Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

This years Golden Globes were disappointing to say the least. Ricky Gervais has always had this awkward “I don’t give AF” humor about him. But as Captain of this show it was apparent that this ship was sinking and QUICKLY. Here are my thoughts about this rough, rough show.

  • Jonah Hill as a bear…awkward.
  • Kate Winslet was played off? You don’t play off Kate Winslet.
  • I am so excited for Rachel Bloom because the show is SO GOOD. I love how excited she is.
  • Ricky Gervais introducing Matt Damon: “He is the only person Ben Affleck hasn’t been unfaithful too.” Oh DAMN. Matt Damon is SOOOO flustered.
  • Was it just my audio cutting in and out or are people just constantly swearing?
  • After being in so many failed TV shows, I love the fact that Christian Slater won a GG for Mr. Robot.
  • When QT accepted the award for his composer and he said the word “ghetto” I knew it was going to become a thing. And sure enough it did, Jamie Foxx mentioned it immediately after he left the stage. It was also super awkward when Jamie announced Straight Outta Compton as the winner. Is this a Kanye West/Taylor Swift thing? Is this a Steve Harvey Flub Mocking thing? This whole thing was just awkward between two people who have worked together before.
  • Yay Sylvester Stallone won for Creed! Standing Ovation well deserved (even if I didn’t see the movie).
  • I love Amy Schumer. I love Jennifer Lawrence. I’m SO TIRED of all this fuss over it. I’m actually with Ricky Gervais on this one. I know it’s not them, but the media. But seriously people, they’re friends, get over it.
  • Also, Amy Schumer as HOST next year people? Anyone?
  • Is it weird that I’ll always think of Gael Garcia Bernal as that flaky guy in Letters to Juliet?
  • Love the microphone being lowered for Ken Jeong and Kevin Hart. Hilarious.
  • Lady Gaga looks so elegant! Even more elegant? That look Leo gave Lady Gaga when she passed by him. CLASSIC.

  • I would have loved to know what Ricky Gervais said to Mel Gibson but it got BLEEPED out. COME ON! Can’t just one word get bleeped out by normal shows? I found it, thank you internet.
  • Loved Mr. Robot shouting out to their crew members from Transpo department and production assistant in their speech. I love it when below the line crew members get thanked.
  • Loved them showing a clip of Ryan Gosling when Denzel Washington went up to accept his award. #rememberthetitans
  • Denzel’s speech was a mess though, he was so flabbergasted.
  • I am so frickin’ excited that Brie Larson won! (Even though I would have been equally as happy if Alicia Vikander won.)
  • Are Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender a thing? Am I the last to know this?
  • I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen The Revenant. But here are four things I thought when Leonardo Dicaprio Won for Best Actor:
    1. I think this will be the year of LEO. He better #FINALLY win an Oscar.
    2. I love how excited everyone is for him. Love the standing O he’s getting.
    3. All this is well deserved, buddy.
    4. That speech tho…Stay classy, Leo.

  • Hey DON’T PLAY LEO OFF!
  • After all this love for The Revenant, I should probably watch it.

 

Thank God this show is over!

 

 

 

I don’t always like who gets eliminated on these shows, but this was the first show where I really felt strongly that the judges got it WRONG. So wrong….

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE
Season 12
TOP 18 PERFORM / 2 ELIMINATED

Top 18 Group Routine
This routine had a little bit of every style in it. I felt some Latin Ballroom, Bollywood, and African Styles in there. It was joyful and happy and Virgil was the PERFECT person to put in the forefront. His smile is contagious. He looked like he was having a lot more fun than the other dancers. While I felt that some dancers had more energy than the other dancers, overall this was just a fun routine and a great way to kick off the show. (Song: “Let the Groove Get In” by Justin Timberlake, Choreographers: Reina Hidalgo & Asiel Hardison)

Cat emerges and tells us Team Street has 48% of the vote and Team Stage has 52%.

THE ROUTINES

Who: Alexia, Derek (Team Stage) and JaJa (Team Street)
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: “All Waters” by Perfume Genius
Performance: Trio’s are always a little awkward. But this one actually worked pretty well.  The piece was haunting and I could feel the emotion coming from the dancers. I have to say Derek really won me over in this routine. I haven’t been the greatest fan of him, and maybe it was the uniform and the haircut, but I felt like he was really strong. He had this great moment where he did this leap then dragged himself backwards across the stage, it was so powerful. Alexia and JaJa were equally as fantastic. Alexia’s in the air pirouette was beautiful and JaJa brought a little something extra to her movements, her animation technique really coming out. The piece really was beautiful and emotional. Grade: A-
Judges: Nigel loved seeing Derek partner with the ladies. Alexia was strong and JaJa looks like a contemporary dancer. He really understood her emotions. Paula loves how Stacey blended the dancers strengths. Paula felt like Derek has never danced better and she loves how much JaJa is growing. Jason understood the story that the dancers were telling.

Who: Megz (Team Street) Moises, and Jim (Team Stage)
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: JaQuel Knight
Song: “Whuteva” by Remy Ma
Performance: Megz was straight up killin’ it. She just had this undeniable presence all the while she was on stage. She totally stole the show. She will not be denied. I loved her attitude, the way she was light on her feet and just the way she moved with total ease. Like this was just another walk in the park for her. The boys had a harder time. While they both started off strong, I felt like Jim grew weaker and weaker throughout the performance. He definitely had to think about what he was doing. Moises looked natural while playing the part, but they both definitely had to keep up with Megz who was a force to be reckoned with. Grade: B-
Judges: Paula calls the routine not technically challenging and wanted more emotion and swag from the dancers. Jason definitely felt that Megz was stronger and the boys were her backup dancers. Nigel said it didn’t work and feels like the dancers need to find their attitude.

