Friday, January 28, 2005

a note from you friendly neighborhood blogger

Hi Blog Readers (all 10 of you):

So due to some technical difficulty trying to post my reactions to the Oscar nominations announced earlier this week, I became angered. Between the frustration that only computers can provide and the fact that I kinda blogged myself out the last two weeks, I've been silent I know. I do have a job, I am writing two screenplays, and I'm planning a wedding too, so don't be too hard on me.

If your bored, I stumbled across this quiz ( the Belief-O-Matic) that determines the top 25 religions for you based on your personal philisophical and moral beliefs. I found it to be entertaining and slightly enlightening. This is coming from a girl addicted to the monthly Cosmo quiz.

Anyway, I thought I'd share my top five religious "classifications":
These are religions I supposedly share 85% - 100% of their belief structure.
  1. Unitarian Universalism
  2. Mahayana Buddhism
  3. Neo-Pagan
  4. Hinduism
  5. Reform Judaism

Odd mix, eh?

For trivia sake, the highest ranking Christian faith on my list was Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants at #9 (72%). This would be how I was raised in both UCC and/or Methodist Churches.

Also curious, Orthodox Judaism at 15 (63%) & Islam at 17 (53%) both scored higher on my list than Conservative Christian/Protestant (28%) or Roman Catholicism (24% ).

Monday, January 24, 2005

SNOW DAYS

Well, I successfully removed my car from a mediocre sized snow drift this morning making it my first outing since Friday night at around 6 when I returned from work. My Ben made me a wonderful breakfast in bed of eggs and whole wheat pancakes to celebrate our respective snow days. It was, all in all, a pretty uneventful weekend, aside from the death of the much beloved and missed Johnny Carson.



Together, we used our time inside to catch up on our DVD viewing. We finally got around to watching most of season seven of Buffy which we picked up back in November, but never took the time to watch. We also watched the Steelers lose during commerical breaks from The Simpsons, Arrested Development, and Desperate Housewives.



I'm quite happy about the Steelers loss. It's nothing against the Steelers, it's more about those obnoxious arrogant Steelers fans. This entire season, our newspaper has been inundated with angry letters from fans because we are considered a Baltimore market. That means, if the Ravens play on the same day at the same time as the Steelers, CBS carries Ravens games. This is decided by the NFL and the local Steelers nuts have been making a huge ordeal about it urging people to boycott CBS (not that I watch anything on that network anyway). To put this in perspective, I live 30 minutes from the Baltimore city limits. I'm about 5 hours from Pittsburgh. I mean it's not like there is a war, or a presidential election, or a take over of our local school system by fundementalists. After all, the two Steelers games that were "preempted" over the past season were of utmost importance. To that end I would like to say "HAH!" to all you fans.

As for Sunday night television, Arrested was brilliant - well mostly the last five minutes. If you missed the return of Lucille II (Liza Minelli), she is used as a sexual pawn when GOB makes a successful bid to take over the Bluth company. GOB is now the president, for real. Poor sweet Buster also finds love. Granted, all of this is purely coicidential as everyone on the show just happens into their fates.


Lucille II & Buster conoodle last season.

After two weeks of being unable to catch desperate housewives, I was very happy to get my fix. I love the way each show is written thematically. Almost like "everyman" morality plays for suburbanites.

Episode: 1-13 "Your Fault"

---When Lynette's father-in-law (guest star Ryan O'Neal as Rodney Scavo) pays a visit, she unwittingly learns a family secret. Meanwhile Susan is disturbed by Julie's growing romance with Zach, Rex attempts to reconcile with Bree, and Gabrielle is shocked when John's parents ask her for a favor.

Which if you saw the episode, leads to the question, "WTF is up with Zach"?!? The directors portray Paul, his father, as the nutcase, but when it comes down to it, Zach is by far the craziest of the crazies the show has to offer.

Friday, January 21, 2005

THE BOX: Spike gets to the Point

Now, as if the show wasn't filled with enough eye candy (see review below) Marti Noxon wants to bring James Marsters to Point Pleasant.

Here's what Noxon had to say during an interview with sci-fi wire this week:

---Former Buffy the Vampire Slayer producer Marti Noxon told SCI FI Wire that she wants to get former Buffy and Angel star James Marsters on her new supernatural Fox series Point Pleasant. "Adam Busch, who was on Buffy as one of the super nerds, has a small role right now," Noxon told reporters at Fox's winter press preview on Jan. 17 in Universal City, Calif. "And I would really love to bring James Marsters [Spike] in at some point. We've been talking to him."

The interview goes on to say...
...she took on the job of executive producer of Point Pleasant because she liked the way it incorporated elements of Peyton Place, The O.C., Carrie and The Omen. "It's got all of that and, after the first few episodes, we'll be leaning even a little bit more toward Twin Peaks," Noxon said. "You've got a small town with lots of strange people with secrets, and the main character, Christina [Elisabeth Harnois], has this effect of drawing that out of everybody in this once-sleepy place."

For the full article, click here.

Marsters guest staring role as bad brit Spike a.k.a. William the Bloody during the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer led to proved so popular the producers made him a full cast member by season four. His sex appeal was so popular, that he spent a large majority of season six in nothing but a stragetically placed sock. That lucky SMG. The final episode gave Spike ultimate redemption as he saved the world. Not to be done in so easily, Marsters joined the cast of Angel during the final season so that Spike could give the Vampy C.E.O a run for his money.

James Marsters's Spike is the most popular of all the Buffyverse characters. If you don't believe me, type his name into any search engine to find how many sites all over the world are dedicated to Marsters/Spike. (I normally don't go all the giddy over people, but the man is sex incarnate... not to mention a talented actor and musician.)

