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Monthly Archives: January 2013

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohiou.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS

SEGEL, HANNIGAN, RADNOR, SMULDERS, HARRIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In December, Deadline reported that a ninth season was set in stone for HIMYM, and now CBS has confirmed the report.

The show’s next season will be its last. While I’m sad one of my favorite shows will be ending, I must say I’m happy it won’t be dragged on longer than necessary (here’s looking to you, The Office).

As stated in my initial post about the ninth season announcement (http://wp.me/p2lwJZ-fe), the full original cast (Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Josh Radnor) and the creators will all return for its final season.

Entertainment Weekly and The Huffington Post both interviewed Chairmen of 20th Century Fox Television Dana Walden and Gary Newman, who said, “We‘re thrilled to have the entire and incredibly talented How I Met Your Mother cast back for one final season to bring the series to a proper close. Carter Bays and Craig Thomas are masterful and hilarious storytellers, and we have no doubt that they will guide one of the greatest comedies of the last decade to a gratifying conclusion when they finally reveal the identity of the Mother.”

My only hope is that they make this ninth and final season worthwhile. Please.

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By Nathan Gordon | ng312310@ohiou.edu | @GordonRises
Movie 43 | Directed by Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg, James Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, Brett Ratner and Jonathan van Tulleken  | Rated R
RATING: 2/5

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First Words

As I walked into the theater to see Movie 43, I knew I wasn’t going to see a heartfelt movie like The Help (inside joke for those who’ve seen Movie 43). I knew I was going to see a movie that wasn’t going to be in the slightest any way serious, but even with those somewhat low standards I was still partially let down.

Plot

Charlie Wessler (Dennis Quaid) pitches his idea for a movie to movie studio executive Griffin Schraeder (Greg Kinnear). His idea proceeds to play out through several different segments culminating in what would be the most ridiculous film ever made.

Positives

When Peter Farrelly, who is one of the films directors and producers, is involved in a film, you can expect humor that can be simply described as dumb. Movie 43 keeps that trend up. Yes, the film is predominately with humor that many people classify as “stupid,” but there still is quite a few moments where laughter can’t be avoided. I openly admit to finding some of the dumbest things funny, so it didn’t come as a shock to me that I was laughing more often than the rest of the people in the audience. The standout segments of the film were clearly Homeschooled and Victory’s Glory.

Movie 43 is clearly filled with many familiar faces from Hollywood, so you’re bound to come across some of your personal favorites on screen. Seeing a film with some of your favorite actors in it is always a bright spot, but seeing them act completely silly in a film where they don’t have to take it too seriously makes it a little more intriguing.

Negatives

Earlier I glossed over how this film clearly has an immature sense of humor, but let me touch back on that. Yes, the film’s dumb moments were funny at numerous times throughout. But even those moments piled on top of the film’s DUMBEST points makes for a film that is hard to be on board with. Many of the segments might have fared better as sketches made for television. This especially feels evident in the Super Hero Speed Dating segment. Seeing goofy looking Batman and Robin customs got old quickly, but it isn’t all bad, thanks to the comedic dialogue by Jason Sudeikis, who plays Batman. Movie 43 brings the laughs, but all those laughs are surrounded by too many immature moments.

I wondered how all the segments in the film would be tied together and the storyline introduced an idea that had potential until it quickly faltered. I thought the film would play out as several failed movie pitches, but unfortunately it turned out to be one big movie idea filled with several different segments. I know the plot was intentionally dumb, so that it plays as another funny element, but it just felt like a lazy approach to the premise of having many different segments play out in one film.

Last Words

I’m sure Movie 43 will be completely dismissed by those who have or even haven’t seen it. There is no problem with that, but I still believe this film can be found entertaining. You just have to go into the movie knowing that you’re not about to watch the most brain-stimulating film. That’s what I did, and even though I was even surprised by how consistently immature it was, I still found myself laughing.

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohiou.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox
Rating: 2/5

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Ridiculous storylines and pointless performances… Glee has returned.

At least last season when the show went on hiatus, the new episode that followed was good – remember Matt Bomer? However, nothing of the sort can be said for this premiere episode.

I was thoroughly disappointed with tonight’s episode; I guess I should start getting used to that feeling.

Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) has more lines in this episode than she did for all of season two. In order to curb the embarrassment of not being asked to a dance, Tina proposes to hold a Sadie Hawkins dance so that the girls can choose their dates. Girl power!

