Monday, December 22, 2008

Time to call a Spade a Spade-Shoddy Writing on Television

What is shoddy writing? It's a polite way for me to say Sh**ty writing. I'm singling out Heroes for this post. After watching the mid-season finale I have to say that it ended for me on a disappointing note. This has started to become a pattern with this show that when things don't work the way the writers/producers had intended they decide to sweep things under the rug and pretend they didn't happen. Who do you think you're fooling? Let me list a few that have troubled me:

1. No reference to the previous season and the fallout from that. What happened to Peter's romantic love interest who was stuck in the past?

2. What happened to Nathan's wife and kids?

3. I didn't think it was necessary to kill Elle off. If there were concerns about her schedule the perfect thing to do is have her leave the show for nine months and come back with a baby in tow. Before her and Sylar reunite she gets killed, and Sylar is left alone to raise their baby.

4. The whole Saw element of the finale didn't work. If you're going to put characters into situations that were suppose to test their moral/ethics let them make a decision. Don't have someone show up to save the day so they don't have to make that choice.

5. I would have liked to see Angela and Arthur face off again. I really think an opportunity was missed in not exploring their relationship. Found it interesting how he tried to control her by using mind control in the past.

Now let me move on to the things that are good.

1. I adore Daphne and Matt. There is something charming about this couple and they are the type of couple you root for to stay together.

2. Making Nathan a bad guy. I had watched Adrian Pasdar when he was on a show called Profit. Man was he evil on that show. This is a good direction to go with his character, because we know he isn't a complete bad guy and there is always a chance Peter could reach him and bring him back to the good side.

3. Happy that Micah will be in the next installment. Would love to see Tracy adopt him as if he were her own son.

There has been a lot of talk that Heroes needs to go back to its Season One roots, and that will solve all the problems of the show. I don't agree completely, I think the failure has been that they've gone away from the relationships that made this show successful. They weren't always the romantic type. You had love of a parent to a child (Claire and HRG, Micah and Nicki), brother to brother (Peter and Nathan), friend to friend (Hiro and Ando). Also, think they need to go back to the through line Tim Kring keeps bringing up: ordinary people who wake up one day and discover they have powers. I think we should never forget that they were average people like you and me. I still have high hopes for this show. Looking forward to the next half of the season.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Can't smile without you

If you watch Hellboy II: The Golden Army this song will stick in your head. There's a scene where Abe and Hellboy are listening to romantic songs. Abe is trying to get in touch with his emotions. They're both drunk and they start singing this song "Can't Smile without You". It's hilarious and they both aren't that bad at singing. I really enjoyed this movie, the pacing and the action sequences. I have to give props to the actors, animatronics controllers (don't know what you call the people controlling the facial movements) who embody some of the creatures in this film. It's hard sitting for hours being made up or being stuffed into a costume. However, I find that their performances carry a level of nuance, and I also believe that actors do better when they have something to interact with. I for one am not a fan of complete CGI. I still think it looks fake and cartoonish. However, I am a fan of combining animatronics and CGI. A couple of years ago I went to an exhibit on animatronics in films. The Chronicles of Narnia employed this technique with Aslan. If you want to see an earlier example go watch Labyrinth. It's amazing what Jim Henson was able to do. It also is still one of my favorite movies of all time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Death Note or as the Japanese say Desu Noto

I have to admit I've fallen under the spell of the Death Note. My favorite character is L and the Shinegami Rykuu. I've been recommending the live-action Death Note movies to friends. It seems that the rest of my friends don't agree with me and think I'm completely nuts for recommending the movie. I've heard criticisms about the series that it doesn't take a strong stance on Light Yagami's vigilante justice. Which is exactly why I enjoy it. How many times do you have to deal with a movie drilling its message over and over? I think a stance is taken but you aren't beaten over the head with it. The series through Light's actions take you on the journey to where you come to a conclusion about the character. Do you hate him? Is what he's doing wrong? I think there are a few key moments that define this character and by the end you see what kind of person he becomes. Check it out and let me know if you disagree?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

