Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Film Review- Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

I went and saw Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, not because I really wanted to but because I had to. I have been watching the Mission Impossible movies on the big screen since the first one in 1996; I even have that one on VHS and the original soundtrack on cassette. In other words I felt obligated to see this new one in a theater with an audience and I truly enjoyed it.
The first time we see Ethan Hunt (the Fascinating Tom Cruise) team leader and best agent the IMF seems to have it’s just as a profile in a jail cell. Then Dean Martin music begins to play throughout the prison giving him the chance to go into action. I know that in action flicks the plot may not be as important as the explosions or car chases but let me sum it up anyway. Someone has blown up the Kremlin in Russia and Hunt and his team have been blamed, now without the help of the U.S. government aka ghost protocol this team including Benji (the Great Simon Pegg) Brandt (the Talented Jeremy Renner) and Jane (the Beautiful Paula Patton) have to track down the Russian bad guy Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) aka Cobalt and stop him from starting a nuclear war. It’s a new team for Ethan but he quickly learns to trust them in order for them to do what they have to, to save many innocent lives.
There was a lot of action and some great sequences that stick with you after watching. The most talked about one has Tom Cruise hanging from and doing some amazing stunts on the side of the tallest building in the word (In Dubai). I have a couple of favorites but have to mention one sequence which portrays a deadly car crash. All I can say is that the way it is shot actually makes you feel like you’re in the vehicle with the characters without using any 3D. Not bad from a director (Brad Bird) who is mostly known for his animated features including The Incridibles and Ratatouille.
After I saw the film a heard a fellow critic say that he liked the action but didn’t care for the comedy and sentimental scenes that seemed misplaced in between all the movement. To that I say- the scenes may have seemed displaced but I think you need some breathing time in order to relax from sitting on the edge of your seat. Comic relief on the other hand is always nice and welcomed in any film, especially when you have a comic genus like Simon Pegg doing most of it.
If you want to see an action-packed, tense, fun and cool to look at popcorn flick which has a familiar but intriguing with plot twist story then go see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas favorite-movie

First thing first no matter what movie it is although I only watch it once a year I always have the same reaction. I tell myself I’m not going to cry this time, I know how it ends and I am not going to cry. Of course this never works and the second George Bailey’s lip starts bleeding again the tears begin to flow.
As much as I love It’s a Wonderful Life. Any of the telling of A Christmas Carol or Miracle on 34th Street and let’s say Love Actually my favorite Christmas film is White Christmas. If you haven’t seen it it’s about two soldiers who after the war create their own variety stage show. Once they are famous they meet up with sisters who have their own singing act and would like to try out for them. After some sananagans the foursome ends up at a hotel in Vermont. It is here where they run into the boys’ old army colonel, who hasn’t had an easy retirement. It hasn’t snowed in Vermont since Thanksgiving and his business depends on the snow, and it looks like the colonel will have to go out of business. That is when the two come up with a plan. Can the hotel be saved? Will it snow?
I’m not sure if it is because of the songs like “Snow”, “Sisters” or “Count your Blessings” or just the fact that I LOVE Danny Kaye. Whatever the reason in the end a good x-mas movie has to have characters that you care about and a story that you wish could happen. So when Bob and Phil get off the train and there is now snow in the winter playground you hope, you know something magical is about to happen.
Friendship, Romance and Music isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
It isn’t x-mas till I see White Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Favorites-TV Show

