SNL Weekend Update Thursday

Ultra-mega props to the cast and crew of SNL! They now have an entire episode of the Weekend Update that is to air on Thursday nights at 8:30EST. Let’s just hope they can improve their non-political skits so that people keep watching after the election. You can watch the full length episode on this site. It’s hilarious, but left me with a pit in my stomach thinking, “How did we reach the point where comedians are the watch dogs?”

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When I popped my can of Pringles and read “Design your own can…” I just HAD to!

Are you there, readers? It’s me, Blogret.

First and foremost, I obviously have no idea what I’m doing with this blog. I haven’t updated in how long?! I don’t even remember. EPIC FAIL!

Well, a few things have happened since I did update this last, which was in July when I wrote a nice review about a crappy movie. Oh and I have one draft saved on this thing that says, “Season 4 premier of Weeds was on last night.” I suppose that was a review of some sort, but c’mon, Sharon, you didn’t even italicize the show’s title. And what kind of sentence is that? You work in publishing for craps’ sake – get back on the ball!!! 

I just need to get it out of my system – Showtime is the best cable network right now for series. They’re on the ball with the dramadies that they are producing. Right now, Weeds, Dexter and Californication are my ‘holy trinity’ of current programming. Dexter and Californication both premiered on September 28th and are both two very strong, much anticipated episodes in. Great stuff! Dexter still has me on the edge of my seat and Californication  is still high comedy.

South Park premiered this past Wednesday and let me tell you, watching the “o face” of George Lucas is like staring Lucifer right in the face. Those poor animators. But it was hilarious and I love their biting satire, no matter what the subject matter is.

So, anyone read the news lately?

Revolver (2005) D+

The hazard of mail in Blockbuster DVDs is that sometimes you get DVDs in the mail that you forget you even wanted to watch in the first place. Kudos to whoever created the trailer for Revolver (2005), they did what the filmmakers couldn’t – made it interesting. Why don’t more trailer people make movies? That’s what I want to know! I mean, seriously, is there anything worse than seeing a CAPTIVATING movie trailer then to be disappointed when the movie sucks?! No. There is nothing worse. It makes me want to go and kick the trailer makers in the balls for being so good at their job. That’s not fair, I know, but neither is raising my hopes.

The film felt like watching two different equally mediocre films. It’s one of those movies where just when you think the plot is making sense to you it does something completely retarded like randomly make small characters important to the crux of the entire movie and rotoscoping. Yes, there is even random rotoscoping. I love a good rotoscope, but it should make sense and not be RANDOM! The individual scenes of this film are great. And it *could* have been fabulous, but it wasn’t. It just wasn’t. The only reason I gave it a plus was the fact that Ray Liotta was in it, but even that isn’t much of a saving grace.
There were some really cool trailers on it, though…

Katy Perry

Every so often, a new musician comes out that I get excited about. The thing with me is that I’ll sit and watch any movie or TV show at least once, but music has got to have some sort of real hook that gets me interested. Well, with song titles like, ‘I Kissed a Girl’ and ‘UR So Gay’ and Aaron telling me, “You are gonna love this!”, Katy Perry caught my attention.

A comment on emo “bois” and metrosexuals, ‘UR So Gay’ is a fun breakup song that is joyfully bitter as she sings, “You’re so gay and you don’t even like boys” with the most sarcastic of smiles and a twinkle of “f*** you” in her eyes. The snarkiness makes her truly a girl after my own heart.

‘I Kissed a Girl’ is a fun pop song (I know, pop POP?!… I can’t believe I willingly have it stuck in my head either). She has a very bold and signature look and graphic style and is different. She’s pop, but has a certain edge that makes her appeal to chicks like me – the smart, classy ones who aren’t afraid to stand out. She also has a genuinely fabulous voice. Her album, One of the Boys, comes out on June 17th and I can’t wait to hear it!

((Oh, and keep your eye out for my upcoming review of it))

Recount (2008) A+

Recount dramatizes the behind-the-scenes actions that took place during the historical 2000 election. This film is a timely reminder of the highly politicized and partisan legal machine that runs the United States and how much of a sham it is. From the very beginning, this film invites you to be a fly on the wall of Florida’s Election 2000 recount.

Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, Recount is punctuated with moments of wit and fantastically written dialog. Kevin Spacey, Dennis Leary and Laura Dern all give very enjoyable performances. Kevin Spacey’s portrayal of Ron Klain as the story’s determined hero pulled me in immediately and I knew that this political film would be anything but boring. Laura Dern’s performance of Katherine Harris would have been a hilarious caricature, if it wasn’t so on the nose accurate.

Recount is just like that movie that you watch in your high school history class that inspires you to learn more about American government. I applaud the decision to use archival news footage throughout as it really pulled me back to the year 2000 and added crucial credibility to the historic accuracy.

Whether you are Democrat or Republican, Conservative or Liberal Recount speaks to the American public as a country, not two parties as the film states in more than one instance. It reminds us that no matter who the players are what is most important is the fairness and objectivity of the process rather than the politics of the winning candidate. Its broadcast in this crucial election year is very timely and I hope that any American who sees this carries away a message of hope for the coming election. Hopefully, the politicos of all parties who will be involved in the 2008 election take from this film an important lesson in what it means to truly serve the people and stay true to the process of Democracy that should be something we can be proud of.

Cloverfield ****

Warning: Not for the weak of stomach.