Who: Edson (Team Stage), JJ, and Yorelis (Team Street)
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Tovaris Wilson
Song: “Restart” by Sam Smith
Performance: I don’t know if it was the choreography, or the dancers, or what, but the whole routine felt AWKWARD. Was it just me? I did focus more on Edson who didn’t quite get into character. The girls felt like backup dancers and didn’t really have their moment to shine. It was just an awkward routine. Something was WAAY off. Grade: C-
Judges: They dancers need to work on their techniques, Edson needs to be more free, overall performance not that great.

_W5A9631_hires1Who: Asaf (Team Street) and Marissa (Team Stage)
Style: Cha Cha
Choreographer: Jean Marc Genereux
Song: “”+1” Martin Solveig feat Sam White
Performance: So, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it wasn’t great. The two dancers never connected with each other. Marissa was hot, and Asaf looks hot, but they didn’t sizzle together. It’s like the other person didn’t even exist. The lifts were labored and while Marissa had some great facial expressions they didn’t seem to be 100% generous. There was one lift where Asaf actually took a few moments to place Marissa on the ground, it really took me out of the piece. As for dancing the actual cha-cha? It’s times like this you need Mary Murphy to explain it….Grade: D
Judges: Nigel says it doesn’t feel like Cha Cha, as if the piece were choreographed to protect them. Nigel said Marissa didn’t connect with Asaf. Though Asaf didn’t dance well he acknowledges that he worked hard. Paula says Asaf should continue to grow and that Marissa was selfless in her dancing. Marissa says she wasn’t there for her partner.

_W5A9688_hires1Who: Gaby (Team Stage), Ariana and Burim (Team Street)
Style: African Jazz
Choreographer: Sean Cheeseman
Song: “Gorilla” by Lord KraVen
Performance: The piece opens up with them looking like a spider. That’s pretty rad. Then they go into the routine with crutch like pieces on their hands that go up and down. It’s pretty unique. The whole routine is gritty and dirty and messy  and fully of energy. I LOVE IT. Ariana was killing it and Gaby was right there with her. That series of flips the girls did was pretty incredible. While Burim wasn’t perfect (he needed to get low and throw his head into it like the girls were) I was surprised by how much he held his own when in the package he seemed to be totally off. Sure the piece could have been better but the great choreography and the exciting story really made this routine a performance to remember. Grade: B
Judges: Paula loves that Burim made it through the routine. Paula thought the performance was refreshing and the girls were super strong. Jason acknowledges a little mess up Burim made where he missed Gaby’s foot, he thought conceptually this was one of the best pieces. Nigel thought Ariana looked comfortable and is proud of Gaby. Nigel suggests that Burim get down.

_W5A9821_hires1Who: Kate (Team Stage) and Neptune (Team Street)
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Justin Giles
Song: “Promise” by Ben Howard
Performance: I love how the music was simply and flowy and gentle while their movements were sharp and jagged and raw. I also love how connected the dancers seemed with each other even though I wish they were even more. There were a few moments in there where they just looked at each other and smiled and I wanted more of those moments. There was also a moment where the music swelled and I wished the dancing matched that moment. That being said the piece was beautifully danced and very emotional. I love couples dancing, can we just have all couples? Grade: B+/A-
Judges: Jason loved their connection and thought Kate was great. Nigel thought so much was said during the routine and he loved what the dances gave them. Paula worried about Kate letting go and thought she was just right in the piece. Neptune is becoming Paula’s favorite and she sees how emotional he was.

_W5A9882_hires1Who: Hailee (Team Stage) and Virgil (Team Street)
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: Phoenix and Pharside
Song: “Runnin’” by Noahplause
Performance: It’s so insane just how good this piece was. I mean it was SO good. It was out of this world. Haha, get it? Hailee really won me over. Her personality came out in loads in this piece and I LOVE IT. They were both in total sync all the time, they moved like robots, and they used every piece of their body to do cool things. There was animation tutting with the hands and feet. Hailee stepped up on Virgil’s ARM – that was insane! – and there was just so much to love in this piece. It made me excited. It made me yell out at the TV, it made me rewind my DVR. And that’s what I love about this show. Grade: A
Judges: Nigel loved their personality in this piece. He says the routine was very memorable. Paula loved their committement and thought it was a lot of fun. Jason thought Hailee was incredible at street and had no idea she could be that good.

