Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Film Review-The Way

This small film by Emilio Estevez and starring his father Martin Sheen is the perfect getaway from all of the Hollywood 3D, romance and vampires. The core of this movie is about a father who loses his son unexpectly and now has to figure out what happened with their relationship.
Daniel, the son played by Estevez in flashbacks and as a figment of his father’s thoughts was killed in a storm while traveling abroad. Turns out the journey he was on included a prillmigage along the El camino de Santiago through France and Spain taken by many people from many countries. The father, Tom travels to identify his son’s body and decides to have him cremated. Soon after learning why Daniel was there he takes his ashes, picks up his passport and Daniel’s back pack, which is stuffed with every item a lone traveler needs and sets out onto the trail to finish what his son started. Along the way he does as the police officer says and at each stop he gets a different stamp on his passport to prove he was there.
As Tom walks he passes other travelers along the way and some even talk to him. At the beginning of the trail me meets A Dutchman, Joost who says his walking to lose weight. At one of the rest stops a Canadian, Sarah starts up a conversation with him and promises she will quite smoking at the end.  Together the threesome run into an Irishman, Jack a writer with writer’s block. As they walk they drink wine, have conversations, even if one doesn’t want to talk and at one point gets into trouble with the law. All four have their own demons and are just trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives.
The characters are simple yet complex and if I were traveling alone and ran into them I would have to follow and see where their journey ends.
The screenplay written by Estevez from the book Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim's Route  is sweet, quaint and well done. The actors are superb playing the subtle characters that the viewer comes to care about. The entire look and action within the film is beautiful. Emilio Estevez brings the countryside of France and Spain to life with views of fields, some with sheep, bridges over rivers and the small villages along the way. Each stop has new people to meet and new experiences to enjoy.
If you want to take a wonderful hike along a new and winding road without leaving the comforts of home go see The Way.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Spoiler Alert--Last we ended on a cliffhanger where we met CIA agent Michael Saleh. He and Sam have been working together in Jordan by joining an ex-governor named Khaled with ties to Al-Queeda.
     This week we open with the news that two CIA agents were killed and one, who description fits Sam's, has yet to be identified. Proving once again how elite they are our team breaks up and have to solve the case on two continents. First Callen has to travel to Jordan to identify the burned body. Luckily it isn't Sam, sadly it is Michael. Now Callen has to find his partner, as Kensi and Deeks search for a mole in the CIA. While tracking Sam, Callen discovers a man, Elmslie, working for crimes against humanity. He has been working to get evidence against the same target for mass murder and once Callen helps get Sam and Jada, the sister of Khaled out of harms way, he ask for their help. In the meantime Deeks and Kensi are talking with the CIA handler to see what he knows about the mission and who leaked the names. Back in Jordan Sam is still undercover and pretending to be falling in love with Jada as he gets closer to her brother. Sam and Elmslie are able to talk Callen into staying in Jordan to get what they ALL need to take down Khaled. Do they get rid of this evil man or fail? What about Jada, how does she fit into everything? Who is the mole? And what about Sam's private HOME life?

Friday, November 18, 2011

NCIS-Engaged Part 2

Spoiler alert- Cont.---Oh yeah did I mentioned as this is all going on Gibbs is having flashbacks to when he was just starting out in the marines and is flirting with a fellow marine. Anyway back to the story. This time we open with Gibbs on another cargo plane with another coffin and go back 48 hours earlier. Once they see footage of a person running with to little ones Gibbs and Ziva get on a plane. They get to a base and meet Captain Quincy who tells them that the girls have been found and are on their way. Once the girls are on the base we see that they have been tortured. One with acid the other multiply cigarette burns. Ziva and Gibbs are able to gently talk to them and they tell them that who they are looking for was still alive when they were with her. Quincy, Gibbs and Ziva come up with a plan to save her. In the end it wasn't the man's daughter but someone else in the coffin. Gibbs flashback is also concluded.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NCIS Engaged-Part 1