For old times sake...
You want me to leave, you can put your hands on my hot tight little body and make me. ~Spike (on Buffy, "I was made to love you")

THE BOX: "Pleasant" lacks any point

"Point Pleasant", the new fox drama by former “Buffy” executive Marti Noxon, delivers a lot of sex, possible potential, and little else. The story follows the fate of Christina (Christ?) Nickson (President Nixon?) as she washes up on the shore of a beach town. A local family takes her in to fill the void of their dead daughter. Christina searches churches for clues to the mother she never knew. All of this is a test of her true power arranged by friends of her father, the devil.

As the newest network genre drama, PP is nothing more than a shadow of it’s great genre processors. While “Buffy” and “Angel” used monsters as a metaphor for problems most people encounter in there teens and twenties, “Point Pleasant” is only skin deep… And there is a lot of skin. The pilot alone featured at least three different sex scenes and plenty of subtext. The adults are even more over sexed than the teens in this quiet beach town. I doubt we’ll have a “Christina loses her virginity” episode like those in most teen dramas. The beach setting makes is possible to have the main characters in string bikinis and Paris-Britney styled low slung pants nonstop. While I’m quite far from prudish, the amount of blatant sexuality in the show has no reason or art behind it. It’s as cheap a ploy as "Temptation Island".

That aside, the second episode – far superior to the pilot - offered more possibilities for an evolving plot entangled in religion and specifically the duality of man. I’m giving the show a lot of credit at this point. I’m not saying it’s there; I’m saying it’s possible it could one day be there. The second episode offers up the commencement of the Apocalypse and Christina’s apparent role – Sound familiar? If the writers go deeper than the skin, the show has solid possibilities.

"Point Pleasant" does master one skill perfectly, casting. From the parents, to the girl next door, to the newest members of Evil, Inc. everyone is gorgeous. The eye candy alone makes the show bearable for just about everyone. No matter your taste for angelic blondes, girl next door red heads, dirty divorcees, bronzed boy scout beefcake, or dark and delicious young priests… all are present in Point Pleasant.

Where do we go from here? The show is “90210” crossed with “Dark Shadows”. Unfortunately, PP fails to capture the gothic poetry of “Dark Shadows”, the paranoid intrigue of “The X-files”, or the greater message metaphors of the Buffyverse – the three best works of genre television. PP’s greatest down fall is the lack of foundation. There is nothing beneath the surface. On the other hand, the show lends to great possibilities due to the creative forces in the background. This is Marti Noxon after all. Let’s remember too, that the first season of “Buffy” was quite bad as it was bogged down with creating and explaining the concept of the slayer, Hellmouth, and the vampire with a soul.

Time is of the essence. The biggest hurdle facing PP is that it’s on Fox. The network isn’t really renown for nurturing shows with promise. After all, they gave “Wonderfalls” only 4 weeks and switched its time slot twice in that duration. Since PP’s lacking the artistic brilliance and critical clout of “Arrested Development”, it must find an audience and do it fast.

Since nothing else is on at 9 p.m. on Thursday, I recommending tuning in. You’re at least guaranteed the eye candy.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

THE BOX: Ratings Game, All is not "Lost"

What is AI doing to Lost? Did Point hold over any AI viewers? How's Alias doing in it's new home?

From Zap2it.com:

The second night of "American Idol" posted a 15.0/22, down from 17.0/25 in its first hour on Tuesday but easily winning the 8 p.m. hour for FOX. It didn't have much effect on the audience for "Lost," as the ABC series came in at 11.8/18. CBS was third with "60 Minutes." NBC's "SI Swimsuit Model Search" took a sizable hit, managing only a 3.0/4. A repeat of "Smallville" on The WB was fifth at 2.1/3, ahead of "The Road to Stardom" on UPN.

ABC moved into the lead at 9 p.m. with "Alias," 8.7/13. "The King of Queens" and "Center of the Universe" averaged 7.6/11 for CBS, beating the 7.3/11 for "The West Wing" on NBC. The premiere of "Point Pleasant" on FOX, 7.0/11, lost more than half the "Idol" audience, but that's not out of line with what other shows have done in the post-"AI" slot. UPN's "Kevin Hill" and The WB's "Big Man on Campus" tied for fifth.

THE BOX: The "Point" is NJ is evil

Okay, I can't help but mock Jersey as a Pennsylvanian.

Mix in one part "Beverly Hills 90210" (Dina Meyer), two parts "Melrose Place" (Grant Show & Susan Walters), a heaping dose of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (Marti Noxon), and a splash of "Desperate Housewives" (Richard Burgi) and you get the fox primetime newbie, Point Pleasant. While I'm sure you're dying for my thoughts on the premier of Point Pleasant last night, I'm going to hold off my thoughts until episode 1:02 "Human Nature", airs tonight.

FYI Fellow BTVS Nuts: Adam Busch makes his first of at least three PP appearnces next week in episode 1:03 "Who's your daddy."

THE BOX: The return of Claire (and the Polar Bears)

Yes kids, it's Thursday which means it's time for our latest Lost update. Last night’s episode definitely was a better turn then the previous few weeks. In fact, it’s the best episode since they lost Claire. The writers are giving us a few more clues to work from. For the first time since this whole adventure started, I might not think they are dead now after all. P.S. I love you David Fury.

If you haven’t picked up on it by now, the island has the power to manifest your worst fears. After an encounter with said fear, a character finds comfort and release.