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Team Stage Group Routine
Choreographer: Jaci Royal
Song: “For My Help” by Hayden Cainin
Performance: I love the musicality of this piece. This piece was so raw and the dancers had to have so much athleticism. I love when the dancers have to use their entire bodies and they just threw themselves around the stage. They even dragged a dancer around on their heads! I love the shapes they created, how the men fit the women together like legos, but then the piece exploded with the crescendo of the music. I also loved Alexia dancing on the backs of the other dancers almost like she was flying. Excellent, excellent piece.
Grade: A

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Team Street Group Routine
Choreographer: Marty Kudelka
Song: “Break Ya Neck” by Busta Rhymes
Performance: They were slick, they had swag and attitude, but I think this piece would have been a lot better had they danced in sync. It was hard core, but they could have hit it harder. Some dancers were dancing better than others, but I found it lacking. I knew what it could have been and should have been, but it wasn’t really.
Grade: B


Bottom Six

  • Moises – Team Stage
  • Edson – Team Stage
  • Kate – Team Stage
  • Asaf – Team Street
  • Ariana – Team Street
  • Burim – Team Street

My Thoughts
Who do I want to go home? Well Asaf and…ack, I can’t decide between Moises and Edson. I like them both! Moises has more personality than Edson, but Edson is a better dancer. As for the other dancers in the bottom six Burim and Kate were really good today, and it’s not Ariana’s time to go home yet.

Twitter Save: Ariana and Kate

Judges Save: Asaf (???) and Edson

Eliminated: Burim and Moises

My Thoughts
WHAT!? Really?? Asaf over Burim? Come on! Burim killed it today and Asaf was terrible. Why why are they keeping Asaf? Is it just for the drama? Seriously, someone tell me why!? I’m sad to see Moises going home, but Edson is the better dancer even if I think Moises did better than Edson tonight.

Random Thoughts

  • How many hats do you think Twitch owns?
  • I love how Cat gives the dancers words of encouragements even when she’s delivering bad news
  • When judging Asaf Paula says I could tell you all the things you did wrong, but I won’t do that. What matters is that you’re trying. Um…shouldn’t you tell him what he did so he can get better? Isn’t that what you’re judging? You’re not just here to deliver superlatives, give him some actual critique he can use to do better! Come on!
  • I miss judges that actually give real critique. Yes, Mary Murphy was crazy, but at least she gave some real feedback, most of the time.
  • I also miss the guest judges, what happened to the jokes of Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the snarky quips of Anna Kendrick, or just Neil Patrick Harris. Paula is too nice, and Jason has no idea what he’s talking about. You can’t take any of his “critique” seriously. BOOOOORRRRING!

Favorite Quotes:

  • Cat: So what he’s saying is keep your options open.
  • Nigel: That’s my girl.
  • Paula: Burim, I love watching your package.
  • Cat as Virgil was leaving the stage: “Look at his little butt going.”

Top 5 Performances

  1. Hailee and Virgil – Hip Hop
  2. Team Stage Group Routine
  3. JaJa, Alexia, and Derek – Contemporary
  4. Kate and Neptune – Contemporary
  5. Burim, Ariana, and Gaby – African Jazz

Final Thoughts
I still can’t believe the judges saved Asaf over Burim. But hopefully that means he’ll be going home next week because I seriously don’t know who would be up for elimination next week. Maybe Marissa, but she’s a great dancer she just had a lousy partner. Maybe Ariana again because she was only so so today. But seriously it’s crazy how much these dancers have grown on me. My votes tonight are for JaJa, Neptune, and Virgil…Kate might get one vote. While I think Team Stage won the group routine, Team Street won individually.

***ALSO! Next week and probably from now on, my review on the show might now come so quickly. In fact, you may have to wait for the weekend. But it will come.***

So, I’m still skeptical on this new format. So many new and weird things. No more duets? Now we have trios and mini-groups? That’s just weird, you don’t get a chance to know the dancers. And the twitter saves? Cool, but it leaves out the West Coast viewers…Like me! How can I vote if I don’t know how they’ve performed yet? But the one thing that hasn’t changed about this show are routines that you feel passionate about, that make you say WHOA, or that make you rewind it time and time again…Here we go folks! (And as always I recap the shows in real time.)

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: SEASON 12

Top 20 Perform/2 Eliminated


The show opens with a really cool opening Top 20 hip-hop number to the song “Baila Como Yo” by District 78 –only the routine wasn’t completely hip hop. It blended a lot of styles, latin ball room, breaking, I think I spotted a little bit of African style dancing too, etc. All the dancers are dressed in the style of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The routine is high energy, really giving the street performers a chance to shine. My favorite move by far was Virgil’s run into a in the air somersault as he is caught by another dancer. Definitely a WOW moment.  (Choreographed by Pharside and Phoenix)

I’m mesmerized by Cat’s jewels that are designed by XIVKARATS. They swing from Cat’s ears hypnotizing me, so I’m barely paying attention to her into. Something about Ryan Secreast…the show has 8 Emmy Nominations…something something…eliminations tonight!…live tweet? Totally unfair to the West Coast. I don’t like SPOILERS but I’d still like to have a say. What gives East Coast?

Who: Darion & Hailee (Team Stage) and Yorelis (Team  Street)
Style:  Salsa
Choreographed: Oksana and Jonathan
Song: “Blucutu” by Saamara
Performance/My Thoughts: First of all, salsa as a trio? Super weird. Trios for ballroom dancing are just as awkward as solo ballroom dancers, second, Darion already has a lot against him with Travis calling him out during rehearsals. As for the performance, it just felt a little low energy, especially from Darion and Yorelis. I didn’t feel their personalities come out. Hailee out shined them just a bit really committing to her role. That being said the routine, overall felt really difficult. It was so intricate, there were so many moving parts and twists and turns. It looked so much harder than just a couples routine, but I guess that’s just the thing, even if it is hard, it shouldn’t look hard and the whole routine just looked labored. Even though Mary isn’t here, they still don’t belong on the hot tamale train. Grade: C
Judges: Jason says he missed the heat and sexiness of the routine. Nigel thinks the girls were really hot, but Darion lacked the energy. The judges also noticed the botched lift. Paula thought the ladies gave it their all. Hailee has great focus. Paula recognizes the fact that Darion has it hard because he had to partner two girls.

