Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My new career

For all of those who know me, I am on the career path of being a journalist. That dream is over my friends, I have a completely new one after watching the documentary When Harry Left Hogwarts. I want to make documentaries. Not just any kind but documentaries about films. This was the greatest thing I've ever seen because it made me that much sadder about the series ending. The actors, the set, the production crew all of it was incredible. The amount of work it takes to put on a movie, especially a movie like Harry Potter, even more so THE last Harry Potter was incredible to watch. I still can't believe it is finally all over but it made me decide I'm going into to the business of making movies.

I don't care what I do, the documentary actually made me want to do anything. I could start with a person who holds the umbrella for the actors on set, someone who gets them food or maybe an assistants director keep the schedule organized, or maybe even an assistants assistant. Basically if I could just be on a movie set I'd do the crap job just to be on the set of the movie. Can you imagine being on a set. I mean I of course have always wanted to do that, especially after watching the special features of the Lord of the Rings films, but all of the sudden I want to just drop out of school and move out to LA.

This of course is impractical, my parents would kill me. Maybe I can blame it on the fact that I am scared of the future and don't want to think about growing up. But mixing in the film Hugo and this documentary and then all the special features I watched of the last two Harry Potter films in the last two days made me just want to help make movies. They are simply one of the most fantastic things in the world. Of course it also made me want to write a brilliant, world renowned book, but that seems a little more unrealistic.

I suppose what I'm saying is even the person who has to hold the umbrella has a cool job. Films are so magical though. While watching the special features you see all the flaws, the green screen, the wired attached to objects or people and the CIG. Nonetheless a set has this movie power. Can you imagine being on a set of a bad movie and all it takes to create it. Just watching the Harry Potter things was unbelievable, of course this is a large scale movie, but still all the things they have to do is crazy. Getting the actors organized, getting the extras organized, making sure everyone knows what is going on, the stunt men, the production team. How difficult it must be do that. But then I think, they are all working toward the same cause, to create a fantastic movie. I wonder what it was like filming a movie like... gosh I can't even think of an awful movie right now. How about New Years Eve, think about all those stuck up actors and all the schedules to deal with, and not even for a good product. I wonder what those people were thinking, "we're making an awful movie but at least I'm getting paid a lot."

That was not the case I found while watching the Harry Potter documentary. Every single person seemed to care about what was actually going on and the work that it required. That is what makes a good film. That is what I now (and I think always have) want to be apart of so badly. I feel like anyone would love to do that. If only I was talented in acting, directing, producing, art, makeup, special effects. Man it would be so cool to be on the set of a movie. Of course, that is not the career path I am on, but oh, how I wish it was.

Here are some lovely movie side notes.
1. MI-4 is one of many films on my list to see and it isn't even going to be up for an Oscar (well maybe technical stuff). However, it won the Box Office this big Christmas weekend and is certainly on my list of must sees this break. Not to mention it has received great reviews from critics.
2. Well these photos got me excited for the new Spider-Man film. Not just because Emma Stone (wow, almost wrote Emma Watson, clearly Harry Potter is still on my mind) is in it but because I think it has a lot of promise. It is one of my most anticipated film of 2012.
3. I watched the Kennedy Center Honors Tuesday night and finally Meryl Streep was honored for her incredible career in films. Can you believe 16 Oscar nominations? How crazy is that. And it is sure to be 17 this season with her role in Iron Lady, and possibly her third win (she won Best Actress for Sophie's Choice and Supporting Actress in Kramer vs. Kramer). She was the most entertaining part of the program and a truly classy lady.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Friday, December 23, 2011

How to make a successful season finale

Folks, I don't know how they did it but some how the writers of Dexter erased a mediocre (and probably the worst) season of the show with one single scene. If you watch the Showtime thriller, you know the sixth season didn't quite live up to expectations but it nonetheless ended on a bang, and if you watch the show you know exactly what I'm talking about. I don't want to ruin it for people who haven't seen it or are in the process this winter break to catch up but it was fantastic. Not to mention Showtime's new thriller Homeland had a game changer of a season finale with killings and big decisions by major characters. Both finales got me thinking of what makes a good season finale because there have been many poor ones in the past (every season of Glee, most of How I Met Your Mother). I'd say premium television knows how to do it best (Dexter, True Blood, Sopranos - except for the series finale) but there are some network shows that do it right.

If there is one show still on TV that can do a season finale correct, it's Grey's Anatomy. I can tell you the big thing that happened in all Grey's finales (Addison shows up, Denny dies, Christina left at the altar, Meredith in the house of candles, George dies, shooting at the hospital and Meredith screws up her career - that literally took me two seconds). Now I would say all but the last season (the seventh season), there was  a crushing ending and a huge game changer in the finale (seven is easily the weakest finale). It is easy to say dramas usually make a bigger bang than sitcoms, especially because they have more time, but Parks and Recreation in its young life has had pretty good ones that people should take note of (Leslie running for office and the Tammy's return is one of the best). The important aspect of a finale is getting your audience to want more and totally setting up things for the next season (Dexter does this all too well, not necessarily ending all story lines in one season).

One show I really remember that was pretty bad at finales was Desperate Housewives, it got too complicated and too unrealistic (probably the reason I stopped watching after the third season). You have to remember to answer some of the audiences questions but you have to open new ones to bring them back. Lost was another master (maybe THE master) of the season finale. It was pretty much a guarantee that any Lost finale would be epic. If you have never seen this show, I don't know what you're doing here, they're all on Netflix and I know you're on break (if you didn't know Lost is my favorite thing that has ever aired on television - well maybe a toss up with Tina). Speaking of Tina, one of the best finales I've seen is 30 Rock's season four finale. Two parters are always a win and that's what 30 Rock did, Grey's had a couple of those as well. It's also a good call and gives you some more time to work with, but of course you have to be a successful show to get one of those.

You have to remember however, that the finale is not extremely important but the return of a show is just as important. If you can't bring back some things from the previous season, audiences get bored. That is what I am probably the most anxious for right now as far as Dexter and Homeland is concerned. When a show has me thinking of all the possibilities a week after it aired, that is a success. When I can't stop thinking about what just happened, that is a success. The things that change shows however, is finales that have watchers jaw drop to the floor (see: Dexter season 4 finale, Grey's season 3 and 6 finale, Lost season 3 finale). That is why a show always needs to know where it is going because it is so, so important to set up for the next season so people are automatically asking questions the moment the credits roll.

With that I give you some side notes.
1. We have about three weeks till 30 Rock returns to television which makes January 12 the best day of 2012 so far. Watch a sneak peek of the episode here and an interview with Tina about the season here.
2. Well, I can't lie. Even though Glee has been pretty disappointing this season, I am pretty darn excited for this Grease episode. I have a feeling it will involve Mercedes and Sam's relationship and so does pictures are getting me even more excited.
3. Even though it's not my Tina play Sarah, I can't deny that Julianne Moore looks pretty darn convincing in the role of Sarah Palin in HBO's original movie. Check out this teaser trailer for the film and from the snippet it sounds Moore has that specific voice nailed down pretty well.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This movie was directed by who?!

Sorry for the delay folks, I know I came back but then finals started up again and if I want to remain in school I had to actually be productive. But it's time for winter break, which means I am back in action! This break also means lots of movie seeing, television watching and college football bowl season. However, this blog is going to be dedicated to a movie I saw during finals week (a break I surely needed during my studying) and a film that totally hit the spot.

Hugo is a surprising film and I mean that in every good way possible. First it's directed by Martin Scorsese. That's right, Scorsese made a kids movie. The director of movies like The Departed, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, Raging Bull and any other movie opposite a kids movie you can think of. That's correct, Hugo is a fantastic, beautiful, well-written film, with superb acting and an overall cinematic masterpiece. It is a hats-off to old film making, something Scorsese has made clear he is in love with. I got lost in this movie, totally and utterly disappeared into this world and it was mostly due to the way Scorsese directed the film. The first I say six minutes before the title comes on is just awesome.

For those of you who don't know what the film is about I would tell you but I in fact didn't know much about it. The trailer doesn't explain much and I didn't read much before seeing it. And the fact that I did that helped immensely in the way I saw this movie and how much I enjoyed this movie. So, instead of giving you a plot summary I'm just going to tell you to go see it. The cinematography is absolutely fantastic (the movie is based in Paris). The acting is great, especially by the two children who are going to do great things. The title character is portrayed by actor Asa Butterfield (yes, that is his real name) who has done good things already staring in Nanny McPhee Returns and Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The main girl, Chole Moretz is a little more well-known, as the main girl in Kick-Ass and the sister in 500 Days of Summer. Both were fantastic and effortlessly carried this film.

The older actors also did a fabulous job. Another reason I may have liked this movie so much is it had three Harry Potter actors in it. Richard Griffiths who plays Vernon Dursley, Helen McCrory who plays Narcissa Malfoy (she has the biggest part in Hugo and is absolutely brilliant) and then Frances de la Tour who plays Madame Maxime in Harry Potter. Not to mention Jude Law, Christopher Lee, and Ben Kingsley who is also a main character. All these actors play their small part in this great movie that I believe kids will find fun, adults will fond over and people my age will purely enjoy.

