Thursday, September 30, 2004

POPCORN: 1000 Words

A few weeks back I posted a rant on the Americanization of Asian horror and the need for blonde leading ladies. So here are some pics from the latest adaptions, The Grudge, due out Oct. 22 and The Ring 2, out March 18, 2005.




For Hi Res images, visit Dark Horizon's pages for each film: The Grudge or The Ring 2.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

THE BOX: Veronica's Ratings

Never a fan of ratings - I mean HBO doens't rely on them and look where it's landed their original series - the report on "Veronica" is in. It's not good. Hopefully the UPN will believe a little in this show and give it a chance. "Despite a solid encore of its premiere on Friday, UPN's "Veronica Mars" failed to find traction in its time period, doing a 1.8/3." To check out everyone's nightly recap, check here for official report.

THE BOX: Lost

Well, here we are at the end of week two. Has Lost lost any steam? Not at all. In fact, dare I say this was better than the first. The flashbacks to the plane crash are incredibly directed striking fear inside me, and I'm not a fraidy flier. Personally, I'm super excited to watch the David Fury episodes, the first is "Walkabout", Oct 13th and the second so far this season is "Solitary", airing Nov. 17th. Also, if you missed last week or this week, ABC is reairing the pilot as it was meant to be seen, a 2 hour special Saturday night starting at 8. Don't forget to check out the Unofficial Lost site for more goodies.

Lost 1-02: "Pilot, Part 2"
The following recap contains spoilers. If you don't want to know, don't read ahead.


Sayid (Naveen Andrews) fixes the transceiver that Dr. Jack rescued from the pilot. The radio is working on limited battery power. The only problem is that they have no signal to broadcast to. So Kate leads an expedition to higher ground including Charlie, Shannon (Maggie Grace), her brother Boone (Ian Somerhalder), and the overtly aggressive Sawyer (Josh Holloway). Meanwhile, Dr. Jack tries to save the life of a shrapnel ridden passenger. There are little filler moments while the radio party are on their trek. Including Jin's sushi making skills and Claire's (Emilie de Ravin) baby kicking back to life.

Secrets... everybody's got 'em! Charlie is a dope fiend, that's what he was looking for in the bathroom near the cockpit. Sayid is Iraqi, a former member of the Republican National Guard. Lily, the sweet angel, turns out to be an escaped prisoner. The only person who can identify her is the US Marshall, yeah, that guy Dr. Jack's operating on. Locke(Terry O'Quinn), the "old guy", has something creepy going on and I'm not just talking about his Bond Bad Guy type scar. Next week's episode seems to be centered around him.

And the wailing and the stomping? We rejoin our merry castaways in the jungle as a rumble is a brewin'. When Sawyer and Sayid are done insulting each other, the evil seems to be making a bee line for out party. Everyone runs, except for Sawyer who, armed, faces the mini evil head on..... POLAR BEARS. Okay well it was just one bear. A mini bear according to Charlie who seems to remember a macro sized version snatching the pilot.

Are we still lost? You betcha yah! Besides the clue that we're at least 1000 miles off course and that the last known air space we're were in was near Fiji... there are friggin' POLAR BEARS. Not often found the tropics, or so I hear. Finally, the group reaches a clearing in the high ground. After fiddling with some out of place feedback, they pick up a signal... in French. Shannon loosely translates to the effect of: "Please help me, they are all dead, it killed them, please rescue me, etc." Sayid explains the weird numbers interspearced are marker of the recorded loop, so you know how many times the message has been broadcast. After some long division, Sayid calculates when the message was first broadcast... 16 years ago.


THE BOX - "Home Movies" on DVD

The greatest Cartoon this side of The Simpsons isn't Aqua Teen Hunger Force, it isn't South Park, and it isn't the short lived Clone High... it's the Cartoon Network Adult Swim staple Home Movies. Granted, I'm sure most people will disagree with me, but they always do. I have the first three season's on some sturdy VHS tapes for whenever I need a fix. Dosing gets much easier November 16th when the first season of Home Movies comes to DVD.



Home Movies follows the misadventures of Brendon Small a fledgling auteur and his best friend and producer Melissa as third graders with a mission: To make pictures. The trio is flanked by second grader and versatile character actor Jason, known for some of series more gross out incidences. The three often end up in suburban misadventures with their alcoholic soccer coach McGurk, Brendon's neurotic single mom Paula, and middle aged bachelor and third grade teacher Mr. Lynch. This is one of those cartoons where the children seem to know more about life and have less issues than the adults they're surrounded by, but that's what makes it funny. The first season has weaker "Squigglevision" animation and story lines than the later episode, one of my favorites being "Bad Influences", when Brendon and Jason start their own version of Fight Club.

Highlights of the first season include "Brendon Gets Rabies", "Life Through a Fish Eye Lens", "Mortgages and Marbles", and one of my absolute favorites "Director's Cut" about Metamorphosis: Rock Opera featuring the song "He is Franz Kafka".

If you love films, or especially if you have ever tried to make a film, you can't help but love this show! Buy it so we get a season two release. Which reminds me, buy Twin Peaks too so season two may actually be released on DVD.

Eternal Thanks

On a personal note, I would just like to thank the boys who presented me with the gift of "Eternal Sunshine" yesturday. I love you all, but I'm keeping the one Darren gave me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

THE BOX: Girls Night with the Gilmores and Veronica

Gilmore Girls
5-02: "A Messenger, Nothing more."



For my second episode, this one faired even better than the first for me at least. Remember, I don't necessarily know what I'm missing. Regardless, fireworks flew between Rory and Lindsay after Lorelai delivered a personal letter to Dean. Now publicly labeled as the town homewrecker, who knows what next week has instore for young Rory. To recap, Rory and her mother reconciled and she with her grandmother returned from Rome safe and sound. Lorelai was all hyper OCD like and decided after a straight talk from Sookie to spend the day away from the inn. On their town walkabout, Sookie and Lorelai, and the rest of the town, witnessed a vicious fight between Lindsay and Dean. Luke after a little too much "Hoozah!" returned from the Renaissance Faire and Lane went all spazzy over French fries. Michel was tortured by baby sitting two rugrats that find is hot tempered antics amusing. That's about it. Have I mentioned how wonderful Lauren Graham is lately?