Who: Derek (Team Stage) and Ariana (Team Street)
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Song: “Cry Me A River” by Michael Buble
Performance/My Thoughts: Great song. Great great great song. Downloading it now. This song was so intense and it really elevated their performance. At first I wasn’t sure. The costumes were strange, they weren’t dancing in sync, I just wasn’t really feeling it. But then the music picked up and their dancing did too. They hit these steps and leaps where they were perfectly together and everything else just seemed to fall into place. I LOVE the fact that their outfits were simple, and there wasn’t the pretty but distracting poofy skirt. I loved the routines just elevating the performances on their face. Derek is great, but Ariana really won me over. I thought she was fantastic. Derek may have stretched and reached just a bit further but she really brought the emotion and intensity through her sharp hand and arm movements. Grade: B
Judges: Paula liked the juxtaposition between the song and the dancing. Paula thought Ariana nailed it even though she used the word “attempt.” However she thinks they needed more of an emotional connection with each other. Jason wants to see more of a performance behind the eyes. Nigel is shocked by Ariana’s performance. Nigel loves Derek’s technique but feels like Derek needs to change his expression.

Who: Alexia (Team Stage), Virgil & Megz (Team Street)
Style:  Contemporary
Choreographer: Dee Caspary
Song:  “Until We Go Down” by Ruelle
Performance/My Thoughts: Alexia really stood out for me in this piece and you can tell she was meant to. Her dancing was super strong and powerful. Megz is such a personality but unfortunately I felt like some of it was lost and she was overshadowed by Virgil and Alexia.  I really wanted her movements to be much better. Virgil held his own. I thought he was really great in supporting these girls and bringing out some of himself in the movements. When they danced together they were great and they had a lot of energy even though it seemed that Megz was slightly off. Overall it was good, but there’s definitely room for improvement. Grade: B-
Judges: Nigel says Alexia slides under the radar, but she’s so good and her performance should be recognized. Nigel loved Megz movement, and says that Virgil’s personality shines through. Paula loved them all. Jason calls Virgil a top contender.


Who: Lily, Burim (Team Street), Gaby, Edson (Team Stage)

Style: Bollywood
Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan
Song: “Dhol Baaje” by Ek Paheli Leela (Soundtrack)
Performance/My Thoughts: Oh Burim Burim Burim…you are trying. I see you you’re trying your little heart out, but he was just off this entire piece. I kinda felt bad for him. The ladies definitely outshined the men with Gaby winning the day. It seemed like Edson and Burim needed more energy. Their jumps and movements were lacking height and excitement. Bollywood is high energy with sharp and precise movements and high high energy and the boys felt like they were lacking. It was hard to tell Gaby and Lily apart but they both did a great job and were just giving it a bit more than the boys were. Gaby definitely had a few moments where she stood out. You could just tell the way she was moving was different from the others. Grade: B-
Judges:  Jason thought they had a lot of energy. Nigel thought the girls were terrific but that he didn’t learn much from the boys. He thought they could have been stronger. Paula enjoyed the number she could tell Burim was having fun.


Who: Kate (Team Stage), Neptune, Asaf (Team Street)

Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Song: “All About That Bass” by Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox feat. Kate Davis.
Performance/My Thoughts: The routine felt simple. Like really simple. That’s not to say I couldn’t see what Spencer was going for. But I also saw what it could have been. First let me say Neptune is FANTASTIC. Every time he has his bit where he pulled on his Tuba or what not he just OOZED with personality. It was electric. Kate was sexy giving off a very good performance even if it seemed like she was less dancing and more posturing. And I was just afraid to look at Asaf. He tried to keep up. But overall this routine was waaay too simple, I want a little more POP and WOW. Grade: C
Judges: Paula thought Spencer’s choreography was very inventive. She thought Neptune was creative and innovative, thought Kate was beautiful, and that Asaf is the most improved. Jason says Kate has a quiet confidence and that he’s proud of Neptune. Nigel notices how hard Neptune has been working and tells Asaf to get out of his head.

Who: Ja Ja (Team Street) and Jim (Team Stage)
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: “No Woman, No Cry (Live Version)” by Bob Marley & The Wailers
Performance/My Thoughts: Ok, see, that is what I’m looking for in my So You Think You Can Dance Routines. Emotion, creativity, camera in close, two dancers connecting…UGH, this routine was pretty much just PERFECT. I love animation. The little ticks animators do using every heartbeat of the music. And both Jim –A Ballet Dancer—and Ja Ja a hard core krumper animator were able to do this to an emotional heart felt piece. This piece just had so much joy. And I loved the emotion on Ja Ja’s face. It felt real and genuine. There was so much stuff to love about this piece. The tutting the section, the glides, the jumps, Ja Ja’s wacking part… Ja Ja is a star. She’s a force to be reckoned with and it’s hard not to watch her when she’s on screen, but Jim held his own and this piece was fabulous. Grade: A
Judges: Nigel loved seeing the world of Ballet come together with Hip Hop and connect. It made him emotional. Paula loved the softness in Ja Ja. Jason loved seeing different sides of the dancers.