Essentially what I'm saying is see this movie. It's a great family film that you can take anyone to and it is one everyone will enjoy. I don't know how a man who makes gangster movies was capable of grabbing my attention for two hours and take everything going on in my life (especially the stress of finals) and make me forget it all. Then again, he is Martin Scorsese.

With that here are some lovely movie side notes.
1. Despite it's not-so-great reviews, the second Sherlock Holmes film took first place in the box office, but definitely did not receive the numbers it was looking for. Nonetheless, it's a movie I surely want to see. Get ready for the next couple weeks though, some fantastic films are coming.
2. Finally! The first real trailer for Dark Knight Rises has been released and may I say it looks just fantastic. I have not seen the eight minute beginning that was released in front of the new Mission Impossible movie in IMAX, but the trailer was enough excitement for me. Should be a summer filled with blockbusters.
3. I was going to talk about the Golden Globe nominations but I was too in love with Hugo to not talk about it. So here are my brief thoughts: Sad about Harry not getting a nod, look at Ryan Gosling in both the drama and comedy categories, dang the Artist with six nods, I've gotta see the Descendants, no Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids which is crap, there is no dominant animation movie, The Help rocks out with so many deserving nominations.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Friday, December 2, 2011

One amazing comeback

Ann: What is your ideal man?
Leslie: He has the brains of George Clooney in the body of Joe Biden.
That my friends was the brilliant writing of my favorite comedy on television right now (of course, 30 Rock isn't on right now). Now this line is way better when you get the delivery by the incredible Amy Poehler (who, fun fact I would want to be for a day. The main reason is because then I could be best friends with Tina Fey, but also because she's super funny and on a super funny show). Although, I must say, Parks and Recreation hasn't always been funny. That is why I'm declaring them the comeback kid.

Now, after season 1, this show finally found its rhythm, of course no one noticed, including me. I watched one episode during its first season and I decided, oh this is just another Office-type show. This is still true in my opinion in regards to the first season, because the first five episodes are very much like The Office. But then in the last episode of the first season I feel like the writers finally figured out what they wanted to create. So, here comes season 2, which is very funny and enjoyable to watch. Still, no one was watching and NBC moved the third season to mid-season January 2011. During winter break last year, one of my friends said I should give the show another chance and that I'd really like it.

I watched the first season and was a little bored, but stayed through it because what else am I going to do on winter break. And then I finished two and was wanting more. Then season 3 started and insert hilarious writing, an amazing additions to the cast and ridiculous funny story telling. They had finally hit their stride and people took notice. The show received its first emmy nomination this past fall. The most memorable episode, for me, is that flu episode. This is where Leslie has a big presentation to make but is extremely sick. She does the presentation, which doesn't look like she can do, brilliantly. Now, this episode and for the whole show for that matter would not work without Amy Poehler. Not just because she is the lead, but because she is one of a few actresses who can pull of this character. She's funny, a little annoying but mostly just hilarious. Not to mention, there is something about the way she delivers certain lines that just makes the writing that much better.

The show, however, would also fail if it didn't have its supporting cast of characters. Tom and his amazing one liners (plus treat yo self). Ron and his pyramid of success, not to mention his history with the Tammys. Ann and her relationship with Andy and Chris is priceless. Andy and April's relationship, which is one of the best on television. Ben and his quirky personality, plus you can't help to love him and Leslie together. This show is certainly in its prime and honestly, only getting better. When January hits, 7-8 p.m. Thursday's are going to be the best hour of television because 30 Rock and Parks will be on. I can't wait to see the day when Amy and Tina are on each others shows, but for now I think both are doing pretty darn well for themselves.

With that, some television side notes for you all.
1. So this was shocking but sounds like a really, really cool episode. Check it out if you want to see what Grey's has in store for next second half of this season and it involves bringing back some series regulars, like Kate Walsh (Addison). Here's the link.
2. Speaking of Grey's Anatomy, it looks like the show is in talks to convince Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey to come back for a ninth season. Not sure what's going to happen. Like I said, I kind of want this season to be the last so it can end on a good note. If they can't both of them to come back, I'm not sure the show can carry on (and if they only get Meredith, I don't know if I see her without Derek). Should be interesting nonetheless.
3. It looks like even though Dexter got a two-season pickup that season 8 might be its last. Showtime president said they are planning an end for Dexter and it will start with the remaining three episodes of this season (which just got real, real good).

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


This will be the shortest blog in the world.

RON ZOOK FIRED! HOORAY! Everyone should throw a party and cheers to a failure of a coach and season. Of course, it's always sad to see someone get fired. But still, it's been a rough couple years in Illinois football.

So rejoice while you can! Let's hope Mike Thomas can hire a better, more educated, quality coach to put the program back on the map.

It took way too long, but the Zooker is outta here.

And that, is all I have to say about that.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pleasantly surprised

All right friends, this blog has finally happened and I know you were waiting all week for it. I finally saw Breaking Dawn. Now, let me give you a little of my Twilight history before I go into detail about this little franchise. So, I read the first three books the same summer the fourth one came out. Now I, like everyone else, was obsessed. I read them very quickly and thought they were so good. Then I saw the first movie and saw the error of my ways. There is no doubt that these books and movies are guilty pleasures. I can’t lie that when I do read the books that they make me happy in some parts. Most of the time, however, I’m irritated about how much Stephanie Meyer repeats herself. We get it, Edward is handsome, Bella is clumsy. Essentially what I’m getting at, is me and Twilight have a weird relationship. I went to the midnight showing of the first two movies and realized it wasn’t really worth my time anymore. But there is no denying I would see this movie. So without further ado, he’s my thoughts.

I was pleasantly surprised. Now this is Twilight we are talking about so there are of course bound to be some really cheesy scenes, bad acted scenes, poor effect scenes and just overall horrible dialogue. And this movie is no exception. But for some reason I still kind of liked it. I did go in with very, very low expectations, which I’m thinking I should do with every movie from now on. I thought it was going to be the worst one yet, but I don’t think anything can beat the original. Anywho, for a book that shouldn’t be two movies, this first part certainly dragged a little. There were a lot of lingering shots of Bella’s face and you’re suppose to understand what she’s thinking by her expression. If I didn’t read the book, I’m not sure if I’d get it, but who is really seeing these movies that haven’t read the books?

Things that I was happy about: Bella’s wedding dress (and post wedding dress) was pretty (despite their kiss lasting like a minute long), the wedding speeches were hilarious and unexpected, the honeymoon location is to die for – I want to go to there, Bella having her human minutes, the CIG – for the most part – was well done, her eyes were awesome at the end. Things that I wasn’t so happy about: The random part where Edward talks about the humans he’s killed – it just seemed out of place, the long lingering walk and painful expression on Bella’s face walking down the aisle, the random dancing scene in Rio, anything with the wolves seemed forced, that damn wolf scene where they all talk like they’re Batman, the CIG on Reneesme’s face.

So, as you can see, I had mixed feelings about the movie but most of them were postitive. There is no doubt that my favorite scene was the wedding speeches, mainly because Anna Kendrick (Jessica) is my hero and needed more lines in this movie. Billy Burke (Charlie) is also my hero and steals any scene he is in. What I also really like about this book in general is there is more of the family in it so it was not just all about Bella and Edward swooning over each other. Although, there was plenty of them fondling over their love during the honeymoon.

Essentially the problem with this movie is nothing happened. I mean obviously there were things that happened, but I felt like the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows set up everything but it was also its own separate story. I feel like with this movie it clearly set up things for the next one but it was just … blah. Like it could have been condensed to an hour instead of two. Basically, there was no plot. That of course, didn’t mean it wasn’t entertaining. I for one, am definitely looking more forward to the next film where we get some interesting things, like the vampire history and just watching Bella experience her new life.

With that I give you some side notes.
1. No surprise there that Breaking Dawn was the winner at the box office again this weekend. Although, it did have some films that got awesome reviews this weekend. There are still so many things on my list and I waste time seeing Breaking Dawn. I suppose I can now say, after seeing it, it was worth it.
 2. This is a very interesting article about Harry Potter being up for the Oscars and thought I would share it with you all. Thanks to mother who emailed me this. I thought it made good points and only has me more anxious for Oscar season. Check it out and let me know what you think.
 3. So I know these trailers came out a while ago but I haven’t found time to talk about them yet. But the Snow White movies that I talked about a while ago released their trailers and they couldn’t be more different. First you’ve got the badass, dark Snow White and the Huntsman. Then you have the humorous, Julia Roberts being awesome Mirror, Mirror that just looks down right entertaining (and a totally different role for Roberts). I can pretty much say I’ll be seeing both of these movies.

With that I say… Live long and prosper.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Giving thanks to television

In the spirit of Thanksgiving (even if it is a day late) I thought I would give thanks to my favorite things that I love on television right now. I have to say, I am stealing this idea from what my main source website ( did. My way is going to be a little different though because I would like to address everything television, including shows that might not even be on air anymore (Lost). So let's all give thanks to that little box in our living room who somehow provides the greatest entertainment anyone could ask for.