Veronica Mars

I've heard this show compared to numerous other shows over the past month of fall hype. So, playing the Hollywood game, I'd say it's Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossed with My So Called Life with a twist of Twin Peaks and topped off with a splash of Murder She Wrote. If the show succeeds past the so far dismal ratings, watch for Kristen Bell to give Lost's Evangeline Lilly a run for her money as the new "it" girl to come out of the fall season.



I caught the pilot tonight on MTV since I missed it last week. I'm curious how Veronica will do now that she's settled into her for real time slot. Riddled with pop culture references ("King Kong ain't got nothing on you!"), the show's tone easily flows between dark classic noir shots in alleys lit only by the neon glow from the sign of a seedy hotel to sunny beach blonde California high school life 90210 style.

The Pilot 1-01:
Not so great. It's very heavy on the exposition, but that's also necessary to establish the world we're walking into ala "Welcome to the Hellmouth". It did drag slightly but by the end of the show we know kind of where we stand.

Veronica was dating Duncan Kane (Teddy Dunn), the son of a hi-tech tycoon. One dark and dreary night, Duncan discovered his sister and Veronica's best friend, Lily Kane (Amanda Seyfried) pool side with her skull bashed in. Veronica's father, Sheriff Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni), took a special interest in this case which was garnering nationwide attention (Jean Benet/Lacy Peterson style). He immediately had cause to look to Jake Kane, the patriarch of the recently rich family. Weeks into the investigation, the crime scene video surfaced on the net earning Keith Mars the nationwide reputation of "Bungling Sherrif". The county, outraged, issued an immediate recall election and ousted Keith. His replacement stumbles onto some obviously overlooked evidence leading to the arrest and incarceration of a former worker of the Kane's. At home, Veronica's life spiraled out of control. Unhappy with their new social status, Veronica's mother, Lianne Mars, up and leaves. At school, Veronica finally found herself for the first time on the outside of the "in" crowd or the 09-ers as the show calls them (based on the 90909 zip code). During all of this, she was also ruffie-raped by one of the 09-ers. As Veronica says, she was given the choice of keeping her friends and "happy" life, or standing by her dad. She chose her dad. Oh, and this is just the back story.


"There's a 100% chance that in my new TV show I'm totally dead Laura Palmer style."

The pilot, beside explaining this scenario, introduces us to Wallace (Percy Daggs III), the new kid in town in a brilliant small screen introduction: Butt ass naked duct taped to a flag pole. We also briefly learn the hierarchy of the town from Weevil (Francis Capra), the head of a local biker gang to Logan (Jason Dohring) the rich, popular Brett Easton Ellis type charmingly maniacal sociopath. We, with Veronica, also find out, the back story isn't as open and shut as the community would like to have it... I doubt America will be as riveted to who killed Lily Kane as it was to who killed Laura Palmer, but maybe I should give America a little more credit. Here's the latest news on case...

Casebreak 1-01:
Why is Veronica's estranged mother meeting with Jake Kane in a seedy motel? Why is her father still investigating the case?

While the pilot itself wasn't brilliant, it laid roots for a noirish cult masterpiece to develop. Keep in mind I don't all willie nilly comparing just anything Twin Peaks, the second greatest television show of all time. The heavy exposition will probably die off soon. As it did with the second episode I caught at 9 p.m. on UPN.

1-02 "Credit Where Credit's Due":



The formula so far seems to be an episode based case and further development of the bigger story, the murder of Veronica's best friend Lily Kane which I'll continue to update everyone on with "casebreaks".

This episode featured Paris Hilton as a quite snobby and slutty (typecasting?) 09-er. Weevil, the biker gang leader, gets into an altercation with Logan over a beach bondfire. The next morning, Weevil's Grandma, who happens to be Logan's family maid, is hauled off to jail for identity theft. All eyes are on Logan after the fraudulent card statements reflect motorcycle parts, tattoo parlors, and other item Grandma doesn't seem willing to steal for. Weevil confesses and Grandma is released. The problem is that Weevil didn't actual do it. Veronica is assigned to join the school paper to counter her attitude problem and Wallace has been reassigned to volunteer in the office instead of wasting study hall time. Using their newly found connections, the two take on the task of solving the identity theft case which leads back to Logan's girlfriend, Paris Hilton. After a case of cell phone tracing, Paris leads them back to Weevil's cousin with whom she's been "slumming it". Motive and opportunity aren't looking so good until finally he confesses to Veronica. Logan and the 09-er boys are out for what appears to be an old fashion lynching because someone got to one of their white girls until Weevil steps in and brings everything back to family justice. Paris is cast out of the circle of power and Weevil banished his cousin as well. Through all of this, Veronica ends up on assignment with Duncan, her ex, which leads to some further character development.

Casebreak 1-02: Why does Mrs. Kane hate Veronica and not want her with Duncan? Could it be that Lianne Mars and Jake Kane were having a sorted affair? Could that be the reason why Keith Mars looked to Jake so quickly when Lily was murdered? Also, Lily received a violation on Oct. 3rd. A intersection camera caught her running a redlight 2 hours after her reported time of death. Which means that none of the Kanes have a viable alibi for the actual time of the murder.

In summation, this is show has awesome potential. It has outstanding writing and a breakout lead actress to drive it forward. It has single episode arcs to draw in the new viewer and a grander scheme to bring you back next week. It's weak point is the high school drama form itself which always seems to lose steam after graduation. It's also on UPN and who watches UPN? Viacom on the other hand is brilliantly rerunning the show of MTV in an early time slot to catch on with it's key demographic. If you love mysteries and small town secrets but are tired of forensics and legalese, tune into "Veronica"... A hip Jessica Fletcher with brass ones.