Children. The island seems to have a “special”, meaning occultist, tie to children. Take for instance the psychic who purposely put Claire on the plane to purposely crash. He also exhibited extreme fear of her unborn (From "Raised by Another"). The closer Claire came to term, the more she too seemed to have a sixth sense. One would assume the powers were from the child growing inside her. The French woman, Danielle, from “Solitary” also had a child, Alex. What happen to him? Now we learn Walt too is as the episode suggests, “special”. Walt seems to have always exhibited supernatural powers to manifest things, like the bird crashing into the window to subconsciously demand attention. Could the entire island and crash be due to Walt’s will? That’s three references to children. Speaking of threes…



Symbolism. The number three, like in a triangle, has special significance in many religions including Christianity and the traditional paganism of the British Isles. Last night, Charlie, while reading Claire’s diary, found mention of “black rock” in a passage about a dream. This is the third mention or visual clue. If you remember, in “house of the rising sun” Kate and Jack discovered rocks as the only possession of Adam and Eve. Again, back to Danielle in “solitary”, she too mentioned a black rock. The episode last night made sure to remind you.



Watch Carefully. The directors have been giving visual clues through the series. How many are red herrings, we don’t know yet. Take for instance, Sawyer reading Watership Down in “White Rabbit”. If you never read the book or saw the film, you should. Last night, Walt looks at Spanish comic books that depicts an ice kingdom atop the world. Polar coordinates would explain the discrepensies in location like in ability to reconcile a compass to the sun, a problem Sayid was having last week. Granted, the tropical climate wouldn't make too much sense now would it? Also, does that little plane Kate has have anything more to do with the story? I imagine it must some how.



Monsters Schmonsters. Polar Bears aren’t monsters, they’re polar bears. Now, are you telling me that what Locke came face to face with in "Walkabout" was a bear? The tree stomping and wailing from the pilot, is that a bear? I’m not buying it. Last night, that was a polar bear – in the jungle and in the comic book.



Damn you ABC! Claire walks out of the jungle and you let us hanging! You’re blinking at American Idol. Next week, ABC is airing “Solitary” and then “Raised by Another” the following week. So, it’s at least two weeks until we have a new episode of Lost. The other possibility is that the moments in "Solitary" and "Raised" are so entirely key to the over all plot, ABC feels we need a fresher. Both are very good episodes and vitally important to understanding the island.

--For trivia sake, David Fury was also the writer of "Solitary". It seams that his episodes are the pivitol one's. The next Fury episode (1:18) is entitled "Numbers". I doesn't have a scheduled air date yet, but since it's #18, I'm betting late mid to late April.

Episode 15: “Homecoming” will air February 9th. There are no promotional stills available yet.

For more stills and captures, including hi-res files, of last nights episode, visit Lost Media.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

THE BOX: It's official, It's Alyson!

The official word out of team "Mars" is that Alyson Hannigan will be revisiting old territory on UPN's Tuesday night by stepping into the role of Trina Echolls, Logan's big sis.

Per Zap2it.com: "Hannigan plays Trina Echolls, the struggling-actress daughter of town resident and movie star Aaron Echolls (Harry Hamlin), and stepdaughter of his wife, Lynn (Lisa Rinna, Hamlin's real-life spouse). This makes Trina the half-sister of Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring), the high-school foe of teen sleuth Veronica (Kristen Bell)."

For more info on the character, check out the full article.

Hannigan's episode is entitled "Russkie Business" and will air February 22. There is the possibility of her part becoming recuring, but I guess that depends on how well her ABC pilot does first. Personally, I'd rather see her in quality than as Jennifer Love Hewitt's sidekick. With "like no viewers" I don't know how long UPN will continue to support Mars, hopefully a long while. On that note, as my girl Kristen says, "watch it already".

POPCORN: The Bang of "Dynamite"

Before getting into Napoleon Dynamite, I would like to say how pissed I was last night when I ran over to the video store after work only to find all the copies of Friday Night Lights rented. What kind of video store has two wall devoted to Dodgeball, but only 8 copies of FNL, fuckers.

Without saying to much about this film - because after watching it I really am speechless - I figured I'd post a few brief thoughts. First, being 25, the late 70's/early 80's production design of the quirky Idaho teen's world was reminiscent of my own working class childhood. In fact, the entire film reminded me of what it was like to be six again. The ridiculous part is that these were teens acting in the manner of kindergarteners. The film was bizarre in a quirky fun way, not in a flashy "edgy" way. Throughout, I teetered between finding the film f-ing hilarious or thoroughly annoying. The final scene was so ridiculously hilarious that it tipped the scales enough for me to recommend this film to anyone and everyone. If you find yourself bored and annoyed after twenty minutes, just skip ahead to the climax. This film has it's own brand of humor that doesn't make it digestible to the masses, but it definitely has a spot reserved in cult film history.

THE BOX: Reunited and it feels so good!

If you're like me and desperately missing Tony and Michelle on 24, hope is on the way. Carlos Bernard and Reiko Aylesworth will be returning to the show during it's 7th hour (2 weeks). I guess that means Tony wasn't executed for treason. Also, Dennis Haysbert is rumored to have rejoined the cast for the last 6 episodes of the season. I'm happy to report that 24 made up on Monday for it's very poor performances last week. Unfortunately, it still isn't back up to Day 2 tension levels. Shohreh Aghdashloo's character is the best part of the season so far. I can't take William Devane's Heller seriously at all. I see him as nothing more than an overly tanned star desperately overacting trying to be remembered. When it comes to Jack Bauer's hottie of the moment, Sarah Wynter's and Vanessa Ferlito's characters and sex appeal far overshadow Kim Raver's Audrey. Superficial maybe, but definatively true. Speaking of bland new characters and casting, Alberta Watson's Driscoll can't even come close to the characters of Ryan Chappelle or George Mason. If these are people protecting and ruling our lives, I'm moving to Canada.