JJ Abrams
There is no way my television life (or movie for that matter) would be complete without the brilliant creations of my man JJ Abrams. You don't know who Abrams is?! He is only a genius, the next Spielberg. He is the creator of shows like Alias, Felicity, my favorite Lost and my current favorite Fringe. He directed Star Trek and Super 8 (he also wrote this one). He is a genius and without the creative shows like Lost and Fringe, I would not love TV as much as I do. Not to mention his continual creation to expand the expectations and has a new show premiering in January called Alcatraz. Totally looking forward to that one.

The funny ladies
I am of course not only talking about the brilliant Tina Fey or Amy Poehler, both who out perform anyone else on television with their amazing and quirky characters. But also the new generation (and old for that matter) like Melissa McCarthy (who won the Emmy this year) but also April on Parks, Robin and Lily on How I Met Your Mother, and of course Annie, Britta on Community (I'm not a big Shirley fan). All of these women make me laugh and make a statement that women can be funny too. But let's not forget who really pioneered this movement: all the women who have been on SNL. Maya Rudolph, Molly Shannon, even the older ones like Jane Curtin and Gilda Radner.

Let's not forget the men
There are many female powerhouses out there right now. Women are kind of rocking out on television at the moment. Think about it: Revenge, Once Upon A Time, Homeland (power to Clare Danes), New Girl, 2 Broke Girls. Women are getting star roles and doing a great job. But they couldn't succeed without their male counterparts. Props to Patrick Dempsey on Grey's, Jason Segel and NPH on How I Met Your Mother, Mandy Patinkin on Homelnad (and Damian Lewis) and who could leave out (well a lot of people considering he doesn't get a dang nomination for his role) John Noble in Fringe. These men are great characters with comedic timing, great dramatic performances and support their women well.

ABC for its discovery of great television
Finally. It only took ABC a long time to discover what a great television was again and now have one of the best line ups on television. From Once Upon A Time to Revenge to hits like Modern Family and classics like Grey's and Private Practice, ABC is certainly doing much better than NBC. Although I am still uncertain, Pan Am has also done pretty well and I have to say it's great to see some good shows happening on ABC. I can remember when they had Lost, Grey's, Desperate Housewives, Pushing Daisies (one of the greatest shows ever, and ended way too early), Ugly Betty, and the launch of Dancing With the Stars. All of these shows were very popular when they started and of course lost viewership but that was one of the best years of television ever. ABC is coming back and am so happy they got rid of those struggling shows and investing in fun television (Revenge).

Premium television
What would my life be without the channels like HBO and Showtime. From Sex and the City to True Blood from Dexter to my new favorite Homeland, these channels know how to make great television. I've also watched Weeds and The Big C and brilliant storytelling is what they know best. I may not have watched HBO's critically acclaimed shows like Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire but even True Blood is addicting (certainly a guilty pleasure). They may swear, there might be inappropriate sex scenes but they sure know how to tell a story and keep you guessing (hence, Dexter).

With that I give you some side notes.
1. I just have to complain a little. Why the heck does ABC Family have a countdown to the countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas?! Can they not think of anything else to put on their channel?? Why don't they celebrate other holiday's like Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? It's like two months of Christmas talk! That totally ruins the holidays for me and is unnecessary. Thankfully we all can watch the Santa Clause and Home Alone now because it now is Christmas time. I appreciate you all listening to my soap box.
2. Classics never die. It was announced today that Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving beat out Lady Gaga's special on Thursday night. Now, I have nothing against Gaga she is pretty talented, but you can't go wrong with some Snoopy and Woodstock.
3. I suppose I should give some congrats to J.R. Martinez for winning Dancing With the Stars. I'm not a huge fan of the show anymore, especially the stars they had this season. But it's pretty cool that he won and beat a Kardashian. I still have to say my favorite reality television show is So You Think You Can Dance. Although watching fat people bouncing and losing weight on Biggest Loser is pretty entertaining.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cutler's catch-22

Oh Jay Cutler, how you love to rip the hearts out of Bears fans. Last season you get sacked in an insane amount of times and can't throw the football and yet somehow we end up winning the division. Of course that dream was shattered when the now-unstoppable Green Bay Packers are on a tear still undefeated this season. But we fans came into this 2011 with some high expectations. Those expectations were kind of shot down when the New Orleans Saints completely embarrassed you on national television. But then all of the sudden something happened. Ever since that awful Detroit Lion game where the Bears lost 24-13, Cutler was still the top passer.

Then they went on a completely different path defeating the Eagles and the Lions. He is playing great, finally. Understanding the system and comprehending Mike Martz's offense. Things have finally get together, for the first time in a like forever, the Bears offense is scoring the points instead of the Bears defense. And then it all just falls away (most likely) now that Cutler broke his thumb in Sunday's game against the Chargers. So now we must put the rest of the remainder six games in the hands of Caleb Hanie (unless the Bears hire a veteran free agent but that seems unlikely unless Hanie screws up real bad against the Raiders this Sunday).

So here are my thoughts on Cutler's injury. It just plain sucks. There is no other way to describe it (well I could swear but that would seem unprofessional in my blog). How I look at it, it is similar to a catch-22 in a way. Let me explain: Cutler threw an interception (that wasn't his fault as the receiver fell down). Instead of just watching the Chargers run the ball back for a touchdown, Cutler chased him down and forced him outside (which caused the broken thumb). Now, my bet is, if he didn't run down the field to chase after the interceptor, he would have been criticized. Probably not a lot, but there certainly would have been some anger as fans (because Bears fans are never satisfied). Here's the thing though, he shouldn't have tried to stop that guy. And now that he has, he can no longer play in the regular season.

Isn't that just the luck of the Bears. He does something right and now is being punished. Life's rough I tell you. Now, I'm not even sure if the Bears will make the playoffs. If you remember earlier in the year I said I was confident the Bears would make it as a wildcard team, and so far that prediction seemed plausible. Now, I'm not as confident. We'll see how Hanie performs, the good thing, I suppose is that he has this whole week to prepare. The defense will definitely have to step up big and Forte will need a way better performance than he had last game. Overall, I'm crossing my fingers at this point the Bears can make it to the playoffs so Cutler has a chance to finish out this season.

With that some lovely side notes.
1. So what's my most anticipated Turkey football game tomorrow? I'm gonna have to say that's a pretty easy one as the Packers and the Lions face off. I mean, usually, the Lions play someone on Thanksgiving and it's a complete blow out because they've sucked for so long. But here's hope that they beat the Packers for the first time this season.
2. The Illinois football team is hopeless. Let's see Ron Zook outta here please and thank you. That's all I've got to say on that, my words aren't even worth it.
3. On Tuesday, Ryan Braun was named the National League MVP and I'm just gonna say, yeah that's not a bad choice. I mean he did help the Brewers win the NL Central for the first time in 30 years, which is pretty impressive considering the Cubs are you know busy winning all those titles (or not). But congrats to him and of course congrats to Justin Verlander for earning the American League MVP.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Let the Games begin

So I know I mentioned in my last week's blog that the new Hunger Games trailer was released but for some reason I found myself watching it over, and over, and over again. At this point I don't even know how many times I've seen it. But considering I watched it an estimated a hundred times, I felt inclined to talk about it further than just saying the trailer was released. Considering this is my next Harry Potter, since I'm totally over Twilight (yes, that's correct I haven't even seen the new movie yet), I should go into depth about how I feel about this film.

Warning: Do not read any further if you haven't finished the first book, it will ruin things and then you'll yell at me for ruining things. I will try not to talk about what happens too much. So here goes, my first impression of the trailer: awesome. By far one of the best trailers I have seen in a long time. Harry Potter never made a trailer like this, building an incredible amount of suspense and actually had my heart beating at the end of the trailer, nervous for what was about to happen. Although it had nothing about what actually what happens when the games start (except for when Katniss puts her hands up in honor of Rue) it built a great amount of anticipation for the movie. This is only the first trailer so I'm not surprised that they didn't give too much of the games away. I'm guessing further down the road they might.

Now, after my first impression, I took the time to go through the trailer slowly and see the actual scenes in slow motion. And what I got from that is the sets, costumes and appearances of the characters are extreme. I wasn't sure how I felt about Cesar's blue hair and I was a little disappointed by Katniss's dress for interviews, but I'm hoping it looks better on the big screen. I also liked the clothes they wear in the arena, I could tell each district had different colors and even though that's not how it is in the book, it will be good for the viewers eyes. They made the Capital look very futuristic and the people in it are going to be very eccentric looking. The set for the arena looks very promising from the little I saw from it.

As for the people that are in the uniforms, I'm extremely pleased with Jennifer Lawrence's look for Katniss. She lost a lot of weight for the role and her brown hair looks very good (I personally think she looks better with brown than her natural blonde hair). The 21-year-old looks a lot younger with her lost weight and I think she could pull off 16. Fun fact she is almost exactly one year older than me as her birthday is one year and one day before me. Anyways, I'm super pumped for her and very excited about Peeta. That was probably one thing that was missing from the trailer: not enough Peeta. If I didn't know anything about the books I would think Gale is a bigger character than Peeta, but we all know he isn't (at least not in this one). But his look and sound is perfect, but I'm anxious to see how he does in actual scenes.

