The Office – Season 7!!

Posted in TV Shows on October 6th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

I am behind on blogging about my favorite tv show (and the only one that’s left that is good enough for me to watch these days!), The Office!  Time flew so fast that the season premiere was a few weeks ago now, and it’s been a great season so far!

The Office is on Season 7 already, and unfortunately for us fans, this is reportedly the last season for the show’s lead actor, Steve Carell.  As a huge fan of the show, I  personally don’t see how it will work without Carell’s lovable idiot boss character, Michael Scott, and I’m hoping that he will change his mind about leaving.  Although he has yet to win an Emmy for his performance as Michael Scott (darn Alec Baldwin on 30 Rock takes it every year!), episode 2 of season 7 of The Office saw the best performance I’ve ever seen Carell give and probably the best acting I’ve ever seen on a tv sitcom!  If you’re a fan, I’m talking about the scene where he is in a counseling session with Toby, and Toby is kind of manipulating him to actually talk to him.  For a few minutes, Michael is actually talking and playing cards with Toby – a man he simply cannot stand.  He even has an “I loathe Toby” face that is priceless.  So anyway, he’s playing cards with Toby, and Toby is actually making some valuable psychiatric headway with Michael…  until Michael realizes it.  Within seconds as he’s realizing what Toby has done, his transformation back into his “I loathe Toby” mode is just…  WOW.  Emmy-worthy material, for sure in my opinion, but only time will tell.

Unfortunately, if you are not already watching this great show, then I can’t recommend you start now in the 7th season – nowadays the show seems to be written for its fan base, and newcomers might not be able to follow the plots which are seemingly being developed around the already established characters.  But I do highly recommend you check out the show beginning in Season 1 – you can do this on dvd or perhaps even on NBC’s website?  That way, you can watch the The Office characters hilariously evolve yourself.  If you work in an office yourself, are looking for a new tv show to watch, or are simply a fan of good tv, talented script-writing, try The Office!!

I cannot wait to see what the 3rd episode of this new season will bring us on Thursday!!

One of the Michael Scott’s (aka Steve Carell’s) famous “I loathe Toby” faces:

A Break From The Stinker Trend

Posted in Movies on April 16th, 2010 and tagged , , , ,

My husband and I have been watching some stinky movies lately.  Many of them have had something in common, but I don’t want to say which ones or what their common trait is for fear of making these movies predictable and even worse for people who might decide to watch  them.  I will just name the titles of the movies we’ve watched lately that weren’t any good along with some quick notes:

Edge of Darkness (recent Mel Gibson mess), Shutter Island (so looking forward to this one and it let me down), Memento (man loses memory and uses Polariods to remind himself of his mission in life), Fight Club (made us permanently question imdb.com’s rating system – this one got an 8.8 and we hated it), The Skeleton Key (Kate Hudson voo-doo flick – need I say any more?), The Machinist (the best part of this movie was Christian Bale’s acting – what does that tell you?), Angel Heart (more voo-doo, this time from the 80’s with Robert DeNiro and “Denise” from the Cosby Show which will never be the same for me again – I saw more of Denise than I ever needed to see; there was little about this movie that wasn’t disturbing – why they are bothering with a remake in 2011 is way beyond me), Surveillance (I liked this one a little, but my husband did not.  One of the rare movies upon which we disagreed.  Bill Pullman was pretty good), The Collector (a horror movie that wasn’t quite as bad as the other mentioned above.  VERY gory, and the amount of squirms and gore did not outweigh the good things about the movie).

Some of those movies are newer and we saw them in the theater; others are older releases watched at home.  There just isn’t much coming to the theaters these days.  The Nightmare Elm Street remake is coming soon, but my hopes are not high for that one –  the Halloween remake was awful, and the redone Friday the 13th wasn’t much better.  I did enjoy My Bloody Valentine 3D that came out a few years ago, but then again, I never saw the original.

At least we’ve been offered a break from all the stinkers.  We saw the Steve Carell / Tina Fey comedy-adventure flick Date Night for our date night the other night, and it was enjoyable.  Better than I thought, actually.  Steve Carell plays an everyman suburban husband who takes his wife out for a date night, and they say they are another couple in order to get a table at a swanky restaurant.  Problem is, the couple they pose as are mixed up in no-good business – hijinks ensue.  Steve Carell wasn’t given much to work with for his character, but it amazes me how he brings life to every one of his roles and makes every character different from one another – how does he do that?

