charming is too occupied with trying to track down information to help him get to Emma and Snow, who in the last episode were sucked into Fairy World (or the forbidden forest?  I'm not 100 percent sure).  David/Prince Charming tracks down Hatter, who tells him how very stuck everyone is.  Rumpelstiltskin, who brought magic back in the last episode, is for some reason trying to leave, only to discover that no one can leave Storybrooke's borders without losing their memories.  (Theories of why Rumplestiltskin wanted to leave-To find his son?  To hide Belle?  Perhaps for ultimate world domination as the Dark One?  I really want to know.  Everything he does is calculated.)
           The backstory between Regina and Rumpel is not particularly interesting   We learn that Rumpel taught Regina's evil mother how to use magic.  Regina, who is still wounded over the loss of her actual love, is tempted into pushing her mother through a looking glass into another world.  She becomes seduced by the power of magic, all the while fearing how much she is becoming like her mother.  Back in Storybrooke, Regina gains her powers back and steals Henry away.  Initially she tries to keep him with her, but gives him up to Prince Charming, telling him she will not force him stay with her.  Regina is another one of those fascinating characters, made more interesting by her seemingly genuine love for Henry.  She is evil evil evil, but there is some shard of good deep in her.  She seems to almost be weak....which cues in....Regina's mother, who turns up in a prison with Snow and Emma in broken Fairy World.  New Villain indeed.

           Not a lot of time was spent on Snow and Emma's story, though that is bound to change in the coming episodes.  I did appreciate the speech Prince Charming/David gave about recognizing his strengths and weaknesses in both his new world character and his story world Prince.  Speaking of Fairy World,  it looks as though Lancelot is set to feature in the next story.  Be ready for more twists, turns, and wibbly wobbly time.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lincoln: Clothed in Immense Power

          Last night, during the Presidential debate, a new trailer for Steven Spielberg's biopic Lincoln fittingly debuted.  The film, which comes out in November, follows the fascinating, enigmatic,  inescapable and complex President through his life and accomplishments.  While I cannot pretend to be a Lincoln expert, I remember being shocked that Lincoln wrestled with severe depression and guilt throughout his life.  For an American legend now carved in stone, he was after all, a man.
         Spielberg's Lincoln, which stars the scary good Daniel Day-Lewis, seems to acknowledge the strife and struggle Lincoln experiences in his personal life with his wife Mary (Sally Field) and son Robert (Joseph Gordon Levitt), his public life as he battled for change facing the guilt of lives lost in The Civil War, and his own fight with inner turmoil and conviction.  Now days, with the election fastly approaching and everyone fearing a doomsday future, it is refreshing to remember leaders of the past, who helped carry the burden while the country went through unimaginable difficulties that surely must have felt like the end of a nation. Near the end of the trailer, Lincoln proclaims himself as,  "The President of the United States of America, clothed in immense power".  Power and men make for interesting narratives, especially in the hands of a great director like Spielberg.
Watch the newest trailer here.  To see the more theatrical trailer, go here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ok Ok Liam Neeson, I'll See Taken 2

              I wasn't expecting Liam Neeson's film Taken to be as good as it was.  I love being pleasantly surprised, and the film, which showcased Neeson's fighting and stunt work in a well paced, downright scary thrill ride of a movie, was a runaway hit.  Still, I was surprised when a second Taken was announced.  I just hope it is a good surprise.  I wrote about Taken 2 once before, but after the relentless marketing campaign (A+ for the pretty piano music in the teaser trailers) and an accidental viewing of Liam Neeson's Inside the Actor's Studio (Could you be anymore pompous James Lipton or Green Tea or whatever your name is?), I relent to the hype.  I want to see Neeson take on the villains once more, though I'm a little weary of high expectations being crushed or the cheese factor being a little too high. Sequels are tricky business when the first movie is such an unexpected success.  I suppose then, that over the next few days I'll keep an eye on reviews of the film before rushing to the theaters or relegating Taken 2 to the dollar theater. For now, I'm a little scared to not see Liam Neeson's film.  I sort of feel like he's an action man's Bettie White meets Chuck Norris, in the best possible way.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Once Upon a Time is Back!!!

          So I did it.  I marathoned through the first season of Once Upon a Time on netflix and was ready for season 2 when it aired last night.  The season two premiere brought us a reunion of Mr. Gold (Rumplestiltskin) and Belle, the return of some strange magic, wraiths like dementors, and a truly exciting reveal.  Once Upon a Time has finally fixed its one flaw in it's initial season.  It's made the present world as riveting if not even more interesting than the fairytale world..  With character remembering their fairytale identities and facing dark magic forces, Storybrooke has new life.
            When the story cut to the fairytale world, which we find out still exists, in a broken form, I found myself wishing we were back with the characters we knew.  Instead, the adventure followed Prince Phillip and a mysterious companion who were able to rescue Sleeping Beauty.  To save Aurora, Philip is marked by a wraith, and his soul is taken from him, just as he mysteriously tells either Aurora or his companion (MULAN!!!) that he loves her.  I was interested, though a little too sad for Mulan and too annoyed with Aurora to really enjoy it.  The end of the episode may change my feelings, as  Snow White and Emma were transported back to the broken fairytale world.  Their presence there is certain to cause a lot of drama.

         As for life in Storybrooke, I do love that everything wasn't happily ever after when Emma was reunited with her family Charming and Snow.  Life is complicated, and I appreciated that the show didn't go for the cheesy happy ending.  Happy endings are yet to fully come in Once Upon a Time.  I can't wait to see where the season will take us, as magic comes, and good fights for the true happy ending.  Catch the next episode in this truly magical show Sunday at 8:00 on abc. I personally can't wait for Captain Hook, and to find out what happened to August.