Monday, April 18, 2011

Survivor Redemption Island Review

Time for a quick review of Survivor 22: Redemption Island, The Good, The Bad, and the Redemption Island.

Boston Rob- I was a fan from the start concerning the inclusion of Boston Rob and Russell in this season of Survivor. Like I said before, they would start the ball rolling episode one and allow you to enter right into the season to avoid the normal first few episodes where you don't really know anyone. And, man, Boston Rob is running this season. This has got to be the most controlling performance ever. He is making all the right moves and not even allowing the other tribe, and more importantly his tribe to make a move against him. They are not even thinking about it. Plus his actions concerning the idol he is in possession of are great too.
Don't eat the fish!

Phillip- Phillip symbolizes the reason why we still watch Survivor. People are weird. People are varied. People are entertaining. And Phillip is very entertaining. Survivor and Jeff Probst are totally pimping him out in all their promotional materials. It's a good thing he's around otherwise this season would all be Rob. Phillip is crazy, but every time you think he is totally crazy and helpless, he says something really smart about the game and you wonder if this guy is playing everyone and can actually win this thing. Then he wears a feather and you remember the faded red underwear and again think he is crazy.

Andrea- Andrea is definitely cute. She has that going for her. She is much more likable than other other remaining girls. I think she is a good player. I think she knows what Rob is up to. I think it was smart to stick with Rob and vote off Matt the second time. I do wonder what would happen if she would have went with Matt over to Zapatera. Well, she'll have to make some moves to really be a good player.

Underdog Tribe- Some of the best seasons of Survivor have the underdog tribe overcoming the odds and winning in the end. The best example of this is Cook Islands, but it can also be seen in Samoa and Tocantins where it was the result of the winning team's implosion. It gives you someone to get behind and be happy with then the tides turn.
This year is ripe for the same scenario, but alas, Rob is too strong to see this happen. At least we have players to root for.

Domination - Yes, this is the reverse of the underdog tribe. Rob and Ometepi are dominating. He has everyone his wing, in his back pocket, under this control. It was entertaining when Matt came back, but since them it's been a bore. Rob's voting of Matt and Ralph simultaneously using the idol was beyond ideal for Rob. That's what set up this potential bore fest for the next few weeks.

Rob's Girls - I hate players that don't do anything yet stay in the game, and not only that, but act like they are the shit and treat everyone else poorly like it's their God given place to be where they are. Ashley and Natalie fall under the don't do anything category, but aren't as bad as Candice and Danielle from Heroes vs. Villains, Crystal from Gabon, Alexis from Fans, and Courtney from China. They just don't deserve to be there and add nothing to the game.

Russell's Exit - The voting off of Russell was cool, but somehow the Redemption Island part made it anti - climatic. First, there was no finalization with the vote, and second, the Redemption Island challenges are weird. There just isn't the same intensity as immunity challenges. Something about the setup and the placement in the show. The voting off of Russell should have been a monumental moment, but in the end it was just him crying into his stupid hat.

Good and Bad
Grant - I like Grant, but it is sad to see him so used by Rob. Case in point when they found the idol clues. Grant is jumping up and down and literally shaking from excitement, but little does he know Rob already has the idol. You can see this again when he won immunity. He's excited because he won it for the team, but he really just won it for Rob. Rob knows he will have to vote him off at some point.

Redemption Island - The Redemption Island portion of the show has been disappointing thus far. It makes Tribal Council less important. The challenges themselves haven't been too great. And Matt has won them all.
This week has the potential of changing that. 3 people. What will happen? It would be an awesome F You to Rob if all three came back. It would be cool if two came back, but then we'd be in the same predicament as last week. But, for the first time, I am excited for Redemption Island. Should be fun.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

ACL Review - She's Out of My League

As I'm no longer under the influence of drugs, I think it's time for my final ACL Review. See The Proposal and Hot Tub Time Machine for under the influence reviews.
My last ACL review will finally be a positive one. Friday night after the Brewers game, I watched She's Out of My League. I have to say the movie was great. It starred Jay Baruchel as an Average Joe who starts dating a superhot, super cool girl (Alice Eve). Yeah, it's a pretty unoriginal premise, but it works. We love it because we envision ourselves as the main character Kirk. That is pretty much the basics of it. We see it in a move and we think it can happen in our lives. Well, at least I do.
Aside from my perpetual daydreaming, it was a pretty funny, likable movie. Jay Baruchel is fast becoming one of my favorite actors. You may remember him as the main character in the short lived Judd Apatow show Accepted or as one of the friends in Knocked Up. He just comes off in a likable, very realistic way. I would hang out with this guy. He seems like he would hang out with me. I even considered adding the Sorcerer's Apprentice to my queue after watching this one.
The movie was similar to 40 Year Old Virgin and Role Models and all those movies, but aside from Baruchel, had an entirely different cast. Kirk's group of friends was kind of lacking at first. You often times compared them to the group of friends in Knocked Up. It's hard to compete with Jason Segel, Martin Starr, Jonah Hill, and Jay Baruchel. But they really grew on me throughout the movie. Each one of his three friends brought something different. There was a Napoleon Dynamite-esque one, a fat sincere one, and a young blond John Stamos. Lots of shit-shooting and ribbing, but deep down support and caring.
Kirk's family was very out there, quite ridiculous, but very funny and added to the elements of why you root for Kirk.
The plot was pretty formulaic, same as any movie in this genre or any contemporary romantic comedy for that matter - they grow together despite the circumstances, then they get in a fight, then they get back together. No spoiler alert here. You know this is going to happen. Maybe it is because of the super unrealistic person I am, but it all made sense. It felt real and not impossible.
Yeah, so this movie is funny. Guys, definitely check it out, girls, might not like it as much. One thing that might lead you to want to watch it even more - Hall and Oates cover band. Yep, this movie has one. Love it!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

