Monday, March 31, 2014

How I Met Your Mother 2005-2014-Obituary and Autopsy of a series finale

What do you get when you cross a good cast to play a gang of friends who you may not hang out with but work well together and a silly, is this series really going to be worth watching title? The answer is the sweet and "wait for it" touching How I Met Your Mother. I didn't know what to expect from this show but I tuned in anyway and for nine seasons I watched and enjoyed this perfect TV series.

There was Ted Mosby played by the charming Josh Radnor, Ted was an architect turned professor and the one who told the story about meeting the title character to his to teenage children each week (as Bob Saget's voice intro each tale). His best friend was Marshall "marshmallow" Erikson played by the wonderful Jason Segel. Marshall was a lawyer who wanted to help the environment and madly in love with his college girlfriend turned wife Lily Aldrin played by the lovely talented Alyson Hannigan. Lily or Lily pad as Marshall called her was a kindergarten teacher who really wanted to be an artist, the two would have a son named Marvin waitforit Erikson. Then there was Barney Stinson played by the great Neil Patrick Harris. Barney always wore a suit and looked his best whether at work or out getting another woman into bed but the one he would surprisingly want to stay was Robin Scherbatsky played by the awesome Cobie Smulders. Robin who was a teen pop sensation in Canada and grew up with a father who wanted a son moved to NYC and became a local news reporter. Each week the gang met at MacLaren's Pub to tell their stories...

And there were some good ones like when Ted stole the blue French horn for Robin or the time he bought and wore bright red cowboy boots. There was the time Barney wanted to find his real birth father after believing it was Bob Barker for years. There was the time Lily broke up with Marshall and moved to San Fransisco to pursue her artist dream.

There were many more stories to tell and Ted used every one to explain how he finally met the one. Each week I watched and laughed when the characters laughed and cried when they cried (spoiler alert-Like when Marshall's father died and unlike with his mom or brothers he didn't think his father left him with worthy last words).

I raise one final beer at MacLaren's to the cast and crew (including director Pamela Fryman and 2 2ed AD Chris Hyssong). Thank you for spending part of your lives making this series for those of us who watched (and to those who didn't can always catch it in syndication).
Carter Bays and Craig Thomas created one heck of a good show!
How I Met Your Mother will be missed but never forgotten.

My thoughts on the series finale...Two weeks later-Spoilers

A week after it aired fans were still talking about the series finale of How I Met Your Mother, some thought the series ended just right but most were very disappointed. Now I feel that I MUST add my voice to all the talk...

The last episode may not have been the ending some wanted, it may not have been the happy fairy tale ending others expected, hell even I was shocked at what happened but after thinking about the show for 24 hours and taking it all in I realized it was the RIGHT end for this particular series. Why?

First of all there was a build up to Barney and Robin's wedding that annoyed some viewers. You have to remember that the final season took place over a weekend (20 episodes in 2 days) so what was months to us was just days to the characters. Yes the episode before the finale had a wedding and yes it was short and we didn't get to hear the vows but it was beautiful and sweet and there was a ring bear:). Then there was the last episode which again played with time by showing viewers 10 years in one hour. It was quick and yes I was sad and felt a little cheated that we only saw one quick scene of their marriage when Barney and Robin announced their divorce but when you take the time to think about it most marriages are boring and from what they said I don't think I wanted to see anymore. As for the other characters we finally learned the mothers name and she and Ted seemed truly happy he wouldn't have stayed be her bed in the hospital if he didn't love her and the two kids they shared. If you wanted a cookie cutter ending all you have to do is look at Marshall and Lily, who had a couple more kids and Marshall became a judge with a promising political career (with his concern for the environment I would vote for him for state supreme court). Marshmallow and Lily Pad 4ever:) Then there is Barney, the only girl he could truly care for, put first and love is his daughter.

Second if you look at the series as a whole it was about a group off friends trying to figure out life. Ted was the narrator and honestly a lot of the episodes were about him and/or Robin and how they fitted into the gang as friends, lovers, someone to talk to about friends and lovers. The real question that no one was asking for 9 season was -Where was the Mother when Ted was telling his kids the story? Why didn't she ever pop in to help tell the story? How could she not interrupt and have her feelings hurt by the way Ted spoke of Robin? In the end his son understood Ted was taking the long way around getting permission to ask Robin out, Why didn't we the viewers!?  