Sidenote: I didn't comment, but I believe Law & Order should just end. SVU and CI are still going strong and have at least a few more years left in them. The original Law & Order is one of my all time favorite shows, but it's losing it's crime roots and becoming way to politically preachy. Coincidentally, this is while Michael Moriatry left the show a decade ago. During a season that my 3 favorite shows aren't on the air (Arrested Development, 24, and Angel) the new shows definitely outshine the perennial favorites.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Blessed are the purchasers of the Best Film Ever!

Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 28th marks the release of what I dare say is the greatest film of all time, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I'll post a full review of this film after watching it a few more times. I've seen it twice so far. If you haven't yet, this is why you should watch it:



Unlike most films, you gain more from each viewing of Eternal Sunshine. Delivering the performance of a lifetime, Jim Carey introduces us to Joel, a bitter yet brokenhearted man coping with a bad breakup. His solution? To one up his ex-girlfriend, Clementine (Kate Winslet) who erased him from her memory. Using a science fiction premise set inside the psyche of the main characters mind, Eternal Sunshine delivers the most real and powerful encapsulation of the interworkings of the good and bad of a relationship without the standard Hollywood romanticism. It's amazing how Michael Gondry and Charlie Kaufman use an outlandish premise to provoke such astounding realism. Flanked by an amazing supporting staff including Tom Wilkenson, Kirsten Dundst, Elijah Wood, and Mark Ruffulo (with his scene stealing "underpants boogie"), "Eternal Sunshine" does more than live up to it's hype... it far surpasses it.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

THE BOX: Recommended Viewing Sunday

Okay, so sunday is gearing up to be the best night on television. Once all the premiers hit, we'll have The Simpsons, Arrested Development, Desperate Housewives (or Criminal Intent, or Jack and Bobby, or The Wire!) and Boston Legal to keep us all entertained.

However, none of my anticipated Sunday Line up shows are debuting this week:
(here's a rundown so mark your calenders)

The Simpsons, Nov. 14th at 8
Arrested Development, Nov. 7th at 8:30
Desperate Housewives, Oct. 3rd at 9
Boston Legal, Oct 3 at 10

Which means, I'll be able to catch the premier of Criminal Intent, woo hoo! If you can't find something great to watch on a Sunday night while fighting the impending doom of work that monday morning brings, you just aren't trying.

BOX REVIEW - CSI

I love a good crime drama and have tried tuning into CSI before. For some reason, it's never peaked my interest. I don't get all the hype. (Granted, I said the same thing about "Buffy" before and look at me know.) Due to lack of other viewing options, I tuned into the season premier of CSI on Thursday. This is one of those instances that I can recognize something as good even though I don't personally like it. The opener, "Viva Las Vegas" is best episode I have seen of the caught. I tuned in for the hour hour instead of becoming bored midway through.

(Please resist all tempted Reiko "Suave" jokes)

I was happy to see Reiko Aylesworth on the show. For two seasons, she was Michelle Dressler on 24, one of my favorite characters. French Stewart also made a memorable appearnce as a sci-fi minister. The oddity was that the guest stars were making more of an impression on me than the cast. I have just always found and kind of blandness with the show.
I will probably give the show more of chance tuning into the reruns on SpikeTV, maybe it just takes and acquired taste. Over all, it was a solid premier.

Recommendation: Good back up to boredom.

For a recap of "Viva Las Vegas"...

New Look, Same Great Blogginess

Hi All:

I'm working on "customizing" the look of the blog. So if it looks all funky at some point, please bear with. Don't worry, you haven't stumbled onto some other blog. This is still the best place to drain your brain!

Friday, September 24, 2004

Green, Leafy Spinach is Powering the Future (No, Really!)

I absolutely love spinach (fo' real). I eat it everyday. So when I was checking the afternoon edition of the newspaper over my lunch hour (I just happen to be eating spinach at the moment) and found this quirky bit of hopeful environmental news, I just had to share.

Those wacky geniuses at M.I.T. have found a way to harness the energy plants generate from the sun, a process we all hopefully learned in Earth Science of Bio called photosynthesis. Think of it as an organic battery pack. So spinach is really energy packed, for my lap top as well as for my body. Visit the MIT press release for more info and the whole photosynthesis to sandwich to battery source process.

POPCORN NEWS: Witches and Curses Oh My!

(this post is dedicated to the DKME)


Bewitchingly Beautiful Nicole Kidman:

A new poster for the cursed Cursed is out:
(personally the teaser is better)



Speaking of teasers, click here for a look a the first film of "Unfortunate Events":

THE BOX - It played in Peoria

It seems that ABC does have a hit on it's hands. Yes, ABC. I think the last time I regularly tuned into ABC was the early years of "The Practice" and the last appointment setting I did to this network dips as far back to the era of Twin Peaks.

Someone is doing something right. Lost garnered approximately 18.7 million viewers to win it's time slot Wednesday night. It has become ABC's highest rated debut in over a decade. I also can't remember the last time I agreed with the general public (or they agreed with me.) So, why isn't Wonderfalls on the air... huh Fox?

On other Box news, look for my review of the season premier of CSI (the original) sometime this weekend.

This also gives me the opportunity to include more Lost photos. This photo is from the upcoming "Tabula Rasa" not to be confused with the season six episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer also called "Tabula Rasa." For reference, this philosophical terms means "a clean slate", "no past knowledge or knowledge at birth". To see many more photos and more dirt on Lost, visit www.lost-tv.com, a very well put together and thorough fan site. Enjoy.



