Sorry, But I Hated The Avengers Monday, May 21 2012 


I know, I know, it’s like the coolest, most action-packed film of the summer. It’s making tons of money. It’s been hailed as one of the most successful blockbusters since Avatar. But I hated it.

Rampant with clichés, overly full 3D-action sequences, and seriously lacking any character development or original ideas, I thought it was a huge waste of time. Seriously, they have some severely talented actors, and this is what they come up with.

Highs:

The first time I laid eyes on Robert Downey Jr., in Iron Man, I was hooked. His charisma, confidence and bad-boy-comeback charm was perfect for the “billionaire genius playboy philanthropist” Tony Stark story.

His scenes were the bits of warmth of excitement in the overly ambitious Avengers. Oh, and the Gwyneth Paltrow inclusion made his scenes even stronger.

Jeremy Renner is the newest addition to my “I will watch him in anything” list (short list: Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio and Rachel McAdams, so far) and his rugged, tough guy Hawkeye character was pretty fun to watch. In a pure fluff entertainment way, not in a character development way that this Oscar nominee and Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol star is capable of. Looking forward to watching him in the new Bourne flicks!

 

Mark Ruffalo arguably provided the highest quality acting performance in the whole film. His brooding, guarded sexiness provided the only hints of tension and an actual plot. I thoroughly enjoy him as an actor, and felt that he too, was wasted in his scenes.

Lows:

Scarlett Johansson. I just. Can’t. Stand. Her. Every time she speaks I want to suck on a cough drop and then toss her several hundred.

Chris Evans. I never really understood the “heartthrob” appeal here. He’s utterly uninteresting, and by far the most dry character on screen. His whole “there’s only one God”-after he meets freaking Thor- is just trying way too hard to engage the whole 1940’s Captain America bravado. I wasn’t buying it. His only humorous part? His punching bag pets. And even then, super unoriginal and trying way too hard for a forced chuckle.

Samuel L. Jackson. He is probably one of the most intimidating actors in Hollywood- anything he touches usually turns to blockbuster gold. But here, his eye patch is so random, and all of his lines are so predictable that it’s almost hard to watch. He has made a great niche for himself by playing the same character over, and over, and over. Good for him, but he gets lost in an ensemble cast like this.

Chris Hemsworth. Some pure hunky beefcake opportunity was totally ruined by his wannabe Game of Thrones accent. Hopefully he pulls off the “hot and strong destructive force” better in Snow White and The Huntsman.

 

 

 

 

Also, sorry, but I just could not handle seeing Robin Scherbatsky in a tight black leotard.

All in all? A super unoriginal, unimaginative, trying WAY too hard attempt at a summer popcorn 3D blockbuster that is simply capitalizing on all the superhero redux movies of the past 10 years.  I’m sure it will still rake in the multi-millions, and congrats, because it sure looked expensive to make.

Have you seen The Avengers? What was your opinion? Maybe I would have felt differently-and less disappointed- if they didn’t show a FABULOUS trailer for The Dark Knight Rises right before this far inferior action flick?

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of marvel.com

second photo courtesy of digitalspy.co.uk

third photo courtesy of buzzbox.com

fourth photo courtesy of blog.zap2it.com

fifth photo courtesy of movies.gearlive.co

sixth photo courtesy of collider.com

seventh photo courtesy of moviefanatic.com

eighth photo courtesy of moviefanatic.com

ninth photo courtesy of thegate.ca

Cougar Town: TV’s Gal Pal Destination Wednesday, May 16 2012 

Monica Gellar- I mean Courtney Cox Argquette-’s fabulous TV show Cougar Town is quite the guilty pleasure. Shirtless 40-year-old guys, wine-drinking wives and lots of witty banter- what’s not to love?

While the show enjoys a brilliant cast, it’s future has been a bit up in the air lately. Will it be renewed? Will it be cancelled? When is it coming back? What night will it air? Will it be on TBS? ABC has been toying with the feel-good funny lady vehicle for what seems like forever. While certain aspects of the show have been uncertain, one thing is clear: girls rule. The power of one of Hollywood’s most lasting friendships has seen to that.

 

One of my favorite episodes (I must admit, I don’t watch the show every week, I catch it when it’s on and seek it out online later) featured Courtney’s 90’s partner in crime Jennifer Aniston. While I still quote the kooky therapist’s line (“My anger is a purple balloon…I just let go…”)

 

I’m sure I can’t be the only one who tuned in to see what Monica and Rachel would be like post-Central Perk.

