Thursday, December 18, 2014

White Collar 2009-2014


Neal Caffrey played by the wonderful Matt Bomer was a good-looking and very charming con man. In 2009 He was realised from prison and placed into the custody of FBI white collar head (and man who arrested him) Peter Burke played by the talented Tim DeKay. Neal was forced to wear a tracking anklet as he worked with Peter and the FBI including Clinton Jones and Diana Barrigan (Sharif Atkins and Marsha Thomason). I can’t forget about Mozzie (Willie Garson) the conspiracy theorest who was Neal’s best friend and criminal co-hoot and never trusted the suits. Last but not least there was Peter’s wife, Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) who stood by Peter’s side and even helped whenever she could. For six years the team worked together to take down white collar criminals from paint forgers to money embezzlers, all those who came across Neal and Peter would soon know what losing felt like. Even when Peter and Neal were mad at each other they would soon get over it and get a new case where they used all of their talents to solve. What else is there to say but… 

White Collar was a fun, sweet, exciting and funny series. It was unexpected and well made. Cheers to the cast and crew!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Colbert Report 2005-2014


Dr. Stephen T Colbert D.F.A. died today.

We first saw Colbert as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart where he was best known as an opponent to Steve Carrell in a segment called “Even Stepvhens”. It wasn’t until Comedy Central took the bait in 2005 when Stephen Colbert received his own show and changed viewer lives for the best.

I don’t know about all reading this but for me The Colbert Report was a special show and its host a wonderful man. From his intro of the topics for the night to his sign off, every episode was worth watching. From the moment he spoke his first The Word (Truthiness) and the on-screen power points spoke back I was hooked.

Some of my (other) favorite segments were

The Threat Down where we learned that Stephen was deathly afraid of bears calling them "giant, marauding, godless killing machines" *

Better Know a Distract where Stephen would interview members of congress in his own “unique” way. He introduced each person by giving us facts about their part of our country and ended each with a sparkling light on a map. He even got to chance to talk to my (on again off again) Representative Dan Maffei.

The Sport Report where he got Steagle the Colbeagle a local eagle mascot named for him (*not related but also named for him was Stephen Jr an Eagle at the San Francisco Zoo, a bridge in Hungry, a leatherback turtle, a spider the Aptostichus stephencolberti, a Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream called Americone Dream,and a treadmill aboard the Space Station called the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill  (C.O.L.B.E.R.T.) . He even saved the Vancouver Olympics by raising money and sponsoring the USA speed skating team (and routed for the team as he hosted episodes from Vancouver)

Cheating Death where Prescott Pharmacutical’s helped us with any medical problem one may come across. Whether it was the heart, lungs or head Prescott had the pill for you, just beware of the side effects.

Formable Opponent where he went up against the only man he thought worthy, himself, on certain issues.

Colbert Platinum for the rich Colbert viewers

And of course The Blitzkrieg on Grinchitude which was originally the War on Christmas started by Fox News.

As host he leaves behind a slew of “characters” -There was Jimmy, The Director-Tad, The Building Manager-Jay, The Intern-Bobby, The Stage Manager- fellow host Esteban Colberto- Gorlock, his alien financial adviser, the voice of Winfred Brimley and of course his gun “Sweetness”
I even learned from Mr. Colbert. When on the advice of his advisor Ham Rove and his real life Lawyer he started his own Super PAC (Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow) I realized how horrible the idea of buying elections was and to not believe everything you hear during them. 

Stephen made us aware of the dangers of a broken wrist and wore a red bracelet every show since his injury. Every time he asked for money/donations he got more then he intended.

Interviews were the best, Stephen had everyone from film and TV actors to authors to politicians on the show. This true patriot even spent a week in Iraq entertaining the troops where he shaved his head when President Obama ordered it. Every guest who appeared on the show benefitted from the “Colbert Bump”. Most of the time the one being interviewed was in on the joke but it was funnier when they just let Stephen do his thing. Mr. Colbert even got to sing with many of his guests and I have to admit he had a good voice

The show ended each “season” with Colbert adding another portrait of himself to his self-portrait. It hung above his fireplace which was only one of many interesting set pieces (including photos of TV doctors, Bill O'Reilly Show's microwave, Captain America’s Shield and of course his C shaped desk)