Overall, this trailer could not have gotten me more excited. Typically after Harry Potter trailers I'm speculating whether this will be in it or this part will and how the new characters will do. For this Hunger Games trailer my speculations were completely erased and I am probably 100 times more excited. I am only reassured this movie will live up to my expectations, but you know when it gets closer (it comes out March 23) I will most likely be freaking out way more and second guessing my initial thoughts. Let's just hope the trailer only touched the surface of how awesome this movie is going to be.

With that, I give you some movie side notes.
1. Like I said earlier, I haven't seen Breaking Dawn Part 1 yet but it is no surprise to me that it led the box office with $139 million. Thank gosh it didn't beat Harry Potter, otherwise I would have been devastated (even though I know Harry Potter has better fans) but we won't talk about that.
2. Christopher Nolan announced the other day that The Dark Knight Rises will start eight years after the Dark Knight ended. I'm not sure how I feel about this but it certainly wasn't something I was expecting. I think I need another trailer until I make up my mind if I like that or not. But interesting nonetheless.
3. I'm super excited for this week because there are some incredible movies coming out that I'm super psyched for. Some of those include The Muppets, Hugo, Arthur Christmas, The Artist and My Week With Marilyn. My Week is of course the first live action movie (she did the voice for the Tales of Despereaux and a TV movie) that Emma Watson will be in. Even though it is a small role, I can't lie that I really just want to see this because she's in it.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Who new Revenge could be so sweet

Oh where to begin. I have waited anxiously for Friday all week, not just because I’ll be going home for thanksgiving break tomorrow but I finally get to talk about the new exciting shows I am watching this season. But before I get into the new shows I watch, I would like to first just give you a little update on how I think the seasons for my regular shows are doing.

First let us recap all of the shows I watch: How I Met Your Mother, Fringe, Grey’s Anatomy, Parks and Recreation, Community, The Good Wife, Dexter, oh and Glee (almost forgot that one). And of course 30 Rock but that isn't on right now because Tina had to go and have a baby. Anyways, so far pretty much every show has had a better season than the last. HIMYM is probably on track to have one of its best seasons if they would just find someone for Ted to date. Fringe is amazing yet frustrating. Love Grey’s despite what happened in the last episode, but still kind of hoping this is their last season. Parks is better than ever, and really loving Leslie running for office but also what happened in last night's episode (if you haven't watched it, go now!). The Good Wife is amazing and dramatic and just super entertaining with a great new angle and Dexter has finally kicked into gear as a very interesting and different season.

For the two shows that I didn’t mention are because they have been a little disappointing. Community for one is not having the best start. There has probably had two good episodes this season that I have really enjoyed and that had smart, witty writing like it usually does. I am sad about it not coming back after the winter break but maybe it will be good for the show and their writing team. As far as Glee goes, I’m getting very over it, very quickly. The same stupid storylines, the annoying Sue banter, the continual debate about being gay and Rachel being perfect. It’s getting very repetitive. The only thing that has me coming back: the music (especially after this weeks mash-up of Adele, that was pretty awesome even if they were singing Adele, which is hard to live up to).

But now on to the new exciting things I want to talk about. So, as of right now I am watching five new shows. There is one in particular that gets me very excited for Wednesday nights, like I was very upset it wasn’t new last week and that of course, is Revenge. Now you may be judging me right now if you’ve seen the commercials and not the actual show. It is a bit of a soap opera but it is also it is a creative, twisty show, with interesting characters and suspenseful episodes. I would totally recommend this if you haven’t checked it out yet.

As for the other shows I watch, that is Pan Am, Once Upon a Time, New Girl and Homeland and I am loving Once and Homeland. Once is a little cheesy and still has a long way to go to gain my respect but the first three episodes have been very fun and different. Homeland (which is on Showtime if you’re confused and never heard it. That’s probably why), is incredibly creative and really interesting; there’s no real show like it on television right now. As far as Pan Am and New Girl go, I’m not totally hooked yet. Pan Am is slowly losing my interest but I seem to keep coming back for Chrisina Ricci. New Girl is entertaining but not the greatest written or acted show. It has gotten better the last two episodes though.

Other shows I have checked out and hope to catch up with over breaks when I don’t have an insane amount of homework are Ringer and Up All Night. I did, I have to say, watched the first episode of Charlie’s Angels and all I have to say about that is thank god it got cancelled. But if you do want a new show this season and haven’t quite found it yet, I would totally tell you to watch Revenge. It is only eight episodes in and you can easily catch up because you will literally watch them one right after the other, they are that addicting. I would name it rookie of the year if there was such an award in television.

With that I have some side notes for you.
1. WOO! Congrats to Dexter for getting renewed for another two seasons. Showtime announced today that the show will continue this serial killers story for another two years. Aww yeah!
2. So who is counting down the days to Jan. 12? I know I am. 30 Rock is returning to my life! I have of course been watching the reruns that air on Comedy Central like everyday to get my fix of Tina, but really excited for the new episodes arrive. 
3. And some exciting news for you Ugly Betty fans. Becki Newton, who played Amanda on the show that was canceled too early, is coming back to TV on .... HIMYM! She is going to be Barney's new love interest and I must say I am uber excited about this one! Her first episode is expected to air in January and will be a recurring character through this season.

And with that I say... Live long and prosper.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Not what you would expect

While sitting around thinking about the different sports topics I could blog about, my mind was blown. The sports world is going crazy at the moment. Well first, obviously, you've got the Penn State scandal, then the whole NBA refusing to sign a new contract and then the start of the college basketball season. Not to mention the NFL is in the heart of its season and college football is coming to a close. So, now the question is what do I talk about.

And the decision, is none of the above but instead baseball. More specifically I would like to address this whole Zambrano issue that is happening with the Cubs. It was announced on Tuesday that the crazy, stupid, stuck up, cocky, bad for the clubhouse pitcher would have a chance to return to the Cubs. Wait? Isn't this the same guy who said he was quitting the team after being ejected from an Atlanta game because he was trying to take Chipper Jones' head off? Yes, same guy. For some reason, Theo Epstein, who personally am extremely excited about, said he has a chance of coming back.

No. This is a bad, bad idea. Zambrano's time with the Cubs has come and gone. He needs to go, like right now. To be honest, I was a huge Big Z fan. After that whole altercation with Derrick Lee in the dugout, I thought he was a changed man. Of course, every spring training he says his anger management is good and he will no longer trow fits on the mound or the clubhouse. Like that actually would happen.

Now, I'm not in the meeting where Zambrano and Epstein talk but I don't know what Zambrano said that convinced the organization to keep him. Personally, it might just be time for a change. I mean the guy has been on the Cubs since 2001. That is 10 seasons and a lot of headaches. Even though the pitcher, surprisingly, does have a winning record with the Cubs, it's time to turn over a new leaf. Let the guy go. He'll be able to find a new team quickly but he is like a Milton Bradley, just bad for the environment. With this new organization I think it's time to start fresh and that means getting rid of bad ju-ju Carlos Zambrano.

With that I give you some side notes.
1. Congrats, as hard as it is for me to say, to Coach K on getting his 903rd win and the most winningest coach in college basketball history. Although I hate Duke, I mean who doesn't, that is one heck of an achievement.
2. Raise your hand if you're sick of hearing about Penn State! (I'm raising my hand). I know this is a huge controversy and what not but I'm kind of tired of hearing about it. Even People Magazine has a story about it in their latest magazine (note: It is the sexiest man issue and Bradley Cooper won, a little upset about this but what can you do). Coverage has slowed down a little bit but I'm sure we'll be hearing about this one for a long time.
3. What did I tell you earlier this season about the Bears? Yes, they have had their troubles but look at that convincing win on Sunday against the Lions that they are for real. And now in the hunt for a wildcard spot, which I already said was going to happen (no one can beat those pesty Packers.) So here is to hoping they can continue their success through their last seven games.

With that I say... Live long and Prosper.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I know, I know. You have all missed me. Go ahead and exclaim to the fact that I finally have returned from my long hiatus. I would like to blame the education system in this country from my long awaited return. For some reason professors think they need to give us work outside of class to learn, personally I don’t know if I agree with that philosophy, but who am I to say what’s right.

Any who, I thought instead of being what people would call “productive” I would be my sense of productive and give you a nice winter movie preview. Now since the last time we talked the only new movie I have seen is Moneyball. To give you a quick recap it was slow moving, well acted and a well written story that I thoroughly enjoyed (but I love baseball, so yeah). I would certainly recommend it, mainly because it was fun to see Jonah Hill in a serious role; furthermore it was fun to see him surprise me in doing a great job in the serious role. Other than Moneyball it has been pretty much what’s been on TV (unless you count the other time I saw Harry Potter and then saw it again when I bought the DVD).

