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Friday, January 18, 2013

The Vampire Diaries- Season four, episode 10

Oh HELL yeah. It's about time. It's been so long since we've seen an A episode of this show, you guys, but the midseason premiere delivered. The first thing it gave us? Answers. We know who blew up the pastor and the council. We know who the next Big Bad will probably be (Silas). Thank God. We needed a new challenge.

The next thing it gave us was lots of good, old fashioned Elena triangle heartbreak. Rebekah forcing Elena to rip Stefan's heart out wasn't as sad as we thought it would be, but it was at least interesting. We felt bad for both Stefan and Elena when he said that he wanted Rebekah to compel him into forgetting his relationship with Ms. Gilbert. Ouch.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pretty Little Liars- Season 3, Episode 15

Mona-Mania- Sorry this is a day late. One of us had something to do during the usual blogging time. But better late than never, we always say. We found out whose bike was busted last week: the captain of the Academic Decathlon. That's one way to unseat a club leader, Mona.

Lucas finally coughs up the nature of his involvement with Mona and the A-Team. He's being blackmailed for selling answers to tests? Wow, we would come clean before we would do stuff for Mona. He was delivering messages from Jason to her back when she was in Radley. And, shocker, LUCAS almost blew up Meredith. Hanna has definitely set Mona off again, but that's Hanna. She's not going to pretend to be someone's friend. She's going to tell them to their face to get bent.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Carrie Diaries- Season 1, episode 1

Pilot- We went into this show as huge Sex and the City fans who really didn't see why this new show was a good idea in the first place. The original show's writers didn't see a reason to look back, we know who Carrie ends up with, and Carrie is by far NOT the best character on that show. Carrie is kind of a selfish, vapid chain smoker who always talks about herself after her friends are telling her their problems. However, Sarah Jessica Parker is adorable, so we loved Carrie anyway.

Miranda was the dry wit, Samantha was the enthusiastic lover of life and men, and Charlotte was the girly girl. They were all better than Carrie. Also, the heart of the show was their friendship. Without Carrie's real soulmates, what's the point? Plus, this new show couldn't have all the humor and sex jokes. It's the CW. After watching the pilot, it's clear that the show isn't going to even try (which is probably a good thing). Maybe the show is going by the book, but it sure as heck isn't going by the show at all.

Bunheads- Season 1, episodes 11-12

Oh, this weird, plotless show. We love it bunches. It's starting to be more confident now that it's settled. The premiere of Bunheads was really cute and only a little nonsensical. In fact, it was probably the best possible episode for it to return with. There was emotion and some of the best dialogue we've seen from this show yet. Hubbell and Michelle's wedding video was not nearly as creepy as we would have guessed. In fact, it was super sweet.

Plus, it opened with SUCH a great dance number. We want to watch that multiple times. We were confused about one thing. Did Sasha blow off that great opportunity at The Joffrey? Or did she just come back earlier than she told her parents she would be back? Did she just spend the gap hiding or was it the whole summer? If you know, let us know. We liked the episode, but we don't want to watch the whole thing again. Just that dance number.

Onto this week. Truly is starting to get on our nerves, but if it leads to more of us seeing her hilarious sister, played by Liza Weil, we'll be happy. This show needs a Paris. We don't even mind if this show is Gilmore Girls 2.0 at this point. We're just glad there is something like it. We both miss Gilmore Girls so much (Leeard more than Ern, but still; they should totally bring it back and do a time jump). It was hilarious that Truly's sister is so the opposite of her in every way and that they hate each other.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Girls- Season 2, episode 1

It's About Time- Before we get into this, we just want to say that the episode title is fitting because we feel like we've been waiting forever for this show. Whenever we feel stressed, we just want to go watch it. We love it so much. It makes us laugh, as well as feel good and represented. The magic of this show isn't that it's controversial or that Lena Dunham gets named and has horrible sex. The magic of this show is its realness. See, in their obsession with good looks, older people "paint pictures of Egypt" when it comes to the early 20s. Meaning, they make them out to be a lot better than they are.

Execs and most celebrities paint that time as one where we party like we're going to die young, where our whole futures are ahead of us, where we are desired, and where we have all this freedom. But the world has changed since they were young. When they were young, people were getting married earlier, so they have this memory of falling in love with an important person. We have texting, clubs, and the "hook-up" culture.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Life of Pi, The Hobbit, The Five-Year Engagement, Les Miserables, Moonrise Kingdom, Django Unchained, and Silver Linings Playbook

We've been lazy with the current movie posts, so here are a few short takes. We wrote this during the commercials of the first hour of the Golden Globes :-)

The Life of Pi- This is half the most awesome movie ever and half the gayest movie ever. Visually, it's so so so good. We liked these visuals better than anything in Avatar, because they were more realistic and more breathtaking. The storm scene had us on the edge of our seats. It's a sweet story. For the most part, it's a success, and one that can be shared by families.