Monday, January 17, 2005

BAFTA Spreads some 'Sunshine'

Across the pond, they know a good film when they see one. ESOTSM has been pushed aside for the favor of Sideways and Million Dollar Baby here in the United States, but overseas, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is finally getting some well derserved nominations.

BAFTA, for y'all, is the UK equivalent of AMPAS, or plainly the folks who hand out the Oscars.

The New Zealand Herald ran an interesting article on Thursday regarding the effect of the screener debate. Apparently, no one in the UK has seen Million Dollar Baby due to business and politics. Some people are also peeved about that.

---The film, a Rocky-style yarn starring Hilary Swank, has been rapturously received in America. Nonetheless, to the discomfiture of Bafta, British voters have snubbed what some are calling Eastwood's masterpiece.

"Frankly, it belongs on there and everyone knows that it belongs on there," says one Bafta member.

"It is unquestionably Clint Eastwood's best film. It will probably win the American Academy Award and it's not even in the running for the Baftas."

Okay, and the (selected) nominees are...

Best Film:
The Aviator.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. (YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Finding Neverland.
The Motorcycle Diaries.
Vera Drake.

The Alexander Korda Award for the outstanding British Film of the Year:
Dead Man's Shoes.
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban. (YAY!)
My Summer Of Love.
Shaun Of The Dead. (YAY!)
Vera Drake.

The David Lean Award for achievement in Direction:
The Aviator - Martin Scorsese.
Collateral - Michael Mann. (YAY!)
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind - Michael Gondry. (YAY!)
Finding Neverland - Marc Forster.
Vera Drake - Mike Leigh.
(No Mike Nichols?)

Best Original Screenplay:
The Aviator - John Logan.
Collateral - Stuart Beattie. (YAY!)
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind - Charlie Kaufman. (YAY!)
Ray - James L White.
Vera Drake - Mike Leigh.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

The Chorus - Christophe Barratier/Philippe Lopes-Curval.
Closer - Patrick Marber. (YAY!)
Finding Neverland - David Magee.
The Motorcycle Diaries - Jose Rivera.
Sideways - Alexander Payne/Jim Taylor.

Best Actor in a Leading Role:
Gael Garcia Bernal - The Motorcycle Diaries.
Jamie Foxx - Ray.
Jim Carrey - Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. (YAY!)
Johnny Depp - Finding Neverland.
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Aviator.

Best Actress in a Leading Role:
Charlize Theron - Monster. (Wasn't released in UK until this year)
Imelda Staunton - Vera Drake.
Kate Winslet - Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. (YAY!)
Kate Winslet - Finding Neverland.
Ziyi Zhang - House of Flying Daggers.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Alan Alda - The Aviator.
Clive Owen - Closer. (YAY!)
Jamie Foxx - Collateral.
Phil Davis - Vera Drake.
Rodrigo de la Serna - The Motorcycle Diaries.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Cate Blanchett - The Aviator.
Heather Craney - Vera Drake.
Julie Christie - Finding Neverland. (YAY!)
Meryl Streep - The Manchurian Candidate.
Natalie Portman - Closer. (YAY!)
(Finally! Haven't I been saying Christie and Mitchell were the best part of Neverland?)

The Anthony Asquith Award for Achievement in Film Music:
The Aviator - Howard Shore.
The Chorus - Bruno Coulais.
The Motorcycle Diaries - Gustavo Santaolalla.
Finding Neverland - Jan A P Kaczmarek.
Ray - Craig Armstrong.

Best Cinematography:
The Aviator.
Collateral.
Finding Neverland.
House of Flying Daggers.
The Motorcycle Diaries.

Best Editing:
The Aviator.
Collateral.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.
House Of Flying Daggers.
Vera Drake.

Best Production Design:
The Aviator.
Finding Neverland.
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban.
House Of Flying Daggers.
Vera Drake.

Best Costume Design:
The Aviator.
Finding Neverland.
House Of Flying Daggers.
The Merchant Of Venice.
Vera Drake.

Best Sound:
The Aviator.
Collateral.
House Of Flying Daggers.
Ray.
Spider-Man 2.

Orange Film of the Year (10 biggest UK box office hits of 2004, voted by the public):
Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason.
The Day After Tomorrow.
Shrek 2.
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban.
Spider-Man 2.
Troy.
Shark Tale.
I, Robot.
Scooby Doo 2.
The Incredibles.


THE BOX: News, rumors, and pilots oh my!


Why doesn't anyone watch my show?

Veronica Mars. It's been awhile since I've posted about my favorite new and most over looked show of the season. Okay, favorite drama - I love Arrested Development more than anything. Veronica has been plucking away working cases and people trying to get to the truth behind Lily's murder. Tensions are building in Neptune as one character will meet a violent fate. Will Logan's mom through herself from bridge? We'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out.

In Veronica casting news, E's Kristin has shared news from Kristen Bell that a new cast member will be joining the show to play Logan's sister:

---"We're announcing a new celebrity castmember next week!" K.B. revealed of Veronica Mars. "Someone that's been working on our show that we're thrilled to have. I'm under strict orders [not to say who it is], but I'm really excited about it."

Don't hate me but I'm also under strict (death threat) orders. However, I can tell you that this well-known actress is playing Logan's sister and is huge in this little world we like to call "Watch with Kristin." Over the years, we've talked about her series more than any other show. And when you fans of this cult hit find out, you're going to piddle a little. Promise.


To check out all Kristin has to say, visit her column.

What does Kristin love and rave about non stop? Two things, the Buffyverse and Alias. Alias is still on the air so that's a no brainer. It's would make sense to bring in a Buffy alum seeing that shows share a fan base. As far as the Buffyverse goes, Alyson Hannigan would be my first guess, but she just signed on for an ABC pilot. Sarah Michelle Gellar is in no hurry to return to TV. Michelle Trachtenberg is working on films as well. Charisma Carpenter and Emma Caulfield are both too old (sorry, but you are).