ACL Review - Kraven's Last Hunt

My preparation for my ACL surgery consisted of buying lots of easy to prepare food, setting up Netflix, setting up a bed on the first floor, and buying $100 worth of comics. I thought before hand that comics would be much better to read during recovery than real books. I was kind of right, but TV and movies is much easier than any kind of reading. This is America, right. On my list was Batman: The Long Halloween, The Sinestro Corps War, a bunch of Uncanny X-Men from 150s-190s, Warlocks containing the Magus Saga, and Kraven's Last Hunt, a great Spider-Man story.

Now I'm not a huge Spider-Man fan, but I heard a few things about Kraven's Last Hunt. It's kind of on the late 2nd tier of the best comic book stories ever. I started reading it and I really didn't get into it too quickly. It wasn't too engrossing. Now, though, I am glad I stuck it out and finished it. It was like no other comic story I have ever read. I'm talking about the way it was set up. The first issue was just a straight Spider-Man vs. Kraven battle. Then the second and third were pretty slow, totally just set up for the upcoming issues. Issue 4 was a cool Spider-man introspective, a very quick read, and then the 5th issue, originally Amazing Spider-Man 294 was simply amazing, one of the best single comic book issues I have ever read. This is saying something because I have probably read about 1,500 comics in my day. This is definitely in the top 10 single issues, no doubt. Then issue 6 is good, just good, but you don't really care at that point because the 5th part was so great, the true climax. You see in the end it really wasn't a Spider-Man story, but a Kraven story. It made this background, sometimes even mocked character into a true star.
Great stuff, overall, not among the best stories ever, but the fifth part, yes, amazing.

Monday, April 11, 2011

ACL Reviews Again

127 Hours - This was one of my DVD queue films. I was worried that it would drag on at points, but the acting of James Franco and the way it was put together by Danny Boyle really made it flow well. I really liked this one, but it is obviously not the type of movie you would want to watch multiple times.

G.I. Joe - This is not how I remember my great toys of youth. This movie was bad, really bad. The action was plentiful and laughable. Apparently Jamie Foxx wasn;t available to play Ripcord, so the part went to Marlon Wayans. Mr. Eko, you left Lost for this? Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Christopher Eccleston as the villains? The whole Sienna Miller as Ana/Baroness just didn't make sense. What has happened to your career Dennis Quaid? Lots of questions for this one. I am certain the 80s cartoons were better. This movie did, though, uncover my new Ginger of the Moment, Rachel Nichols as Scarlet. I like.

Toy Story 3 - Surprisingly serious and emotional. Fun, but not as good as the first two.

Shutter Island - This was the Scorsese/Dicaprio crime/mystery/thriller. It was pretty entertaining, good, but not great. It ended up being a wanna be Usual Suspects and, I'm not sure why, but often times reminded me of Minority Report. Great cast beyond Leo - Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max Van Sydow, Michelle Williams, and camoe appearances by Patrica Clarkson and Jackie Earle Haley. Definitely worth adding to your instant queue.

Daybreakers - This the perfect instant Netflix, injury recovery movie. It's a movie that you know isn't going to be great or even very good, but it will entertain you. This one was one of the slew of vampire movies that have come out in the last few years. Pretty much being a vampire is the norm, but the earth is running out of humans to get blood from. Ethan Hawke is a vampire looking to return to humanity and meets Wilhem Dafoe, a former vampire now human and a band of humans on the run. Yeah, it doesn't make much sense, but it was good mindless entertainment.

More Than a Game - Four African American Hoop Stars - including Lebron James - test their unique bond when they prep for playoffs at their elite, largely Caucasian high school.
This was the tagline for this documentary following Lebron James at St. Vincent/St. Mary's, but it really has no socio-economic commentary. They never once mentioned the school being an elite, white school or any other facets of inner city black kids going to rich white prep schools for sports. It was pretty much just a documentary about Lebron's basketball team in high school. Cool, but coulda been much more.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More ACL Reviews

Spartacus - It took me 1 minute to realize this show sucked and another two minutes for me to realize it was utterly unwatchable. Has anyone ever enjoyed a Starz original program?