And surprisingly, we got a break from our stinker-streak for at home movies too with a Sarah Michelle Gellar suspense thriller that was actually quite enjoyable, despite my usual disdain for the actress.  It’s called Possession, but don’t let the title fool you – it was a pretty good suspense movie with a crummy title.  The movie follows a young couple who are very much in love and celebrating their first wedding anniversary.  Complicating their lives however, is the husband’s convict brother, who has just been released from prison and is staying with them.  There is a horrible car accident, and both brothers end up in comas with the brother-in-law waking up thinking he’s the husband…  sounds like a cheesy soap opera, but it was well done, and we liked it.  From what I’ve been reading, it’s a remake of a Korean movie called Addicted; I might have to check out the original.  There is also an alternate ending, but I’ll stick with the ending I saw – the alternate sounds dumb.

I’m just glad that we broke our stinker-streak, even if it did have to involve Sarah Michelle Gellar.  Consider this blog post your warning to stay away from the ones I listed above – some were almost bad enough to add to my “horrible movies” list; one that includes such bombs as The Love Guru and The Night Listener.  You’ve been warned!!

Get Smart – Don’t Waste Time On The Love Guru

Posted in Movies on June 25th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The advice in the title of my blog post sounds obvious in retrospect.  Mike Myers‘ new movie The Love Guru did not look funny, nor did it look like a good movie…  But date night this week found us in a neighboring town whose movie theater has a card club – you earn points every time you see a movie and earn rewards with the points – free popcorn, drinks, candy, movie tickets.  We were lucky enough to have earned movie tickets the other day, and when we realized this would probably be one of the last movies we’d see without a newborn baby along, we decided to make it a double feature with our earned tickets.  We had gone to the theater to see Get Smart, the latest Steve Carell movie.  Since the times lined up well and we wouldn’t have much time to kill between the movies, we chose The Love Guru (regrettably) for our second movie.

Get Smart
There is one reason why I would want to see this movie after never having seen the ’60’s tv show: Steve Carell.  The guy is a good actor who is always fun to watch, so we couldn’t resist checking out his latest work.  It wasn’t the best example of Carell’s talent, but it was exactly what I was expecting, plus entertaining and amusing.  The fictional gadgetry was clever and the action was plentiful; there were also some funny jokes thrown in (Bill Murray‘s cameo is one of the best parts), and overall it was a good time.  Anne Hathaway was good as Agent 99, but it makes me wonder what the character was like in the tv show…  And I wonder what else I missed since I’ve never seen an episode of the tv version of Get Smart?  Maybe I’ll some across one someday, but for now, the movie wasn’t good enough to make it a priority.

And because I don’t want to waste any time talking about The Love Guru, I’m just going to copy and paste someone else’s review from imdb.com which I think sums up the movie perfectly:
R.I.P. Mike Myers Career
I saw this film last night in a advance screening. I can say without a doubt it is the worst movie I’ve ever seen in the theater. It is simply a terrible movie. For every joke that’s funny (which are few) there is about dozen that are not. Then there’s all the jokes we’ve seen in previous Myers films that aren’t so funny the 4th time around when they appear in this flick. Many moments in this film will having you looking around the theater wondering if anyone else finds this movie as stupid as you do.
That’s really the bottom line. This movie is stupid. Take every fear you’ve had watching the trailer, times it by 10 and you will get an idea of how bad this film is.
By the way, the hockey in this movie will leave any one who loves the game sick to there stomach. The hockey portrayal left me in tears. Its brutal ! The film is a HUGE slap in the face to hockey. Thanks Mike Myers !
On a positive note though, Justin Timberlake and Stephen Colbert are hilarious. The only time i enjoyed the movie at all was when they were on screen. I never thought in a million years I would leave a movie saying ” Thank God Justin Timberlake was is it.”
In short : this movie is terrible ! Don’t believe me ? Then throw your money away and see for yourself.

HAHAHA – I especially like the part in the review, “I never thought in a million years I would leave a movie saying, Thank God Justin Timberlake was in it.”  So true…
At least we got in for free, though the movie was so bad, it was almost a waste of reward points!  But it was a short movie and any time together for husband and wife away from the kids is priceless by itself, so I can’t say it was a total waste – but seriously, don’t see it! 🙂 

Horton Hears a ZZZzzzz…

Posted in Kids, Movies on March 15th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Took the kids to see Horton Hears a Who today.  Ok, so the title of the blog is a bit misleading…  it wasn’t really boring.  I am just so tired that I’m 2 for 2 in the falling asleep in the movie theater tally this week.  I actually liked what I saw of the movie.  With the exception of my 3-year-old running up and down the aisle, I enjoyed the experience.  It wasn’t totally her fault though; we went to an Easter egg hunt this morning, so she had LOTS of sugar coursing through her veins, which is why she was extra-hyper and running around the movie theater.  Once we flushed the sugar with plenty of non-sugary fluids, I was able to relax and enjoy the show – after a trip to the bathroom, of course.  It should actually be called a candy clean-up since they pick candy up off the floor; it has nothing to do with Easter eggs or hunting.  Still fun though, I’m just saying.