Which leaves Eliza Dushku or Amber Benson viaing for my conjecture. If Logan's sister is as tortured and spoiled as he, Eliza would be perfect for the role. After all with another show (see below) taking over her Tru time slot, does she have much regular work? Anyway, Tru sucked.



Although on the other hand, Kristin let's us with the words "The first episode of Veronica Mars reairs this Tuesday on UPN. The next day you'll find out the mystery sis. It will be magical!" Magic indicates witch. Witch would lean the new cast member towards Amber Benson, or maybe it's Alyson after all. Wednesday we'll all know!

Now about that other show...



Point Pleasant tries to scare up a following this week. Step away from Alias, for one night only my friends. From the mind of Marti Noxon comes hell on earth, starting where else but New Jersey. If you've been hiding under a rock, PP is the story of Christina who washes ashore and is taken in by a new family. Strange things begin happening as Christina must come to the aweful truth, her father is the one and only Satan.

Wednesday night at 9 p.m., Fox. The show then settles into it's normal Thursday night post O.C. time slot.

As for the rest of television this week:

Tonight: 24 tries to climb out of the 2 hour dismal display it offered last Monday - Fox, 9 p.m.

Tuesday: DO NOT WATCH AMERICAN IDOL! Catch the pilot of the best new drama out there, Veronica Mars - UPN, 9 p.m.

Wednesday: David Fury's 3rd episode of Lost "Special" airs - ABC, 8 p.m. QUICK, turn over to Fox to catch Point Pleasant when you're done. If you're Sci-Fied out, L & O get's it's new ADA at 10 p.m. Speaking of, WTF was with Serena's "Is this because I'm a lesbian?" line last week. Talk about random.

Thursday: Watch the second episdoe of Point Pleasant, if it's any good. If it sucks, go see a movie, have a beer, catch up on sleep, or pretend to have a life.

Friday: If you really have no life, Jonny Zero, the new show from Fox isn't that bad. It does make you feel dirty. Like a gritty-dirty, not a sexy-dirty. It's steal the redemption plot line to Angel minus the gothic vampire thingy.

Have I mentioned how much I loved Angel, and now I miss Angel. Okay, loser alert, I know. I really, really don't try to relate everything back to Buffy, but it's like the Kevin Bacon of television shows.

That my friends, is this week in the box.



Golden Girls and Boys

First I would like to say that I’m so very happy I saw Closer before the Globes so that I could be personally excited for Natalie’s win.



As for the show, the Globes are always fun because there is no host to fill the evening with industry ass kissing and random jokes which really aren’t that funny. The other great thing about the Globes is that it’s an awards dinner, which means lots of alcohol, which in turn mean better speech moments. Well, at least the potential for better speech moments. The Globes also intermix “film” actors and “television” actors, which nowadays aren’t too drastically different.

The speeches were great this year from Natalie Portman to Mark Cherry (DH Creator) to Jamie Foxx to William Shatner. There was emotion, spontaneity, and best of all, self-effacing humor in abundance.

Best Speech: Teri Hatcher – She’s stunning with a hit show and isn’t afraid to stand in that room and refer to herself as and over forty “has-been”.

Business as usual: Sideways and Million Dollar Baby, two of the most buzzed about films of the season, both divvied up the Globes with The Aviator getting two wins in as well. The film award offered no fall out of your seat surprises. When it comes to television though, the Globes often honor the new television (or anything on HBO). This makes it much more exciting and varied than The Emmy’s, the broken record of awards shows. For instance, Emmy standard “Everybody Loves Raymond” was totally absent from the party. That means no Doris Roberts, which makes me personally happier.

Upset of the Night: It’s a tie - Nip/Tuck – This FX drama with fiercely loyal fan base beat out 24 (FOX) DEADWOOD (HBO), THE SOPRANOS (HBO), and newbie LOST (ABC) to take top television – drama honors. Mariska Hargitay – who has been walking a rough beat on NBC’s Law & Order for over 5 years now beat out both Edie Falco and Jennifer Garner as well as Christine Lahti and Joely Richardson to take home her long deserved globe.

Taking one for the team: The Brain Drain would like to offer personal congratulations to Natalie Portman, Clint Eastwood, Mariska Hargitay, Teri Hatcher, Jason Bateman, William Shatner, and the entire team at Desperate Housewives on their golden globe wins.

Coverage is everywhere, so if you can’t get enough globes, visit Variety’s Award Central, E-Online, and of course, the DKME.

And the winners are...

MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA: "The Aviator"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA: Hilary Swank -- "Million Dollar Baby"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA: Leonardo DiCaprio --"The Aviator"

MOTION PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY: "Sideways"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY: Annette Bening -- "Being Julia"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE -MUSICAL OR COMEDY: Jamie Foxx -- "Ray"

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: "The Sea Inside" (Spain)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE: Natalie Portman -- "Closer"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE: Clive Owen -- "Closer"

DIRECTOR - MOTION PICTURE: Clint Eastwood -- "Million Dollar Baby"

SCREENPLAY - MOTION PICTURE: Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor -- "Sideways"

ORIGINAL SCORE - MOTION PICTURE: Howard Shore -- "The Aviator"

ORIGINAL SONG - MOTION PICTURE: "Old Habits Die Hard" -- "Alfie"
Music & Lyrics by: Mick Jagger & David A. Stewart

TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA: "Nip/Tuck" (FX)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA: Mariska Hargitay -- "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA: Ian McShane -- "Deadwood"