Who: Marissa, Moises (Team Stage), JJ (Team Street)
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Song“I’m So Sorry” by Imagine Dragons
Performance/My Thoughts: Despite some wobbles and bobbles, I really liked this piece. I thought it was powerful, energetic, flashy and hardcore. Marissa is a beast. I thought she knocked it out of the park she had such power and movement and she was really invested in the piece. JJ didn’t shine as bright as Marissa but she really held her own and in the times when she was dancing with Marissa or all three together it really worked because they were all dancing the same. As for Moises, he really had a lot to do in this piece and he was doing it all. In the beginning he made some mistakes but at the end he really picked it up and he didn’t let the girls outshine him. All the dancers threw themselves into this piece. Grade: B+
Judges: Jason loves Moises strength, he thought Marissa and JJ’s emotion was inconsistent, that her smile brought him out of the story. Nigel makes a bible joke and thought Moises held his own against the two strong women. Paula disagrees with the boys saying when you’re beating up on a boy you should have a smile on your face. Right on Paula!

Who: Team Street
Choreographer: Phillip Chebeeb & Christopher Scott
Song: “Time” by Nathan Lanier
Performance/My Thoughts: This piece was super cool and super intricate and there were so many places to look. I really love the whole see saw thing. It really made for some creative shapes. One of the things I love about Christopher Scott is that he really knows how to make each dancer shine. My only thing is that there was so much to do and see and a lot of the cool moments took a lot of time to create on stage that I felt like the camera got lost sometimes. I wanted to look somewhere else from where the camera was shooting. Who’s directing this stuff? Grade: A-

Who: Team Stage
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: “Stabat Mater” by Woodkid
Performance/My Thoughts: Where is there was too much to look at on Team Street, Team Stage really danced as one. They may have been dancing different steps sometimes, but it just felt more cohesive. The routine was really intense and they used the stage really well. I had to rewind Jim’s trust fall move because it was really incredible. The dancers swung him up a couple of times then he did a backwards somersault into a one legged move and then fell back. It was CRAZY cool. Overall this routine was heart pumping, intense and exciting. It also made me tired just watching it. Grade: A

RESULTS TIME

IN DANGER

  • Darion – Team Stage
  • Derek – Team Stage
  • Ariana – Team Street
  • Lily –Team Street
  • Neptune – Team Street
  • Moises – Team Stage

ELIMINATION

Twitter Saves: Neptune and Moises

Judges Save:  Derek and Ariana

Going Home: Lily and Darion

My Thoughts:  Based on this weeks performances the right people are going home. Moises killed it today and he deserves to stay. Neptune and Ariana did fantastic work today while I felt Derek, Darion, and Lily disappeared into the background in this weeks routines. However if you combine this week with last week, I think Darion should have been given another chance (his ballet routine last week was so great). Lily and Ariana is a tougher call. Ariana had a rough week last week while Lily shined in her routine, but this week Ariana stood out and Lily faded into the background. I’ll be sad to see Lily and Darion go.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • The bad thing with street vs stage is that it seems as if all the judges are going easy on the street dancers because everything is out of their style and are going harder on the stage dancers or looking them over because it is in their style and they are expecting them to be good. I don’t think that’s entirely fair.
  • Asaf struggling with choreography:
  • Asaf: “Whoa, never give up.”
  • Spencer: “Never give up? You’ve been here for 10 minutes.”
  • I love Paula telling Asaf to just enjoy the process because he will never have anything like this again. It’s true. Where is Mia Michaels to give this kid a breakdown when you NEED her?
  • Whoa…I am surprised Asaf is safe over Neptune. REALLY?
  • Ja Ja: “I almost said a curse word.”
  • Christopher: “That’s okay, I can’t understand what you’re saying anyway.”
  • Are those tears in Christopher Scotts EYES? I love it! I. Love. It.
  • Who wins the Group Routine Battle, in my opinion? TEAM STAGE (The Judges seem to agree.)

TOP 5 ROUTINES

  1. Jim and Ja Ja – Hip Hop
  2. Team Stage Group Routine
  3. Team Street Group Routine
  4. Marissa, Moises, JJ – Jazz
  5. Derek and Ariana – Jazz

FINAL THOUGHTS
My favorite are still Ja Ja and Jim, they have my votes. My other favorites JJ and Gaby could have stood out a little more this week. As for next week Asaf is definitely in danger…can he please be in danger?  I’ve just had enough of his drama. Either put him in danger or someone break him down so he can bust out and be super super amazing . Also in danger? I’d say Hailee, Kate, Edson and Burim. Well that’s all folks until….TOMORROW!! For the 10 year (even though there’s been 12 seasons) anniversary of So You Think You Can Dance! Dance! Dance!

After weeks of auditions and a grueling 2-episode Vegas week, the time has come for the Top 20 Dancers to finally show their stuff! And to also see how exactly this whole Stage vs. Street thing is going to work!

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: SEASON 12
Top 20 Perform

The show starts off very dramatic, the dancers walking out from their respective venues in super slow motion, but then it turns into this super cool montage of the dancers showing off their skills. It’s pretty cool. All that intensity turns in to a battle of the styles like Top 10 performance to “Revolt” by Nathan Lanier (Choreographed by Christopher Scott and Jessica Lee Keller). And it’s like stimulation overload! So many places to look…wait is that Asaf?

