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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Fangirl Friday – The Up and Coming Edition

There are times you know upon first sight that, yes, this person is going to be the object of my fangirl (or boy) obsession.  Other times you can watch them in a dozen different things before they star in that one role and it’s all over for your poor fan-heart.  And then there are these people, the ones that have potential but they’re not quite there yet.  You know you like them but it’s not quite to the squeeing level.  So this Fangirl Friday is dedicated to the up and comers.

Tom-Mison-of-Sleepy-HollowTom Mison – If you are not watching Sleepy Hollow, well it’s too late now for this season, go find it on the web somewhere.  For those of us who have been following along, hopefully this picture will get us through spring and summer until Sleepy Hollow returns in the fall.  I really, really like Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane.  It’s not only that he looks good with his dark long locks, but he’s also so alluring with his whole gentlemanly stature and British accented line delivery.  I haven’t seen Mison in anything else and am a little afraid to.  I don’t want the fangirl fantasy to end.

john_cho_982John Cho – I have never watched any of the Harold and Kumar movies and while I saw him as Sulu in the Star Trek reboot, that movie had too much eye candy (and plot confusion) for me to have really noticed him.  But then came the show Go OnGo On was an excellent series that was inexplicably canceled in my opinion.  It made me like Matthew Perry, which says so much.  But it also introduced me to John Cho.  He’s a very good comedic actor and I found myself missing him on episodes where he didn’t have a major part.  So I was pleasantly surprised when he showed up on Sleepy Hollow.  It was interesting seeing him in a bit more serious, even crazy role. Now I may have to go back and watch Harold and Kumar, or I hope he has much more work in the future.

ming-na-wen-at-marvel-Ming-Na Wen – I know people either love or hate Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I love it by the way.  And I have to admit the big part of me watching it was the always adorable Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson.  But I’ve also I find myself caring about all the main ensemble characters.  I know the secondary focus away from Coulson is supposed to be on the young and confused Skye  (Chloe Bennett) but seriously, I’m watching to see what Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) does next.  Some people may find her character cold, maybe even one dimensional, but I say they aren’t paying enough attention.  If it was a guy in the same role we call him dark, mysterious.  That’s how I find May.  I think Wen walks the fine line between being mysterious and boring really well.  Her face expressions that give away just enough to those who are paying attention without having to shout “I really don’t mean what I’m saying” have made for very nice plot development on several episodes.  Plus it is nice to see a woman over 30 (she’s 50) kick butt on TV.  I haven’t seen her in anything else that I remember, but now I’m going to have to go back and watch Stargate Universe to see if she’s always been that good.

bill-nighy-2010Bill Nighy – And speaking of older, for me fangirling knows no gender, ethnic group, or age.  Which brings me to my last up and comer, Bill Nighy, age 64.  Of the ones I mentioned he has the greatest potential to be my next fangirl obsession.  He’s already the tipping point of whether I’ll give a movie a look or not.  I just think the man has good taste.  He certainly seems to exude it when he’s on the screen.  I can’t tell you when I first saw Bill Nighy in a movie but I know which movie I first found him cool, Wild Target.  Even though he plays a somewhat stiff charcter, I couldn’t help it I just… *sigh*.  This wasn’t helped the least bit by the movie Pirate Radio (aka The Boat that Rocked), where he plays the owner of a radio station in the 60s.  Smooth as silk and a cool as a cucumber, and then he dances… okay maybe I’m a fangirl of his after all.  I leave you with a brief clip of the dance from Pirate Radio. The clip should start at 1:32, if not fast forward to there.

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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Fangirl Friday

 

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The Boat That Rocked (Pirate Radio) – 2nd Movie of 2014

PirateRadioPosterHave you ever watched a movie and the whole time you are thinking, “Why didn’t someone make me watch this before now?”, and then when you finish it you wonder if it’s too soon to watch it again? That’s how I feel about Pirate Radio (originally titled The Boat that Rocked).  Seriously.  I don’t know if it’s because of the cast, the music, or the fact that people are thumbing their nose at convention, but I’m seriously in love.