TELEVISION SERIES - MUSICAL OR COMEDY: "Desperate Housewives" (ABC)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES - MUSICAL OR COMEDY: Teri Hatcher -- "Desperate Housewives"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES - MUSICAL OR COMEDY: Jason Bateman -- "Arrested Development"

MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" (HBO)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: Glenn Close -- "The Lion in Winter"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: Geoffrey Rush -- "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION
PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: Anjelica Huston -- "Iron Jawed Angels"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: William Shatner -- "Boston Legal"

The Gorgeous and Frightening Sites of the Globes

Yes, yes, I can’t truly cover the show without adding comments about the fashion. After all, I did want to be a fashion designer at one point, as well as a corporate lawyer, an anthropologist, an architectural engineer, a history teacher, and a physicist. NYU accepted me, so I became a filmmaker – then went out into the real world and became an executive (temporarily of course). Okay now that that is over, the best dressed!

Sidenote: There was definite need for more supported actresses. Was there a memo? What was it with this years boobs? I was scared. They all seemed slung low or especially nipply. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe I’m hypercritical. It’s just when nature is inappropriate, lingerie can pick up and cover up when necessary.

Other side note: The year of the brunette is over (for reference, I have black hair - naturally). Next I’m seeing platinum blondes, bright white vanilla blondes.

For real now, on the with show superficial criticism.

5. Felicity Huffman-She never got the acclaim she truly deserved for Sports Night. Now, she's not just William H. Macy's arm candy on the red carpet. She can also proudly say, she's not the frumpy housewife anymore.

4. Cate Blanchett-The girl always looks plucked from another decade with class that makes everyone else feel some how lower.

3. Glenn Close - For a - dare I say it - older actress, she looks amazing without trying to look to young or to flashy.


2. Nicole Kidman - Her normal haute couture style was very off during last year's Globes. Being the Chanel spokesperson comes with some perks - stylistic perfection.


1. Naomi Watts - I didn't just pick Naomi because she's my favorite actress, but can you really argue her simple stunning glamour?

What were these people thinking?

3. Halle Berry - Stacked ruffles look good on no one, even Halle Berry.

2. Diane Keaton - Annie Hall came out before I was born, so dated doesn't even begin to describe this atrocious concoction. Diane, really, how long is it before you're yelling "Gladiator!"

1. Natalie Portman - It's hard, very hard to make Miss Portman look anything less than stunning. Yet with frock which looks like a nightgown she stole from Winnona Ryder, Natalie works wonders... scary, tragic, wonders.

POPCORN: Getting "Closer"

Well kiddies, It’s Monday and there is oh too much to blog about coming off the Golden Globe hoopla! Yes, award season is in high gear folks. Before we get down and dirty with the congrats and the superficiality of designer dresses and all that jazz, I finally – FINALLY – got into the theater to see Closer. Due to illness, business, another illness, and my Ben then getting ill, it’s been a chore trying to make it to the movies. I still have The Aviator, A Very Long Engagement, and Million Dollar Baby on my “must see” list before February comes along. Then I’ll post my top 10 films of the year, February 1st.

Okay, and so it is, Closer. (8/10)


"Lying is the best thing a girl can do without taking her clothes off. But it's more fun if you do."

Closer follows the poignant moments over four years in the lives of Alice, Dan, Anna, and Larry. How each couple meets, what tears at them, and how their lives are all intertwine through love, lust, passion, and need.



Closer is adapted from Patrick Marber’s play of the same name. I would love to see this play out on stage only for the sake of intimacy which is so important to the core of Closer. The film, as I said, follows only moments, not grand love stories interwoven. These moments are those which at the end of a relationship, or story, you look back and know that’s the moment that matters. There is so much about the characters and their lives together that we don’t know, which in away, allows us to personally identify with them more. This film is about the basic elements of people, how they love and stop loving each other. Why some leave, and why some don’t.

The film isn’t flashy, glossy, or even muted with a highly styled cinematic mark normally felt by great directors. After all, Mike Nichol’s is the man who delivered The Graduate to our consciousness nearly 40 years ago. Instead, Nichol’s genius is felt in the stripped rawness of this film. The film work is beautiful in it’s simplicity and it stays out of the way of four powerhouse performances that only a highly talented director could pull from his cast.

Natalie Portman delivers the performance of her career playing Alice, the loving and strong stripper, and the only sympathetic character that the film offers. Okay, so maybe that’s not fair. For this film, I believe each character can be viewed differently depending on a views past experiences. I've dated both of these archetypical men, although I must admit, I'm a "Dan" girl. For myself, Alice (Portman) was the only sympathetic character.

Jude Law tackles the role of Dan who is flawed with a weak character with arrogance. Julia Roberts steps outside her sweetheart type casting to play the selfish and artistically depressed Anna who can support herself financially, but not emotionally. Clive Owen’s gives awesome strength to powerful honest realist Larry.



Each of these performances are exceptional, but Portman and Owen really shine as the victimized characters who refuse to ever play the victims.

This is strong film that might be hard to swallow for some due to the roughness of the characters the behind closed doors language they use. While it on a surface level examines infidelity, it delves much deeper to type of people we are, the people we can be, and the people we love. Personal character, both weak and strong, and how that effects every aspect of a relationship, a sort of balancing act, is laid out in this film in a way that has make us examine our own motivations, proclivities, and inner demons. It’s maliciousness at it’s most poetic.

Friday, January 14, 2005

THE BOX: Abrams has more instore for ABC - with Cheri Oteri?


According to Zap2it.com, J.J. Abrams is looking to remake ABC one time slot at a time.

"J.J. Abrams has yet another pilot going for the 2005-06 season -- the third project for his company, Bad Robot, in the current development slate."