Before the movie started, I found myself wishing I had read the book, just to see how close the movie is to the book because now I have no idea.  But as far as Dr. Suess movies go, this is the best one I’ve seen.  Then again, I HATED The Cat in the Hat, and never saw the live-action version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, so there’s not much to compare it to in that respect.

The movie is about an elephant named Horton who lives in a jungle in what must be a fictional place because to my knowledge, there aren’t any jungles that have both kangaroos and elephants as indigenous species.  I know, it’s just a Dr. Suess movie and I’m probably reading too far into it, but I can’t help but think of that sort of thing.  And judging by Horton’s ears, he is an African elephant, not an Asian elephant…  ok, I’ll stop.  So anyway, Horton hears a Who.  A Who is actually a type of teeny-tiny person that lives in Whoville, all of which is located on a speck on a clover.  The rest of the story is about how Horton tries to save Whoville from a conniving kangaroo (played by the brilliant Carol Burnett) intent on destroying it.  I don’t usually like when I know the big-name actors voicing roles in an animated movie – it kind of distracts me, which is what happened when I heard Jim Carrey as the voice of Horton.  His voice also made the Horton character seem less cute to me, but I did like Carol Burnett as that scheming kangaroo.  And, hearing Steve Carell as the mayor of Whoville was not distracting at all – he is even good at voice-over acting – is there ever a role he’ll butcher?  Watching the opening credits, I noticed a plethora of recognizable actors lending voicework for this movie; among them:  Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett (from Arrested Development), Seth Rogan, Isla Fisher (from Wedding Crashers – she was surprisingly good as a cartoon voice), Jonah Hill, and Amy Poehler.

It’s a cute movie that’s perfect for the whole family, even though my 3-year-old asked about where the princesses were until the last 10 minutes of the movie.  When it was over, she did say she liked it, sans princesses and all.  There are some jokes for the parents that will go over the kids’ heads, and that’s always enjoyable in a kids’ movie – although I could have done without the kangaroo saying, “This is the jungle; we can’t behave like wild animals.” – just WAY too cheesy, think I’ve even heard that joke before somewhere else!  I loved how the Mayor of Whoville has 96 daughters and 1 son – someday I might know what that is like!  Is that in the book I wonder?  It seems almost too clever to be an add-in for the movie…  Either way, I will have to go borrow the book from the library to see how close the movie followed it, but I have heard that the book is pretty closely followed.  I’ve always liked Dr. Suess, and it’s a shame he’s not still around to gift us with any more of his work or to see his creations come to life on the big screen.

The Office and The Anniversary

Posted in TV Shows, Uncategorized on March 13th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Our wedding anniversary is coming up – this year marks #9! – and there’s a pretty cool gift we get this year: the first new Office episode in months!  Steve Carell gave an interview with TvGuide, and said that his character Michael Scott is hosting a dinner party, and it goes terribly awry.  If you know anything about the show, then you know how hilarious this will be and are looking forward to it as much as we are.  So on April 10, check out the first brand new Office episode since the writer’s strike saga!

And that reminds me, on April 10, 2009, we are hopefully going to have the time and resources to put together a “second wedding” for our tenth anniversary.  We didn’t know any of our Ohio friends when we got married way back in ’99, so we’d like to renew our vows and “get married” all over again in Ohio, 10 years later!  And, luckily for us, April 10, 2009 falls on a Friday!  So, this year we will be watching the Office.  Next year, we will be “getting married” again, hopefully!