Spoiler alert- The past two episodes of NCIS were so full of surprise twists that I had to write about it. Last week, part 1, we opened on a military cargo plane carrying the bodies of dead marines going down in a field. There were no survivors but among the dead that were coming home was a young female at least that's what he father thought. Enter military Chaplin Lieutenant Commander Melanie Burke (Jaime Ray Newman) to help the father with his grief. When the man meets Gibbs he tells him to give him his daughter so he could take her home. Unfortualy under the amazing guidance of Ducky and Abby none of the bodies that were recovered from the crash match the daughters DNA. That was twist number one. Now we have to determine what happened to her body or if there ever was one. Turns out she was working in the middle east on trying to get a girl school started and since teaching girls is against their religion some bad people destroyed the building and in the horrible aftermath just her dog tags were found. The father needs to know what happened so Gibbs team goes into action and by the end they discover that she was able with two girls run away from the blasts. 

Everything I’ve learned about writing I’ve learned from David E Kelley

Since Harry’s Law premiered last season I have come to the conclusion that you have to know and understand David E Kelley in order to like his style of writing. As much as a critic may like him, he or she still thinks that his shows, especially the ones about lawyers are too similar.  My relationship as a viewer of the series created by Mr. Kelley started with the second or third season of Chicago Hope but I didn’t become a true fan until the first episode of The Practice.
The Practice was a show about a small law firm run by Bobby Donnell (Dylan McDermott). The firm would defend just about every type of “criminal” and some of the ways they did this were let’s say not as legal as they should have been, like using what they called "Plan B". The way the series was written was so new and bold to me.  Not only did the amazing ensemble of actors play characters that believed in what they did for a living but every time they spoke I found myself wanting to talk back. What I liked most were the issues and arguments they had outside and inside the courtroom. Whether they were defending a murderer or an assault victim I felt like I was right there with them and usually, on their side. There were even times where I would find myself yelling at the TV and arguing with them. By the time the series ended I could, most of the time predict the jury judgment. The fact is all of Mr. Kelley’s series have me wanting to be more invovled in the characters lives then I should. This brings me to why I love and have learned a lot from him.
When The Practice ended it was fallowed by Boston Legal or as some called it The Practice 2.0. YES some of the cases and characters felt familiar but that’s the thing about David E. Kelley his compassion as a writer and being able to take on the issues full throttle. He is not afraid to look at the news of the day, especially those 24 hour channels, and then comment on what’s going on. From politics to entertainment. From the craziness of balloon boy to the seriousness of bullying. Mr. Kelley has put it all out there for us to see and make up our own opinions. So yes the court cases from series to series may sound the same but there are always new topics to discuss and that is, to this writer, David E. Kelley’s style. From the absurd and creepy murderer to the sweet old man with alzheiner's. Mr. Kelley writes for them ALL. His preference may be law but from Picket Fences to Boston Public he has tried everything and I have watched (Including The Wedding Belles and Snoops which each only aired a few episodes) I tune in because if it has David E. Kelley’s name and logo it will be worth my time. There are just a couple of other TV creator/writers that I can say that about. In the end if an actor like Fyvush Finkel or Camryn Manheim are willing to come back and guest star on Harry’s Law after spending past TV years playing one of his characters then he can’t be all bad and the least I could do is watch. 
Lesson learned, write what you know, be yourself and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
Those of us who have very little to say in person, have a lot to say on paper and enjoy watching our characters say our words.
Cheers and thank you David E. Kelley!
I say keep them coming and watch Harry's Law Wednesdays at 9 on NBC.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


SPOILERS- A box, a wooden box that kills. Not only will the holder of the box die but they never get the chance to find out what is really in the box.  Is it gold? Is it heroin? No the content of the box is way more dangerous then the traffickers could ever imagine. Which brings me to another reason to like this series, ever once in a while they have some impressive twists and turns that keep the viewer wondering. As we begin to follow the box we are taken back into the desert heat which we learned last season is a place Deeks does NOT like to be. Good thing he has Kensi to watch his back as a ferrell pig appears from behind the desert brush. The trail then leads Callen and Sam to some local LA drug cartels and after a shootout leaves only one alive. Jamie is able to lead our team to the apartment of a hitman and it is here that we discover Sams' secret. Turns out the reason that Agent Hanna has been late for work or missing in action lately is because he has been on assignment with The CIA. Sam, the CIA agent and the rest of our team find out that the deadly substance from the box will be used in a large location where it can be given to thousands of people. On a happier note Nell sent herself a beautiful bouquet of flowers and, as someone who doesn't get flowers sent to her, I'm with her 100% sometimes it's nice get a vase full of flowers no matter who sent them. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Character study--WILSON-The most underrated character on TV