"The Bad Robot project is called "Pros and Cons." Written by Raven Metzner and Stu Zicherman ("Elektra"), it follows a group of con artists recruited to work for the FBI. Abrams will executive produce with the two writers."

"In addition to "Pros and Cons," Bad Robot is also producing a drama for ABC called "What About Brian?," and Abrams is working on a comedy project with "Saturday Night Live" alum Cheri Oteri. The "Lost" and "Alias" chief is also in line to direct two feature films: "Mission: Impossible 3" and the just-announced "The Good Sailor."

To read the entire article, click here.


POPCORN: Superman & DaVinci Casting News



Hugh Laurie, House on the new Fox drama of the same name, has joined the cast of Superman to play the editor of the Daily Planet. James Marsden has also joined the cast playing the love interest to Lois Lane being played by Kate Bosworth. Marsden worked with Superman director Bryan Singer on both X-Men films and Laurie's series is produced by Singer as well.



Jean Reno has teamed up with Academy Award winnersTom Hanks, Director Ron Howard, and writer Akiva Goldsman on The DaVinci Code based on the smash hit and controversial novel. The film is tentatively slated for a May 2006 release.

POPCORN: Last, but not Least… WGA delivers some love

Yesterday, the Writers’ Guild of America announced it’s nominations for achievements in screenwriting. This marks the last major guild to announce its contenders. I’m personally very excited to see Before Sunset, Mean Girls, and Garden State on the list as I feel they have been overlooked in this repetitive awards season. Also, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is very deserving of it’s nomination as it is my favorite movie of the year.

And the nominees are:

Adapted for the screen:



"Before Sunset": lead actors Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, and director Richard Linklater
"Mean Girls": Tina Fey
"Million Dollar Baby": Paul Haggis
"The Motorcycle Diaries": Jose Rivera
“Sideways." Jim Taylor and director Alexander Payne

Original:



"The Aviator": John Logan
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind": Charlie Kaufman
"Garden State": actor-director Zach Braff
"Hotel Rwanda": Keir Pearson and director Terry George
"Kinsey": Bill Condon

Thursday, January 13, 2005

THE BOX: Dangerous Liasons and other Family Lies on ABC

Lost 1-13 "Hearts & Minds"


Now, was anything really all that shocking? I don't really think so. So, I was right that there was no incest, but everyone else was right who believed Boone & Shannon got it on. How's that you say? Lost stole the Dangerous Liasons/Cruel Intentions plot of wealthy children raised as brother and sister though second marriages. In this case Boone's mother married Shannon's father when Boone was 12 and she was 8. The brother, Boone, then develops an unhealthy sexual fixation with his step-sister. The sister is completely aware of this and uses her sexuality to manipulate her brother into whatever she wants. The Lost plot doesn't stray too far from that senario. The twist is that Shannon fakes abusive relationships with men all over the world and calls Boone to her rescue. He pays off the man who then splits the profits with Shannon. In Sydney, Shannon's man of the moment bolted without sharing. She runs to Boone where they have a heart to heart and embark in some fun family fornication. Next day, plane goes down.

On the island, Locke uses Boone's obsession with Shannon to work some island mojo. Which unfortunately played too predictable following along the same lines of Jack, Charlie, and Locke's own experience with the island. Boone is confronted with a situation that will, as the proverb goes "kill him or make him stronger". Coming out alive and motivated, Boone experiences the necesary "relief" needed to let go of hope and the outside world and become one with his new home.



Elsewhere, Hurley is sick and makes up with Jin. Sayid is confused by polar magnetism when comparing a compass to the sun. Jack has a growing distrust of Locke. Kate and Sun start a garden.

Disappointment: I found this episode very disappointing as it played out exactly as one would expect. In fact, my main problem with the show is that is puts the same character through the same situations. I really wish the show would just move on to the bigger picture or do something different as this point. You know what "Lost Boys", we get it okay. We get it. You don't have to play out the same island mystery power again and again and again and agin, cut with flashbacks again and again and again. I'm much more interested in what's going on now. The Claire/Ethan and Sayid/Frenchie plotlines have the best going for them right now. As well as Locke, but do we really need to see him convert each castaway one by one to his side week after week?

New Info: Blood. As Spike once said, "It's always about the blood". It seem that there is a physical way to invoke the island power, mix the earth with your blood.

Real or Hallucinations? Are "the others" that Jack and Boone experienced in their releasing moments real beings or all in their minds? I think they are real, I think they are very real. The Island has the power to manifest thought whatever that thought maybe. The idea and concept of release is similar to that of worldly abandonment in the stages of Nirvana. How can there be two Shannon's? Easily, because that's what Boone needed.

Dead Again: Yes, still dead. The island is a test of release. I don't think the island is simply, purgatory in the way Catholocism would teach. It's more like a combition of eastern religions and possible occultist beliefs in inter-dimenions. I think Charlie is the key to everything. What did he see when he "died"? Ethan and the French lady I believe to be real, not coporeal hallucinations, but very real. I think they are still on the island because they refuse to give in, the refuse to let go. They're still on "level one" if you will.

Here's a look at next week's David Fury episode of Lost: "Special".



On the second hour of J.J. Abram's night, Alias's first post season openner did not disappoint.

Sydney and the APO gang have to take out a super computer. Syd tells her dad, Jack Bristow!, that she's going to let Nadia know that he ordered the hit on their mom. Syd knows you can't hide much from a black ops CIA agent, so she wants to be the one to share. Jack knows that Nadia will be gunning for him. He takes Nadia under his wing and leaks to her forged papers that indicate their current suspect is the one responsible for the death of her mother.