After the cute introductions, our Host extraordinaire Cat Deely comes out wearing a really cute outfit. The top is a mixture of white graphic shapes held together that attaches to the skirt with a black panel underneath and a simple black pencil skirt (according to her Instagram it was designed by Thierry Mugler).

Cat tells us that the injured dancer teased from last episode is Hurricane and he had to leave the show. Taking his place is Asaf, which in a way is surprising for me. I hope they are keeping him because he really is good and not just for the drama. This show doesn’t need that kind of drama. It should just be about the dancing. I guess we shall see.

THE ROUTINES

Who: Megz, Neptune, Jessica — Team Street
Choreographer: David Scott
Song: “The Illest” by Far East Movement feat. Riff Raff
Performance:  It’s a cool routine, but it also felt mellow to me and it was lacking a bit of energy. Maybe it was because of the music?  I was a little distracted from the weird camera work (can’t you just keep the entire dancer in frame from the front head to toe?) to the choppy editing (side, front, dolly, steadicamp, side shakiness, pick a shot and stay on it for more than 3 seconds!). But about the dancing, I wanted more, and as much as I love Jessica, Megz stuck out the most for me. She has such a unique look. My Grade: C
Judges: Paula wants the dancers to commit to their characters.  Jason was a little let down by the performance and he wanted them to think more about their movements.

WhoMoises, Gaby, Derek – Team Stage
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: “Luminous” by Max Richter
Performance: The routine was really pretty and flowy and I love it when dancers dance to instrumental pieces rather than poppy pieces.  Stand outs were definitely Gaby and Moises. Moises has great extension, next to Derek you could just see he just reached a little bit further than Derek and Gaby, being a tappy was pretty brilliant. She moved like a contemporary dancer. I liked that the routine focused on how the three of them worked together rather than tricks. My Grade: B+
Judges: Paula thought it was beautiful. Jason thought it was unreal and thought Gaby was incredible. Nigel loved it when they danced in unison.  Nigel was impressed by Gaby.

Who: Lily, Jaja, Asaf Burim – Team Street
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: “Easy (Switch Screens)” by Son Lux feat. Lorde
Performance: As much as a train wreck rehearsal seemed to be, the performance was really incredible. First, Asaf really surprised me. He kept up with the choreographer and was able to bring his brooding personality into it. Same for Jaja, her movements were sharp and tight and she was still able to provide personality and facial expressions. Lily and Burim didn’t stand out as much as I liked them too (except for the beginning where they each had their moment to shine) but overall I was really impressed by the routine and how in sync they were. My Grade: B+
Judges: Standing O from the judges. Jason call sit beasty. Nigel thinks Lily sticks out. Paula thought it was strong, powerful and awesome.

Who: Alexia, Hailee, Marissa – Team Stage
Choreographer: Brian Friedman
Song: “New Dorp. New York” by SBTRKT feat. Ezra Koenig
Performance: The routine was strong and sexy. I thought this routine had everything going for it. Costume, stilettos, music, props, it was the full on performance very well thought out by Friedman. Hailee stood out for me but not in a good way, she seemed a bit shaky and a bit off to me.  My Grade: B
Judges: Nigel says they need to be careful about being too sexy in their performances. Paula adds on saying they are dressed sexy the routine is sexy so they need to be more subtle in their performances. Their dancing however was great.

Who: Darion & Jim – Team Stage
Choreographer: Benoit Swan Pouffer
Song: “Blood and Stone” by Audiomachine
Performance: I love how connected the two guys were with each other. It started off a little rocky and seemed like they were both in their own little worlds, then Darion looked at Jim, their eyes connected and they were in total sync with each other. The routine was powerful, strenuous, and beautiful. It was empowering, you could feel the strength and endurance the guys needed to get through this performance. It really was incredible. My Grade: A-
Judges:  Paula loves these two dudes, Jason was floored and says he will remember this performance. Nigel thought Jim stood out and his incredible feet. He wants more light in Darion’s eyes.

Who: Yorelis, Virgil, Ariana – Team Street
Choreographer: Pharside and Phoenix
Song: “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars
Performance: While the song was a little distracting and the concept of the routine a little cheesy, I have to say Virgil killed it. He was the definitely stand out for me. He reminds me a lot of Fik Shun mixed with Carlton. He has just this goofy personality and this stunning smile that makes him hard to take your eyes off of. He his personality really shines thorough when he is dancing. He just seems like a really fun dude. And to be honesty the other girls just faded into the background. He was definitely the star. I loved the tutting section and the part where Virgll laid on the ground and popped himself up like he was levitating. My Grade: B-
Judges: Jason liked the tutting section. It was good not great. Nigel uses the word fly that he should never use again. Nigel wants them to push it even more and thought the girls held their own against Virgil. Paula wants them to always be in the moment even when it’s not their moment.

Who: Edson and Kate – Team Stage
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: “Shaped Like a Gun” by Taylor
Performance: This might be my favorite performance of the night. I love those performances you just get so engrossed in. I loved the gentle, delicate moments and also the moments of intensity. Once thing Travis always does well is create these beautiful transitions like Edson tossing Kate in the air and her landing on one foot. OR Edson dragging Kate back and she flips over doing this kick move. Each movement never ends where you think it’s going to end. Kate was the standout for me. Grade: A-
Judges: Nigel didn’t understand what their emotions in the piece was about. He doesn’t like the whole reaching and smiling thing. Paula didn’t feel the chemistry; she felt like they were holding something back. Jason wants them to live the movement.