I know I should pick Rudolph the Red nose Reindeer or the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas (I remember how badly my grandmother felt for Max) or the old standby A Charlie Brown Christmas (Linus telling us all what Christmas is all about) but my favorite doesn’t even air on TV anymore so I want to show it some love right here.
A Garfield Christmas. It is a story about Jon, Garfield and Odie traveling to Jon’s home for the holiday. Once they are there we meet Jon’s parents- his father, a farmer and mother, a housewife. There is also his brother, Doc Boy and spunky grandmother. It may not have classic lines like “Bumbles bounce” or any singing and it certainly doesn’t have a fimilier item like how everyone knows what you mean when you say I have a Charlie Brown tree.  A Garfield Christmas has its own special moments.
Some examples are when grandma adds extra spice to Jon's mother's Chili because she won a contest. When Jon and Doc Boy wake up and ask “can we open presents yet” and “I know it’s Christmas morning and you know it’s…” and then there is Odie giving Garfield a x-mas gift a Purrrrfect back scratcher. I have to say my favorite part is when Grandma is sitting in her rocking chair and Garfield jumps up onto her lap and she says “How did you know I needed a kitty….grandpa and I would pet our cats” Garfield “I envy those cats” and she goes on to tell him that Christmas is the time of year when she misses her dead husband the most. ONCE again I always tear up. If you haven’t seen it, find it and give it a try it also came in comic book form. Tomorrow my favorite movie,any guesses?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas favorites : Commercial

Yes I have a favorite x-mas ad. It hasn’t aired in a long time and the company has had a new one out for a couple of seasons now and it is good but the one I am going to write about is way better. The product if for Folgers Coffee and even though I am not a coffee drinker because of this ad Folgers would be the one I would choose. Please tell me if you know the one I’m describing.
The first shot is of a man exiting a car with his arms full of presents, he closes the door as he says ”Merry Christmas” to the driver. Next he walks into the house and places the presents under a beautiful tree as he does this a young blond girl comes down the steps behind him. She sees him and yells “Peter” she runs to him and he hugs her. She tells him “Everyone’s asleep and Peter responds “Shhhh, I know how to wake them up”. The two go into the kitchen and he starts to make a fresh pot of coffee, they smell the grounded beans as Peter brews it up. We cut to the rest of the family smelling the aroma of the coffee as they wake up from their beds. They come down the same set of stairs just as Peter and the girl re-enter the room with a tray of mugs. They see him and smiles appear on all there faces as a woman proclaim “Peter. You’re home” and he responds “I miss you mom”. In the end all are happy as Folgers announces happ holidays from our family to yours.
Now I don’t knew how they all know each other but I like to think its Peter’s first Christmas home since starting college, but your guess is a good as mine. Not that it really matters anyway because I’m tearing up just thinking about the ad as I type.
Tomorrow my favorite X-Mas show.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Art of the Made for TV Movie

Ah Hallmark the greeting card company that has been making made for TV movies for years. Every Saturday on their very own network they seem to air a whole new movie and the sappy sucker that I am I have to watch. As in every story each movie has a beginning, where you meet the characters, a middle, where there is a conflict for the main characters to work out and an ending a nice wrap up of the two hours. By the end the characters have learned a lesson and are better people for it.
From Thanksgiving to New Years the Hallmark Channel has been showing new holiday movies every weekend and airing ones from Christmas seasons past all week long. These movies seem to have the same stars from year to year including Dean Cain, Tom Cavanigh and Jennie Garth. Even though all of the movies have a happy ending, usually with the girl getting the guy, I still; as much as I tell myself not to, cry at each one.
This year the network even aired a four-hour long Christmas mini series which continued their movies series that is based on a series of book called The Love Saga. These stories are westerns and the first four that I saw were about the generations of a family. Yes it is embarrassing to admit that I have watched all of them but it is a good way to kill some time.
 If for one reason or another you don’t think you would like the sappy, sweet with a predictable ending movies of the week on Hallmark, Lifetime or ABC Family then I suggest you check out ANY made for TV movie or mini series on HBO.
They may not always have a happy ending but you can bet they WILL win an EMMY.

Update: I just finished watching Christmas Magic-Spoiler--I knew she was in a coma!!! and I still cried,alot.

Some of the ones I have seen this year…
The case for Christmas
Debbie Macomber's Trading Christmas
Lucky Christmas
A Princess for Christmas
The Christmas Pagent

Side note: TNT has recently added made for TV mister movies on Tues night that are also scary but fun to watch.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

NCIS: L.A.- Higher Power

This week on an episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen was calling Newt Ginrich a Bond Villain because he believes in EMPs and worries that one could be used against the U.S. Turns out he may be right.
This week’s episode of NCIS: LA revolves around an EMP that has been invented by a college professer to prove Ginrich's theory to the rest of the Government but no one believes him and it is stolen from his car. Callen, Sam and the team have to go into action to find this thing before all of California is electrically thrown into darkness. They track down the four grad students working with the professor and learn who, why and where the device is. Kensi gets to slide down in between two escalaters, so cool.
 Do they stop it in time?
Does Sam find a Parker Pony for his daughter for Christmas?
Will there be a Christmas?
Find out when you watch.
In the mean time see you next year NCIS LA!