Set in 1966, Pirate Radio is a fictional retelling of a time period when rock-n-roll didn’t rule the airwaves, well not in Britain anyway.  British radios stations could play very little of it and  the only way you could hear more it was from one of the many “pirate” radio stations housed aboard ships in the North Sea.  As much as the government wanted to they hadn’t quite devised a way to shut them down so they played what they wanted.  The ship this movie focuses on is Radio Rock, ran by Quentin played by the ultra-suave Bill Nighy.  Radio Rock is staffed 24/7 by a varied and somewhat motley crew of DJs including The Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Simon (Chris O’Dowd), Dave (Nick Frost), and others.

On the other side is the British government intent on taking down Radio Rock and the other pirate stations, because, of course, rock music is evil, anti-establishment, and all that.  Hired by Sir Alistair Dormandy (Kenneth Branagh), Mr. Twatt (Jack Davenport), feel free to giggle, devises many different schemes to dismantle radio freedom.

The movie doesn’t technically have a main character, although the story tends to be presented from the view of “Young” Carl (Tom Sturridge). Carl is a 17 year old boy who is sent to Radio Rock by his mother after he is expelled from school to spend some time with his godfather Quentin.  It’s a coming of age time not only for him but seemingly everyone on the boat.  This movie is not just about the fight to bring music to the masses, but the changes they all go through, both on and off the air.  They find love, or lust, their voice, their purpose, and the play some damn fine music.

It’s hard to convey why I love this movie so much. I think the biggest thing is character investment.  There are just so many different personalities and it doesn’t take long for you to forget they are actors and think of them as people, some of which you wouldn’t mind having as friends.  It also blends the seriousness of the fight with a nice feel good atmosphere.  The highs aren’t too high and the lows are just enough to hit home without depressing the hell out of you.

Now this movie is not without flaws.  There are many glowing anachronisms, particularly if you are an audiophile or a history buff and parts of the movie requires some suspension of disbelief.  But you know, who cares, this movie isn’t about as much about accuracy as it is the experience, the feelings, and to illustrate what can happen not only when you are passionate and believe in something but also when you are brave, or crazy enough to stand up for it.

Long live rock-n-roll.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Movies, Reviews

 

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Bingewatch: Extreme Cheapskates

extreme-cheapskates10% Practicality in a Bucket of Crazy

I’m a bingewatcher.  If something is really good or just really hard to believe I’ll easily find myself watching between three and a dozen episodes in one sitting.  You are just drawn in by the good, the bad, or the ugly and just can’t stop yourself.  So I figured if I’m going to spend my hours on the couch with the remote, I might as well share the experience with you.

My first bingewatch for the year is Extreme Cheapskates that airs on TLC.  The Learning Channel seems to be just teaching us all about the crazy.  I don’t have cable or satellite so I had to be content with the seven episodes (pilot plus six regular episodes) of season one available on Netflix streaming.

(Very minor spoilers ahead, there is still much crazy to be seen)

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Roy G. Haynes on Extreme Cheapskates

Now I didn’t go into this expecting a sane discussion of practical ways of saving money.  I expected a freak show and I wasn’t disappointed.  However, it still did piss me off, a lot, and I found myself screaming at the TV more than once.  I have no problem with frugality even in extreme cases, but I don’t feel it gives you the right to be a jerk or steal and that is what I had a problem with.  Often the extreme cheapskate’s spouse and family were victims to their ways.  In one case, Roy and Lisa are celebrating their 25th anniversary and as a present he gets her flowers out of a dumpster.  Not even decent looking flowers. He also takes a greeting card she had received from someone else, scratches out some of the information and writes in new. Seriously?  I’m not saying he needed to spend hundreds of dollars in some extravagant display of affection.  But for less than $10, Roy could’ve purchased Lisa fresh flowers and a nice card.  After twenty-five years of putting up with his ass that was the least she deserved.