SPLASH! It’s Mr. Woodcock in Real Life

Posted in Movies on March 10th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We went kinda crazy with the movies this weekend…  We watched the 1984 classic Splash with the kids, and we also took in Mr. Woodcock and Dan in Real Life (for the adults).  Splash is a Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah movie about a mermaid who leaves the ocean to come to New York city and fall in love with Tom Hanks.  It sounds dumb, but it’s actually pretty well done and a movie with substance and heart.  The special effects of her fins aren’t bad either, considering they’re over 20 years old and most likely made without computer assistence.  Since I haven’t seen the movie since I was a kid, I was wondering this time around about how many takes it took to film the underwater scenes…  mainly the one where Daryl Hannah’s character looks on a map in a sunken ship to find where Tom Hanks lives.  Also, there’s a scene in the movie where they are trying to choose a name for the mermaid, since her name is unpronouncable in English.  They’re walking down a New York street, and Tom Hanks mutters, “where are we, Madison…” to which Daryl Hannah replies, “Madison, I like Madison.”  That was a joke in the movie at the time, that the mermaid was named after a street in New York, but nowadays, the name Madison is almost TOO popular.  We had about 4 Madisons or Maddies in a play we directed last year out of 21 kids!  Anyway, I would recommend this as a good family movie, especially for little girls.  There is actually some nudity (female rear end), and I could have done without a few of the kissing scenes, but overall, it is good family entertainment.  I wonder if it would have gotten a PG13 rating if it had come out a few years later?  I know there is a Splash Too, but judging by the lack of returning actors, I haven’t bothered to check it out.  After a quick lookup on imdb.com, I found that it got a whopping 3.0 rating with only 170 votes.  Also interesting is that Madison the mermaid in Splash Too is played by Amy Yasbeck, who is nowadays best known for being John Ritter’s widow.  She was good in her bit part in Pretty Woman, but still…  I wonder if I should bother getting it from the library for the kids?  Also in the original Splash is Eugene Levy, who plays the bad guy trying to expose the mermaid  – literally, by throwing water on her in public.  This must be one of his first movies; I think he was a relatively unknown actor back then…  Also, the late, great John Candy is hilarious as Tom Hanks’ party animal brother, and those two have great chemistry in the movie…  but on to the adult movies…  ahem, I’m talking about the movies we watched without the kids…

Mr. Woodcock is a comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton, who came no where near to reminding me of his character in Sling Blade – that’s probably why he was nominated for an Oscar for that performance.  I wasn’t expecting much from this movie, but it was actually worse than I thought.  It wasn’t horrible, and I didn’t feel like I wasted my time watching it, but it wasn’t very funny, and there wasn’t much to get from it.  For one thing, I thought they would make the Mr. Woodcock character a little more nasty.  As it turned out, he was really only nasty to little kids, which is still pretty bad, but I thought we’d catch him being nasty behind his girlfriend’s back.  Let me back up for a minute and give a plot synopsis – Mr. Woodcock is a horribly nasty gym teacher who terrorized kids so badly that a former student uses his experiences as fodder for an inspiring self-help book he wrote.  This former student returns to his hometown in Nebraska to receive the “corn key to the city” only to find that his mom is happily dating Mr. Woodcock – his childhood nemisis!  The successful author is played by Seann William Scott, whose acting I wasn’t thrilled with.  His mother was played by Susan Sarandon, and she was pretty good in the movie, given the character she had to play, who didn’t have much depth.  Like I said, I didn’t feel like I wasted my time on this movie, but I don’t know that I’d watch it again either.  It definitely wasn’t one of my favorite comedies.

Dan in Real Life is a touching comedy (just falls short of a dra-medy, I would say, not quite sad enough, thank goodness) about a columnist widower named Dan (the ever-awesome Steve Carell) who is raising 3 daughters alone.  The girls seem to be about 16, 14, and 9.  For starters, let’s just say that this movie had me dreading my life in about 10 years – the movie depicted teenage girls as frightening challenges for parents!  Anyway, Dan takes his girls to visit their extended family for a few days, and when he first arrives, he really falls for the ‘perfect woman’.  He gets to his mom and dad’s house, and wouldn’t you know it, the ‘perfect woman’ turns out to be his brother’s girlfriend.  After a few days of torture…  well, I’ll let you watch the movie, I don’t want to spoil anything for you.  It’s a really cute romantic comedy.  If you have sons, you will be amused at Dan’s daughters’ antics.  If you have daughters, be afraid, be very afraid!  On another note, Steve Carell has beaten out Tom Hanks as my favorite actor – he is just amazing and so fun to watch, whether it’s in the Office, Evan Almighty, or Dan in Real Life.  His characters never remind me of each other, and it’s not like they’re mentally impaired like Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade or Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump – sometimes those types of characters are actually easier to play since they have a very specific demeanor about them.  Steve Carell plays ‘regular’ guys, yet he gives them such depth and character that it really helps draw you into the movie and / or show.  I never watched the tv show Get Smart, but with Steve Carell playing Maxwell Smart in the big screen version of Get Smart due this summer, you can bet I plan on checking it out!  Dan in Real Life is funny and heartwarming, and it makes me look forward to having huge family get-together weekends at our house someday with the kids and their spouses and kids…  providing we survive the teenage years of course – that remains to be seen!