Original posted  Oct 21, 2008 on TV Guide 

      Ok like I've said I have to record (DVR) a lot of my shows-A LOT!-and one of them is the magnificent HOUSE. Now for someone who doesn't like medical series HOUSE is my favorite, not so much for the medical stuff but for the characters of Dr. Gregory House and those around him especially Dr. James Wilson. I have watched and recommended HOUSE since it began and Wilson has always been just sort of there in the background helping and taking care of House when he can. Then a couple of seasons ago I realized that I have developed a crush on him.
Now I am sure others have noticed how awesome Wilson is-in fact I just read a letter to the editor in one of my entertainment magazines saying almost the same thing-but now I finally get the chance. At the end of last season and so far this season
Wilson finally gets to prove himself as to why he is needed. Of course even now if you ask WHY I like Wilson I couldn't really tell you. Maybe it's his sad puppy dog eyes or the hair? Perhaps I just believe he is the best Doc on TV, I know he is the only one I trust. But I think I really like him because even though he is in the background he is ALWAYS THERE. Never having much to say but helps whenever needed. I admit I cried when Wilson lost Amber not so much because I liked Amber but because without saying many words Robert Sean Leonard was able to pull it off and Wilson's saddest and anger was so amazing! Robert Sean Leonard once mentioned in an interview that he didn't mind not having all the lines that Hugh Laurie has (it's not easy memorizing all of those medical terms) I say Wilson needs more-maybe enough for an Emmy nom.?-But I don't talk much either so I shouldn't complain.
THEN there was last week’s episode! The scenes between Wilson and House as they went to Houses fathers' funeral were the best they have been!!
Wilson breaking the window of the church Wow! I LOVE that we FINALLY know how the two met and what a brilliant story (but then my wilsonmeetsiantofanfict is also fun-So Wilson amuses House and its "not boring" Beautiful!
Like I began with it is nice to at last get to say DR. JAMES WILSON ROCKS!!! He really does make seeing all the blood, gore and weird illnesses of HOUSE worth watching.
House will always need
Wilson and Wilson will continue to need House.

Tonight Wilson worked with House to get perternity from Taub-very cute

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NCIS: LA- Honor

 SPOILERS---We open on the death of a Japanese tourist and our team goes into action. It turns out the marine who we think killed this tourist was dishonorably discharged after sexual harassment charges were brought up against him while stationed in Japan. Of course with this series there is always a catch/twist and to figure it out the team must first figure out the truth. The Marine says he fell in love with a girl but her rich businessman father forbids it because he wanted her with another man who would make him richer. All of the clues point to the marine lying, including an empty trailer where he thought she was staying and would be safe. Callen and Sam pay a visit to the girls’ father and here through the father talking on the phone we learn that SURPISE Sam speaks his language. Sam speaks to the girl on the phone and everything seems to be going against the marines’ statement about the two star-crossed lovers. With the man using his buness resources The State Department stops our team from continuing the investigation. Really do you really think a cease and discourse action is going to stop them. Sam being the wonderful Seal that he is says "Seals don't leave a man behind' I'll take the side of the marine any day" and they do. First thing first find the truth! With  Kensi as a maid and Deeks bringing free hotel room service we found out the father is keeping his daughter under guard in a nice hotel room.  YES it's been a long time since the whole team, Eric and Nell included, get to take real undercover action.  Location-Airport objective-stall the private plane to get the girl and stop the bad guy. Eric is a security guy on high alert, Nell his boss,Deeks and Sam luggage transport, Kensi the decoy and Callen is Callen. That all look so cute in the airport outfits! In the end all is safe. Our Romeo and Juliet are happily reunited and the NCIS:LA team get to go home with another mission completed.