Category Archives: Review

act of valor review

This is a movie that’s worth seeing. Maybe you don’t want to because you don’t like action movies, blood and gore gross you out, or you have no interest in the military. Regardless, you should see it anyway.

This isn’t just a movie; it’s a chance to see the protection and operations performed by some of the best trained men in the world. There is of course a story. And it is fictional. But the things that happen, happened in real life. The technology they use is used in real life. The missions they planned have been planned in real life. And the Navy Seals themselves are Active Duty Navy Seals in real life.

This is a no bullshit film: no actors, no CGI, use of live fire (for authenticity), and real life stories molded to fit the fictional arch created for the movie. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to really understanding what it’s like. Your appreciation for the men and women who do this every day will grow tenfold. I’m telling you, GO SEE IT!

I’m only going to tell you the basics of the plot, because honestly, though the story is good, it’s not the best part of the movie. A platoon of Navy Seals, recently called back from leave, is going on a mission to retrieve a kidnapped CIA agent. Their mission reveals to them a much bigger plot to terrorize the United States with suicide bombs sneaky enough to go undetected but lethal enough to kill almost an entire stadium of people. Scary shit. These Navy Seals uncover the plot and move into action from one mission to the next in an attempt to stop the culprits.

This isn’t your typical action movie, for many many reasons. But the biggest is that our action heroes are actually heroes. They are bending the laws of physics in an unreal manner. They are doing what they’ve been trained to do and what they happen to be awesome at. There was no point in this movie where I felt like that couldn’t happen in real life. It’s not Tom Cruise taking on 25 guys by himself and walking out with barely a scratch. It’s an accurate depiction of true action heroes.

For me, the men in this movie are the best part. And no, it’s not because we see them shirtless, because we don’t (I was mildly disappointed but also understood these men aren’t paid to exploit their assets the way the men of Hollywood are). These men are the best part because they are the story. Their families, their actions, their lives, their skills, their stories made this movie. Without the men who participated we would’ve received a much less authentic movie. How could an actor understand what it’s like, to be these men? To live like these men? To make the sacrifices that these men make? They couldn’t.

They could try their hardest to create an accurate depiction, but even the best actor couldn’t even come close. I’m telling you to go see this movie. You will laugh, cry, be appalled, be delighted, grow attached, and feel blessed that these are the kind of men who protect us every day without even thinking twice.

Kristen is a confused young adult who sometimes thinks TV shows are actually her life. Wouldn’t that be cool? Unless she was a victim on Dexter, or a deranged privileged teenager on gossip girl, or a wolf on teen wolf, or Liz Lemon! Never mind. It wouldn’t be cool. Kristen is a young adult. Follow her @kris10_Alyse or read frustrateddreamer.com

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karloff vs. carrey–which “grinch” is best?

Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) wrote How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 1957. Nine years later, it was adapted into a half-hour, animated special for television and it’s been running ever since. In 2000, Ron Howard teamed up with Jim Carrey to create a live-action version of the story, a big, colorful, noisy adaptation that ran for 104 minutes and made nearly $350 million worldwide. It was a huge success and yet… I prefer the original.

Here are five reasons why:

  1. Boris Karloff. Not only was he the voice of the animated Grinch, he also provided the narration. It was like having your grandfather read the story to you, a grandfather who was gifted at doing voices and whose own deep and resonant voice belied his age. (Karloff would die three years later at 81.) All due respect to Carrey, but an awful lot of the time, his Grinch sounded like Richard Nixon.
  2. The songs. Dr. Seuss wrote the lyrics for the songs and they were in rhyme, just like the rest of the tale. In the original animated adaptation, nothing was added to Seuss’ words because nothing needed to be added. And who can forget the signature song, “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch?” sung by Thurl Ravenscroft.
  3. Thurl Ravenscroft is not credited on Grinch, a mistake that horrified Seuss and co-producer/director Chuck Jones, who took out an ad in Variety to publicize his performance. Thurl did a lot of work for Disney but he’s probably best known for being the voice of Tony the Tiger in Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes commercials. His voice was as indelibly imprinted on the material as Karloff’s.
  4. The simplicity. Ron Howard created his own version of Seuss’ classic story but it was very much his version and not Seuss’ version. Everything about the original version had to do with the meaning of Christmas and the simplicity of the message that Christmas is in our hearts and not about the presents. Howard’s version has the same message but it’s overblown and overdone and not simple.
  5. The subtlety and sweetness. In the animated version, little Cindy Lou Who is an adorable two-year-old with wide blue eyes. In the Howard version, she’s an annoying sitcom moppet played by Taylor Momsen, who would make a splash as Jenny in Gossip Girl seven years later. It was a whole different vibe.