Kurt (Chris Colfer) discovers that college is just like high school. I beg to differ. College is much better than high school. For instance, I get to blog about TV in college; in high school, I just watched TV. Anyway, Rachel (Lea Michele) continually blows Kurt off to hang out with Brody (Dean Geyer), so Kurt decides to partake in extracurricular activities in order to meet new people. The first one he finds is a show choir called “Adam’s Apples” –that’s an unfortunate name.

Beiste (Dot Jones) somehow always manages to incorporate some philosophical ideology into every scene she is in. Tonight focused on the idea of Sadie Hawkins – about empowerment and not waiting around. Good advice, just awkwardly included in the show.

Ladies and gentlemen, Kurt Hummel’s sass is back! Not once but twice is he super sassy towards Rachel. Oh, how I’ve missed it! I don’t care if I’m stereotyping the homosexual male; Chris Colfer is a sass master.

Kurt brings up the idea of joining the show choir, but Rachel shuts down that idea quickly, saying it would be “social suicide.” Mean Girls much?

Tina sings “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” which is appropriate because she is in love with Blaine (Darren Criss), who will clearly not reciprocate that love. Utter nonsense. However, it did bring about the chance for a Darren Criss butt shot, which is always appreciated.

Kurt meets the leader of Adam’s Apples, Adam (Oliver Kieran-Jones), a senior with a beautiful British accent. The Brit is very forward about getting Kurt to join and takes him to see his group sing.

tumblr_m1c9fydKqr1qmsxt0JOEY RICHTER WAS IN THE GROUP! You know, Joey Richter, from Starkid; he was Ron in A Very Potter Musical, in which Darren Criss played Harry Potter.

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This guy!

 

 

 

But the song Adam’s Apples sang ruined his special guest appearance. “Baby Got Back.” Literally, it was the worst song ever. Of all the songs to choose, why on earth would that be your final decision? Pick a song that actually sounds good in an acoustic version or at least something that would make Kurt actually want to join that club. Geez.

In an interaction that is simply too good to describe properly, Brittany (Heather Morris) is, of course, hilarious and helps Marley (Melissa Benoist) gain the courage to ask Jake (Jacob Artist) to the dance. Because of her magical turn, Brittany and Marley duet to “Tell Him,” the only great performance of the night. The vocals were superb, and the choreography was perfect. Check out this awesome clip of the original version: http://bit.ly/ug41L

Jakes agrees to go with Marley, which upsets Kitty (Becca Tobin) who tries to get Jake to go back on his decision by promising him a “home run” with her.

Blaine tells Tina that the reason he turned down her offer to go to the dance is because he has a crush on someone: Sam (Chord Overstreet). Why?! I really like the two as friends; why are we even bothering with this? Goodness these ridiculous crushes are just frustrating.

Kurt tells Rachel about Adam, who has been coming on to him quite often, and she tells him to go for it. Not fair, first Kurt gets Darren Criss and now he has a British guy. He is literally living my dreams. And because Kurt is adorable, Adam agrees to go on a date with him. If you listen closely, you can hear all of the Klaine worshippers crying.

In order to stop Kitty from bothering Jake, Puck (Mark Salling) intervenes but ends up agreeing to go to the dance with her. The two actually hit it off, although I’m pretty sure it’s illegal.

At the dance, the glee club guys do a boy band version of “No Scrubs.” I never really enjoy covers of TLC songs, for how can you beat TLC?! Nonetheless, it was not awful. The glee club girls sing “Locked Out of Heaven.” I HATE Bruno Mars, especially this song, but their cover was actually pretty good. Some of the dance moves were a bit questionable but all-around a good performance.

What is up with the extremely awkward dancing?! Whenever any scene involved the actors talking while on the dance floor, they were dancing off beat and just distractingly. It was just bad.

While they are dancing, Blaine and Tina almost kiss before Sam pulls Blaine away. Why are we still discussing this nonsense?! I should feel sorry for Tina, but I don’t.

Sam and Blaine believe the Warblers were using steroids at Sectionals, which would mean their disqualification and a chance for the New Directions to compete again. Finn (Cory Monteith) is hesitant to do anything until Blaine brings in Trent (Dominic Barnes), a Warbler who refused to use steroids and may testify against the group. Duh, duh, duuuhhhhhhh…

Of course there had to be a way for the glee club to perform again; heaven forbid they never perform at a competition again this season. It also proves to be a fairly solid way of closing off the ties to the Warblers since Blaine graduates this season.

Rachel way overreacts to Brody’s tardiness for dinner. Seriously, she goes crazy. He then gushes some lovey-dovey jargon, and the two are in love again. Rachel then asks Brody to move in with her and Kurt! TOO SOON. Judging.