9021 Oh-no?

I've been watching the new 90210 in great interest. I was a fan of the show in Jr. High and that was the show everybody talked about the next day. I have to admit I stopped watching when Brenda left. So I watched the premiere and had lukewarm feelings about it. I saw various areas where it could be interesting. However, the inclusion of characters from the first incarnation I feel are detrimental to the show. They in fact are more interesting than the characters on the show. The only exception being the characters Dixon and Silver. Looks like they might be trying to break them up. That would be a huge mistake, because the other major coupling doesn't click. Annie and Ethan who are suppose to be the new Brenda and Dylan of the show. They have zero chemistry. In fact, I rather like her with Ty. I heard he is coming back to the show. Hopefully this will be to get them together.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Poor sportsmanship at the Olympics

I feel like this is a topic that needs to be addressed and is directed at all the athletes. I seem to be reading rather frequently tales of whining about losing and displays of bad sportsmanship. To add more salt to the wound is reading or watching newscasters engage in this behavior themselves by either paying lip service or chiming in. I find this disgraceful and it has made me decide to give up on the Olympics as long as NBC is broadcasting it. Trust me I don't change my mind easily. Let me lay my case down.

1. U.S. Olympics team's coach accuses Chinese team of having under aged gymnasts. She called them babies. Watching this part of the competition it seemed like the Chinese and U.S. were neck in neck and that it would be the mistakes that would cost either team the gold. Well, U.S. made some huge mistakes on the vault and floor exercises. One thing my 6th grade teacher had taught me was that it didn't matter if we won it mattered if we were good sports. I've read the U.S. gymnasts comments and they displayed integrity and good sportsmanship; however, their coach did not. I don't think the coach deserved the attention from the media or to have her case being splashed on the front pages of the news or blogs. She just sounded spiteful and instead of making excuses should have said my team is going to come back and get all the gold medals for the rest of the competition.

2. Coach Karrolli being interviewed by Bob Costas after Sacramone failed to get a medal in the vault. What did he say? He said that he felt the Chinese gymnast was scored too high and that's why his gymnast was shut out. I remember from watching it myself that Sacramone had the lowest point values for her vault and so it meant that she needed to be perfect. She wasn't and that's why she didn't win. I was so upset that they felt they needed to do this. I like how Coach Karrolli can complain about a Chinese gymnast beating his U.S., but would he ever have said that about a European gymnast. Case in point, Shawn Johnson bested out of a gold medal by a Romanian. No complaints from the coach.

3. NBC and their coverage. I hate their U.S. centric coverage instead of it being about the world coming together. I feel like the emphasis has been placed on winning instead of coming in and doing your best. When I was younger I remember not having to stay up till midnight to watch gymnastics. I remember watching stories about the other athletes of various countries and what struggles they had to go through to make their Olympic dreams come true. I don't get that ever since NBC took over the Olympics.

Let's go back to what the Olympics should be about. The world coming together to celebrate and rewards its athletes.

Friday, July 18, 2008

America's Best Dance Crew--a big mistake

I've been watching America's Best Dance Crew on MTV, before you roll your eyes. It is summer and there is hardly anything on. I don't pay $50 to watch nothing. Anyhow, I watched the last half of last season's and I found it enjoyable. After watching last night's episode I feel that the judges made a big mistake in cutting A.S.I.D., while the other group was good, ASID was better. I think they're dancing was more in line with Janet Jackson's and I loved last week's performance. They had one of the girls do a ballet type dance. I just like inventive dancing. The other group Supercrew while good at doing breakdancing isn't good at overall dancing. They only know how to break out tricks and that's it. That's not what this show should be about. I'll be cheering on the other crew and just hope these judges wise up and realize how Supercrew is just one note.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

First semester of Grad School--A lesson in massochism

My title sums how I feel about my first semester. If you want to really torture or wear yourself down grad school is the perfect place to go. All you will do is read and write papers. Your whole existence for a semester will be that you have to read this book or that article by Wednesday and be prepared to discuss it in class. I don't know what I was thinking after a seven year absence from university level work I decided to go back for my Master's. It's tough going back. It's hard to pick up where you left off. I often wondered if there was anything left in my brain or if I could will myself to finish that ten page paper by next day's deadline. All in all life is about picking yourself up and not quitting. I can't tell you how many time I wanted to give up. One thing stopping me is I would be throwing a thousand dollars down the drain, and the other is I can build upon what I did this semester.

