Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Buzzworthy Music Tuesdays: October 4th

Jessie J

    You may already have heard of this British R&B singer. Without a doubt, she's got the pipes to sing but all of her current US singles have been auto tuned to the point of ANNOYANCE. Her hits "Price Tag" and "Domino" are fun but they don't show us a real artist. I wasn't a fan until I saw her raw YouTube videos. She's literally singing acoustic in her flat with a web cam. Why does the music industry feel the need to Katy Perry everything? Jessie J sounds amazing on her own! Granted the below video was made in 2009 - but I do like how you can get to know her personality. It's quite endearing to see a struggling artist become a future star.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Buzzworthy Music Tuesdays: September 27

Janelle Monae

    This R&B singer doing things her own way. Known for her chic menswear inspired suits, this lady has hit the commercial airways with a bang. Her music is played on ads for Target, JcPenny, Gap, Kmart, and Coca-Cola. I was looking to forward to seeing her headline at the Afro-Punk festival in NYC in late August but it was cancelled due to Hurricane Irene. Her video brings a smile to my face because of her distinct individually and talent to rock it out. Being fearless in the music industry is something we need to see more often. Go on Janelle with ya bad self.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

TV Recommendation: Homeland

     The new Showtime show Homeland is an intriguing new series staring Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, and Damien Lewis. Homeland follows Dane as a CIA analysis searching to find evidence that a POW marine is a turned agent and will betray the country. Lewis plays the POW who had been in Iraq for 8 years. His journey back to life in the US is not an easy one as he is pushed head first into society after such an ordeal. I was very impressed by the pilot. In the past, movies or shows based on Middle Eastern affairs have been too complicated or intricate for average viewers to comprehend. I loved that this show was easy to follow.

    I half expected Danes to wave those fabulous Latisse sponsored eyes like it’s just a “so-called life.” Sorry, I couldn’t help myself but seriously you can tell that stuff WORKS! She’s very compelling as the borderline obsessive Carrie Anderson. Damien Lewis was specular in HBO’s Band of Brothers and he is no less here. I’m sad that he’s still unknown to most people today but he is perfectly cast as Sgt. Brody. I can see him doing wonders with this role. There is a solid supporting cast with the exception of Morena Baccarin from the recently cancelled ABC’s V. She feels too young to have teenage children! I’m hoping her scenes with Lewis save her time on screen.

    It’s completely overwhelming to think there are over 100 new shows returning this fall season. I recommend checking this one out for a series that I know will not disappoint. You can watch the pilot below before it airs live on October 2nd.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TV Recommendation: The New Girl

    I’m really excited for some of the new shows premiering this Fall and Zooey Deschanel’s sitcom is at that list. First things first, if you do not like Ms. Deschanel – you will simply abhor this show. If you like her, you will fall in love with her. She is what makes the show.  She sings, dances, cries, and charms your pants off. I loved watching her as the recently dumped Jess.

    This kooky character is perfect for Zooey. She decides to start fresh and moves into an apartment with 3 single men. To see such a lovely women as a complete mess sobbing over Dirty Dancing is priceless. Her first steps back into the dating game is pure entertainment. I expected a bit more from the pilot but I know I’ll keep watching. The New Girl has potential to form into a great sitcom going forward.

   You can watch the premiere below or live on Fox this Tuesday at 9pm.

    Side note: Damien Wayans is in the first episode only since ABC's Happy Endings (which is also a good show) will be having a second season.

Monday, September 19, 2011

63rd Annual Primetime Emmy awards

    Jane Lynch did a good job of hosting this year. I must admit the opening number was TOO long but it was tolerable. Ms. Lynch is a great comedianne and wonderful chemistry with the audience. I felt the famous "Emmytone" singers on the side with Joel McHale, Wilmer Valderrama, Cobie Smulders, Zachary Levi, and Taraji P. Henson was a complete waste of time and not even remotely funny! The SNL musical number was a bit cringe worthy when you think of the censors that do watch the Emmys; regardless, it was entertaining. Poor William H. Tracy getting humped by The Lonely Island was a sight to see.