Winner of a Peabody, a Grammy, three best show Emmys and just as many for best writing (the show went on during a 2008 writers guild strike which forced Stephen in a battle with his late night nemesis Conan O’Brian, the writers came back and all was “normal” once again.) and many more awards that were well deserved by the great group of people involved with the show (including the many babies born throughout the years)

The Colbert Report was smart, funny and a superb show to watch (Mon-Thurs after The Daily Show) Stephen may have been a Christian Conservative who looked up to Papa Bear Bill O’Reilly but he made us (and at times himself) laugh, cry and proud to be a sci-fi/fantasy nerd. Stephen Colbert was truly loved by those of us who understood him the most and as the chant of The Colbert Nation “Stephen, Stephen, Stephen!” fades away we (with my apologies to Doris Kearns Goodwin) say farewell to Mr. Colbert, you will be “missed”.

There are many more things Stephen gave us (insert “hosting” White House correspondent’s dinner, starring with an eagle in silly pistachio ads and author of three books) and for all this he shall never be forgotten (I hear a man name Stephen Colbert will be taking over hosting duties on The Late Show)

In the end the world is a better place because Dr. Stephen T Colbert D.F.A was a part of our “daily” TV lives for nine delightful years.

 

*Wikipedia

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Newsroom 2012-2014

I have been a fan a Aaron Sorkin's since I discovered his wonderful writing on his series about a sport news network called SportsNight. I look up to him because he writes on topics that he is passionate about and ones that viewers should be aware of. The Newsroom was a series, that although it aired for only three season, left an important impact on our lives.

Will McAvoy played by the wounderful Jeff Daniels lead an equally talented cast in the series about a 24 hour news network (No no don’t stop reading)  called ACN and unlike the “real” 24 hour riff raff (CNN, MSNBC and FOX news) this was one network I would have watched and, given the chance, worked for. Will and his co-workers MacKenzie McHale, Jim Harper, Maggie Jordan, Don Keefer, Neal Sampat, Sloan Sabbith and Charlie Skinner (Emily Mortimer, John Gallager Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Dev Patel, Olivia Munn and Sam Waterston) did everything they could to report the important news of the day. Once when they got it wrong I felt bad for them as ACN lost viewers but I stuck with them until the end.

The genis part of this series was that Mr. Sorkin created these great characters and placed them in a real setting, two or three years behind us, but real. They reported on everything from the 2010 Persidental election (where Will, the Republican even became somewhat embrassed by his Party) to the Boston Marathon Bombing.

One last cheers to Mr. Sorkin and the cast and crew of The Newsroom! You showed us that reporting the news is a impotant and worthy career and our country would be a better place to live if real life reporters were more like Will McAvoy and his crew.

 

Monday, November 24, 2014

St Vincent-A surprising and sweet film


I’m not a religious person but I do borrow some parts of each religion that I find fun and helpful as I move through this thing called life. Catholic Saints are one aspect of religion I find interesting and this film takes Sainthood to the next level :)

St. Vincent is a movie about an elderly man named Vincent played by the great Bill Murray (who I have watched and loved my entire life) and a boy named Oliver played by newcomer Jaeden Lieberher. When we first meet Vin he is your typical grumpy old man who enjoys smoking, gambling and just being left alone. His home which he shares with his cat, Felix (Pepper and Jigger) is a mess inside and out. At first he and his new neighbors, Melissa McCarthy as Oliver's mother, do not get along but when Oliver needs Vincent's help on his first day of school it is revealed to us that relationships can change.

Written and directed by Theodore Melfi, St Vincent is an unexpected beautiful surprise. All of the actors are perfectly fitting in their roles, including Naomi Watts who plays Daka, a loveable “dancer”, Chris O’Dowd who plays Oliver’s Catholic school teacher and Terrence Howard who plays Zucko an “acquaintance” of Vin’s. I don’t know where Murray got his Brooklyn accent but it was enjoyable to listen to and rounded off this character that you may not usually hang out with but once you’ve learned more about the man you wanted to be his friend. Everyone had excellent chemistry with each other but the scenes between Murray and Lieberher were the best, so much so that when Oliver has to get up in front of his class and family for a presentation I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. 