Case in point, I finished a 10 page research paper for class. I was methodically about the research. I looked at every possible angle. I checked out 10 books here, printed 5 articles there. Returned the ones no good and chucked the articles that were not relevant. I think I did this for a month. I then put everything down on note cards and came up with the outline. In the middle of all this I developed a cyst on my back and the thing burst. So I ended up in the emergency room and was sidelined at the moment I was about to write the paper. I was keeping my fingers crossed that I could pull out a decent paper. I nervously finished it on time and e-mailed the prof my paper. Got an e-mail from the prof the next day and I was shaking as I clicked the link. I was thrilled that he thought it was a good paper, thought the research paper was impressive and the only thing that he didn't like was that I needed to edit the paper better. I'm taking it, for me the whole experience is not about the grade. It's about learning and re-learning how to do everything all over again. For those of you who are thinking of going to grad school or are. I feel your pain! I'd love to hear your perspectives on your experience, but I have a feeling when we are at the end of this journey and at graduation in our cap and gown we're going to think it was so worth it!

David Cook wins American Idol!

I know this is late, it's been about a week or so. But I have to say I'm totally enthusiastic that David Cook won American Idol. Simon really had me nervous when he had nothing but praise for David Archuleta while he criticized David Cook. I was nervous about his inaugural song, but "This is the Time of My Life" really fit him and it wasn't corny. I look forward to buying the album, hopefully they will give him either decent songwriters or allow him to write his own songs. He's such a gentlemen and he deserves to win.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The trouble with this Season's American Idol

I had pretty much abandoned watching American Idol during the season when it was Carrie Underwood/Bo Bice. The problem I always find myself in is that my tastes in music do not correspond to popular tastes. So when Bo Bice didn't win I said I had it and haven't watched since. Now that Itunes is offering sound clips (why didn't someone think of this earlier?) I tuned it to get a feel for this year's contestants. I have to say they confirm why I stopped watching in the first place. I think there are some talented singers, but the one thing they lack is stage presence. Too many of them seem intimidated and don't want to interact with the crowd. I can see this spelling the end of this show.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

All my Children is rocking with Angie Hubbard

It's been quite a rough year for All my Children. A lot of upheaval and stupid storylines. I can't blame the actors for wanting to leave. I have been watching soaps ever since I was a little kid and primarily ABC soaps. I listen at work on my tv radio from 12-4. I'm really don't like General Hospital and how it's being written. I prefer to instead talk about AMC and how much I love that Debbie Morgan is back as Angie Hubbard. She is breathing life into this show. I loved her opening scenes with Tad Martin. I teared up when she realized it was her son that was the patient she would be treating. I'm really interested in how they are going to work in Jesse. He had died from a gunshot wound and was a ghost on the show. Glad to have her back!

One thing I don't really care for is Rebecca Budig back as Greenlee. I have to admit that Sabine Singh grew on me and gave this character another side. Rebecca's acting is flat and lifeless and if they put her back Cameron Matheison's character I'm going to scream. Besides what is the point if she's only going to be on for a year?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

One Line Slams

Bored out of my mind with nothing new to watch on TV, I rented some movies. I've decided to created a section called one line slams. Basically I give a one line description of what I thought sucked about the movie.

Pirates of the Carribean: World's End
This movie made me feel like the world was ending because it seemed like the movie would never end.

Live Free or Die Hard
CGI action sequences can't live up to the real thing.

Rush Hour 3
You better rush and return without watching if you want to save a couple hours of your time.