The Tudors - This one is cool, Showtimes attempt at a Renaissance drama. The one spans the life of King Henry the 8th. I'm not sure how far it goes into the reign of Elizabeth the 1st. Lots of sex. It's cool to see the behind the scenes royal court and political stuff. It goes painfully slow though. I really just want to see Henry's wives. Anne Boelyn is introduced in like the 3rd episode, but doesn't marry Henry until the 3rd season I think. I ended up watching the first 4 episodes then the last episodes of season 1 and 2. It's good, but not totally engrossing. There are probably lots of better TV shows out there to get into.

Billy Elliott - This one might be cheating as I've seen this film before, but it was still funny, fun, and entertaining. You root for this kid and his family.

Exit the Gift Shop - Cool documentary(?) about street art. The first 3/4 of this movie were real cool and gave a nice picture of street art and graffiti. The film then transforms into this weird statement on art and pop culture while focusing on the camera man turned artist. Is it mockumentary or documentary? Is it just another piece of pop art by Banksy? Interesting stuff, worth checking out.

Searching for Bobby Fisher - This movie definitely still holds up. Great story and moral. Amazing cast - Laurence Fishburn, Joe Mantegna, Ben Kingsley, Joan Allen, and cameos by Laura Linney and William H. Macy. It's one of those rare films where you find yourself rooting for every character.

Monday, April 4, 2011

ACL Review - Hot Tub Time Machine

The hits just keep on coming. I mean, I don't really have high standards, especially while on these percocets, but this is another bad movie. This one I was not surprised by. Judging by the previews and hearing reviews from people who saw it and thought it would be good but were disappointed, I knew this one wouldn't be very good.
Lots of problems:
John Cusack is not a comedy lead.
That random bald guy is not funny.
The barely even referenced the 80's. Why go back in time at all.
Oh, and the ending sucked. Doc Brown and Reed Richards would not have agreed with the outcome in this one.
Next time more hot tub, more time machine please.
I guess I should not expect much from my instant netflix movies. Shoot

ACL Review - The Proposal

Seriously, how the hell did this movie get made? This had the makings of a perfect recovery movie - it was available instantly on Netflix, it had good actors, and low expectations. But those expectations were low for a reason. Just look at the picture. You just know this movie is going to suck. Was there ever on doubt to exactly how this movie would play out? I mean, to call it formulaic would be an understatement. I like Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock, but wow, were they wasted. Some would call Betty White's performance a highlight, but here stuff on SNL was 10x better. What a waste of a talented cast. The only funny thing I can remotely remember was the character played by Oscar from the Office. At least that was unexpected.
I would rather have the lingering taste of my own vomit in my mouth than the lingering taste of The Proposal.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

ACL Review - Cheese and Cheddar

So far the surprising All-Star of my ACL rehab snacking has been Keebler's Cheese and Cheddar Sandwich Crackers. You know the bright orange crackers with the fake cheese in the middle. I'm really loving them. For one, they are were easy on the stomach immediately after surgery. Also, they are not as dry or likely to stick to the mouth as the peanut butter ones and my mouth is still extra dry from the surgery. They are not greasy or too salty like other snacks would be. All and all, the surprising perfect post surgery snack.
Thanks Keebler.

ACL Review - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - This was a long one. I probably fell asleep 10 times during the movie due to my medication and the slow pace of the film. To me, it was cross between the Notebook and The Interview with the vampire. I feel the narrative structure has been used a lot before and the themes of have already been tackled in vampire movies. I do like Cate Blanchett, but the movie was pretty creepy towards the end.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

ACL Review - The Social Network

So, I had ACL surgery yesterday. It wasn't too fun. If you can believe it, today kind of sucks. The pain is there, but manageable with drugs. There has been no real nausea, so it could be worse.
Anyways, I anticipate watching lots of movies and TV shows and reading comics books or other less dense reads and I thought I'd share these with my readers through this blog. You'll get a good list of my ACL activities, plus a bit more excitement with me being all drugged up. Surgery recovery is a great time to catch up on all those movies you haven't gotten around to and gives you a could excuse to watch stuff you wouldn't watch otherwise or stuff you were too embarrassed to watch previously.
Here we go.

The Social Network - This was the Golden Globe winner for best picture? Did I miss something here. Much of the movie was just dorky teenage boys acting like adolescent girls, trying to somehow get back at the people that made fun of them over the years. The viewer cannot empathize with any of the characters except maybe the friend Eduardo. The coolest part was probably the beginning with the whole match-book thing or whatever where you voted on the hotter girl. It was kind of like how Big Dunc pitted comic book characters and Lord of the Rings/Star Wars characters up against each other. It was cool seeing how quickly it spread.
Overall, this was an overrated movie. Oh, and Trent Reznor, your music wasn't that great.
It was also my first ever netflix movie. I only hope the rest are not as disappointing. I should have better stuff for you coming up1