St. Vincent is a sweet, small film perfect for most ages young and old, No one left until the credits finished rolling.  

 

 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Flash fiction #3

For this flash fiction challenge given by chuck wendig we had to pick a strange photo from a set on the web @ http://www.buzzfeed.com/kristinchirico/stock-photos-that-no-one-will-ever-be-able-to-use and write no more then 1000 words I choose #5 (It is also a version of a story within a Novella I wrote) and here it is


Modern Day Fairy Tale

I grew up on a farm with my father who loved me more the life itself. Every day we woke up early, ate breakfast, feed the cows, gathered eggs from the chickens and spent the day together. Each night we watched the news and every night there was an update to what was happening with the royal family. I would watch with wide eyes as the women walked down the red carpet in their beautiful gowns and handsome dates and the parties were full of glamour as we got a peak into the lives and love of The King, Queen and the two Princes.

One morning when I was 7 we were working in the field when we heard yelling from the road. We ran as fast as we could to see what happened and if we could help. What we saw was a large decorated limo with a driver and to men, they were looking ate two flat tires then one of the men opened a door and helped the Queen and her two sons out of the vehicle. I ran up to them and said hi, my father was close behind, held me back and apologized for my rudeness. The Queen was polite and said everything was fine. My dad offered his help but the driver was already fixing the tires and instead asked The Queen and her boys if they would like to warm up and have breakfast with us. She accepted. We ate a delicious meal and the grownups talked about their lives. By the time the meal was over one of the men was knocking at the door, the limo was fixed and it was time for the The Queen and her sons to go home.

Years later when I was 17 I was picking apples in a neighbors orchard for $5 an hour, to help pay for collage when an expensive red mustang zoomed by, the driver was going at least 90 mph as he drove threw a giant puddle at the spot where I was standing. The mustang skid and turned at an angle as it came to a quick stop before hitting a tree. The driver crawled out unhurt and walked towards me. He offered his hand, I declined, he offered it again and when I looked up I pushed it away and fell to my knees “I’m sorry I didn’t know it was you your majesty.” He replied ‘you don’t have to apologize it was all my fault, I am the sorry one.” I took his hand this time and we walked to his car. We dated on and off for years. We fought, made up and made love. I was even on the news a few times and finally got to go to the fancy parties that I had dreamed of as a kid. The gowns I got to wear were so beautiful and it every color you could imagine. Reporters and paparazzi were always following us and the stories they printed in the tabloids were never true. It wasn’t easy for the lovebirds.

Today I am 25 and it is my wedding day. At first everything was so perfect. I had the dress, something new, borrowed, blue and most important something old. This morning father gave me my mother’s heart shaped silver locket her grandmother gave to her on her wedding day. Inside is a photo of my parents on their wedding day. Both dressed in their very best, both as happy as can be. As my father told me their story for the 100th time I cried and he had to wipe the tears and mascara from my face. The Queen had died years before and The King had recently passed away so my future husband was about to take the thrown. As father walked me down the alise I was nervous and he rubbed my hand to calm my nerves. When I reached The Prince the nerves went away and I was as happy as can be. Then things took a change for the worst.

Before I could say I do my future brother in law took his sword, which was meant as decoration, grabbed me and held it to my throat and said” I will not let some commoner become Queen!”. My husband took his sword and threaten his own brother.

“I tell you this mom because although I never got to know you I miss you every day and should have visited more often. Dad says he comes every day to keep you up to date but I thought it was time for me to tell you my half of the story. I love you and will always keep you in my heart.” 

A man dressed in his finest uniform walks up to the young women sitting by the grave still in her wedding dress and says “My brother has been buried. How is your mother?”

Friday, October 10, 2014

Gone Girl, the film, a review

Let me start by saying part of loving and watching movies is knowing what to see and a subscription to a entertainment magazine is how I learn about the films I see, that brings me to this past weekends number one movie Gone Girl.

A movie that was on the cover of Entertainment Weekly a couple of months ago (staring at me from my side table wanting me to read what the hype was all about) I wasn't sure if I wanted to or even get the chance to see Gone Girl  Well I did and that is a good thing.

I can't tell you anything about the actual plot for fear of giving something away (although since it is written by Gillian Flynn the author of the book readers may know the plot better then me).