So, to focus on what is to come, I am going to give you a little preview of the five movies coming out during Oscar season that I am excited for and will make a run in the awards shows.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Gary Oldman is returning to our lives in a quality film, finally. With only a small appearance in the last Harry Potter film, Sirius Black is back in action as my favorite chameleon. What do I mean by chameleon? It is how I love to refer to Mr. Oldman because he looks incredibly different in each movie he is in. Example, he plays Beethoven in Immortal Beloved, a terrorist in Air Force One, Dracula in Dracula and of course Jim Gordon in the recent Batman films. Anyways, he is in this thriller set during the Cold War playing an espionage veteran who comes out of retirement to catch a Soviet agent. The film also has Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones and Mark Strong. Amazing cast? I think yes. Trailer here.

War Horse
Finally Spielberg is back my friends with a great looking, cinematic masterpiece. The shots in the trailer are incredible so I can’t wait to see the actual film, not to mention John William is doing the score. War Horse is based off the play focused on a horse, Joey and his journey through WWI. The man who owns him, Albert, tries to find Joey after he is forced to the cavalry. This movie just looks like classic Spielberg and definitely attracting some buzz. Not any crazy actors in this one except my good friend Remus Lupin is in it, aww yeah! Trailer here.

If you watch this trailer, Carnage looks like, well it doesn’t look like it’s about anything. But that doesn’t mean I’m not seeing it. Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and John C. Reily. That right there is reason enough to see this, actually it’s pretty much the only reason to see it considering the whole movie is filmed in one apartment as parents argue about an altercation between their sons. This one looks a funny, quirky, entertaining film.

Extremely Loud Incredibly Close
So this is one of those movies based off an incredibly (get it? Incredibly is in the movie title) well-received book that I have gotten halfway through and it’s a pretty unconventional one (in a good way). The success of this movie will lie in the hands of the young Thomas Horn who plays the nine-year-old Oskar Schell. It is a very sad, touching story about Oskar and his mother after his father is killed in 9/11. He is on a journey to find a key for a lock his father left him. Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks star as Oskar’s parents. This will be one my mom will need Kleenex for. Trailer here.

The Artist
Not sure if I wanna see this one but I could not, not put it down. It is a silent film, black and white, which puts in a category above the rest. I’m nervous about no dialogue but Jean Dujardin, who plays movie star George Valentin in Hollywood 1927, has been getting a lot of buzz about best actor. It looks pretty magical and brings many people back when movies were fantastic so I’m actually kind of anxious to see this one the more I think about it. Trailer here.

Some very quick side notes
1. Other notable movies I wanna see whether they are Oscar worthy or not. The Muppets, Breaking Dawn (guilty pleasure I swear), Happy Feet 2, Hugo, My Week With Marilyn (I was gonna write about this but only so much room, this one does have Emma Watson in it), Arthur Christmas, and The Iron Lady (plus a lot, a lot, a lot more). And then one special movie coming out in March debuted their trailer today ... HUNGER GAMES! A.K.A my next Harry Potter (but not quite). Trailer here.

2. Yay! Billy Crystal as Oscar host! This is exactly what the show needs; an awesome host that will put it back on track. Personally I wanted Tina, but she did just have a baby, so I’ll wait anxiously for debut in the 2013 Oscars.

3. For all you Star Wars fans, yeah Tina listen up! The Phantom Menace is coming back to theaters Feb. 10 … in 3D! Who’s excited? This girl is! Despite people calling it the worst Star Wars movie I personally am a big fan of Jar Jar Binks and look forward to watching the pod racing in high quality 3D. People to come with me would be much appreciated.

With that I say… Live long and prosper. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Timy is a genius

Since it was a huge weekend for television and shows have finally returned to the small screen, I felt it necessary to use my veto power and discuss television this fine Tuesday (even though it was suppose to be Monday and movies, but exceptions for busy nights was warranted.) So, I would like to talk about my favorite moments of this Sunday's past Emmy nominations, the No. 1 one involving the brilliant Timy (more on that later).

So, let us begin with my favorite three moments of the 62nd annual Emmy Awards.

3. For a second straight year, I was obsessed with the opening of the awards (I think I liked Jimmy Fallon's last years a little better, but that might have been because Tina Fey was apart of it). So, for No. 3, Jane Lynch's opening while moving room to room in the supposed building that houses all the shows was hilarious. Although it didn't have my 30 Rock featured in it, Parks and Recreation and Grey's Anatomy were only two of the many shows joked about. The best segment was probably the Mad Men part, just because Jon Hamm is a brilliant comedic actor. Watch the whole beginning here.

2. Kyle Chandler winning for best actor in a drama. This was EPIC! In my previous blog I discussed how he should be the winner but Jon Hamm would probably win. Well the underdog prevailed! I screamed with joy the moment he won and was thrilled. This was by far my favorite winner of the night. Although, watching Kate Winslet run up and down the aisle hugging people was pretty awesome.

1. Timy is clearly the winner. Timy is the combination of Tina (Fey) and Amy (Poehler). These two, and the four other comedic nominees for best actress were hilarious (not to mention Tina looks real good after just having her second daughter a month ago). And when I say hilarious I mean brilliant, awesome, fantastic, highlight, why couldn't all of them have won? This is by far the best part of this years Emmys and should be talked about for a long time. The faces on the women and the reactions was awesome. Plus it was great to see how genuinely excited they all were when Melissa McCarthy won. Although I was sad it wasn't Amy or Laura Linney for that matter, it was great to see her reaction. If you see anything from the Emmys, just watch this clip.

Now to the exciting side notes that will discuss my three favorite season premieres so far.
1. How I Met Your Mother. This two-episode premiere was awesome! There are no other words to describe it except for Legen...DARY! I don't want to ruin it for people who may have yet to watch it but by far one of the best season premieres for Mother I have seen in a long time. For the first time in a long time I really want to watch the next episode of this show.
2. Glee was surprisingly good, I say this unexpectedly because I was worried about this season. I thought there was a good balance between musical numbers and plot lines. There were some new story lines that opened up to get us through a couple episodes. But to be honest, I'm just really looking forward to seeing Idna Menzel next week. Anything with her is a good episode.
3. I want to talk about one new show that I have watched this week and that is Up All Night. I heard some iffy things about it, as far as not being too funny. But I have to say I thought it was pretty good. Not the funniest pilot I have scene but I believe it was just to set the stage, kind of like 30 Rock. The pilot of 30 Rock is not the best episode by a long shot. So, I have some real hope for Up All Night, plus it is produced by Lorne Michaels.

With that I say... Live long and prosper. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Best television weekend ever

Finally the Sunday I have been waiting for since the nominations were announced in July is finally upon us. It’s Emmy weekend my friends, and you all know how I thrive on awards shows. I’m not quite sure what it is about them that make me love them so much but I have to say it’s an exciting time indeed. This year is especially interesting with no Breaking Bad in the mix and I’m thrilled to give you my actual predictions and the winners if I was part of the Academy.

So without further ado, let’s just get to the point shall we.

Best Drama
Will win: This will most likely, once again go to Mad Men. A show that I have the utmost respect for, but has won enough already. There is no doubt the show is brilliant from all aspects but personally we need a new winner.
Should win: Which is why I wish and hope with all my heart that Friday Night Lights takes the Emmy for its final season. After watching this entire series this past summer, it’s a shame it hasn’t won yet. (I wouldn’t mind if The Good Wife won either.)

Best Actor, Drama
Will win: Jon Hamm, Mad Men. I think it is time for Mr. Hamm to win this year, especially a season dedicated to Don Draper. Plus, there is no real guaranteed win this season.
Should win: Except, Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights, who gave five wonderful seasons of work. He is exceptional as Coach Taylor and as thrilled as I am that he got a nomination, it would be oh so sweet for this show to get recognition from its main character.

Best Actress, Drama
Will win: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife. She is easily the most talented actress on television right now as the leading lady of this brilliantly written show. Hands down the winner, especially after the season she had. Betrayed, loved, conflicted, Margulies shows off all her range in this season.
Should win: Margulies obviously. But if I had to pick someone else it’d be Connie Britton of FNL, again since she has yet to win and this was the last season. It’d be cool to see her pick up a win as well.

Best Comedy
Will win: Make it two years in a row for Modern Family. I have a feeling this sitcom will once again take the title because it is such a fan favorite. Nothing against this show, but it certainly the most consistent show on TV.
Should win: That would have to be Parks and Recreation, a show that has me laughing multiple times and beat out cancellation with a brilliant third season. It would be great for this show that has struggled with ratings and a time slot to grab a win. (I, of course, wouldn’t object if 30 Rock won either.)

Best Actor, Comedy
Will win: It’s a sympathy and also well-deserved win for Steve Carell in his last season with The Office. He should totally win considering he has never won for his role as the annoying, frustrating but funny Michael Scott.
Should win: Steve Carell, just cause he has created such an iconic character. Wouldn’t mind seeing Alec Baldwin take another award home though.

Best Actress, Comedy
Will win: Laura Linney, The Big C. Although this second season hasn’t been that great, Linney will get the award for her work on the first season, which she was brilliant. Linney carries this show on her back and even with not that great of writers, the physical presence of Linney is remarkable.
Should win: I’m a little biased considering I want Tina Fey to always win, but Amy Poehler is just as deserving as Linney. Poehler steals every scene she is in and makes people laugh when pretty much anything that comes out of her mouth. Her delivery is fantastic and her comedic timing is proof of her amazing work during Saturday Night Live.