NCIS-Newborn King

This years NCIS Christmas episode was very sweet and very cool.
Opening scene a marine franticly gets a room at an expensive hotel and is immediately shot to death, that is where out team comes in and on Christmas Eve of all days. Before we get into this weeks mission the offices of NCIS is visited by Jimmy Palme'rs, Duckie's assistant, future father in Law and Jimmy has to take him on a tour. As you can tell Jimmy and the man do not get along.
Back to our Christmas story. It turns out the Marine was protecting his fellow Marine who is pregnant with a dead Iraqi child. She is on the run and Gibbs must find her and keep her safe. There is one scene after they find her and she learns to trust them that is too fantastic not to write about. Gibbs, Ziva and the woman they are protecting car has broken down but they are able to get it to a close gas station with garage. You know their peace can’t last long and just as she goes into labor the men who want her baby appear. Gibbs stays with her to deliver the baby as Ziva, who may be the coolest female character on TV right now, has a shoot out with at least three killers. With guns in both hands kick ass Ziva fires through the asles of the store at the bad guys!
I will leave it there to let you see how it ALL turns out.
Merry Christmas to all who serve at home and abroad. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Film Review-The Muppets

Before I go to a movie I do a little research. What is the movie about? Who is in it? Is it the type a movie I want to see and would I like it? I do this by reading about it on line, in my entertainment magazines and by watching interviews. Then by the time the film comes out I have made a decision. Although most of the time the decision comes down to if there is an actor or two I like in the movie. With all of the movies I have seen lately it has actually been at least three years since I’ve done all this but then The Muppets came to town. About a year ago I was watching a late night interview with Jason Segel, at the time he was promoting Gulliver’s Travels but what the interviewer really wanted to talk about were the rumors he heard about Segel shooting a new Muppet movie. Jason Segel then had to admit that he indeed was in the middle of shooting one. We fast forward to 2 ½ weeks ago and there is Mr. Segel on ALL the talk shows day and night to promote his new feature The Muppets. I watched every interview which means that I had to sit through the same stories more then once, which always happens to a celebrity in the middle of a press junket. Like I’ve said it’s been a long time since I’ve done this but for Jason Segel it was worth it. As a kid of the 80s I have been a long time Muppet fan and the more I heard about this movie the more I wanted to see it. The day after Thanksgiving I got my chance and was NOT disappointed.
The Muppets centers on Walter, a new Muppet, his brother Gary, a human (Segel) and his longtime girlfriend Mary (the adorable Amy Adams). While on a trip to L.A. the three discover that a rich oil tycoon (Chris Cooper) has bought the old Muppet studio and wants to tear it down. This prompts Walter to search for Kermit and when he finds him they all decide to bring the old Muppet gang back together and hold a telethon to raise money and buy the studio back before it can be destroyed.
I loved how Jason Segel as co-writer and producer was able to bring back the original Muppet show series from the late 70s and was allowed to include the opening theme. They even had a Guest host for the telethon; in fact there were a lot of human cameos which is also a staple in any Muppet movie. The best part is that the movie does this without the help of 3D or any major special effects. I sat there in a theater full of people from every age group and smiled and laughed through the entire film. I really enjoyed how the cast knew they were in a movie. The most important thing to a Muppet movie is the music. This one was no different as I moved my body along with the new and old songs. Two weeks later and I still find myself singing “Man or Muppet”.
As I left the theater that night I overheard those who were part of the audience with me still quoting the lines. When that happens, you know you have just enjoyed a good film. Thank you Jason Segel for bringing The Muppets back to us and allowing a whole new generation to discover them.
                          I want to see it again and if you get the chance go see The Muppets