Grab your Dramamine and brace yourself, the entire film is shot with a hand held camera. This technique is quite jarring and a cinematic language that is out of the norm. In fact the last big film that comes to mind is the Blair Witch Project (1999). Unlike its predecessor, however, Cloverfield (2008 ) is packed with action, suspense and best of all – monsters!

Drew Goddard the writer behind episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Lost and Alias teams up with J.J. Abrahms to bring big scary monsters to audiences. The movie starts very ominously with placards stating that the film is the property of the U.S. Government and includes a hint of Abrams mythology. After being introduced to the spunky, young leads: Marlena, Lily, Hud and Rob Hawkins mayhem and terror ensue as the bug/crab like creature, Cloverfield, tears through New York City.

I cannot comment enough on the hand held camera work and how appropriate it was for this story. The first person perspective gave it a bit of a claustrophobic tunnel-vision feel, but put you right in the action. Cloverfield is a commentary to the cultural phenomenon of “iReporting,” which has been made possible by Apple’s obsession to add an “i” to the beginning of everything. It is also made possible due to an increase in personal, user-friendly technology such as camera-phones. The filmmakers actually watched YouTube for phone videos from 9-11 and other disasters in preparing for this film, which they talk about on the DVD’s extras.

This movie is most fun on a stormy night with all of the lights off. Great for sucking you in and keeping you at the edge of your seat. Chock full of visual effects surprises, Cloverfield is an incredibly imaginative beast that is fascinating to watch – when you’re given a glimpse of him. Definitely one of the best suspense films I’ve seen in a while.

Juno **

I give the much-hyped film, Juno two stars.

What I didn’t like:

  • I felt the relationship between Juno (Ellen Page) and Bleeker (Michael Cera) could have been better developed. He felt like more of an accessory to the film than a pivotal character.
  • The music.
  • The dialog sounded very forced at times.
  • Its slow pace of the film lacks replay value.
  • The relationship between Juno and Mark Loring (Jason Bateman) was kind of creepy.
  • All the hype.
  • Jennifer Garner’s character.
  • Jennifer Garner. (just for Aaron, she really doesn’t bother me, but I do like watching her kick ass much more than play a yuppie)

What I liked:

  • Ellen Page
  • The film’s handling of a controversial and uncomfortable subject.
  • Allison Janney’s character telling off the ultrasound technician.
  • The way it ended.
  • The title sequence.
  • Jason Bateman
  • Michael Cera

The movie was definitely worth watching, however this character study lacked a certain depth and intimacy. The characters felt at an arm’s length because of the forced slang-filled dialog and its overall lack of relationship set up. We don’t even know who Juno is and the movie starts with her discovering she’s pregnant. From there a series of anticlimactic events ensue. For an emotionally charged issue this film treats pregnancy as more of an incidental medical condition than the start of a human life. As for the awards it was up for and won, I’m going to extend my humble opinion and say that I don’t think it deserved them.

The film did have some laughs and some nice moments. The performances themselves were also right on and the cast was mostly enjoyable to watch. So, go ahead and pick it up when you’re really bored one Friday night. Just don’t expect it to be the phenomenon it’s advertised to be.

“Subivor”

Every morning I grab a Metro paper on my way onto the PATH train. Nothing satisfies like McNews on a crowded train! The front page has the following headline: “City not sold on ‘Subivor'”. What is ‘Subivor’? Is it a failed reality show? Could it be a 15 minute of fame faux celebrity with a ridiculous story? No, no, it’s an emergency kit that for just $27.99 is going to save your life! You can read about it here.

Pretty genius, huh? And a gosh darn cheery web page to boot! The blossoming entrepreneur, David Ruggiero, is ironically more optimistic about his ability to sell these kits to New Yorkers than he is about the subway system. Let’s see what’s in it:

5 inch Flashlight – Ok, that’s handy.

Anti-fog mask – Definitely don’t need a disaster to want one of these!

Moist towelette – I didn’t know disasters came with honey bbq spareribs.

Metal whistle – Seriously?!

7-inch Pry Bar – Perfect for prying flesh off the bones of fellow commuters after no one hears your whistle and you turn to cannibalism.

Way to profit off of our fear culture, David. Oh, wait… you didn’t. Thankfully people are smarter than to shell out almost $30 for a carry case full of objects they may never use. A 7-inch pry bar in the event of a subway emergency is about as useful as the duck and cover advice for surviving annihilation. I guess people won’t buy anything. Who knew?

Housekeeping Decisions

Happy Friday! TG, right? Thanks for those of you who commented on my first blog post, I wrote another one for you to grace your insights with. Thank you in advance and you’re welcome. 🙂

The past few years, I have noticed a trend of me lacking follow-through when it comes to my own ventures, which bothers me on a variety of levels. This is my launch-pad for reawakening my creativity. In the interest of maintaining this blog and garnering readership of it. I have come up with a very basic format:

  1. 2-3 times a week I will create a 200-500 word blog entry.
  2. On the last day of the month, I will give a basic review of any films that I’ve seen in the preceding 30 days. I would also like to include the TV shows that I follow. Since I’m planning such a brief overview, I think this is feasible. Plus, I don’t follow too many shows.
  3. Also, on the last day of the month I will post an essay that will be developed throughout the month concerning an issue in mass media. I particularly enjoy watching films and shows (old and new) and picking out their relevance to the real world and current events.

So, there you have it. I think that those are realistic goals considering that I always am commenting on and picking apart mass media, popular culture and politics, now, I’m going to put it to good use.

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