I’ll stop here as to not bore you, or have proof of more categories I got wrong. Feel free to let me know of your predictions; I’d love to hear them. In the meantime, check out these love side notes.
1. You should all go on because they have some fantastic Emmy lists to get you in the mood for this awesome show. Personally I really enjoy this one, because it has a great list, especially numbers 48, 41, 38, 36, 30, 16, 10 and 4 (this one particularly, Lauren Graham should have been recognized.)
2. I watched my first new show this season in Ringer, the Sarah Michelle Geller drama on the CW. I was pleasantly surprised on how much I liked it. However, I will need to watch a few episodes to decide if it will become a regular. If you have time, I’d totally recommend checking it out online.
3. I’d like to update you all on my new found love in the show True Blood. I have completed the first three seasons, and will most likely finish the fourth and most recent by the time I write next week. If you have time, it’s horribly addicting to watch but awesome.

With that I say… Live long and prosper.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bear down, Chicago Bears

So this will be a quick blog and to the point.

Chicago Bears are totally making the playoffs. They may not be going as division champs, but I will say right here, right now (barring any injuries) that they will be a wildcard in the playoffs this season.

You may be wondering why I think that and it has to do with what the media has said about this team and how they performed last Sunday in the season opener. Now, I'm not saying this season won't have its struggles but if they continue to have the defensive performance they had against the Falcons, this team can go far. The sports commentators haven't been too kind to this Bears team but I think that is almost for the best. The fact they are underdogs and expected to do poorly does great things for this team.

I truly believe they have the weapons necessary to go far, now will they beat the Packers, that is the big question. I think the Vikings and Lions will give them some trouble, but if they play to their potential (which isn't always the case) the Bears can get at least second place and have a quality record. As always, though, there are doubts. And this is a big statement to make saying they will go to the playoffs with just one game under their belt. I suppose I'm trying to take my sports teams in a more optimistic way this year. With Illini football and the Bears, I'm hoping with more hope and faith, they will actually produce results worth watching.

Although, looking at the track record of the teams I root for, I'm starting to run out ideas on how to root for them. Hopefully this theory for the Bears and Illini will give me new results. Otherwise, I may have to jump on some bandwagons come playoff season.

Some quick side notes for you all.
1. Woo! Congrats Djokovic! So glad to see him win another Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open. He totally deserved the win and is playing beautiful tennis. It should be interesting what happens at the next French Open, can he beat Nadal again? Tennis is great fun, you need to start watching.
2. Well baseball has kind of wrapped up its playoff teams, except in the AL West. It is a very interesting race and the only interesting race really left this season. Personally it'd be kind of fun to see the Angels come from behind and win the division.
3. Just want to note, it's sad to see the NFL without Petyon Manning. Although he is an annoyingly awesome, it is sad to see the game without him. He sure makes things interesting. Not to mention, he's a pretty nice guy too, going through a lot. Does make that division a little more competitive though. It feels so good to talk about football again.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"You bow to no one"

Me and one of my best friends love to play games that make you think and really tell a lot about a person. For example, we like to ask questions like if you were stuck on an island, what three movies would you bring. Or if you could only listen to three musicians the rest of your life who would they be, things like that. But when she asked me recently of what movie scene would I want to live in, I couldn't think of a great answer. Of course, there are millions of brilliant movie scenes that would be great to live in. Isn't that what everybody wants, their life to be like a movie?

So when she asked me this question, it really got me thinking. Instead of answering it, I'm going to alter it and list the five best movie scenes of all-time (in my book at least). Take note, if you look at any other greatest movie scene list, most of these are probably not on there. These are from only movies I have seen and ones that have always stuck out in my mind. Most of them are pivotal parts of a movie, or they have brilliantly written lines, or they made me laugh or something just happened that made me really think. So here we go, my top five movie scenes of all time. (Note, this blog is long enough without any side notes, so none of those this week).

5. Final scene at Hogwarts, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2: This scene was down right perfect. I could not have hoped for more from the producers, director, actors and even more importantly the composer Alexandre Desplat. The music and actors faces make this scene. When they three are looking out to the distance and holding hands, I think it had everyone at least tearing up. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it on YouTube, so listen to the music here. And instead watch my other favorite scene of the series, but it's only up to when Hermione runs down the hall and hugs Harry. I especially love when Ron turns and then Harry appears behind him. The Hagrid part is just plain cheesy.

4. Opening scene of Saving Private Ryan: This scene is remarkable. The most intense 30 minutes I have ever seen in my life. I am clearly no World War Two veteran but I have to say, it is exactly how I imagined it when reading it out of history books. The immediate connection to the characters, the immediate drama that takes place can only be done by Steven Spielberg. This scene should have won this movie the Oscar, but at least it gave him a directors honor. Watch part of it here, but you need to watch the first 30 minutes to get the full effect.

3. Boo Radley revealed as the hero, To Kill a Mockingbird: If anyone knows me, I'm not a fan of black and white films. But there was no way I could leave this scene out of this list. The smirk Scout has when she realizes that Boo is not a creepy guy hanging around town, but in fact a hero, is a scene hard to forget. This girl has some acting chops, not the mention Boo has this story in his eyes. I thought it was one of the best acted scenes, and the music really makes the audience feel the emotion. Watch it here, but again, just see the whole movie sometime if you haven't.

2. Bride Collapses, Bridge on the River Kwai: Alec Guinness makes this scene so brilliant, I mean he did win an Oscar for his role as Col. Nicholson. I'm not sure if it was his reaction when he realized what was about to happen or the actual blowing up the bridge because for a movie made in the 1957, it was shot brilliantly. This is probably the first scene that comes to mind when I hear this movie. Which, I think is one of the most underrated movies of all time and one of my favorites. Please check it out, but you can watch the clip (which happens to be the end) here.

While making this list I came up with two No. 1's that I just could not choose from. They both come from my favorite two movies of all time. Obviously you guys know Lord of the Rings series is my favorite but Shawshank Redemption comes in at a close second. So, when I originally had just Lord of the Rings as No. 1, I had to include the Shawshank Redemption in the top as well.

1. The final scene of Shawshank Redemption: SPOILER, this is the final scene of this film and will ruin things for you, so if you plan to see it please don't read further (that goes for LOTR too). This scene is just awesome, the dialogue really makes it, but Morgan Freeman's soothing voice makes it 100 times better. Not much to say except brilliant film making. If you know what I'm talking about, watch the magic right here.

1. Minas Tirith scene of Lord of the Rings, Return of the King: This scene is made by Frodo's face and the music created by Howard Shore. There are no words that make this special (well I guess Aragorn's line is pretty freaking awesome) but it truly comes from the faces of the hobbits. Easily my favorite scene and should have been the real ending of this movie. Watch the whole Minas Tirith part here, but my favorite comes at 4 minutes. Can't go wrong with Elijah Wood's half smile and bright blue eyes.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The one you need to watch

So this week is the final week of me going through my favorite shows on that I have watched for a couple years now. After discussing the best shows on CBS, ABC, and NBC; today I discuss FOX, which of course contains the show that replaced Lost for me. I'd also like to mention several of these shows are now have their latest show on DVD, so essentially all of you need to get on it. I will also mention some other random shows I watch that are not on the national cable channels. Let's get to it.

There isn't much to say about Glee considering I know most of you reading this probably already watch it. I will say it took me about four episodes until I checked out this hugely buzzed show. It certainly impressed me since it was so unique and out of the ordinary. With that said, it is not the best show on television. It should not have won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy its first season. Sure, I chuckle at certain parts, most of them containing Sue. But there is no doubt I could name five funnier comedies. Now, with that being said it doesn't mean it's not a good show. Personally, I think what keeps me coming back are the performances and music. There is no doubt that those actors are also talented singers and dancers. I will say though, season two was a little disappointing and as I've said before. I'm really hoping they can revamp season three and focus it on quality music and more realistic story lines.

You need to watch this show. Now. Go. Rent it, buy it, find it illegally, find it at the library but somehow everyone of you needs to watch at least a few episodes of this show. It is brilliant. Again another show from J.J. Abrams does not disappoint. The acting is phenomenal (still bitter about the zero acting Emmy nods they received) and it is easily the most under rated show on TV. This is not a show you can join, unfortunately, which is the main reason it only has a core group of fans. It is sci-fi, it is a little weird but I probably laugh more in this show then I do in Glee. The plots are brilliant, the overarching stories are mysterious and fascinating and the chemistry between the three core characters is remarkable. Out of all the shows I have talked about I'd want you to watch this one. I will say, I almost stopped watching. The first half of season two is slow, but from that second half to the end of season three is the best television I have seen. Please, at least watch the pilot. I promise you will not regret it. It makes you think, makes you laugh, makes you excited for each and every episode.

So, as far as premium cable shows I watch, Dexter has to be my favorite. I also watch Nurse Jackie, The Big C, and just recently started watching True Blood (and currently on season three). Dexter, though, is easily the best and my favorite. It is only premium show that I watch during the fall and come October 2nd, my life will be right again. Dexter is weird, odd, freaky, scary, messed up and awesome. Since watching the first episode and the rest of the first four seasons last summer I have been addicted. I then watched season five last year and have a feeling that this next season will be the best by far. What I have been reading about plot stories, I think this is a season to blow the other seasons out of the water. I just hope I'm right.