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By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohiou.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
American Horror Story airs on FX
Rating: 5/5

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I only question everything I know when I have to think about the plot of American Horror Story. Were things real? Were they fake? Questions that tell me that Ryan Murphy has created an excellent psychological thriller that truly boggles the mind and keeps the audience’s interest throughout the entire season. Well done, sir, well done indeed.

If you have not watched the finale yet, then stop reading and go watch it for yourself and pay attention! Then come back and read my review.

Going back to the beginning of the season, Johnny (Dylan McDermott) was there the entire time Leo (Adam Levine) and Teresa (Jenna Dewan-Tatum) broke into Briarcliff. He was the one who cut off Leo’s arm. Quite less climatic than my original ideas of some eternal monster trapped within that room, but I guess this works.

In the present, a much older Lana (Sarah Paulson) prepares for an interview before her Kennedy Center honor, for her career sparked even more after the book. Ambition was her motivation – remember that kids – and she went on to have a very successful career in television.

A “Briarcliff Exposed” video was released in which Lana narrates the horror of the patients at Briarcliff; this is how she succeeds in finally shutting the place down. Lana mentions that when she finally went back to Briarcliff, Jude (Jessica Lange) had already gone.

Let’s all take a break with a nice glass of water, which is what Johnny hands Lana as she breaks from her interview! Yep. We’ll get to this later.

Lana visits Kit (Evan Peters) at his house. Right off the bat, Lana tells him she found a file on Betty Drake, who had been released to Kit in 1970, and she knows that Betty is Jude (Jessica Lange).

What ensues is probably the best part about the entire finale…

After Alma died, Kit visited Jude and tried to rekindle the life that he knew was still there. For the sake of his children, he needed to forgive someone so he could put Briarcliff behind him.

Jude had psychotic breaks, but they end after the children took her for a walk in the woods. Wait, what? The alien spawn freak me out. Explanations, I need! Anyway, Jude becomes normal again and is now a part of the family.

I lied. This next scene was the absolute best.

Before she goes, Jude gives advice to both the children. To the daughter, she reminds her to never let a man tell her who she is or that she is less than he is. To the son, she tells him to never take a job just for the money but to find something he loves. If that wasn’t enough, the children also call her “nana.

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I cannot handle the adorableness, beauty, inspiration, love and sadness that is all tied together in this one scene. For this scene alone, Lange should win every award for everything.

The Dark Angel (Frances Conroy) comes, for Jude is finally ready. But I’m not! Never have I ever witnessed a more full circle story than Jude’s and never have I ever seen it portrayed as wonderful as Lange acted it.

After closing Briarcliff, Lana pursues Cardinal Howard (Joseph Fiennes). Her questions about Arden’s experiments and the missing patients become connected to his suicide. I’m glad he went down with Briarcliff, but I’m more so happy his storyline has ended.

Commenting on Howard’s guilty conscience, Lana states that “Lies are like scars on your soul; they destroy you.” She then comes clean about her 40-year-old lie; on camera, she confesses that the baby lived.

Kit develops pancreatic cancer. Funny thing though, he vanishes… because of the aliens.

The alien plot was never fully explained. Though I do find it quite frustrating, I do enjoy the idea of leaving an idea unexplained so that it can be open to different judgment and discussion – Murphy’s intention all along.

Back in the present, the interviewers all leave, but Johnny stays. Lana knows who he is and what his purpose is! Goodness, she is brilliant.

I never thought I would say that a scene involving Dylan McDermott would be thrilling, but this scene was.

Lana’s calm mood was frightening and Johnny’s anger seemed believable. While pointing a gun at her head, Johnny confesses that he wants to be like Thredson; he wants to make his father proud. Lana tells him he won’t be like his father, for he is not a monster like Thredson.

Johnny breaks down, and Lana claims that his woes are her fault. She then shoots him in the head! Ironic, huh. I never expected both of them to come out alive from this scene, but I was not expecting it to end like that.

Flashback to 1964 – yep, this is happening folks – and we see Lana asking Sister Jude about Bloody Face. Jude tells her to be wary of a life of “a woman with a dream of her own.” She says Jude does not know what she is capable of.

American-Horror-Story-Asylum-Episode-13-Video-Preview-Season-FinaleWe end the season like the original previews ended: with a close-up on Jessica Lange’s face. Jude then remarks the final words of the season, “If you look in the face of evil, evil’s going to look right back.”