* I’m excited that Modern Family won so many awards because lets face it – it’s one of the best shows on TV!

* My favorite moment was when all the ladies nominated for Best Actress in comedy walked up or stormed up on stage. I see Amy Poehler was brains behind that shenanigan and it was hysterical!! I feel like Melissa McCarthy won for Bridesmaids but she sure does deserves it. So great to see her in a crown and as a pageant girl.

* I was excited for Peter Dinklage who is AMAZING and too funny in Game of Thrones as a supporting actor.

* Jane’s Jersey Dontella skit was priceless with her “Jersey’s taking over.” I only wish it was longer.

* It was wonderful to see Kyle Chandler win for Friday Night Lights which is loved by many but doesn’t have much love from the awards.

* I LOVED that Downton Abby won!!! Woo!! Maggie Smith as well AHHH!!! It’s just an outstanding and epic series.

* HBO’s Mildred Pierce won Best Guy Pearce who was charming and deserving as the best supporting actor. Kate Winlet is one of the best actresses ever so her wining is just the heaven. She’s so frigging sincere and sweet. She’s on her way to EGOTing!

* I have to point out that Kerry Washington did a Jessica Rabbit and looked stunning (just wish the bottom wasn’t sheer). I know the fashion trend was Red with Kate Winslet and Nina Dobrev looking ravishing but my favorite for some reason was Claire Danes in Oscar De La Renta. It was unique and refreshing. I’m tossing between love and hate with Gwyneth Paltrow in Emilio Pucci. She was taking a major risk with her short midriff but that’s what fashion is about.

Lovely Claire Danes

Mrs. Chris Martin

Mrs.Rabbit - I mean Kerry Washington
    My overall feeling: it was a fun night full of surprises. However, I just wish they’d cut the show. Why is it 3 hours long?!

For all the winners. Check out below:

Outstanding comedy series: Modern Family
Outstanding drama series: Mad Men
Outstanding miniseries or movie:
Downton Abbey
Outstanding lead actress, miniseries or movie: Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

Outstanding supporting actor in a miniseries or movie:
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Outstanding directing for a miniseries, movie or dramatic special: Brian Percival, Downton Abbey

Outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie:
Barry Pepper, The Kennedys
Outstanding supporting actress, miniseries or movie: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Outstanding writing for a miniseries or movie:
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey
Outstanding lead actor, drama:
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Outstanding lead actress, drama:
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Outstanding supporting actor, drama: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Outstanding directing, drama:
Martin Scorcese, Boardwalk Empire 
Outstanding supporting actress, drama:
Margo Martindale, Justified
Outstanding writing, drama series:
Jason Katims, Friday Night Lights
Outstanding variety, music or comedy series:
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Outstanding directing for a variety, music or comedy series: Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live (host: Justin Timberlake)
Outstanding writing for a variety, music or comedy series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Outstanding reality competition: The Amazing Race

Outstanding lead actress, comedy:
Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
Outstanding lead actor, comedy series: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding writing for a comedy: Steve Levitan, Jeffrey Richman (“Caught in the Act”),  Modern Family

Outstanding director, comedy:
Michael Alan Spiller (“Halloween”),  Modern Family
Outstanding supporting actor, comedy:
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
Outstanding supporting actress, comedy: Julie Bowen (Modern Family)

Friday, September 16, 2011

See It or Skip It: Drive

    I was lucky enough to win tickets to an advance screening of Drive. First off, please know I am an avid Ryan Gosling fanjunkie…whatever you call it. So, I’ll try my best not to be too bias because I can seriously just watch him do absolutely nothing for hours and call it a masterpiece. I promise not to do that here.