 

 

 

But another almost equally-famous team of gal pals might save the small screen favorite. Cast member Busy Phillips has been vocal about her feelings towards the way the show has been treated.

The Dawson’s Creek alum has also spoken out about wanting her BFF Michelle Williams to join her on the show for some good hearted (certainly not Oscar-nominated) fun.

Since they’re often spotted on the Red Carpet together, why not bring the ladies back together in the cul-de-sac? If Monica and Rachel can weather the ages and reunite as totally different characters years later, why not Jen and Audrey?

 

What do you think about Michelle Williams appearing on Cougar Town? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of fanpop.com

second photo courtesy of homorazzi.com

third photo courtesy of fanpop.com

fourth photo courtesy of eonline.com

fifth photo courtesy of usmagazine.com

sixth photo courtesy of instyle.com

seventh photo courtesy of ibtimes.com

All Hail, Ser Jorah Mormont Tuesday, Apr 17 2012 

Today’s Game of Thrones obsession: Ser Jorah Mormont.

 

The fallen-from grace knight exiled from Westeros, dashing escort to Danaerys Targarean. Estranged son of Lord Commander Mormont of the Night’s Watch. I can’t really say more about him without tearing up or gushing, so we shall stop there.

 

His rugged good looks, charming persona and obvious-yet-honorable infatuation with his Khaleesi are enough to make us adore him, but it’s his real spirit and enigmatic Westeros back story that gives an entirely new angle to the Dothraki story lines.

 

After the death of Viserys, Ser Jorah is Danaerys’ only tie to her homeland, and her only “Common Tongue” companion for much of her journey. It is Jorah who tells her “There is no word for thank you in Dothraki,” and we can then see the fear in Dany’s eyes as Khal Drogo lifts her up onto her white horse to begin their wedding night.

He admirably watches her grow and embrace the Dothraki ways, and heartbreakingly watches her with Khal Drogo during the first book. Their journey together takes many turns, and of course it’s Game of Thrones, and thereby unpredictable. His acting in the last scenes of the amazing season one finale was the perfect mix of anguish and enthralled wonder.

 

The brilliant Scottish-born actor Iain Glen brings warmth and generosity to Ser Jorah, and delivers his memorable lines with the perfect mixology of charisma and pallor.

He also appeared in the wildly popular Downton Abbey and played Otto Frank in the 2009 miniseries The Diary of Anne Frank. I was delighted to stumble across an old (as in 2007) movie starring Colin Firth, Ben Kinglsey, Kevin McKidd (Dr. Owen Hunt!) and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, the adorable little boy from Love Actually, in a totally washed out epic of the Roman Empire. I watched for a few minutes, enjoying the Uncle Jamie action and mini-Love Actually reunion between my two favorite characters, when what do I hear but the gruff, refined voice of Ser Jorah Mormont! Looking exactly the same as on the plains of Vaes Dothrak in his glittering armor, there was Glen, appearing in this film as Orestes. I must admit, the fabulous ensemble cast was not enough to keep my interest, and since Glen’s character soon left the screen, I soon switched the channel.

 

Anyway, Glen’s energy as Ser Jorah Mormont is one of my favorite elements of Game of Thrones. His line “I believe what my eyes and ears report. As for the rest, it was 300 years ago. Who knows what really happened?” speaks to Danaerys’ inner conflict but is also a major theme of the entire series.

 

Besides Ghost, he may be my favorite supporting character.

 

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of imdb.com

second photo courtesy of page2rss.com

third photo courtesy of tumblr.com

fourth photo courtesy of iainglen.com

fifth photo courtesy of tumblr.com

Natalie Dormer, Please Don’t Ruin Game of Thrones! Wednesday, Apr 11 2012 

Those of you familiar with my Game of Thrones affinity (preceded of course, by my Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire obsession- get the difference? So glad.) will understand my skepticism, hesitance, and total on-the-fence attitude about the 2nd season of the HBO hit. They’re adding gratuitous, visually unappealing extras NOT in the book that add nothing to the character development or the remarkable brilliance of the show.

 

I won’t go into all the details (I hate you, Ros) but let’s focus on the newest face of the third episode: the lovely sort of black widow, Margaery Tyrell, played by Natalie Dormer.