Thursday, September 23, 2004

BOX REVIEW - "Lost" in TV

So, you ask, can Lost really live up to not only the critical claim it's been receiving but my own personal expectations as well? Suprisingly, YES! Lost 1-01 is the best pilot to ever hit TV. It sets the bar for the remainder of the series pretty high. Historically, the pilot, due to exposition purposes, is often the weakest episode of the entire series. If that's true with Lost, ABC has a massive hit on it's hands and the viewing audience has a new entry in the pop culture record.

recommendation: Abso (F-ing) lutely

Sidenote: I convinced a handful of coworkers to watch Lost last night. While not around a watercooler, we briefly discussed the events of last night's show. Only one decided after two minutes that the show was too cheesy for her... she had a problem with the opening and didn't find it realistic. This officially gives Lost a 4 out of 5 "watercooler" recommendation.

Recap of Lost 1-01: "Pilot, Part 1"


The opening shot of Dr. Jack's (Matthew Fox) pupil is powerful and grabs you right away. With in the first five minutes Dr. Jack saved at least 4 people. The beach wreckage was a nail biting senario that was beautiful to watch not to mention the colors of the jungle. This level of cinematography is rarely scene on the small screen. The show actually delivered an outloud "Holy Shit" from me when one passenger gets sucked into an engine starting a domino effect of explosions and further destruction. For the rest of the episode: Our first Lost hour explains why we have crash landed and why no one is coming to get us. By the way, I'm speaking in the first person because the beauty of this show places you as a survivor more than an omnipotent overseer of their bleak situation. Anyway, the first night on the island wailing, stomping, and some kind of unspeakable violence is transpiring in the jungle. The next morning, Dr. Jack, Kate (Evangeline Lilly), and Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) venture into the jungle to find the cockpit containing the transceiver and radio for help. The first part of the journey gives by far the funniest moment of the pilot when we learn Charlie is a member of the boy band "Driveshaft" and starts to hysterically sing. One gothic monsoon later, we're deep in the jungle and rummaging through the cockpit. Go figure, a bloodied pilot survives just long enough to tell us that we're really LOST! Apparently, the plane 6 hours across the pacific had to turn back (somewhere around Fiji) due to a failed radio, but by the time they hit the turbulence that eventually sent them down, they had flown nearly 1000 miles of course. Then came those haunting words, "They're looking for us in the wrong place." Oh then the pilot gets bloodily sucked out of the cockpit by the unspeakable evil of the jungle... bring on the wailing and the stomping. Everyone runs and hides and the terror grows. The first hour ends with the discovery of the pilots disemboweled corpse atop a palm tree. Which leave this 49th castaway asking...


What evil secrets does that yellow Labrador hold?


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Seurat Report: 24 Shark Jumping? and more...

24 Pulls a "Practice": Not too long ago, TV was rocked when a majority of the cast to "The Practice" was fired or asked not to return including Kelly Williams, Lara Flynn Boyle, and even Dylan McDermont. Coming off it's third year, 24 has done the same retaining only Keifer Sutherland's Jack Bauer as a regular. This series has had a strong supporting cast including Xander Berkley, Sarah Winter, Reiko Aylesworth, and my personal favorite Carlos Bernard. In fact, while 24 fans (just like Alias fans) are waiting for the show to be "retooled" for a January 2005 launch. While most of this isn't news; we knew this months ago... details are now being reported for the premise of Day Four. There will be a two hour premier January 3rd. Day 4 skips ahead 18 months and Jack no longer works for CTU. CTU is now headed by Erin Driscoll who immediately fired Jack upon her take over. After a commuter rail explosion, Jack is forced to confront Erin at CTU. Jack is currently working for the Secretary of Defense and sleeping with his married daughter, Audrey.

Moore, Moore, Moore: No, not the redheaded star of The Forgotten, the other Moore. No not the bikini clad star of CA: Full Throttle, the other Moore. Yes! That Moore, the one that has got everyone all worked up with his crystal clear (meaning obviously see through) Bush Bashing blockbuster, Fahrenheit 911. Miramax is backing Sicko, Mike's take on the healthcare situation in this country. Maybe then, something will be done about the inadequate healthcare system that we seem to accept because none of us demand any better from our government. Oh yeah, we have no healthcare because we hate taxes. This is the perfect time for me to remind you that whether you love or hate Bush or Moore, take the time to express your opinion this November, and vote.

Giving Thanks to Alexander: My most anticipated film of the year has now been giving a new release date. While I'll (and you) will be waiting 3 extra weeks, hopefully it's worth they wait. It's not like the movie is Cursed. Alexander will conquer a multiplex near you this Thanksgiving.

Grow Up Buffy: Dark Horizon's news board is reporting that Sarah Michelle Gellar has landed the role of Sabrina the Teenage Witch on the big screen. I'm not a big fan of SMG, but believe it or not, she can really act. The best film works she's put forth to date is Cruel Intentions where she went back to her roots (literally, her brunette ones) and played away from the pretty blonde teenage girl. Not only that, but she is stuck in occult/horror type casting she seems to be okay with like taking the role of Daphne and the babysitter in The Grudge. This is the worst career move she could make. Well, unless she's okay with type casting. Anyway, it will be even harder for her to fight her Buffiness in the future. Oh not to mention, she's at least three years older than me, which means she is at least a decade past her teenage prime.










BOX REVIEW - Gilmore Girls - Premier

This is the very first episode I ever watched.

Before getting into the mechanics of the show, I find it impressive how the WB seems to have stylistically branded their shows, at least the good ones. How much of a correlation does Law & Order have to Las Vegas or 24 to The O.C.? None at all. Well, maybe in the early to mid-1990's the hey day of NBC, they might have been a slight style put forth by ER, Law & Order, and Homicide in a docu-drama handheld feel... but that's grown away and nowhere near as strong as the look and writing style of the WB. Even though from different creators, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson's Creek, Angel, and the Gilmore Girls share a great bond of solid writing and similar cinematography that gives way to a feel of an actual WB universe. I've only watched one episode of Smallville, the pilot, but it too gives off the same feel. Okay, sidenote over.

