Monday, March 29, 2010

Blu-Ray/DVDs should include...

A special feature that allows you to watch the screenplay superimposed on the picture.

You know like when they're presenting the screenwriters awards at the Oscars?

Good idea for amateur writers, right?


I mean, who wants to follow along like this?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Mamoru Hosada, 2006)

Never been really big on Anime.

It's one nerd element I've never really felt the need to dive into. I've checked out the must see classics (Akira, Ninja Scroll, Ghost In The Shell), and watched some of the starter drug anime series (Macross, DBZ, Naruto). For the most part, it's been action adventure, fantasy and science fiction. Giant mechs, ninjitsu, blood, guts; you know, boys stuff.

I believe this is the first time I've watched an anime of this ilk. There's an obvious element of science fiction that drives the plot (check the title, eh), but for the most part it plays out like a teeny bop, high school drama. Tests to write, boys to fall for, rivals to fend off. The protagonist, Makoto Konna, stumbles -literally- into an object allowing her to time travel and as expected from a teenager, heedlessly uses them to solve minor problems: tests, boys and rivals.

Time travelling almost always has consequences, and Makoto soon learns that her actions may be hurting those around her. It provides for a great third act that may tug on your heartstrings if you're a big softie.

I liked this film a hell of a lot more than I expected. If it sounds like your kind of thing, it comes with my recommendation.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time: Trailer

Sunday, March 21, 2010

How To Make It In America

Thought I would have some nice things to say about this show.

I don't.

Created by Ian Edelman and produced with the Entourage boys (Wahlberg, Levinson, Weiss...etc), this show feels very similar to its west coast predecessor. Pretty background extras, a party to go with pretty background extras, not so subtle usage of score and source music (yeah we get it, your fans of hip hop), and mostly self contained episodes that are part of a larger season length storyline. One thing this show sorely lacks is likable characters.

Cudi, Rasuk, Greenberg

I'm finding it very difficult to care about the struggles of these characters. Mostly because the nicest thing I can say about them is that they're bland. Bryan Greenberg plays the very nice Jewish boy, Ben Epstein. He's the one that has the background in fashion. Though you couldn't tell because every episode he and his partner make the most basic mistakes while trying to get their business off the ground. But then I don't suppose showing the character trying to obtain information and knowledge of the business would make for riveting television.

His partner (played by Victor Rasuk), Cameron "Cam" Calderon represents the "hustle" of the enterprising duo. He reminds me a little of Turtle, but is a lot less likable. The episodes I've watched have presented him as a bit of the good, but towards the end of the episode he will always display use his street smarts to save the day, proving he's worth more than an obnoxious sound bite.

The cast is rounded out by

Eddie Kaye Thomas - Wealthy friend of Ben.

Shannon Sossamon - I honestly can't remember who she is and what her purpose is.

Kid Cudi - Brought on to act hip and get laid.

Lake Bell - You won't remember her from Boston Legal, since she got dismissed seven episodes into the first season for being wack as hell. She's just as wack here and is supposed to be the girl that got away. REALLY?

Luis Guzman - An OG recently released from jail who has aspirations to make it large in the beverage business.

Actually, watching Guzman try to pimp (and say) "Rasta Monsta" is one of the few funny things in the show. For the most part, it feels like the show is trying a little too hard to be New York. I can imagine one of the creators saying something to the effect of "oh...i wanted the city of New York to be major character in the story". Bullshit! Cut the dead weights, and get the story moving. This show has the dullness of later season Entourage episodes, but when watching that show, most people have developed a kinship of sort with the cast. Somehow I don't think How To Make It In America will last long enough for the characters to ingratiate themselves with viewers.

If you're a fan of Luis Guzman, check out this interview with Jessie Thorn from The Sound of Young America.

download: link

Monday, March 1, 2010

Get Well, Guru

Best wishes to Keith Elam, who's currently in a heart attack induced coma.