GROUP ROUTINES

Who: Team Stage
Choreographer: Warren Carlyle
Song: “Body Language” by Queen
Performance: I thought the routine was really great. It was sleak and chic. I love Moises tapping with Gaby, I loved when they dance in unison with each other. It was just an overall slick routine. My Grade: A

Who: Team Street
Choreographer: NappyTabs
Song: “Ready Or Not Here I Come” by District 78 feat. Cheesa
Performance: SO…okay. It’s a cool routine. But I can’t help be distracted by Asaf. He’s so off. The girls are killing it. They are tight they are put together.  Everyone is hitting it hard. Virgil is so freakin’ adorable I can’t help but love him. But come on Nappy Tabs, don’t think I didn’t notice how Virgil and Burim disappeared for the last 45 seconds of that routine, and then all Asaf did was lift up Virgil. At least Burim did some sweet B-Boy moves. My Grade: B

RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • Love Cat doing the Chris Pratt for the dancers.
  • Asaf is such a personality. I feel bad they are all giving him a hard time.
  • Cat says something about Asaf that I didn’t get, but before she said it she let out this huge sigh of relief. I feel like he is a WILD card for everyone. He’s that kid that no one knows what he will do or say or how he will act. This will be an interesting show.
  • Choreographer Brian Friedman was on SYTYCD the earlier years wasn’t he? Or am I crazy? He was a judge right?
  • Travis has total Stage Mom expressions when he over sees the dancers rehearsals: furrowed brow, intensely watching the feet.
  • Paula makes a comment to Darion and Jim saying I hope their costuming gets better and Jim does this little covering of his legs that is super adorable.
  • Quote of the Day — Cat: “Everyone likes a little nice with their nasty.”
  • I don’t understand why the judges didn’t like Edson and Kate’s performance. I liked it. Maybe their chemistry wasn’t hot hot hot, but I thought they did a great job and Nigel is just crazy. Travis agrees with me and thought they were amazing. If Travis agrees with me, then we both must be right.
  • Nigel tells Jason they are running over and have to cut something. I don’t think we were supposed to hear that. Ruh Roh.
  • Napoleon is a terrible terrible…actor.
  • Asaf is causing drama…like usual. Its weird thought because I want him to do good. I want him to prove to everyone his crappy attitude off sets his abilities…Don’t think it’s going to happen though…
  • Okay, seriously, isn’t “Ready or Not” by the Fugees? What’s up with this cover?

FINAL THOUGHTS
Although Jessica kind of disappeared this episode, but my favorites are still my favorites. I still love Jaja, Virgil, Gaby and Jim. I think Asaf and Burim will be in danger with Asaf going home. Lily, Ariana, Hailee, and Derek might be in danger too, only because I feel like I didn’t really get a sense of who they were. Next week we lose two dancers and get a bonus episode. Until then my friends!

Spring has sprung and summer is here. That means bathing suits, beach reading, fruity drinks and So You Think You Can Dance!

The show is back and so are my reviews! Before I start with my thoughts on the highly anticipated Vegas Week, let’s talk about the two BIG changes this year.

1) Stage vs. Street – While I’m still unclear as to how this is truly going to work, I love the fact that they separating the two categories. This will truly allow everyone to shine. And I’m excited to watch the street performers battle while the best of the stage dancers get to dance with their equals. And I hope this means Yaya will make it to the Top 20. She is definitely one of my faves! Speaking of faves, I love we will see more Twitch and more Travis Wall.

2) New Judges – Paula over Mary Murphy and Jason Derulo? Come on! I understand Paula herself is a dancer but I’m gonna get tired real fast of her same old nice comments. I like it when the judges are more critical. And that goes the same for Derulo. At first I thought man, this is going to be a disaster but then he spoke and it was pretty helpful and profound, but then he used the same old tricks and vocabulary for every dancer. This does not bode well for the show.

So You Think You Can Dance: Season 12
Vegas Call Backs No. 1

  • Spending the time with the married couple was not necessary. More dancing less drama!
  • Love Twitch saying Team Street might be all female. There are so many outstanding street dancers that I’m super excited about!
  • I don’t understand why Jacey (stage) was cut. The girl who nearly lost her leg in a car accident. I thought she did a great job.
  • Jessica by far is my favorite street dancer. (Aside from Ya Ya – where is she?)
  • There she is, she made it through the first round, YAY!!
  • I’m really rooting for Steven the nerdy animator who’s parents have never seen him dance. His dance for his life solo wasn’t as good as his audition solo though. I’m really sad he doesn’t make it through. I feel like the judges just didn’t like him not that he was bad.

Random thoughts

  • I like it when the judges and choreographers push the dancers. They don’t just let them slide by or get through at least not with out a fight. It’s not an easy process.
  • However, sometimes I also feel like Vegas Week is just a big popularity contest. Who the judges know and like better rather than based on talent. Not to say good/great/incredible dancers make it through, but sometimes I feel like the kids that are eccentric or weird are getting rejected by the “popular kids”.
  • Did Ya Ya make it through the 2nd round? My DVR cut out for a brief moment. Hopefully she did!
  • I love me some Twitch, but he’s definitely playing favorites.