This is the premier of the 5th season of the GG's. I don't live in a vacuum so I'm aware of the premise of the show as I'm sure more people are of any show that has been absorbed into pop culture. One of the beautiful things about GG is that it is self effacing in the pop culture respect, similar to the ironic stylings of Kevin Williamson but in a completely different way. I was easily riveted by the first 5 minutes of the show last night which had me tuning in for the whole hour. Also, I found myself surprised by the diversity of the cast and also attached to the characters and relationships in the show by the end. I actually cared about Lorelai (Laura Graham) and Rory's (Alexis Bledel) boy situations. I was already invested. 24, Dawson's Creek, and long ago 90210 are the only shows I think that have ever sucked me in so hard so fast. This was definitely one of the best written show on television, or at least a damn good written episode. Which then had me thinking, what would this season premier have meant to me if I was actually a pre-existing fan of the show?

  • Recommendation: High

Here's a recap of "Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller":

Rory and Dean are engaging in post-coital snuggling and cuteness when Lorelai comes home. Upset by her mother's "judgement", Rory calls Dean who's wife answers. After a scene of hilarity, the elder Gilmores officially decide to separate. Kirk, after an attack of rose bushes, tells Sookie that he saw Lorelai and Luke kiss which gets her all worked up in a good hysterically giddy girlie kind of way. Dead and his wife have a massive fight when he returns home. Rory decides to "talk" to Dean, I'm assuming about his wife, but they end up getting busy at Miss Patty's. Rory eventually decides to go with her grandmother to Europe to think about things with Dean and cope with her talk-about-it/not-talk-about-it issues with her mother. Lorelai and Luke in the cutest scenes of the episode decide they like kissing each other and would like to do so again. Luke goes to Maine to help someone with a Renaissance Faire something or other. Lorelai sumises the episode in cuteness and loneliness.

After GG I attempted to watch One Tree Hill. Both my little sis and I both find Chad Michael Murray pleasing to the eye... but alas I became bored and distracted with other matters. Seeing I have no investment in American Idol, Gilmore Girls will probably become a Tuesday night staple in my living room.

Don't forget to get Lost tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Also, if anyone has anything fabulous (or not) about the Veronica Mars premier (UPN 9 p.m., tonight) let me know. I'll be catching the refresher on MTV next week.


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

THE BOX - Premier Week

Seeing, that besides catching up on The Wire, Monday night is kind of a wash... so tonight introduces the cherry poppin' new season of TV.

What to watch?
Law & Order: SVU premiers at 10 p.m. on NBC tonight. The opener, Birthright, guest stars Lea Thompson as a mother who believes she has found her daughter that was kidnapped years ago. This is seemingly based on the Philadelphia case that hit the headlines earlier this year.


Also, without Buffy the Vampire Slayer or 24 to make Tuesday nights the best night of television, I might even watch Gilmore Girls, which I know will make someone over at DKME super jolly, if just for a moment.

Bring on the Pilots...

VERONICA MARS - UPN Tues. 9 p.m.

Okay, here's a peculiarity. Veronica Mars, the new teen angst ridden butt kicking blonde on UPN is bringing (or so I've heard) a little bit of Buffy spirit back to the UPN and on Tuesday night no less. The oddity, it premiers this week on Wednesday at 9 p.m. before taking over it's normal 9 p.m Tuesday night time slot next week. The good news, is according to TV Guide (for fellow L & O fans that will be otherwise occupied) is that VM's pilot is rerunning on MTV next Tuesday at 7 p.m. as a refresher. Now that that's out of the way, what's VM about? Appartently, Veronica has the perfect life until her best friend is murdered. Her mom splits, and her dad sets up a PI agency that she works at, that is when she's not a sassy teenager. Oddly (speaking of the Buffyverse) this sounds very much like Angel, minus the undead thingy... okay well only minorly like Angel. They character of Cordelia Chase has the perfect life until her parents get sent to a country club jail for tax evasion. She sets up a detective agency in LA to investigate the paranomal... granted vampires, demons, prophecies, gods, and evil lawyers make Angel & Cordi's story much more gothic (I'm assuming) than VM. Gee, I really can turn every conversation back to Angel or Arrested Development (buy them)... go figure. Anway, that's Veronica Mars. I will review next Wednesday.

Wednesdays:

LOST - ABC, Wed. 8 p.m.

Okay, here it is... the Uber premeir of the fall: LOST. Lost, as you might have heard, is the latest ABC cult concoction by J.J. Abrams. You might have heard of little show he also created called Alias. Hollywood insiders were apparently so impressed by Lost, it landed J. J. the honor of being the latest director on MI3. On another behind the scenes note, Lost has also reeled in David Fury, who wrote many episodes including, the 100th, of Angel. The cast is lead by Matthew Fox of Party of Five fame and Dominick Monaghan, a hobbit we all know and love, and filled out with Daniel Dae Kim (Angel, 24) and the much buzzed about Evangeline Lilly. That's just the beginning... I'm betting there will be many more break out performers in this ensamble cast. So, exactly what is Lost about? According to ABC, "Survivors of a mid-Pacific plane crash have landed on an island of harsh terrain, cruel weather and dark secrets, including a frightful creature that stalks the jungle. Strangers all, even those related by blood, the survivors' pasts — their ethics, religions, politics, and attitudes — threaten to jeopardize the group's ability to endure. " I'm hoping lost will prove that in primtime, a script is always better than "reality". These aren't your parents castaways.

Returning...

Rounding out the Primetime line up this Wednesday is the 2-hour 16th season premier of Law & Order with new detective Dennis Farina joining the revolving team. I'm sure this season will be no different and that L & O will live up to the bar set by itself and Homicide back in the early 90's.

Once the regular schedule sets in, I might tune into The Mountain (with Oliver Hudson) on the WB next week at 9 p.m.

Check back Thursday for more viewing suggestions for Thursday & Sunday and reviews.

THE BOX: Shout Outs!