As a film, director David Fincher (The Social Network) uses the same old but very effected techniques he is known for. The cinematography is dark and at time difficult to see the action on screen but works for the setting of a town/neighborhood up in arms over the disappearance of a beautiful woman. The editing on the other hand is superb and intensifies the way the story is told. Fincher easily moves between all sides of the story as we see the characters unravel. All of the characters have their flaws but as the viewer you can understand where each is coming from and why they act in the way they do.

First there is Nick Dunne played by the always enjoyable Ben Affleck. Nick's life is turned upside down and becomes a target for the media and police when his wife goes missing. In this instance I didn't just like Affleck the actor, I liked Nick Dunn the character. From the first moment we see him to the end and in the way he acts with the police and uses the media is pure genius.

His wife Amy played by Rosamund Pike is just as good in a stunning, cunning and suave way.

The other two characters who play major roles in this twisted yet fun thriller are the cop who is in charge of the case Detective Rhonda Boney played by Kim Dickens. I really liked that she wasn't to quick and took her time with developing the case. Dickens was very believable and refreshing. There is also Nick's sister Margo played by Carrie Coon, all I can say about her is, she is the sister I would want if I ever found myself in the same situation.

As for the other supporting actors and their characters-
Tyler Perry was perfect and subtle in the role of Tanner Bolt, Nick's expensive lawyer and Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collings an ex boyfriend of Amy's and I have to say Spoiler Alert? what happens to his character is something I will not ever forget.

In the end the movie may have been slow and felt long at times but is still well made and each actor gave 100%, making Gone Girl worth checking out.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Originals-Season 2 begins...

Yes I am one of a million who enjoys watching a good movie or TV series with vampires and when Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air I struggled to find a show I liked as much (see previous post one True Blood). It wasn't so much that I liked Buffy and her Scooby gang that drew me to the show but Spike, the vamp with platinum blond hair and a leather coat was my reason for watching and when the spin-off Angel ended I didn't believe I would find one I liked just as much. That was until last season when The Originals premiered! The three main characters ( Mikaelson siblings Rebecca, Klaus and Elijah) first appeared in Mystic Falls on the CW series The Vampire Dairies and when I saw Elijah it was love at first sight.

In the first episode of The Originals the siblings move back to New Orleans where we learn more about how they became who they are.

Origin/backstory-Years ago a mother didn't want her children to die and being that she was a powerful witch placed a curse on her four sons (two killed off on TVD) and daughter (left at end of 1st season) which made them, herself and her husband immortal but forced to drink blood.

Klaus (Joseph Morgan) is the head of the family now and is determined to get his city back. He will do anything to anyone, including hurting his brother and sister to get what he wants!

Elijah (Daniel Gillies) is calmer with a great sense of style. He is there to help Klaus from going to far. He believes in keeping his family safe and together. He protects the ones he loves and has been known to act more like his brother if any harm come to them

Now back in the city they helped built Klaus, Elijah and Rebecca reunite with "old friends".

There is Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) who was a young boy and slave when Klaus first met him. He took Marcel in and trained him to fight, the whole time Marcel knew what Klaus was and as he grew older and stronger would ask to be turned into a vampire. Eventually Klaus does as Marcel ask, Marcel and Rebecca start a relationship against Klaus wishes. Now with their return Klaus and Marcel's relationship has been "rocky" and difficult to say the least.

One of the difficulties is a young teenage witch named Davina (Danielle Campbell) who Marcel "protects" and kept locked in the attic of a church. he said he was keeping her safe from her coven. Now she is out of the attic and as strong and powerful as any witch in the city. I would not want to get on her bad side.

Then there is Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) who is a werewolf that Klaus met while in Mystic Falls and shows up in New Orleans pregnant with his baby (long story short Klaus is half werewolf making him a hybrid which allowed him to get her pregnant). Hayley discovers that she has a family or "pack" of her own and becomes a strong leader for them.

New Orleans seems to have an outbreak of Vampires, Werewolves and Witches! All battling each other for control of the city which causes high tension and much heartbreak for ALL involve,

The Originals was my favorite new series of last year, mostly because while watching it seems to be the grown ups version of its "parent" show (TVD)-less teenage ansgst, more fun and enjoyable to watch. Tune in Mondays at 8 on The CW!