With that some television side notes.
1. One weekish! A week from Sunday the Emmy's will finally arrive and I for one is super excited. This year will be extremely interesting and I think unpredictable. I will be predicting my winners next week so look out for that. I haven't decided if I want to choose the real winners or the winners in my eyes.
2. For those of you who are on top of Dexter and are just as excited as I am for next season, please check out this very informative and exciting video preview of this sixth season!
3. So this coming week, we've got some new shows premiering and I thought I'd let you know I will be checking out Ringer, starring Sarah Michelle Geller and then Up All Night starring Christina Applegate and Will Arnett. Ringer (which I wasn't planning on watching but after reading the cover story of Entertainment Weekly, I must check it out) premieres at 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Up All Night is at 9 p.m. on Wednesday. Check both of those out!

With that I say... Live long and prosper!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

To the left...

It has begun my friends. The Illinois football season. The Big Ten football season. The NCAA football season. It is surely an exciting time of the year. Football is half of the reason I love fall, the other half is because this is the time that baseball gets really good. This also means that NFL football begins Sunday, another thing I could not be happier about considering we almost didn't have a season. So I thought I would say a few words about my reactions to Saturday's Illinois game against Arkansas State. (Side note for all you Illini fans out there, football is not the only sport you can go and watch. Please, stop by the volleyball court, soccer field. Those teams will not disappoint with exciting action and intense matches).

Any who, back to football and the Illini recording their first game of the season win since 2006. Of course this happened because they have played Missouri the last four years and have gotten their butts whooped every one of them. I will say though, this one did not start out pretty, at least in the second quarter. I surely did not expect this average opponent to give Illinois a run for their money (yes at one point the Illini were losing). But finally it got to their heads that they actually needed to play ball. The second half was significantly better than the first, but not all together reassuring.

The safety in the first half was no doubt troubling. Not only was it unacceptable special teams performance, the play call was not the right one. Luckily, this play did not happen against a team like Wisconsin or Ohio State. The better performances came in the second half when Nathan Scheelhaase actually looked like a QB throwing two beautiful passes. Jason Ford did not necessarily look like a Leshoure but there is no doubt in my mind that he will do a sufficient job this season.

What I want to look at for next week though is just Illinois taking over a game. Dominating. To be honest, I didn't really feel that this past Saturday. Scheelhaase just needs to run and throw all over the South Dakota State defense and show that he is better than his freshman year self. We also need to see someone really step up on defense. Since losing Martez Wilson I haven't quite seen that yet, though it is still early. I just want to see better play calling, more dominate play and actually a better cheering section from the Block I. It's cool though, we still got plenty of time and a lot more William Tell Overture dances to go. "TO THE LEFT..."

With that some fantastic side notes.
1. As said earlier, the NFL kickoffs its season tomorrow with a Thursday night game with the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints, but the Bears kickoff on Sunday. It should be an interesting season especially since teams didn't get much time to really prepare. Not even sure who I pick to win it all, but I may have to go with Steelers.
2. Really sad news happened yesterday when a plane crashed in Russia carrying the KHL hockey team. Always sad to hear news like this.
3. On a happier note, Serena Williams (such an entertaining tennis player) is still in the U.S. Open, which is great news. Pretty upsetting that Sharapova lost though, she played so well at Wimbledon. I'm still hoping to see Nadal and Djokovic in a final again. We'll see in a few days.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Monday, September 5, 2011

You know you like it

How many films have I seen where I don't wish to admit I like them. There are a few guilty pleasure films that I wish not to tell people I like, but alas today is the day you will all find out. It's those movies you watch but when someone walks in the room you immediately turn off out of embarrassment. It's movies you pretend you don't like and joke about with your friends, but in fact you actually really enjoy. it's that movie that is so bad yet so good that you continue to watch it and actually watch again. So here you go, these are my top three guilty pleasure films, listed in alphabetical order. Please don't make fun, you know you all have them too.

3 Ninjas
I have to say there is nothing better than this '90s film that stars absolutely no one important but is so bad and horribly acted that I love it. The plot is not that bad, well it's three kids who are trained in karate to take down this evil man who was taught by their grandfather. The kids are great, and by great I mean really entertaining. I personally love the nicknames they have (Rocky, Colt and of course Tum Tum). The basketball scene, the jelly bean scene, the bike riding scenes are probably my favorite. Also, I love when the idiots break into the house and pretty much fail at catching three kids. If you are at all confused on what I am talking about because you haven't seen this award winning film, please go rent it. Or read the ridiculous plot on Wikipedia. gave this a 17 percent.

I doubt any of you have seen this movie. I used to run on the Disney Channel a lot and the only real person that came out of this movie alive is Seth Green. It's about a California hunk who loves to surf and roller blade who moves with is aunt, uncle and cousin in Cincinnati. I don't know if it's the fact this movie is based out of Ohio or because it is about roller blading (something me and my brother were obsessed with when we were younger) that makes me love it. It's almost like a motion picture Brink! (if anyone knows what that is, cause I love that movie too). Basically this movie is just awful, from the acting, to the plot to the dialogue and yet I always think if I stay up late enough it'll be on sometime. It has a special place in my heart. gave this a 17 percent.

Spice World
I love this movie. Don't worry, I know this movie is awful. This movie is actually beyond awful. There is no real plot, the dialogue is rotten and I don't know if anyone in this film knows how to act. It always shocks me that the actor up for an Emmy, Mr. Alan Cumming, from The Good Wife, is in this film. That's right, he is the guy doing the documentary. For some reason though, whenever I see this movie on TV (usually on the movie channels) I have to stop and watch it. The music is great of course, well I guess only if you like the Spice Girls and I do laugh in this movie. Most of the laughter is because it's so bad but I believe there are two jokes that are meant to be laughed at that I did have a little chuckle. I guess for a bunch of singers, this movie is actually fantastic (I mean look at From Justin to Kelly) this isn't that bad. Maybe. gave this an actually surprising 29 percent.

I know some people may not agree with these ones, and they certainly are original. When looking online to see what most people said I was shocked. Some responses were Legally Blonde, Miss Congeniality and Ghost. All movies I actually really enjoy and are not ashamed of. I will say one movie that many people do love that have grown on me the past years are Titanic and The Notebook. Not saying I love them, but I guess I can see the appeal of both. Any who, those are mine. I'd be interested to see what yours are, go ahead and comment!

With that I give you some lovely side notes.
1. I guess The Help came out at a really good time. The film has again won the Box Office bringing in 19 million this weekend, it has been No. 1 for the past 21 days. There must really be nothing out (and it's kinda true). Now that it has been a box office hit, I'm really interested to see what it does during the awards season.
2. This trailer blew my mind. It is a black and white silent film called The Artist, that received race reviews at the Cannes Film Festival. You totally need to watch it because there is no doubt it will get recognized when the major awards season arrives. I didn't think I would actually be interested in a silent film.
3. It seems that Eddie Murphy is in the running to be the next Oscars host. I haven't quite decided if this excites or worries me. Personally, I would love to see Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as co-hosts but with both of their shows and Tina just having a baby, I cross my fingers for next year. As for Murphy, it is sure an intriguing thought.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Comedy night done right

“Zerts are what I call desserts. Tray-trays are entrees. I call sandwiches sammies, sandoozles, or Adam Sandlers. Air conditioners are cool-blasterz, with a z. I don’t know where that came from. I call cakes big ol’ cookies. I call noodles long-ass rice. Fried chicken is fri-fri chicky-chick. Chicken parm is chicky chicky parm parm. Chicken cacciatore? Chicky catch. I call eggs pre-birds, or future birds. Root beer is super water. Tortillas are bean blankies. And I call forks … Food rakes.” – Tom Havertford, Parks and Recreation (This doesn’t feel right, watch the clip too and its like 10 times better.)

“Shark farts,” – Liz Lemon, 30 Rock (probably laughed the most, always better heard though.)

Anything Abed from Community is worth watching. He has the best quotes.

I thought I would first start today’s blog with a mention of my favorite quote from each one of the shows I will be discussing today. Last week I talked about CBS and ABC, today is focused on NBC television, which basically means all the comedy shows you can think of considering that is their strong suit. There is no doubt that these are the funniest shows on television, especially with 30 Rock winning three consecutive Emmy’s. Now Parks and Rec is nominated for an Emmy (man do I want them to win) and Community is one of the top snubs on TV. So without further ado, I will start from least liked to most liked (but note that I love all three very  much).

The first time I watched Community was the day I finished my first final exams fall semester freshman year of college. I wanted to watch something fun and silly. I heard the buzz around Community and thought I would watch the first episode. I will say I laughed, but definitely wasn’t hooked. I later revisited the show that summer when I acquired the entire first season from a friend’s hard drive. I pretty much watched the first season in about a day. It was so addicting, funny and quirky humor. Not to mention Annie’s craziness, Abed’s knowledge of films and television (reminds me of someone, cough cough) and Jeff’s cockiness yet good heart. The great thing about this show though, is that it is really about nothing. Yes, they are at community college, but for some reason each episode just has no purpose. It’s awesome. Not to mention you can’t get any better than those paint ball episodes. If you watch one Community episode watch the paint ball ones (the season finales for both seasons).