Animated or live action—no Christmas season is complete without a viewing of one or the other. My choice is the original.

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boardwalk empire recapping: georgia peaches

Nucky’s Return

  • Nucky begins selling Irish Whiskey to all of Atlantic City for less than half of what Jimmy has been selling his liquor.
  • Nucky’s lawyer can’t get the trial moved back to Atlantic City so Nucky fires him.
  • As the investigation into the World Series scandal begins against Rothstein Nucky heads to New York to meet his new lawyer.

Darmody’s Struggle

  • Jimmy and his crew are hit hard by Nucky’s new offer in the liquor market.
  • Meyer and Lucky propose that Darmody start moving heroin but he isn’t to eager to change his business plans before they sell all the liquor they have.
  • Important businessmen and politicians are pressuring Jimmy to end the strike that many of the black workers have began.
  • Jimmy sends Doyle to meet with Horvitz in Philadelphia to pay him back with liquor. The meeting doesn’t go too well because Horvitz knows that Jimmy put the hit out on him even though Doyle disagrees with him. Horvitz gets Doyle to tell him where Darmody lives due to some hands-on interrogation.
  • Jimmy calls a meeting with Chalky White in order to get him to stop the worker strike. Chalky asks that the men responsible for killing his workers are brought to him so he can deal with them personally but Jimmy denies and Chalky doesn’t call the strike off.
  • While Jimmy is out of town to sell liquor Horvitz visits the Darmody residence to kill him. What he finds is Angela and her new girlfriend Louise. He shoots Louise as she is coming out of the shower and then kills Angela after she pleads that he spare her life.

Margaret’s Dilemma

  • Emily’s polio has gotten worse and it seems as though she is going to be paralyzed permanently.
  • Teddy is jealous that Emily has been getting all the attention lately and mocks her illness. But his mother slaps the shit demands that he stop.
  • Margaret goes to the church for help but Father Brennan says she needs to show devotion for God to assist her. She then takes all the money she has been saving up, along with some jewelry, and donates it to the church.

Other

  • Deputy Halloran is attacked by the mob that attacked the workers on strike.
  • Eli is imprisoned by Esther Randolph over the Hans Schroeder murder.
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thoughts on the walking dead: pretty much dead already

Glenn’s Announcement: “You guys, so…the barn is full of walkers”. After Glenn made this announcement – with the first dialogue of the eppy – I knew we were in for a good ol’ fashioned debate and scuffle. Of course Shane is spearheading the movement to eliminate all the walkers while Rick wants to abide by the rules of his host. Honestly, I agreed with Shane immediately. Why would I want to go to sleep every night in such close proximity to death – or something like it. We know that Hershel thinks that the walkers are still human and all but, let’s face it, they’re not. Shoot ’em in the head!

Plea Deal: Rick goes to Hershel to ask that his group is able to stay on the farm. He knows that Hershel knows about what is going on only through what he had seen on the news and Rick assures him that it is much worse actually living on the road the whole time. Rick even tells Hershel that Lori is pregnant but it doesn’t drastically change Hershel’s stance. Maggie overhears the conversation. Maggie reminds Hershel of something she had been taught by him “Love one another as I have loved you”. I can understand why Hershel is hesitant to let a group of outsiders stay with him but I also see how the pros outweigh the cons. Security and safety are top priority and with Rick’s group there he has more opportunity to protect everyone.

Shane: Shane goes to Lori and tells him that he doesn’t think Rick is able to live in “this world”. He mentions all the times that he has saved Lori, and everyone else in the group’s, lives on multiple occasions and how Rick has had the opposite affect. He also believes that Lori is pregnant with HIS child. Lori shuts all of Shane’s ideas down. Shane then goes on a hunt for Dale who has taken all the group’s guns. Shane catches Dale in the woods as he is trying to hide the guns. After a heated debate that included Dale pointing his gun at Shane, Shane gets the guns back. I don’t see how taking the group’s guns are going to help the situation at all. I think it was just Dale trying to upset Shane. Scumbag Dale is relentless and as jealous as a 16-year-old girl.