Lana then walks out the front doors, and “Dominique” plays as the camera fades out on Briarcliff.

Two theories are prevalent in my mind. One, Jude simply foreshadowed the entire season – the evil being Lana’s face-off with Thredson and Johnny – or two, Lana actually made up the entire thing to write a book – a popular thought on Tumblr.

Personally, I like to think the whole thing wasn’t made up, but who knows, Ryan Murphy certainly enjoys boggling the minds of his viewers. Job well done on that note.

Though I’m terribly sad the season is over, I am happy that my mind can rest for awhile – though probably not because I have no idea what the ending meant.

American Horror Story: Asylum has ended. Check back here for the latest news on the third season of AHS.

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohio.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
Season 2 of Smash returns to NBC on Tuesday February 5 at 9 p.m.

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How do I begin to describe Smash?

A show that had probably one of the best pilots I had ever seen in a long time. A show that would take me behind the scenes into the world of Broadway. A show that was creating its own musical about Marilyn Monroe: Bombshell.

A show that everyone ended up hate-watching since its second episode.

From the very beginning, I was intrigued. I am a musical fanatic who loves TV; on paper, I am the perfect fan for this series. In reality, I sat on my couch and criticized the show to pieces. The acting. The scarves. The covers. Ellis. All pieces that made the show, well, terrible.

However, I was determined to stick with it, for I could not get the original songs out of my head. Because the show is centered on the idea of a fictional musical, there had to be songs to go along with it, and they were all five billion times better than anything else on the show. Personally, I believe that without them, the show would have – or should have – been canceled.

Yet, the show lasted its promised 15 episodes and was given an early renewal in March 2012 for a second season. A season that will reveal the complete overhaul the show went through since the end of its premiere.

Creator Theresa Rebeck and several cast members will not return for season two. Joshua Safran, previously of Gossip Girl, has taken over the leading role and is steering the show in a much needed new and, hopefully, better direction.

Article after article mentions the drastic changes the show has gone through in order to not have a repeat of its first season. Ellis (Jaime Cepero), Frank (Brian d’Arcy James), Leo (Emory Cohen) and Dev (Raza Jaffrey) are out while promising newcomers Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan, of Broadway’s Newsies) and Kyle (Andy Mientus) are in, with an anticipated guest star appearance by Jennifer Hudson. Julia’s (Debra Messing) notorious scarves have been banned, and the plot is being whipped into shape.

More importantly, Safran is set on having more original music and fewer covers. In an interview for Entertainment Weekly, Safran said, “For me, the biggest thing that separates us from Glee is that original music is the major component of Smash.” Preach! I only stuck with Smash because of the original songs, which, unlike Glee’s original music, is amazing.

With all of these changes, I am actually ok with saying that I am excited for season two. I have the highest hopes for this show and pray that the previews aren’t misleading – again – and that it actually ends up being as good as it sounds. Fingers crossed!

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohiou.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS
Rating: 4/5

Ring Up

After last week’s plummet, I was anxious about tonight’s episode, “Ring Up,” but, as always, How I Met Your Mother continues to mess with my heart. Last week was horrible and tonight was funny; why must it go from one extreme to another?! It is terribly frustrating.

Ted (Josh Radnor) is dating a twenty-year-old. Ok. What?! Ted is supposed to be looking for Mrs. Mosby, not wasting his time with someone ten years his junior. My frustration from last week carried over to tonight only because of this one storyline. If Ted is supposed to want a mature, meaningful relationship, then he should probably stop wasting his – and our – time with girls who he won’t have a future with.

Even worse than wasting our time, the storyline of Ted and the unnamed girl (Ashley Benson) was typical and cliché. Of course, Ted is ten years older so he doesn’t understand half of what the girl says or does. Blah.

In order to include Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) in tonight’s episode, a subpar idea is presented, but Segel and Hannigan knew how to deliver it. Marshall starts wearing a bracelet, which Lily finds attractive because it creates this bad-boy fantasy of Marshall; however, he ends up being allergic to the bracelet. Lily’s sex drive is a running gag of the show because Hannigan is hilarious, and Segel can make anything funny.

Can I just say that Cobie Smulders is wonderful and hilarious?

Because she is awesome and beautiful, Robin (Cobie Smulders) enjoyed luxuries in life, like free food and… a musical number every morning. However, now that she is engaged and has a ring, she is invisible. Lord of the Rings – “you’re not precious” – and Harry Potter – the invisibility cloak – jokes ensued and the nerd in me rejoiced. This is why I love this show!

Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) is going through withdrawal of one-night-stands. Gross, but it’s Barney. Ergo, he pressures Ted into sleeping with this young girl. “Bang her for me,” he pleads. Ugh, gross, but it’s Barney. Ted denies his request because he says he cannot connect with this girl. Oh, now you want to have some standards?

But this girl has issues – granddaddy issues; she has this weird fixation with Ted’s age. Magically, she reveals that she likes Star Wars thus giving Ted a reason to sleep with her.

Ted tells Barney and shows him a picture of the girl, but it turns out that the young girl is actually Barney’s half sister! Double gross.

In order to save his sister’s virtue, Barney wants Ted to marry her, because he hates that they had a one-night-stand, meaning Barney has finished his detox and no longer feels the need to sleep around.

While I enjoyed the funny quips between the two about Barney sleeping with Ted’s mom and Ted sleeping with Barney’s sister, I’m not too sure how I felt about the storyline overall. I think it was important to show Barney getting over his dirty habits but not at Ted’s expense. Stalling Ted’s future is exactly the opposite of what I want to see.

tumblr_mh0dalP4mi1qmgu7zo5_250Despite my despair over Ted’s storyline, Robin’s storyline had a much better and cuter ending. Although she is upset over the lost attention, Robin learns the true power of the ring; it means she has someone she loves – the only person she needs to see and have see her. Apparently, this also means that when you look at them, their face glows. I will overlook that in order to appreciate the adorableness of Barney and Robin’s love that I have been waiting to see.

Next time let’s forgo cliché storylines and focus on the newly engaged couple and the gang as a whole – that is the heart of the show, that is what brings me back each week.

Life lessons from How I Met Your Mother. Beautiful stuff, kids.

By Nathan Gordon | ng312310@ohiou.edu | @GordonRises

ImageThis list is comprised of my personal favorite films from the past year so I’m sure people will disagree with the order and even the movies themselves. Before I jump into the list I must mention that well received movies like Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, and Argo won’t appear on this list because I didn’t get around to seeing those films (actually when it comes to Argo I just fell asleep on it).

Let’s start with the Honorable Mentions:

12. Celeste & Jesse Forever

This is a comedy that many people don’t know about but should. It examines the interesting concept of a separated married couple still having best friend type of relationship.

11. Skyfall

The best bond film I have ever seen.

Now on to the highly anticipated (or not anticipated at all) Top 10:

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

This film, about an individual dealing with so much all while trying to find where he fits in his new school, found me more entertained than I expected to be when I walked in. I was very impressed with the storyline and predominately young cast.

9. The Cabin in the Woods

This “scary” movie poking fun at the whole concept of intended scary movies was very interesting to watch. Finally seeing the people behind all the dumb decisions made in horror films played out so well, even during the outrageous final act (you’ll understand once you see the movie).

8. 21 Jump Street

Even though this film stars Jonah Hill, I was surprised at how funny it was. A pure comedy throughout that found me laughing the hardest I laughed in a theater all year…until another movie came out (keep reading and it’ll make sense).

7. Looper

This film has one of the most interesting plots I’ve seen since Inception. The cat-and-mouse chase in the film plays out impressively all the way through the twist at the end.

6. Chronicle

This found footage style film engulfs the viewer in the journey three friends go through after acquiring telekinetic powers. Your emotions are wrapped up in the story as you experience the highs and lows with those three friends.

5. Silver Linings Playbook

Bradley Cooper successfully transitioned to playing a more dramatic role all while still blending in comedy. Jennifer Lawrence showed once again that she is not just one of the best young actresses but one of the best actresses around right now.

4. Ted

I’m a huge fan of Seth Macfarlane and all of his work so it came as no shock to me that this was the funniest movie I seen all year. For now, this is the closest thing to a Family Guy movie that I have and I’m going to cherish that.

3. The Dark Knight Rises

All though not better than The Dark Knight, this film is still a great in its own right. I wouldn’t have watched five times since it’s been released if I didn’t feel that way. Christopher Nolan ended his Batman trilogy on a very high note thanks to another great story and great cast.

2.  Django Unchained

Quentin Taratino has become one of my favorite directors with the unique style of films he’s become known for. With this film he took a controversial subject like slavery and added bounty hunters, comedy, and of course violence to create one of the most talked about movies of the year.

AND NOW DRUM ROLL PLEASE! (Insert drum roll sound)

1. The Avengers

I’m a big fan of the Marvel Universe that has been created through film. I had my doubts about how the film would come together all while aching for its release years in advance. The finale product was the most entertaining movie I seen from start to finish.