    Drive opens with Gosling as Driver. A L.A. man awaiting the arrival of two criminals who are about to commit larceny. As a side job, Driver provides a clean getaway in 5 minutes. Besides being a full-time mechanic, he does dangerous car stunts for the movies. Here’s a quiet, reserved, and obviously a lonely man with no one in his life but his friend/boss. This all changes with the arrival of a young mother who moves into to his apartment floor. Driver finds a simple solace in this woman and her child. The return of her husband from jail quickly stops this from becoming “one-of-those” films. I don’t want to get too into the plot but the husband brings major conflict. Not only is his presence a threat to Driver’s relationship with this woman, fun old prison friends want payback and won't take no for an answer. The courses of action that follow will forever change their lives.

    Drive won the directors award at Cannes this year and I can easily see why. This action packed thriller is with several surprises. Be fair warned: VERY GRAPHIC VIOLENCE. I mean skull-crushing-shot-in-the-face-oh-my-gosh-I-can’t-believe-that-just-happened violence (which is slightly evident in the movie’s trailer). This is definitely NOT for the weak hearted. At times, it does feel a bit too stylized with the exaggerated slow movements pulsating to the hypnotic electronic beats with neon lights in the background. Yeah, like I said it has style. In that aspect, it feels very European. Yet, there are scenes where Gosling gazes into Mulligan’s eyes and it feels like you are intruding on a private moment. Mixing these elements was an interesting approach to this film. I did enjoy the film. Unlike most films opening today, it's a a slick and cool with loads of fun at the theater.

   Ryan Gosling provides (trying to be unbiased here) a solid performance. He fits well into the character. While some other more macho man actors can play this role, I don’t know if it would work well with anyone else. I cringe to think what type of film this could have been with Jason Statham or The Rock. It’s not my favorite film of his (nor is it remotely his best) but he sure works that screen. Bryan Cranston is great yet subtle as Driver’s ill-advised boss and confidant. Carey Mulligan is neither here nor there for me. I think she’s a wonderful actress! However, she’s just not right for this particular role. This role should have had an unknown actress because frankly it's just not a good part for any mainstream actress. Mulligan is too big a name to still be doing parts like this.

   Not everyone was blown away by this film at the screening. Some viewers thought it to be extremely campy and completely unrealistic. Well to them, I say: “IT’S A MOVIE, GET OVER IT.” I do agree Albert Brooks’ act was over the top but that may be because I’ve only seen him as a comedian. He’s a shady businessman who will cut your throat open. Literally!! Brooks completely 180’s himself and is like you’ve never seen him. However, I liked that fact that Ryan Gosling was going against the two old macho bad guys like Ron Pearlman and Brooks. It’s not your everyday scenario.

   Like I said before, this is a visually violent film. You will either be shocked or laugh uncontrollably at how outrageous this just got! By the end of the film, Gosling is drenched in blood stains. (Couldn’t he  find a new outfit besides the shiny bomber jacket?). I can't help but think it was just too gory at times. I mean I don't know if certain scenes were really necessary. Overall, Drive is an intense yet emotionally thrilling film. The film is far from perfect but the twists and turns keep you glued to your seat.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Downton Abbey Season Two Trailer

   Downton Abbey season two is set to air this week Sunday Sept 18 in ENGLAND. We, Americans, have to wait 8 long weeks in January to see where Lord Grantham's family left off. I am beyond ecstatic to see this series. For those newbies, please watch the first season on Netflix immediately. It's about 7 hour episodes. (It goes by quickly, I promise!) Downton Abbey is set in the early 20th century after the sinking of the Titanic. It follows a distinguished noble family and their servants. The series left off with the announcement of WWI, which undoubtedly will affect this family.

    What's great is it doesn't entirely feel like a period piece. The stories hit close to home. This is not an old lady's cup of tea because there are some sassy (YES, sassy) characters and scandalous turns of events. Romance, action, backstabbing, and comedy... What more can you ask for? And it's on PBS!!

    There's a great article on the NYTimes site about Julian Fellowes, the creator. I highly recommend to get a glipse of the new season.