Okay, long story kinda short: I missed the what I'm assuming was yet another bland Emmy telecast due to flash flooding, my cousin's impromptu wedding Sunday evening, a road trip with the little sis's, and some late night grub at the Starlight ER. So, my weekend was oh so hectic to say the least. Luckily, I kept musically self medicated with The Garden State soundtrack with a little additional help from Liz Phair, Elliot Smith, and Beth Orton. I finally reviewed some of the coverage this morning, long after the rest of the world I'm sure was over it, if they even cared in the first place.




I first of all would just like to give a shout out to James Spader's now awarding winning portrayal of sinisterly sexy diabolical master manipulator Alan Shore, who deservingly now has his own show with William Shatner of all people. It's one part ridiculous and one part genius leading to pure entertainment. If Boston Legal aka Fleet Street aka The Practice is anything like the Dylan McDermott helmed "the practice", don't expect microscopes and legal briefs... think more twisted debauchery. (My personal favorite story line involves a doctor that found severed heads in his bag... check out the reruns. )

Second, have I not been telling you that Arrested Development is the best "sitcom" ever? (P.S. I know both DKME and The Big Ticket have been telling you the same thing as well.) Well, if you didn't take it from us, take it from the Academy: Arrested Development is the best sitcom ever.

The show took honors for Best Directing in a Comedy Series, Best Writing in a Comedy Series, oh yeah and guess what... BEST COMEDY SERIES. Now with "Sex", "Raymond", "Fraiser", and "Friends" all off the air, the only show that can even compare is Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO. Look for the extremely talented cast of AD to get their moments to shine in the upcoming years. Oh yeah, and watch the show - or buy it cornballers and all.

Now, being the self-proclaimed fashionista that I am, I of course must comment on the best dressed. I only have press pictures to refer to. Remember, I didn't actually watch the telecast.


5. Sharon Stone - This lady always wears a dress, the dress does not wear her. I'm pretty sure she sustained frontal lobe damage post brain surgery, either that or senility set in early. But, she's totally crazy in a good way.



4. Beth Littleford - Who knew funny girls could be so hot? Right, our favorite daily show correspondent and VH1 commentator gives most of the hot to trot "actresses" her tonight a run for their money.



3. Teri Hatcher - Look for Teri to pop back into the minds of men across the country when she makes her debut as a desperate housewife on Sunday.


2. Mariska Hargitay - I guess it's that sensible cop wear Mariska is always wearing on SVU, cause who had any idea she was this hot.

and number 1. Patricia Heaton - Seeing that I really hate the whole Raymond thing and think it's beyond overrated and everyone, especially Doris Roberts, is way too annoying... I was debating whether or not making this number one. Since the we're talking best dressed and not coolest actress on the coolest show ever, I figured why not. This dress is absolutely amazing, though it would look better on Lucy Liu or Kate Hudson. While her ears look funny in this picture, this is one of the hottest dresses I've ever seen. Great job, give her stylist an Emmy!



Thursday, September 16, 2004

Revisiting Mean Girls

My cherry popping post was a review of Mean Girls in the spring. So, it seems we've come full circle here at The Brain Drain. It's been a big week for anniversaries this week, 3 years at my job and 2 with my boy... why not celebrate the blog too!

Anyway... Here's a repost of my first impression of Mean Girls,
Enjoy!

POPCORN - MEAN GIRLS


It's not easy being mean.




Mean Girls, staring Lidsey Lohan, finally tackles the age old question: "Which is more difficult, surviving the African Bush or making it through a suburban Chicago High School?" (Attention Mark Burnett: Idea for the next season of Survivor!) Cady (Lohan) grows up in Africa with eccentric and intellectual parents who superbly home schooled her in academics, but failed to socialize her to the ways of the suburbia. Ill-prepared and naive, Cady finds herself longing for the animal kingdom while lost in the passive aggressive anxious mess that is High School.

After falling in with the neurotic angry artsy girl Janice and her hefty gay side kick, Cady is wrapped up in teen turmoil to bring down "The Plastics"- the clique of girls everyone hates yet still wants to be. Soon, like a vice cop going undercover, the lines of place and purpose and truth and lies become blurred. Cady loses herself and her friends in the quest of Queen-Bee status in a manner that makes the African queen Cleopatra look timid.

Mean Girls is smart, stylish, and in it's own way, socially conscious. Can a girl be gorgeous and good at calculus? Can she honestly get a man by honestly being herself? The screenplay adaptation by Tina Fey garnered more laughs per minute than most comedies in recent memory. Flanked my many SNL colleagues and alums, this cast is full of scene stealing comedians without too much of over the top gross out humor.





Mean Girls has given us Darren's most over used quote of 2004: "Imagine what Tina Fey could have done with it."


Not to be over looked, no teen assemble is complete without some man candy. Jonathan Bennett provides a dose so sweet some might find themselves asking how many licks does it take to get to the center of a...... OOPS! Well, you get the picture. As for the movie's star, last summer Miss Lohan proved she can hold her own against Jamie Lee Curtis in another Mark Waters helmed pic (Freaky Friday), and this spring is proving she can carry a film all her own.

Destined to be a super star performer, Mean Girls has crowned Lohan the reigning Teen Queen by being smart, funny, neurotic, sexy, classy, and most importantly a great actress. In the current world of celebrity skin and child star peter pan syndromes, she sets an example not only for the girl next door, but her industry counter parts could learn a thing or too as well.
(sidenote regarding that last point: As of this repost, Lohan seems contracted some Britney Spears type infection of the frontal lobe.)

Whether you're a 20 or 30 something feeling you've grown up too fast, a 13 year old girl dreading the transition to high school in the fall, a 15 year old boy looking for some eye candy, or a mom or dad looking to understand the wacky ways of your 17 year old daughter, this film has something for everyone of every age. Mean Girls breathes new breath into a sometimes played out genre. As the heir apparent to Fast Times, The Breakfast Club, Heathers, and Clueless, Mean Girls is the queen of the Spring Fling.

There She Blows!

Yes, I know it's been a while. Quite honestly it's because I really have nothing to say... and for someone who rambles especially when nervous and offers her opinions oh so freely, this is quite a mile stone. I just figured I'd post a quick checking in message for those of you who actually read my gramatically incorrect randmon rants and blogginess. Yes, I'm still alive. So, why haven't I posted in so long?

