May 2010 - Posts
An Education is the coming-of-age story of a teenage girl living in the UK during the early 1960s. Jenny's growing up in the suburbs of London and her father drives her rather mercilessly in the effort that she attend Oxford. But he is not mean and her rebellion against her parents takes the form of reading The Stranger, listening to French pop music and smoking cigarettes with her friends. She's just waiting until she moves off to college when she can openly read, listen to and do what she wishes.
Then, while standing in the rain waiting for a ride, a man in his 30s pulls up and offers to give her cello a ride. This amuses her and puts her at ease to the point where she eventually gets into the car as well. His name is David and after some pleasant chit-chat about music she leaves the automobile and enters her building.
Not long after she runs into David and he invites her to a concert with some friends. He sweet-talks her parents and thus begins Jenny's introduction to a world of fine dining, concerts, films, art and travel. She is as much in love with the colorful life outside of the London suburbs as she is David, but she finds that everything is not as it seems. And then she forges ahead, throwing caution to the wind. She becomes the envy of her classmates and the worry of her teachers.
I found the movie to be very well done. I am very drawn to the time period (the newly popular Mad Men era) and found it interesting to come at it froma British rather than American perspective. The acting is outstanding. Carey Mulligan is going to be a movie star for years to come and Peter Sarsgaard is great as usual. The story is engaging with a slightly creepy undercurrent. As a fan of coming-of-age tales, this one fits the bill.
LOST is ending this Sunday night with a 2.5 hour finale that will no doubt leave me in ruins. I thought it only fitting to celebrate the occasion with some LOST links.
Better Off Ted
Fools. You're all fools. Easily the funniest show on television the past two years. Funnier than Modern Family and/or the last two seasons of The Office and 30 Rock. That's right I said it. It needed to be said.
Interesting premise, boring execution. The pilot was sharp, but the rest of the series was dull. I gave up after the first five or six episodes.
This should have happened years ago. After the writers strike, NBC dumped the show and ABC resurrected it. Have we learned nothing from "Pet Cemetery?" Dead is dead.
Law & Order
I knew it had to happen, I just never thought it actually would. I'll probably feel the same way when Abe Vigoda
kicks the bucket.
Not in the least bit surprised. First season was fun, but then all the characters turned into cry babies. On top of that, they had giant time travel paradoxes they never bothered to resolve. All that does is hurt my brain.
I watched the first season on the premise alone and never came back. I still don't understand how they got eight seasons out of it.
The Sarah Silverman Program
Here's a list
of all the shows we lost this season. May they rest in peace.
Finally, the summer movie season has begun! Iron Man 2 is here! Entering the theater I was actually a little giddy. I have a soft spot for comic book films, and that's exactly what Jon Favreau delivered.
Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark to a T with his rapid verbal delivery system. Sam Rockwell plays Justin Hammer, a Tony Stark wannabe trying to make his own Iron Man suit. He's a villain, but not the diabolical-laugh kind. Mickey Rourke plays the true villain, Ivan Vanko, a man hell bent on destroying Stark. Unfortunately Rourke did not sell me on his performance or his Russian accent. His character motivations and background story are weak, which didn't help.
Frankly, all the hurdles for Tony Stark in this film are kind of flimsy. He's dying of palladium poisoning from his implant (Science can fix that), his best friend Rhodey (Don Cheadle) stole his spare Iron Man suit (I'm sure they'll make up by the end), he has to fight an entire army of droid Iron Men (Cause what else could he possibly fight besides some other type of Iron Man?) and at no point do I feel that any main character is in any real danger.
But in the end, I realized something: it's a comic book movie. There is a man flying around in a giant metal suit powered by a glowing orb in his chest. Realism is not the goal here. It's about entertainment. Over analyzing only takes away from the enjoyment. It's simply good clean summertime fun.
P.S. Be sure to stay through the credits, especially if you're half excited as I am for the Avengers.
Two movie trailers were popular amongst the fellas here this week.
The first movie, The Expendables, is about the world's greatest mercenaries (I believe an industry trade magazine ranks them annually). We learn they've only known war and are a tight group. Presented with a new job and a bag full of money, they take it. Turns out the mission is different than normal -- it is "for something that counts," and offers the possibility of "changing history."
In Machete, a Mexican man is looking for menial labor when he is offered a large amount of money to assassinate a politician. He is then double-crossed, which leads him to not only seek revenge, but to lead a sort of uprising involving several low riding vehicles with hydrolics. He both "knows the score" and "gets the women."
Both of these movies are nods to movies from the 80s and earlier. The casting decisions are definitely a hat-tip to the movies many 25-40 year old guys grew up enjoying.
The Expendables features Jet Li, Jason Statham and the late Brittany Murphy with old schoolers Sylvester Stalone, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger (the latter two seem to be cameos). Machette stars Danny Trejo (who's in The Expendables too!), Jessica Alba, Lindsey Lohan and Michelle Rodriguez. The older contingent is Robert DeNiro, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson and Steven Seagal. More obscurely, you'll also notice Tom Savini and Jeff Fahey.
My only complaint is that neither film found room for Van Damme.
"I'm laughing cause crying would be sad."
Conan O'Brien, finally free from contractual obligations, spoke to 60 minutes last night about losing the Tonight Show, Jay Leno, his multi-city tour and moving to cable. It's nice to finally be able to hear his thoughts on what happened, cause we can't all get the Oprah treatment like some people
. If you're looking for a laugh, I suggest you look at the extra clips, which include a ride in Conan's Ford Taurus.
Check it out