In conclusion as in real life there are times when men and women have more then one love and it is okay for lost love to return after true love dies.
To quote another TV series that was about a group of F*R*I*E*N*D*S living in NYC and trying to figure life out -after all "She's his lobster"

I hope that clears things up and makes those who were angry feel better. After all it was just a TV Show and it did answer the title question, How I Met Your Mother.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Psych...OUT 2006-2014

Two years before The Mentalist the USA Network pemeried an orginal series with a short one word title-Psych.

A sweet and funny show about a guy named Shawn Spencer (James Roday). You see Shawn was good, really good at finding and deciphering clues at a crime scene but never wanted to join the police force so along with his childhood friend, Burton "Gus" Guster (Dule Hill) started a "Psychic" Detective Agency. Together with the Santa Monica police department which included Detectives Carlton "Lassie" Lassiter (Timothy Omundson), Juliet O'Hara (Maggie Lawson) and chief Karen Vick (Kirsten Nelson), and sometimes Shawn's father Henry (Corbin Bernsen) would join and for over 100 episodes they solved cases.

When each, pineapple, episode aired I smiled throughout the hour.
With each nickname Shawn introduced Gus I laughed.
I understood most of the pop culture references and there were many.

From the theme song, "I know you know I'm not telling the truth..." to the Psych-out bloopers during the final credits I enjoyed every minute.

Here is to the cast and crew of this silly and perfect little show, you will be missed. Thank you for sharing 8 years of your lives with all of those who watched.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

flash fiction challenge accepted #1- written by me

                                                       The Ritzy Peacock
  1 part blue curacao 1 part champagne a shot of vodka (cotton candy flavored) and a splash of orange juice on ice-

She stood in the middle of the busy city sidewalk and looked up at the tall building. She grew up in the “middle of nowhere” so for her the city was large and new. She didn’t know what drew her to this building but she could not move as people and vehicles quickly went by. The sounds and world seemed to disappear. A man who knows the city well is not looking where he is going when he runs into her and they fall to the ground.
“I am so sorry” says the man as he gets back onto his feet, he lends her a hand and helps her up

“Its fine, I’m fine I’m sorry I must have been daydreaming.”

“A dangerous thing to do especially at rush hour. Can I help you with anything?”

“No yes I mean…there is something about this building.”
“Have you been here before?”“No”

“Maybe if you come inside, something will come to you? I live on the sixth floor”

The woman hesitates “I shouldn’t, I…

The man quickly answers “I’m not a rapist or serial killer and if you still don’t trust me there is a little old lady who lives across the hall, I could ask her to join us.”

“I’ll take your word for it” He takes his keys from his pocket and opens the door. She follows him to the elevator and they ride up to the sixth floor. He holds the doors open for her as she steps out. He walks in front as the two move down to the end of the hallway. While he is opening his door the little old lady opens hers.

“Good afternoon Mrs. L.”

“Hello Gabriel how were the cookies?”

“As tasty as always, thank you again.” Mrs. L closes her door. “Told you” The woman smiles and they enter his apartment.

“Would you like a drink? He opens the refrigerator “I have Diet cola, Root beer, real beer and white wine.”

“Wine please.”

He opens the wine and pours two glasses, the woman walks over to the large window facing the same street where they ran into each other and looks out. The man walks over to her and hands her the glass. “In case you missed it my name is Gabriel, Gabriel Thatcher.”

She shakes the hand he holds out and responds “Matilda Williams” She continues to look out at the city “When I was looking up at the architecture I noticed a name but couldn’t read it what did it say, if you don’t mind my asking?”

“Not at all-The Ritzy Peacock” Matilda smiles again, Gabriel continues “I know a horrible name. In the 1920s and 30s this was a classy hotel with the best bar in the city.”
They stare out the window in silence.

Gabriel finishes his glass and speaks first “Nice view, isn’t it?”
“Buildings, traffic, people typical city stuff.”

“Said the girl who’s never been to the city.”
“How did you know?”

“The way you look at the buildings, traffic and people.”
Matilda is now finished with her wine “Thank you for the drink but I should get going. She starts to walk to the door.

“Jake Ennis”
Before her hand touches the doorknob she turns and asks “Who?”

“A man who lived in this building and was part of that view every day for eight years.”
Matilda sits on the couch I could have another glass if you want to talk about him.”

Gabriel pours two more glasses of wine and sits on the couch next to her “Jake was my friend since grade school. After college he came to the city to make a name for himself, the business world was too much for him and when the economy got bad he got a job as a high school teacher for economics. He took the subway to work every day and would walk the last three blocks. That day he was rushing home to meet me for dinner. I was in town for a meeting and I wanted to ask him to be m best man.”
“You’re married?”



