If you’d like to see a preposterous, movie about cops and robbers that glamorizes violent criminals then by all means run out and go see The Town. Otherwise, save your money.

Ben Affleck is Doug MacRay, the head of a bank robbery crew in Charlestown, Boston, which at the beginning of the film we’re told has the distinction of having produced the most bank robbers in the U.S. During one of these robberies, Doug and his gang take a hostage, Claire Keesey played by Rebecca Hall and later release her unharmed. As it turns out, Claire lives in the neighborhood and Doug decides to follow her and find out how much she knows or remembers about the incident. Of course, he becomes involved with her and complications ensue. One of them being that there is absolutely no chemistry between the two actors. Continue reading »

A friend suggested I watch the films of Krzysztof Kieslowski. She specifically recommended “The Double Life of Veronique.” As a thoughtful gesture, she bought the movie “Blue” for me by the same director when she couldn’t find the first.

I wanted to love this movie as she seemed happy about introducing me to this director and after all, bought me the DVD as a gift. I have to report that not only did I not like this film, I hated it. It’s pretentious, self-indulgent, European cinema and worst of all, painfully boring. I highly recommend it to insomniacs as a magic cure. This movie would put Ambien out of business if it were available at drugstores.

Juliette Binoche, plays a woman who is the sole survivor of a car crash that claims the life of her husband and child. Her husband was a famous composer with, as we s-l-o-w-l-y find out, a few secrets. Throughout the rest of this torturous experience, her character sits or wanders around aimlessly for what seems like days off my life.  The secrets when they are revealed turn out to be common and not at all interesting or compelling.

My friend, sensing I’m not enjoying the movie perhaps because of my intensely loud sighing and statement that there’s nothing happening, says that maybe the reason I’m not enjoying the movie is because I haven’t experienced loss like the character in the movie. I point out that a commonality with the characters has nothing to do with whether someone likes a movie or not. I’ve never been injected into someone’s dream and had to plant an idea in their mind but I loved “Inception.” She then makes the argument that this is “artistic” filmmaking and that’s why I don’t like it. The underlying meaning being that I’m an idiotic American that couldn’t possibly understand anything artistic. Yes, that’s it. Except for the fact that I like any number of films that could be called artistic, slow, or odd: “The Painted Veil,” “Dancer in the Dark,” and “Donnie Darko” to name a handful.

The reason I’m not enjoying the movie is plain and simple–the movie sucks. Don’t take a bite out of this one unless you need the sleep.

The Vampire Diaries
Bruno Mars “Just The Way You Are”
Florence & The Machine

The new season of House picked up right where last season ended with House and Cuddy together after House’s heartbreaking loss of a patient in the crane collapse and Cuddy’s decision to finally ditch Lucas. The House-Cuddy chemistry is palpable and it’s satisfying to see them finally get together. Of course, like many viewers, I’ve seen these on screen romances quickly fizzle and fall flat once the characters do “it,” much like in real life. If the first two episodes are any indication though, the move to pair these two off is the right one. The rapport between the two is as strong as ever and watching House trying to sort of behave is fun. Instead of taking the air out of the show, the relationship has added an element of spice the show was lacking.

The dispatch of Thirteen to parts unknown during the season opener, due to Olivia Wilde going off to shoot a movie, is also a welcome move. Although I’m not one of those viewers who hate Thirteen, I can’t say I’ve ever warmed to her character and wouldn’t be opposed to her not returning.

Although, the medical mystery in the first episode is not memorable or interesting the case in the second episode more than makes up for this. In a “Sophie’s Choice” type of dilemma, a couple must decide whether to approve donating half their son’s lung who suffers from muscular dystrophy and thereby significantly shortening his life to save their daughter’s life, or not use their son as a donor thus allowing their daughter to die. It’s gut-wrenching to watch and as expected, House and Cuddy disagree on presenting the parents with this horrible choice, which, as it turns out, is good for their relationship.

Now if we could just see Foreman getting it on and a glimpse of Chase’s quadruple dating situation, the show would be full on munchable.

No other way to put this—24 minutes into the show and I’m completely bored. There is a pedestrian and lackluster air about the entire production, which is not a quality you want in any show, but especially not one about a family that discovers they have superpowers after a plane crash in Brazil. So far, the only power this show has over me is that of inducing sleep. The voice over narration and talking to the camera doesn’t help and only serves to slow down the pace of the show.

Michael Chiklis, so riveting in “The Shield” is dull and flat as the husband and father, Jim Powell and Julie Benz, so good on “Dexter” as the single mom who anchored Dexter to normality is equally one-note as his wife, Stephanie. There is no chemistry between the two and the family doesn’t seem at all like they’re related. From the first minute of the first episode of “Party of Five,” I believed they were a family. The family on this show feels like a collection of actors playing disconnected parts. The kids, a daughter played by an Amber Tamblyn look-alike and son are more natural and actually seem like real, know-it-all, moody teenagers.

The tone of the show also has an outdated, 70s feel about it. The early 80s show, “The Greatest American Hero,” about a teacher who finds an alien suit that gives him super human powers, seems more modern and fun than this show.

It is the first episode and I do remember not liking the first episode of “The Vampire Diaries,” a show I’m now completely addicted to. There are a couple of glimmers of hope that “No Ordinary Family” may improve. One is a fun scene where Chiklis fights off a villain with his own super power of shifting into a wispy black matter and the other is a moment toward the end of the show where Jim and Stephanie finally seem like they could possibly be husband and wife. I’ll watch the show a couple of more times to see if these glimmers turn into a worthwhile story I want to follow every week.

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