 

Oh, Natalie Dormer, you clever girl, you certainly have made a cozy little niche for yourself, haven’t you? Landing the role of the brat in Casanova to Anne Boleyn to Margaery Tyrell. Then playing them with the exact same breathy tone of voice, exact same open-mouthed, wide-eyed fake innocence and the exact same spoiled smugness? I tolerated you as the doomed Anne, because you were fresh, and exciting and our peaches-and-cream complexion brought everything that The Tudors needed. Horrid acting aside.

 

She even brings with her some Tudors-esque boy-on-boy action (another gratuitous addition:the Loras/ Renly love story was of course alluded to in the novels, but we never saw a love scene. We already saw one in the first season, and we’ve already heard that Loras sneaks into Renly’s tent from the trailer.

Renly’s homosexuality was really only addressed in the book for a reason to explain why Margaery would still be a suitable wife for Joffrey.) If the third episode features more than a few glimpses of Loras and an overly-ambitious Margaery instead of focusing on Catelyn Stark’s interaction with Renly (sort of very important in the book!) I’ll be quite upset.

 

Natalie is certainly lovely looking, in an overly satisfied pug sort of way.

I think she is much more suited to the Margaery Tyrell role than she was for Anne Boleyn- a creature who should have been mysterious, captivating and utterly voluptuous but was doomed to an overly sexed teenager sort of portrayal. Margaery doesn’t need to do much except look pretty and rich- the costume department can help Natalie with half of that. She certainly isn’t bad-looking, only I wish she wouldn’t speak so much.

My biggest fault with this casting choice is perhaps the plethora of choices out there- the Thrones producers and casting agents couldn’t find anyone else who was willing to hang out in period costume for a few weeks? That’s all the Margaery role really calls for- sit next to King Renly, wear a crown, look shocked when he dies, sit next to King Joffrey, wear a different crown, look shocked when he dies. Did we really need to scrape up a Tudors sloppy second, and then allow her play the exact same character over again, bringing her overly breathy voice whispering in her kingly husband’s ear that she’ll give him a son?

It’s like Joffrey agreeing to marry Renly’s young widow as long just because she’s rich and beautiful….hmmm….

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of screenrant.com

second photo (as Anne Boleyn) courtesy of tvguide.com

third photo (as Margaery Tyrell) courtesy of chloe.burchata.com

fourth photo courtesy of the fashioninsider.com

fifth photo courtesy of thewertzone.com

sixth photo courtesy of wikifleet.com

Afternoon of Amazing: Glee’s “Somebody I Used To Know” Tuesday, Apr 10 2012 

The damn-catchy “Somebody That I Used To Know” is brought to new levels of brilliance tonight on Glee. I’ve watched this video probably 23 times. I also bought their version of the song on iTunes. No judgment, please.

Something tells me that Blaine Anderson was the actual trend-setter for Spring fashion, and had indeed been sporting that colored denim all winter. Impervious to fashion trends as he might be (complete with that top polo button that makes me want to be more violent to a button than ever before) Darren Criss has one of my favorite voices of like ever. His devastating rendition of “Somewhere Only we Know” is on my Top 10 list.

He executes the angst and repressed sibling rivalry-hopefully stemming from something a bit more substantial than a flashbacked big brother (looking creepily like Blaine’s main squeeze Kurt Hummel) holding a weird action figure just out of his reach.

He dramatically removes his cross-body bag at the precise moment to maximize the expression of his teen anger, and his poor biceps struggle to remain contained in that too-tight polo. Again, resist the urge to reach into your computer screen and remove his top polo button. You. Can. Do It.

Matt Bomer, another perfect creation of yumminess, then joins him on stage and assumes the perfect Les Mis-esque stance.

The two shoot dagger stares and scream at each other for the next eighty seconds, with enough smoldering drama and pain to satisfy viewers for the next two seasons. The clincher for me is Matt’s last shoulder shrug at the end of the number. Perfection.

His voice is pretty amazing, as well, which brings me to one of the most major questions of the day: why doesn’t Neil sing on White Collar? Are you listening, USA?

OMG, and Blaine’s brother’s name is Cooper Anderson. Trifecta of glory achieved, Glee! THIS is why I watch!

Will you be watching the new Glee episode “Big Brother” Tonight on FOX?

Media Credits:

link to YouTube video

first photo courtesy of popcrush.com

second photo (Darren Criss) courtesy of fanpop.com

third photo (Matt Bomer) courtesy of popwatch.com

fourth photo courtesy of popdust.com