Parks and Recreation
I am so thrilled I watched this show over winter break this past year. Both seasons were on Netflix, and then the third started in February. I didn’t have to wait long till the awesomeness continued. This summer has been brutal without it, I’ve actually watched reruns because they never get old. The reason Parks works so well is because they completely changed their focus. The first season (which is only like six episodes) had a big Office feel. Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope was extremely similar. But when the show returned for season two and three, it has a completely different feel. Ron Swanson is hilarious, Tom is an idiot but yet the source of comedy, Ann is the smart normal person, and Leslie is well Amy Poehler. There is no doubt Poehler is the reason I come back every week. There are multiple things that would make me come back, but for some reason Poehler’s timing, facial expressions and the writing for her character make me want to watch every week. Almost becoming my favorite comedy.

30 Rock
Well, Parks isn’t my favorite because this awesome show is still on the air. Disappointingly, it will not return until midseason this year because Tina Fey had her baby (it was a girl, her name is Athena Penelope for those wondering, and I know you were). So I will count of Parks and Community, along with How I Met Your Mother to make me laugh this fall. There is no doubt I will miss this brilliantly written show. I have already discussed in an earlier blog why I love this show so much, but there is one thing that keeps me coming back and even watching reruns. There is always a new joke that I missed the first time around. I have probably seen the pilot around five times and every time there is a joke I missed and didn’t hear or understand the first time. That is due to the fact of witty comments, the fast-talking and sometimes me just focused on what is happening then what they’re saying. That is why this show wins; no matter how many times I see an episode, it never gets old.

With that I give you some side notes:
To keep with the comedy focus, Community Executive Producer said that Annie and Jeff will get some much needed romance. I will say that last season was lacking some good romance so it’s nice to hear something on the love front will happen this season.
2. New photos of Glee were released and it makes me very excited for this season. I have expressed my worries that this season will fall in the trap of what season 2 fell into. Although these photos don’t really give anything away they are fun to look at.
3. To stay with the photo theme and in fact a little preview of next weeks blog. Photos were released for Fringe, and I hope with all my heart that there is at least one person who reads this blog that watches Fringe. If you haven't, maybe these photos will encourage you. Man am I excited for that show to start.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back where he belongs

Finally. Jim Thome can again be my favorite baseball player of all-time. It has been a while since I could say that but finally he has rejoined with the team he was meant to be with. The Cleveland Indians. Since he started his career as a third baseman (later moving to first base and now a designated hitter) for my favorite American League team back in 1991 (the year I was born) I have loved Jim Thome. And now after he left the team in 2003 he is back where he belongs, where he started, and where he can retire and enter the Hall of Fame.

If you haven't heard of the great Jim Thome, you must go do your research. He recently just joined the 600 home run club, becoming one of eight men to do so. But Jim Thome has a better reputation other than his records and stats; he is known as the nicest guy in baseball. He has a special place in my heart but left it for a while. For seven years he has not been my favorite baseball player. It was the day he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. There were many rumors he was going to join the Chicago Cubs, my favorite National League team and I was thrilled. At this point he had already been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, a team I don't completely hate because they had Thome. But then he went to play for the Sox. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate the White Sox. Anyone who knows me well knows I hate the White Sox more than any other sports team in the country. I would rather the Sox lose than the Cubs win (but that could be because the Cubs just always lose). So you can imagine my disappointment when I found out he was going to be wearing black and white instead of blue and red.

Those were tough years for me. I would see him doing well for the White Sox, hitting home runs and helping them win. Of course when he hit a home run I was excited for him and then realized who he earned that run for and remembered I could no longer like him. You may think this is silly, I can still like him even if he plays for a different team. No. Sorry, that is not the case, he betrayed me. It was similar to when Kenny Lofton was on the White Sox or now with Omar Vizquel. For some reason the White Sox always steal my Indians. So, since Thome was on the worst team in baseball, I reverted to another first baseman, Derrick Lee as my favorite player. Then he was traded from the Cubs and I was lost. I felt no real connection to any player because they were all playing for the wrong team. Thome was later traded to the Minnesota Twins, another bad team as they rival to the Indians. Thome had played for all my enemies.

Until my brother called me two days ago. I had not been paying attention to the sports world as much as I would like (you know I go to school and all) and he made me guess who was on the Indians again. I naturally thought of Kenny Lofton, who of course hasn't played baseball in some time, but knowing him he would return. But no, for the first time my brother had information I didn't, nonetheless on my favorite player. Jim Thome has returned to Cleveland. And I must say, he looks damn good in that Indians jersey. He is certainly back where he belongs and should stay where he belongs.

With that some sports side notes.
1. Last week I said I would blog about the Illinois football team's first game but as you can tell Thome was a little more important. But I will give you a little side note. Illinois is back on Saturday against Arkansas State and I am beyond ecstatic to see the amazing offense Zook (who I hate) puts on the field. I'm skeptical about the defense after losing some big hitters like Martez, but it should be interesting. Expect my overall thoughts on the performance next week.
2. The U.S. Open has started for tennis and I must say after an exciting Wimbledon, I'm very excited and can't believe the things that have already happened. Venus Williams has withdrawn from the tournament because a disease she has been diagnosed with which will make this tournament interesting. Looking (and hoping) to see Djokovic win two grand slams in a row.
3. The Bears have one more preseason game left tomorrow and stupid Lovie Smith said he does not expect the starters to get playing time. With the regular season starting Sept. 11., I think this is kind of stupid. I realize he wants to make sure they don't get hurt but this is going to be an interesting season.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A small sneak peek

To understand this blog you must watch this one minute video. You will not regret it.

So, if you couldn't tell this blog will be dedicated to the Hunger Games. Naturally it means me discussing the book but I would first like to talk to all of you who have not read these books. I hope this clip, as little as it showed, got you interested in reading the books because it is certainly worth pursuing. I do want to clear some things up for everyone, it is not just about hunting or in the woods. Essentially it is a story about survival, but the characters and the game being played is extremely interesting. I'll give you the ten second summary: In a depressed world, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is one of 24 forced to enter the annual Hunger Games - a contest that is fought till the death of children from the ages of 12 and 18. Clearly this sounds depressing but I assure you it is a great freaking story with mischievous characters and a fun plot to figure out.

Moving on to the trailer clip thing, I'd like to say that as sad as I was not to get more footage (or a glimpse at Peeta or Gale) it was still awesome. I said from the beginning I loved Jennifer Lawrence cast as the fearless Katniss ever since she was nominated for an Oscar this past year. This trailer, even though she doesn't talk or anything, only proved to me that Jennifer looks awesome. Also, after seeing the photos of Peeta and Gale I have good faith that both actors know what they're doing. Plus hearing Gale's voice over in the trailer gave me baby chills (baby chills are not actual chills but if it was a little longer real chills could be there).

Personally I think the trailer was meant, really, for the loyal fans. But I am going to make it for those who have yet to read the books. I realize that school has now started and it is difficult to read for recreation but realize this film does not come out until March 23. That gives everyone (including me to reread them) a chance to read this fantastic book. The main thing this clip did was get me way too freaking excited. There is no doubt in my mind right now that I am more excited for the Hunger Games than the first part of Breaking Dawn. I just want Hunger Games now. I don't think there has been a short clip that has got me so excited before (wait, sorry, I'm sure Harry has done it for me).

I am telling all of you right this second to read this book. It's no Harry Potter, but it certainly fills a part Harry left. It's a different, creative, fantastic, character-driven and overall an awesome book. If you have any need for it, I have all three on my Kindle. Any further questions, call me, text me, email me, send me a carrier pigeon. I want all my friends to read these books because they are extremely worth the time.

With my begging and pleading, which is just darn right embarrassing (actually it's typical Sammie), I'll give you some movie side notes.
1. Clearly people have been reading my blog because The Help was No. 1 again in the box office. I know you all went out and saw it after reading my last weeks blog. We are now getting in that time of year where movies stink, which might be why I saw Harry Potter again on Saturday (the fourth times a charm).
2. So, I actually heard of this movie a while ago (if you look on IMDB it says it was released in 2008 because it was at the Berlin Film Festival) but it is finally coming to theaters in the U.S. this fall and looks super interesting (even though it hasn't been picked up by many theaters). It's called Fireflies in the Garden and features Julia Roberts and Willem Dafoe (Green Goblin from Spider-Man) as Ryan Reynolds parents. Check out the trailer yourself and see if it's worth seeing. Personally anything with Reynolds should be seen.
3. So, it seems like it's happening. The Dirty Dancing remake has hired a writer (and already hired Kenny Ortega as director), this is so upsetting. I didn't even like the first one that much but it is not a movie you mess with. Although, if Melanie from So You Think You Can Dance is in it, I might just have to see it.

With that I say... Live long and prosper.