“Jake wasn’t paying attention when he was crossing the street and didn’t see the cab with the driving who was more concerned with his passenger then the road. When I got to the hospital the doctor told me he died instantly and felt no pain. I’m sure he felt pain, how could you not?” He looks at Matilda who looks as if she is about to cry.

She responds “I am so sorry”

“After a postponement for the funeral I got married but I guess I never got over the What Ifs and a year later I was divorced the apartment was still up for sale and I moved in.”

“You moved into your dead friend’s apartment, you didn’t think that was…”

He interrupts “Strange, stupid, not in my right mind?”

“You admit it’s odd.”

“At first I wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing but once I got all my stuff here I...well to be honest I don’t believe in spirits or an afterlife but I got settled and three years later it feels right living here.” 

Again her glass is empty, she places it on the table in front of the couch “Thank you for the wine and conversation. It’s getting late and I have an early flight I should leave.”
Matilda stands to put her coat one when Gabriel takes her hand “If you want to stay a little longer I could make some tea and tell you more about The Ritzy Peacock?”
She sits down “I haven’t been here for very long and it is beginning to grow on me, Mrs. .L is still across the hall and I can always take a later flight. Yes I would like to hear more, if it’s good?”

“Trust me what I have to tell you is good and will be worth your night” he walks to his kitchenette and fills a kettle with water and places it on the stove to boil. He then disappears out of Matilda’s eyesight but returns quickly with a red folder. He sits next to Matilda and opens it, the folder is filled with paper copies of articles. “About a year ago a ran into a man, he must have been in his 60s and when I told him where I lived he told me a story that his grandfather told him once when he was a boy that was difficult to forget. I couldn’t stop thinking about what he had told me and went to the library to do my own research.  As I said this building was a fancy hotel with a nightclub and opened its doors in 1919. Everyone knew it was run by the mob but no one talked about it and the police force was corrupt so they were allowed to do what they did to survive.” The kettle whistles, Gabriel goes to make the tea, Matilda looks through the articles.

He asks “Sugar or lemon?”

“Two spoons of sugar.”

He stirs the tea and rejoins Matilda and continues the tale “When you entered into our beautiful foyer where the guests checked in, I don’t know if you noticed but there were two large gold colored doors to your left with a giant lock. That was where all the glamour happened.”
Matilda is intrigued with the story and has not touched her tea.

“The men were handsome and the women were stunning. The waitresses were the best in the city and always drew in the customers. Each wore a broach of a peacock with diamonds as eyes. They even named a special drink after the place. One evening a soldier in uniform walks into the club and sits at the bar, he orders a drink and speaks to no one as the other guest mingle and a piano plays. One of the waitresses’ walks up to the mic, later that night the man would write in his journal that he thought she was going to make an announcement but when she began to sing he instantly fell in love. He got another waitress to tell him her name and to give her a note. The note read my name is Captain Donald Davidson and I would like to buy you a drink. Later that night she told a friend that she never accepted a drink while working but it was five years after the war and he was still wearing the uniform which was tattered and dusty and she felt bad for him.”

Softly Matilda responds “He was still living the war that was suppose to end all wars.”

“PTSD wasn’t a thing in 1923 but they talked the rest of the night. Her name was Betty and she fell madly in love with Donald. The problem was he was from a wealthy family, she was just a singer and although Donald joined the army to leave his wealth and family his parents still did not want him around her.”

Matilda interrupts “Juliet and her Romeo

Gabriel continues “Donald refused to obey his parents moved out of their mansion and got a room at the hotel. Every night he would watch Betty perform and when her shift was over they would return to the room and well we can only imagine what happened behind closed doors.”

Matilda smiles a small smile.