Fundamentalists may struggle with the idea that Pi is a Hindu, a Christian, AND a Muslim, but we didn't. Also, the movie features one of the worst scenes we've ever sat through (when Pi tells a false story to the Japanese investigator; that went on forever and was just cartoonishly awful). As far as spiritual movies go, this one definitely trumps Cloud Atlas.
Movie grade: B

The Hobbit- We know so many people who were disappointed with this movie, but we doubt they've read the book. They might have been comparing this movie to the last three. The book "The Hobbit" isn't like Lord of the Rings as far as, you know, being a serious epic. It's a fanciful children's book. And when we saw the movie, we thought, "Man, I don't remember the book being anywhere near this good." Peter Jackson darkened up the material.

They picked a good cast. We've liked Richard Armitage since North and South, but it's a shame he's a friggin dwarf so people can't grasp how hot he his. Whatever. That's not what matters. What matters is that Martin Freeman is such a perfect pick for Bilbo that he redeems the Bilbo we saw in LOTR, who was twisted and corrupted by the ring. Freeman imbues Bilbo with so much personality in every movement and facial expression that he steals moments where he isn't even talking. His showdown with Gollum left our faces hurting from smiling.

Gandalf is back, it's a solid story, there's a really sweet moment or two, and it looks freaking great. The only downside? It takes a while to get going. Settle in and be patient. It's a three hour movie, and the first 40 minutes or so are spent getting Bilbo to even go on the journey. The first half will drag, but if you're prepared, it won't be so bad. The second half more than rewards you for waiting. Overly padded? Possibly. But we enjoy every minute spent in middle earth.
Movie grade: A-

The Five-Year Engagement- This movie was yards better than we expected it to be and a lot raunchier. Still, there weren't enough laughs to justify its running time. It's worth seeing on video if you like Emily Blunt, Alison Brie, Jason Segel, and Chris Pratt. Who doesn't like them? They all do a great job. Although this is a love story, the script isn't plagued with the stupidity of most comedies centered around romance. We wouldn't call this a rom-com at all because of that. The movie tackled issues that real couples have to grapple with in this day and age. We didn't regret watching it, but we didn't love it either.
Movie grade: B-

Les Miserables- In the mood for a good cry? Look no further. If you're interested in this at all, you've probably already seen it. Critics haven't been as kind as viewers, so we'll call this a crowd-pleaser. We must be in the crowd, because we were pleased. The story is a tad overpacked with characters and the first half is superior to the second, but we still love the whole thing. It has action, romance, spirituality, courage, self-sacrifice, tragedy, and, most importantly, strong themes of redemption, second chances, grace, and forgiveness. This movie (and the musical it's based off of) has its faults, but they are nothing compared to the power of this story and characters to touch hearts for decades. There's something about it that rings true and grabs people.

We like the songs too. The actors sang them live while they were filming, rather than recording them before or afterward. This imbued the whole thing with way more emotion than most movie musicals. Anne Hathaway was the first to make us cry. She was so good it isn't even funny. Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried were the weak links, but even they weren't terrible. Crowe can sing; he just can't sing that part. It's way too low for his voice. You need a bass voice, preferably opera-trained for that part. Crowe was brave to try it, but the movie would have been improved by a guy who could carry what is arguably the best role in the whole thing.

Hugh Jackman picked talk-singing and acting over actual singing a little too much for us, especially considering he can actually sing. There were moments when he was so focused on the acting that he went off key. Ern thought Eddie Redmayne was wonderful, but Leeard thought he sounded a little froggy. Samantha Barks's Eponine was predictably on point. Everyone loved the Broadway vet who played Enjolras, but we don't think he was the right voice for it. He should probably have played Marius, but we guess they wanted a movie start for Marius. Anyway, the whole cast is way better than most movie musical casts. We were happy with this movie. Hated the added song, "Suddenly," though. It was lame and creepy.
Episode grade: A 

Moonrise Kingdom- Okay, get through the first 30 minutes of this quirky comedy, and you will be rewarded. The first bit is a bunch of scenery, hipster-y music, kids running around, and confusing glimpses of what the plot may turn out to be about. Once you get into the action, you see why people are wild about this movie. It's adorable and well-acted. It's our favorite Wes Anderson movie (yes, we like it better than Rushmore).
Episode grade: A-

Django Unchained- Wow, that was an entertaining movie. It's Tarantino all the way. If you liked any of his other movies, you will like this one. It has the exaggerated characters, cruelty, and violence, as well as the dialogue, fitting soundtrack, and homages to other movies. Samuel L. Jackon's villain and Waltz's German bounty hunter stole the show from Foxx and Leo. As for allegations of racism, we didn't find it offensive, other than the use of that racist word. It had some really intense scenes too. Our only complaint was that Kerry Washington was given little to do besides be the damsel in distress. Tarantino women usually get much better treatment than that. Also, it's probably not as clever as it thinks it is. Pretty damn close though.
Movie grade: A

Silver Linings Playbook- Bradley Cooper does a surprisingly good job. We didn't know he could act that well. The script is good, but we found too many similarities to Garden State. But we loved this movie because of Jennifer Lawrence, girl crush of our dreams. It's not just because we love her. The energy she brought to this movie elevated it in every way. Every time she was onscreen, the scene was good. When she was off, you missed her.

When she was around, every other actor upped their game. She took a character who people could have written off as "slutty" and "annoying" and made her amazing in every way. The typical manic pixie dream girl is innocent and virginal. Not here. Tiffany was complicated and hilarious. If anyone else were playing her, this movie would have suffered.
Movie grade: B+