As my second week as an Alias watcher, I found this episode to be much more solid than the structure of "Authorized Personnel Only". The show could unfold as it needed to with out being stuffed with expostion to catch up us newbies and get all the familiars into APO. I might become an Alias fan yet.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

THE BOX: A Family Affair - Incest "Lost"?

Tonight's "must see" is the Lost episode "Hearts & Minds" that promises to reveal the "shocking truth" behind Boone and Shannon's relationship.



What ABC has to say:
"Hearts and Minds" - When Locke learns that Boone wants to tell their "secret" to Shannon, Shannon's life is placed in sudden peril, and the shocking truth about her past with Boone is revealed. Meanwhile, Kate is puzzled by Sun's mysterious behavior, and a hungry Hurley must repay a debt to Jin.

What's all the shock & awe about:
The popular online concensous is secret revolves around incest between the seemingly wealthy syblings. I don't see this at all. I see no clue of this in their relationship. I just don't see it happening. Personally, I have a feeling that Shannon was raped and/or abused and Boone feels the need to protect her. He too might have been sexually abused. He feels the need to be valued and acceptence, while Shannon closes herself off in false bravado. Come to think of it, do we even know that they are related at all?

Ian Somerhalder recently spilled some not so spoilerish beans to Zap2it:

"The island is starting to change people, and I think I'm the first one it's changed. All the things I didn't like about Boone, I now understand, and I'm looking forward to learning more."

Click here for the whole article.



As Shannon grows closer to Sayid, Boone's temper flares. Boone on the other hand is being seduced by Locke who offers the boy a purpose in the mad chaos of the island.

Lost airs tonight at 8 p.m on ABC.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

POPCORN: 2005

The Studios have “officially” released information on what they will be releasing this year. My early interest peaked films are marked.



Universal:
"The 40 Year Old Virgin," "Carlito's Way: The Beginning," "Cinderella Man," "Doom," "Inside Deep Throat," "The Interpreter," "Jarhead," "Kicking & Screaming,"* "King Kong," "Land of the Dead," "Nanny McPhee," "The Perfect Man," "Prime," "The Producers," "Serenity," "The Skeleton Key," "Two for the Money," "The Wedding Date," "White Noise"
*Will Ferrel stars, nothing to do with the underappreciated Noah Baumbach film.



20th Century Fox:
"Bandidas," "Because of Winn-Dixie," "Elektra," "Fantastic Four," "Fever Pitch," "Hide & Seek," "In Her Shoes," "Kingdom of Heaven*," "Little Manhattan," "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," "Rebound," "The Ringer," "Robots," "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith," "Stay*," "The Transporter 2," "Tristan & Isolde," "Lindsay Lohan 'Lucky' Project," "Untitled Mike Judge Project," "Walk the Line"
*KOH: Orlando Bloom & Jeremy Irons in an epic history set during the Crusades... How can this not be my most anticipated film of 2005?
*STAY: Hot cast, hot director, depressing premise... I'm there!"



Columbia (SPE):
"All the King's Men," "Are We There Yet?," "Bewitched," "Boogeyman," "The Cave," "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo," "Fun with Dick & Jane," "Guess Who," "Hitch," "The Legend of Zorro," "Lords of Dogtown," "Man of the House," "Memoirs of a Geisha," "MirrorMask," "Oliver Twist*," "Rent," "Stealth," "Ultraviolet," "Underworld: Evolution," "xXx: State of the Union," "Zathura"
*One Word: Polanski.



Warner Brothers:
"Batman Begins," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Constantine," "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Duma," "The Fountain*," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "House of Wax," "Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang," "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous," "Must Love Dogs," "Racing Stripes," "Rumor Has It," "A Scanner Darkly," "The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants,"
"A Sound of Thunder," "Syriana," "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride"
*Finally climbing out of development hell, No Brad Pitt, but Arronosky's long awaited third film might finally see the light of day.



New Line Cinema:
"Domino," "A History of Violence*," "King's Ransom," "Monster-in-Law," "The New World," "Son of the Mask," "The Upside of Anger," "Wedding Crashers"
* David Cronenberg, the master of twisted tales combining philosophical takes on technology and the human body, is back again with a premise that looks to provide the perfect outlet to twist our feebile minds.



MGM:
"The Amityville Horror," "Art School Confidential," "Beauty Shop," "Be Cool," "Into the Blue," "Romance and Cigarettes," "Swimming Upstream," "The Pink Panther," "The Woods"

Disney:
"Aliens of the Deep," "Annapolis," "Cars," "Chicken Little," "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe," "Dark Water," "Flight Plan," "Glory Road," "The Greatest Game Ever Played," "Herbie: Fully Loaded," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," "Ice Princess," "A Lot Like Love," "The Pacifier," "Pooh's Heffalump Movie," "Shopgirl," "Sky High," "Untitled Casanova Project"



Paramount:
"Aeon Flux," "Ask the Dust," "The Barnyard," "Charlotte's Web," "Coach Carter," "Elizabethtown," "Flora Plum," "The Honeymooners," "Last Holiday," "The Longest Yard," "Need," "Sahara," "War of the Worlds," "The Weather Man"



Dreamworks:
"Dreamer," "Just Like Heaven," "Madagascar," "The Island," "The Prize Winner of Defiance," "Ohio," "Red-Eye," "The Ring Two," "Wallace and Gromit: Tale of the Wererabbit"



Miramax:
"The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl in 3-D," "Backwater," "The Brothers Grimm," "A Confederacy of Dunces," "Daltry Calhoun," "The Dark," "Derailed," "The Great Raid," "Hostage," "The Magic Roundabout," "Passion of the Clerks," "Proof," "Sin City," "The Underclassmen," "An Unfinished Life"