Walker Wrangling: Hershel takes Rick out to capture some walkers that are stuck in a swamp. Hershel asks Rick if he can stop killing walkers in order for him to stay on the farm. It would seem as though Rick agrees as he helps lead the zombie back to the barn instead of immediately killing it.

When The Cat Is Away…Shane hands out guns to everyone while Hershel is still out and demands that they kill all the walkers in the barn. The only people who disagree with him are Lori and Maggie. But we don’t have to wait for long until the wranglers come back with their captives. Shane blows it and gives a gruesome demonstration about how unhuman the walkers are, ultimately killing one of the newly acquired walkers. He then opens the barn so he, Glenn, T-Dog, Andrea, and Daryl can kill all the undead inside…until Rick has to kill the final one…

 

Sophia: The group has spent the entire season so far searching for Carol’s daughter after she got separated from the group in the first episode and to have to find her this way had to have been crushing. I will admit that I felt pretty horrible about the situation but Rick did what had to be done. My real question is did Hershel and his group know she was in there the entire time. They told Hershel they were searching for a little girl and he had to know that he recently rounded one up in his barn. I think that will cause huge problems when the season returns.

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community recapping: documentary filmmaking, redux

[Editor’s Note: If Jericho fans can unite themselves long enough to save their show with a few thousand peanuts, surely we can take the time to sign the Save Community petition for ours. And yes, this is more important to us than the economy or occupying anything…you fight for your injustices and we’ll fight for ours.– Nicole + Will]

Will’s P.O.V.

I’d like to start by saying that I clearly have no idea why Community is on the verge of whatever it is on the verge of with the show’s future but NBC has to be beyond idiotic if there is no Community on it’s roster for seasons to come. That being said, at this point I think I would rather see Abed’s behind-the-scenes versions of Community more so than the actual episodes.  I will admit that I was saddened that Pierce wasn’t more involved with episode because he is my mentor on all things politically incorrect but the episode made up for this monumental mistake by making me giggle, so all is forgiven. My favorite moments:

  • That dunk on a 6′ basketball rim during the original commercial made me remember, and cherish, my playskool days.
  • Dean Pelton’s over-exposure of his left nipple was nothing less than sultry with some danger sprinkled in. I wouldn’t mind if he did “segregate the school” after that.
  • Jeff’s identity crisis was genius. I actually thought he was the dean when he walked to his trailer…
  • Annie’s obsession with the dean’s “genius” was cute. We all know she knows what Stockholm Syndrome is…don’t we?
  • Watching Dean Pelton’s videotaped breakdown was awkward and awesome…especially due to the fact that he was stark naked.
  • I don’t know if this Britta/Troy relationship is going to blossom or if they just love to hug each other so much after being berated by Dean Pelton for two weeks.

Nicole’s P.O.V.

A lot was riding on this episode. Not like NBC grasps what’s funny anymore (*cough* Whitney *cough*), but the fans really needed this episode to be funny. So we could condescendingly shout from the rafters, “Yes, this is why I watch Community and you’re an idiot if you don’t,” and I have to say this redux left me feeling assured in my love for this show. Any mock documentary with Abed at the helm was bound to be hilarious, even with the hint of cancellation in the forefront of our minds. My favorite moments in order of appearance:

  • The old Greendale commercial was reminiscent of the Buddy Bands commercial…minus the rad dance moves.
  • Abed called Pierce a curmudgeon (a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man). Yep, that sounds about right.
  • Troy and Britta’s sexual tension.
  • Jeff as Dean Pelton. Not only does Joel McHale really make bald work for him, but his ‘deanisms’ were amazing.
  • Saw the Luis Guzmán statue and thought it couldn’t get any better. Then came the phone call and I was happy enough, but an actual appearance?! A dream come true.
  • The Dean, in a grey hoodie unzipped ever so slightly to the bellybutton and camo pants, looked…dare I say, manly?
  • Fight the power, fight it with your hugs!” Ah, to be the Britta in that semi-sensual Britta/Troy embrace.
  • Britta proclaiming herself as a “licensed psychology major” after a few credit hours as a psych major is funny for the same reason all stereotypes are funny…because they’re true.
  • “Some flies are too awesome for the wall.”
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