This all started a couple weeks ago with my random trip to CT and some other interesting close encounters of the LA/NY kind. There are the producers and the production people, the actors and the ambiguous, all of those people I call friends. After catching up with or at least touching base with 3 old friends (it's been way too long), I was approached by a friend (of a friend of a friend kind of thing) about one of my screenplays or one of my treatments for a screenplay at least. So I started writing again, for real not just on the blog. I also have the book I was working on, a short story I'm adapting, and a stage play/screenplay combo deal I 'm developing with my best friend. Oh yeah, and I've been working on my day job. So, I've been thrust back in the world of guilds, and drafts, and paradigms, and agents, etc. It feels quite good. Instead of criticizing, I've gone back to creating, if only inside my own mind for now.

Outside the world of scripts, I said good-bye to a good friend who broke out of soul sucking magnetic power my hometown has. He's moved on to bigger and better things (hopefully) and I wish him all the best. (Love Ya, Bobby)

Since Bob's departure, I spent last weekend dog sitting and watching season 4 of Angel, which I know I tout too much on here, but god I loved that show. Speaking of television... This Sunday is the Emmy's, which means besides the crap NBC has unrolled, the new season of Box watching starts then. So, look for lots of fun stuff on the blog next week, or at least my randomn first impressions. The theater doesn't have much to offer, at least not locally this weekend. So, television it is. Oh, if it's films you crave, don't worry. Mean Girls hits shelves on Tuesday with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind the week after.

Friday, September 10, 2004

SHOW BUSINESS: The End of the Eisner Era

According to Variety:

EISNER STEPS DOWN - Mouse CEO will not renew contract in 2006

"Michael Eisner, who led the Walt Disney Co. to huge success in the
1980s but more recently clashed with dissident stockholders including
the founder's family, will leave the company in 2006 when his contract
expires, the company said Friday."

Full Story at:
http://www.variety.com

Monday, September 06, 2004

In Case You Forgot, Here's a repost:

"YAY! I was just thinking the other day to myself, hmmm... I wonder when Season 4 of Angel is coming out."

That was two months ago. Tomorrow, my wait is over. Yes, the cover art still pisses me off, which you can read more about in my original post.


(best television, ever)


To refresh, Season 3 of Angel is quite possibly the best season of television, ever. Better than Buffy, better than 24, better than the Sopranos. Yes, I honestly think it was that good. If you've never seen an episode of Angel, I highly recommend the reruns on TNT. After getting his own series, the character of Angel is not just the brooding boyfriend of Buffy lost in meloncholy memories like the gothic-romance storylines of the early Buffy the Vampire episodes. In fact, I was not a fan of his character at all on Buffy, same with the character of Cordelia Chase. But once on their own in L.A., the vampire and his gorgeous gal pal fight through the darkness. Unlike on Buffy, the darkness almost always wins.

(Joss Whedon's take on the perils of unprotected sex)

There were many behind the scenes issues with season 4. The leading lady became with child, which then according to rumor, forced the creator to completely alter the character arc of the season. There was no way around this pregancy the way sitcoms conquer the plots. A blade wielding hottie doesn't all of a sudden start carrying boxes alot and dress in designer trench coats. What could have been, we'll most likely never know. Not to mention, this was concurrent to the last season of Buffy. Since both shows exist inside the Buffyverse, an impending Apocolypse an hour north in Sunnydale would have to be touched on.

With all that in mind, I can't see how 4 could live up to the neo noirish beauty of season 3. I've done my best to avoid reading too much so that I can enjoy the season. What I do know is that that bad things happen when you fall victim to lust with the enchanted son of the vampire you're in love with. (Watch season 3) Okay, so I did catch pieces.

Is the Buffyverse still alive? (I mean outside the hearts and fanfiction of buffynuts)

Back in July, I reported that James Marsters (Spike) let leak that Joss approached him about doing 1 of a series of 4 Buffy TV movies. Kristen, of "Watch with Kristen" fame, seemed to slightly confirm this possiblity. Here's a quote from Garth Ancier upon his seizure of control of the WB this summer:

"I wasn't there. I don't know what choices the network really had in terms of new programming. But I certainly recognize and appreciate the loyal fan base of that show. We've had serious conversation to do some Angel movies, and that's a definite way to go, as long Joss Whedon and David Boreanaz ultimately feel that they want to embrace that as well."
(click here for the whole report)

POPCORN CATCH UP

The Girl Next Door
6/10

This was one of those movies that I wanted to see but simply never made it into the theater in time. The beyond plausible plot of a porn star's early retirement, an over achieving boy next door, his sexually obsessed best friend, a Cambodian genius named Samnang, and a giant gold plated penis give us a sweet simple puppy love story that spiral into a ridiculous tale of debauchery. Damn was it a fun ride! This film isn't great, but it's certainly fun. There were moments of complete hillarity capped by an outstanding performace by Timothy Olyphant who in the past gave us memorable characters in Scream 2 and Go. His character of the sleezy producer straddled the line of endearing scum bag, sinister con man, to ruthless sadest.

What this film did not deliver was a break out performance by Elisha Cuthburt who gained fame as the constant damsel in distress as Kim Bauer on 24. Being one of those people who is blantently insulted by the utter stupidity of the character of Kim, I was very interested in seeing Elisha in another character. Alas, her performance was boring and static. She was great at being blonde and scrumpteous, but that's about it. She gave very little besides a nice ass for the Emile Hersch's character to fall in love with... but, from prior experience, victimized pouty blondes with a nice ass are virtually impossible for any 18 year old boy to resist, even if it involves blowing everything he's every worked for. And I thought girls were only that dumb. (God, that sounds bitter. I really don't mean it that way.) Regardless of the sub par skill of Miss Cuthbert, this film worth the watch.