Gabriel returns the smile “It didn’t make Donald’s family smile nor did it make Betty’s ex happy. His name was Vincent Cannoli, head of the Italian mob and owner of The Ritzy Peacock. He would watch the two every night and when he noticed Donald’s uniform was pressed, cleaned and holes sewn he knew something was up. According to one police report he cornered Donald in the bathroom and had two of his men beat him till unconsciousness and another said Betty came into the precinct with letters written in blood of death threats to her and Donald. The Chief of police said there was nothing he could do. The next day when Betty was alone in the club a deputy came in and asked to meet with her and Donald. That night they met at a restaurant outside the city and he told them his name was Timothy Murray and his uncle was the police commissioner who was trying to clean up the city from corrupt police and the mob. When Timothy told his uncle about Betty and Donald he asked to meet with them. The three left the restaurant and when they got to the police commissioners home he asked for their help. Betty was hesitant at first but Donald talked her into it. In the following weeks Betty learned of a meeting between Vincent and the Chief. The two met at a warehouse the police were there, there was a gun fight, Vincent got away and the chief was killed. That night according to one of her final journal entries thinking they were safe Betty and Donald celebrated and Donald purposed but not wanting his parents to find out gave her a jeweled encrusted peacock broach instead of a ring. A month later the two were found dead in their hotel room, only the peacock was missing. The case was never solved, according to the final police report some believed the mob, others said Donald’s family and some decided it was a murder/suicide. In the end my research lead me to believe it happened in this apartment

Matilda’s eyes widen “Please tell me you’re kidding”
He shows her an old photo of the couple, they walk to the window and place the picture and view side by side, the view outside the window had not changed.

Matilda looks out the window then back at the photo “Is it just me or do they look a little like us?”

Friday, January 24, 2014

American Hustle by filmmaker David O. Russell

The Year-1979     The film-American Hustle
Directed by David O. Russell and written by Russell and  Eric Warren Singer this little known true story is about a con man, Irving Rosenfeld played by Christian Bale who takes money from unexpected people wanting to have a little more security in their life. At a party he meets a seductive woman, Sydney Prosser played by the always amazing Amy Adams  and together they set up a fake bank and con more people willing to hand over their savings. That is until FBI agent Richie DiMaso played by Bradley Cooper catches them, instead of sending them off to federal prison he talks them into pulling a large and complex con. The three enter the dangerous and intriguing world of the New Jersey mafia as they try to take down a up and coming mayor played by Jeremy Renner. What happens next, not even Irving's unpredictable and unloving wife Rosalyn played by Jennifer Lawrence knows but she is willing to help out.

Nominated for 6 Academy Awards including best director, original screenplay and all 4 acting categories this fun fast pace film is so enjoyable to watch that when it is over you won't know what happened, in a good way. The characters are unbelievable yet they could be your next door neighbor. It is the late 70s which alone make the hair, make up and costumes worth seeing.  Like in the opening scene which has an almost unrecognizable Bale, a little "heavier" then real life and combing his "hair" to perfection. The low cut dresses worn by the woman are shimmering and shiny. Then there is the music- The songs are from the time period but each one herd in the background has lyrics and feels fitting and perfectly into what is happening on screen. For a good time at the cinema check out American Hustle.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Place Beyond the Pines-The personality of a film

Did I ever tell you about the time John "Cougar " Mellencamp waved to me? It was in the summertime and the sun was out with a chance of rain, I was home from college and a film was being made in my home city of Rochester NY. I was dropped off at the location in which the cast and crew were filming that day, I sat on a bench on the bridge that overlooked the scene they happen to be shooting. From breakfast to sometime after lunch I stayed to see what I could. Then somewhere in between getting wet from the river and the afternoon rain Mellencamp was able to leave his trailer and gave a quick wave to those of us watching from above. The independent film is called After Image and if you can find it I suggest giving it a watch-10 years later and another small film has been made in a place close to my heart...

A Place Beyond the Pines directed by Derek Clanfrance and written by Clanfrance, Ben Coccio and Darius Marder is one story with three separate parts and takes place in a city I have visited (once or twice during my life)
The story starts with Luke played by the aways wonderful Ryan Gosling. Luke is a motorcycle stuntman for a travelling carnival. When this job brings him back to Schenectady NY, he runs into an ex-girlfriend (Eva Mendes) and learns that he is the father to her baby boy, Jason. The new love Luke has for his son sends his life into a downward spiral leading to the second part of the film and introduces Schenectady cop Avery played by always lovely Bradley Cooper. Avery has a young son of his own named A.J. and as a heroic cop his tale is one of drugs, money, corruption on the police force, family and fame. It is that love and sense of family that takes us into the third and final chapter-Jason and A.J are now teenagers and meet when A.J. transfers to Jason's school bringing more trouble for all involved.