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Dr. Terence Candell on Extreme Cheapskates

Granted, I know some of this stuff is played up for cameras but still you know in every lie/fake there is truth.  Like Terence who couldn’t spare any money to fix the front doorbell of his house or having anything but a card table and broken chairs in his living room.  But on the other hand had ten different bank accounts he was hiding from his wife and children, one he claimed contained over 100,000 dollars.  That isn’t being a cheapskate that’s being a liar, a cheat, and a jerk.  He also took his family to a “special dinner” at a Chinese food buffet, paying with a bag of change he’d been saving all year.  That was unnecessary since I’m pretty sure that any of the banks that hold his secret accounts would’ve converted that into paper bills for free.  I’m just going to assume that was for the cameras, if he’s like that in real life that would’ve been the last time I would’ve done anything with him.

Jeff Yeager on Extreme Cheapskates

I did mention practical didn’t I?  So let’s get off the crazy train and talk about that.  There is some practical things shown and even some of the impractical can easily be made practical with some minor adjustments.  Another couple featured, Jeff and Denise, take a fiscal fast once a year.  For one week they don’t spend any money and make do on what they already have for meals and entertainment.  I think that is an excellent way to stop, look, and appreciate what you already have.  Not to mention a good way of clearing the cupboards before food expires.  Jeff is also into using as much of the animal as possible when cooking and utilizes parts people usually discard.  He makes this great dinner with the heads and carcasses from several salmon.  The soup looked good and I really wasn’t freaked out by the salmon heads.  But then I’ve watched a lot of Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain so I’m used to it I suppose.  But the cost of the meal was a fraction compared to if he had used salmon fillets.

Extreme Cheapskates does have some redeeming qualities but I’m not sure I would readily watch some more episodes if they became available.  The crazy, mean, and the just plain stupid got to me several times and really I watch TV mostly to relax.  But then you now like with a bad car wreck, sometimes you just can’t look away.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2014 in TV Shows

 

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Bounty Killer – 1st Movie of 2014

Just so we are clear, I’m not going to try and watch a movie a day again this year.  Too exhausting.  However, I still love, and plan on watching, a lot of movies, so yesterday I started with Bounty Killer.

Bounty Killer seems like the little movie that could.  It started out as a short in 2011, then was a graphic novel in February 2013, and finally a feature length film in September.  But how is the movie?  It’s actually pretty good.

One thing you will notice about this movie is that it will remind you of other movies. For me it’s a little bit Sin City and a little bit Road Warrior or Doomsday.  But it’s not a bad thing; I actually like how they mixed the elements together to create a pretty clever movie.  The basic plot is this, corporations have taken over the world, literally, as in like running the countries.  Eventually they become involved in wars that plunge the world into a post-apocalyptic waste land. However, the people rise up and now the corporate bigwigs are on the run, with prices on their heads.  That’s where the bounty killers come in.  Tasked by a council, bounty killers hunt down and execute the corporate fugitives for big rewards.  This movie is about two of the best bounty killers, Drifter (Matthew Marsden) and Mary Death (Christian Pitre).  They are celebrities to the regular citizens and are seen as heroes, but both of them are hiding secrets that could get them killed.

Mary Death

Mary Death

If you like guns and over top violence then you will like Bounty Killers. It’s not wall to wall but it gets a bit bloody at times even if it’s unrealistic.  The plot is pretty good,  the costumes are interesting, and special effects are low-budget but not horrible.  I like how they mix in comic book graphics and elements throughout the movie. The dialogue seems like they were going for noir but not quite making it. That’s not to say there isn’t good line or five. Although my favorite lines always seemed to come from Jack LeMans (Barak Hardley) who is Drifter’s caddy; basically the sidekick that makes sure you always have the right weapon at hand and reloads while you keep firing away.

Eve as Mocha Sujata

Eve as Mocha Sujata

Filled with lots of actors you know from other things including Beverly D’Angelo, rapper Eve, and everyone’s favorite odd celebrity Gary Busey, this movie is a pretty decent b-grade action time waster even if it’s a bit cheesy at times.  I could watch it again and not be disappointed.  It’s not fine cinema but most of what I watch isn’t.

The trailer had too many spoilers in my opinion so I leave you with a Red Band clip.  It’s red band because of violence and a minor bit of swearing.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2014 in Movies, Reviews

 

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