From the crazy to the cute, I've been working on my girlieness this weekend. I forced my boy into watching 13 Going on 30. I believe this was the last movie I watched before starting up the blog, so, here's to revisiting...

13 Going on 30
7/10

Yes, as my dear friend Darren says, "Jennifer Garner is the cutest thing ever." The most brilliant aspect of this beautifully styled film is that she's just the right amount of cute. The amount that any girl can identify with, without making us vomit. I personally hate 99% of romatic comedies. I was not keen on seeing a movie that was an obvious play on Big and featured JG whom, since the premier of Alias, I have dubbed as the most over-hyped girl in Hollywood. Then I saw the trailer. To my surprise, warm and fuzzies grew inside me, and I'm rarely one for the warm and fuzzies.

13 Going on 30 follows the too-eager-to-grow-up Jenna Brink as she skips ahead in time to age 30 having a Capra/Dickenson like glimpse at her future self if she keeps on her current path. The message of this film is quite weird the more I think about it. You've gotten everything you ever wanted, now what's wrong? So the Be Careful What You Wish For "Monkey's Paw" metaphore is in place. But, I guess it also could represent the whole "place of woman" debate of today that says you can't have it all. You can be successful now thanks to the women of the 70's, but you will be a bad mom in the process. You must choose. Jenna has money, success, power, glamour, and a boy toy... what's she missing? That true love that early teenage years offer? Please, if someone gave me a chance to end up with my first love, I'd have to turn them down. Anyway, all the major news mags have been doing stories on women leaving high power positions to be housewives. Seems we've come full circle.

Back to the film. This film does exactly what it's supposed to: Make all those 25 to 30 year old girls remember their jelly shoes, hoop earings, spandex, scrunchies, and worship of Madonna. It makes every girl and gay guy in the world who wanted to fuck Mark Ruffulo (after watching In the Cut) now fall in love with him. It makes us once again think about wearing bright colors and tying ribbons in our hair. It mades us long for an old fashion sleep over. It made us add a little nostagia to our record collection, no matter how cheesy the music. It also gave my little sisters a glimse at life before they were around- my oldest little sis was born in 1989.

This is definately a girlie film. Please don't make your boyfriends, husbands, or brothers endure the amount of cuteness packed into the short time span.

SIDENOTE: The one thing I found very weak about both films was that I whole heartedly disagree with the "message moments". In GND, Hirsch's character delivers a speech on moral fiber. Regardless your take on pornography or American views of sexuality, this speech did not make me think anything besides "that's the best the writer could come up with?" I'm sorry, but "moral fiber" is not dedicating your life to something no matter what that something is... that's dedication, not morality. Hilter dedicated his life to erradicating the jews and others who were not of his ideal, Moral Fiber? I think not. In 13/30, Garner's character has to deliver a redesign concept to the editor and chief of her magazine (think 80's corporate take over plot here). She delivers an idea that has nothing to do with fashion. Granted, there is the moment earlier in the film where her mother says "those aren't women, those are models" in reference to the Cosmopolitan like mag as a weak commentary on feminie self image. Last time I check models were women. But Garner's answer would not sell a fashion magazine to me. Fashion isn't about "real women", Sears is. Fashion, high fasion, is about fantasy. It's about high style and glamour and self expression, not sensible shoes. In fact, to offer an idea so counter to the actual character in the film who was not a "real woman" but an ideal of childhood innocence, I thought was really bad and maybe irresponsible.

Okay, sidenote over.

I most likely will also revist Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the greatest film ever made, when it comes to dvd later this month.

~Arrivederci

Thursday, September 02, 2004

THE BOX: Back 2 Life

This weekend of labor celebration bookend the summer.

I remember back in May, I prepped for the summer months by stocking up on PS2 games and DVDs. Yes, I know it's sad... but it's a small town. I did at least venture on two roadtrips, a summer requirement here in the north east. As for the games, yeah, I'll get to them eventually I guess. See, I stumbled on to this fact that I knew of, but never really delved into: TNT airs at least 20 hours of Law & Order a week. Combine that with the approximate 15 hours of SVU USA airs, and the minimal amount of NBC repeat of all 3 L & O series... and that brings the total to around 40 hours a week.

So, honestly, this summer, I watched L & O like it was my job. When I wasn't working either "job" I was busy falling in love with Jeremy Piven's Ari on HBO. But, that's besides the point. After one night of 6 straight eps of L & O, there were complaints about the show coming from my lovely roomate, and fiance, who found them monotonous. By the end of the first week, he had seded. By the end of the 2nd week, he was an addict, full fledge. Keep in mind, I've seen nearly every episode between 1990 and 2002. I drove my roomates crazy in college, but it really help on my Law in Society midterm.

Anyway, for months I've been trying to explain which ADA was who and when they were on and so on and so on. So, appropriately, this labor day weekend, TNT will be airing a L & O marathon in celebration. It seams a fitting end to the summer... and yes, I realize this is a sign that I've gotten old. I started watching this show in ELEMENTARY school, with The Simpsons. Anyway, my point is summer's over... which means, it's time for

The Brain Drain's
The Best of the Box Bonanza, Fall 2004


I miss Maggie. She was such a better Secretary.

While none of us can really know 'til we take the time to sit down and watch (and that means tearing Ben away from L & O)... here are the Box Best Bets:

Sunday:
The Simpsons - 8 Fox
Arrested Development - 8:30 Fox
Desperate Housewives - 9 ABC
Boston Legal (Practice Spinoff) - 10 ABC

Monday:
Veronica Mars - 9 UPN
The Wire - 10 HBOE (since I'll be watching Fox on Sun.)

Tuesday:
Law & Order SVU - 10 NBC

Wednesday:
Lost - 8 ABC
The Mountain - 9 WB
Law & Order - 10 NBC

Thursday:
The O.C. - 8 FOX
True Calling - 9 FOX

Look for details on each show comming in the next two weeks, as long a reviews to decide if the show is worth a second view. And yes, ABC has all the best looking new shows, go figure.