A good story and excellent acting make any film worth watching and A Place Beyond the Pines have both including fine performances by Ray Liotta, Rose Byrne, Emory Cohen and Dane DeHaan.
That being said there are those movies in which the town/city where the story takes place plays a major role in the production and to what the audience sees on scene. NYC, L.A, Chicago and London to name a few are all nice places to watch and I hope to visit but out smaller cities can have just as much as an impact on the viewer and Schenectady proves the point. I spent many days "going over the river and through the woods" to visit my grandmother who lived there. Also by chance it was were my sister and her husband got married. When you see a place you have been and know, when a character reads the local paper a copy of "The Daily Gazette" and you remember waking up and seeing the same paper spread out on the kitchen table or another character mentions the name of a road you have travelled on many times, when there are buildings in the background that you have passed and when Bradley Cooper's character is campaigning for a state office and his staff talks to him about touring the other cities of that state like Buffalo and having to "prepare him for eating a garbage plate" in Rochester one (me) can't help but smile while watching.

But the scene that really got me and stood out is the one where Avery (Cooper) is accepting accommodations for the work that his has done as a cop. There is a press conference for him at Schenectady's City Hall and I swear to you 2014 Academy Award nominee Mr. Bradley Cooper is standing right where my sister stood as the Mayor married her and her husband. The scene makes me so happy!

In the end it really is all about location location location in a small film called A Place Beyond the Pines.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Anchorman 2-funnier then the reviews say

When I first learned of a sequel to the 2003 movie Anchorman I was actually excited and knew that no matter what I would have to see it. I did and unlike some I was not disappointed. I went into the theater not expecting much but I was hoping the new film would make me laugh. Laugh I did!

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues written by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay and directed by McKay picks up in a new decade at a time when Ron (Will Ferrell) and Veronica (Christina Applegate) are married and have a young son. When Veronica is promoted and Ron fired they go their separate ways until a new character Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker) offers him a new job. Ron gets his news team from the first movie Brick Tamland, Brain Fantana, and Champ Kind (Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechenr) back together and the insanity begins...

A rich mogal,, think Ted Turner meets Richard Branson, named Kench Allenby (Josh Lawson) and a television news producer named Linda Jackson (Meagan Good) tell them about their plan to start the first 24 hour news network. When our news team gets high ratings during the 2am hour by telling the American people what they want to hear and not what has happened in the days news (much like today's 24 hour news) the guys beat their new foe Jack Lime (James Marsden) are famous and loved by the viewers once again.

I went into this movie not expecting anything new and that's what I got but there is still plenty to laugh at in this typical comedy. I don't want to give anything away but the funniest scene in the first Anchorman (in any film comedy) is the fight between the local news network, every time I flip through the channels and see Anchorman, if the scene hasn't passed by I will always watch until I see it and laugh out loud making my day better. I'm not saying this happens again in part two but I was smiling by the time the credits were rolling.

If you have the time and need something to do check out Anchorman 2 The Legend Continues.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Farewell to The 11th Doctor aka Matt Smith

Dear talented, fun, adorable,sweet Matt,

When you as the 11th Doctor crashed landed into a young Amy Pond's backyard with a new face I didn't know what to expect and I am sure you felt the same-

Who is this new Doctor?
Am I going to like him?
What will he be like/Will I like his new attitude?
I hope he makes me laugh and care about the character like the guy before him did?

With your different colours of "cool" bow ties, a tweed jacket and suspenders (sometimes a Fez) you quickly showed me who you were and I was glad to get to know you.

You traveled with Amy, Rory and Clara.
You met Vincent Van Gogh, fought pirates, married River, played with a triceratops on a spaceship, helped Russians (during the cold war) in a Submarine and once again came across and fought Daleks, Cybermen and The Weeping Angels.
You turned 1200 years old and celebrated 50 years on television, although you don't look a day over 25.
And saved the world many more times.
Most importantly you introduced the world to fish fingers and custard.

From 2010-2013 as 10 did before you, you made me laugh and cry and even frightened at times. As The 11th Doctor you were always a joy to watch. Each episode was as entertaining as a good show should be.

 As The Doctor you proved me wrong when I wrote

Ode to the tenth Doctor--- January 7, 2010
 No Doctor ever was or could ever be as wonderful as he.
Wearing a suit of brown, sometimes blue, a long flowing coat and high top shoes
He with Rose, Martha, Donna and friends battled Cybermen, Darleks and all villains till he won in the end.
Always Ready Always Brilliant That was The Doctor as played by David Tennant

But in the end--
 As "they" say "the show must go on" and I will miss you as The Doctor but understand you have to move on and I look forward to whatever you do in the future. So with one last "Geronimo!"

Goodnight, Goodbye and Good Luck, Mr. Smith

Sincerely Whovian since 2005,