Final Thoughts
That’s all for this week! See ya next week for Part 2 of Vegas Week!


In Your Eyes
Directed By: Brin Hill
Starring: Zoe Kazan, Michael Stahl-David, Nikki Reed, Mark Feurestein, Jennifer Grey, Steve Howey, Steve Harris

in-your-eyes-poster

In Your Eyes is a supernatural kind of love story. While things in the movie didn’t quite go as how I wanted them to, the movie was fresh, original, and made believable by its good-looking, likeable leads.

Joss Whedon is the master of dialogue. There is just something about his words that suck you in and grab hold of you, and his characters are extremely memorable. In Your eyes is a love story about two people, in two completely different places who are able to see through each other eyes. Not only that, they can hear each other speak as clearing as if the person were in front of them, only they are miles apart. Rebecca is stuck in a marriage where her husband is more like her babysitter than her partner. He is constantly treating her like she could break at any moment and it’s all her fault. Dylan is struggling to make ends meet. He can’t keep a girlfriend or a real connection with anyone for that matter. Then a shot to the head brings Rebecca and Dylan into each other’s head, and they realized they had this connection all along.

Plot wise, the movie could have given us a little more. But story and dialogue wise the movie was on point and utterly relatable, you know, minus the supernatural stuff. In Your Eyes is creative, it’s sweet, it’s weird, and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Plus, in my eyes, Joss Whedon can do now wrong. (Pun not intended, but hey, it works!). Rating: B

 

 

Walk Of Shame
Directed By: Steven Brill
Starring: Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, Gillian Jacobs, Sarah Wright, Kevin Nealon

walk_of_shame

So I have a friend, who loves all movies. Seriously, every movie we see together we love. Even when I hate it, he loves it. So much so, when people ask him how a movie is, he usually replies (and I’m paraphrasing), “You know me, I liked it, but as her (her being me), because she’ll probably give you a better idea as to how it really is.” Anyway, he thought this movie was just okay, while SURPRISE! I actually liked it.

Elizabeth Banks is hilarious. She’s extremely likeable and you can tell she really enjoys the part she is playing. While the movie as a whole is well, ridiculous, Walk of Shame was entertaining, charming, and probably funnier than it really should have been.

TV personality, Megan Miles is having a bad day. She’s been dumped, she’s sad, and she’s just lost the one thing in her life that made her happy to her nemesis, her news reporter job. So she decides to let loose, dress like a slut, and get drunk with her friends, eventually having a one night stand with the hot bartender, who has irresistible blue eyes. The next morning, she wakes up in his apartment to a text that the job is hers if she can make it to the station by 5pm. But a chain of unfortunate events leaves her locked out of the bartenders place without her phone or wallet and her car being towed. Now, on foot, Megan must make it to the city to get her job and her life back on track. Rating: B-

 

 

 

 

How I Met Your Mother has always held a special place in my heart. Some episodes are hilarious  (Season 2, “Slap Bet”), others are devastating (Season 6, “Bad News”), some are just weird (Season 9, “Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra”), while others leave you with unexpected emotions that you can relate to and that give you hope (Season 9, “Coming Back”). And then you get those episodes that just blow every other episode out of the water making up for all those…well let’s just say it, bad episodes…and for me that episode was Monday’s, “How Your Mother Met Me.”

Cristin Milioti has rounded out the cast nicely. She is the missing link. This past season 9 every time she has shown up she adds this spark, and freshness, and excitement to the show unlike anything else. But with “How Your Mother Met Me” she became a real actual character and person. She has qualities all of Ted’s friends possess as well as her own quirks. She’s been through heart ache, has fears we have, and has had a hard time letting go for fear of what’s to come. She is flawed. She is real. And we adore her.  After watching this episode, I really feel the need to protect her and frankly I hope Ted makes her really, really happy, as much as we know she will make him.

 

My Favorite Moments of the Episodes (*spoilers, of course*)

 

Kelly (Her Roommate): “It’s St. Patrick Day, the Holiday of my people”
The Mother: “You’re no Irish.”
Kelly: :Binge Drinkers.”

Outside the bathroom at the St. Patty’s Day Club, The Mother: “If there’s urine out here, what in god’s name is going on in there?”

The Mother: (Coming out with a cello) “Here it is, I haven’t played this since the popular girls locked me inside the case, it was roomier than when I played the violin.”

Mitch (aka Naked Guy): “This is my thing.”
The Mother: “It most certainly is your thing. Now cover your thing up.”

The Mother: “Is this what it’s going to be like being single in NY? Even the nice guys turn out to be total creeps?”
Mitch (who’s naked): “I have gotten pretty creepy since I moved here.”

Mitch (who’s naked): “Can I tell you an embarrassing story?”
The Mother: “Is it this one, happening right now?”

The mother laughing at Ted’s “shellfish joke.” Remember Ted said the first time she heard the joke she laughed? Nice touch.

I like her light blue petty coat jacket.

The way Rachel Bilson (as Cindy) said, “I might have some stuff to figure out.” Total Zoe Hart.
The Mother: “It’s like the first lottery ticket I ever bought was Kaboom! Jackpot! and I’m pretty sure I’m not going to win again, not like that anyway, so I don’t generally buy lottery tickets again.”

Older Ted: “And that’s how your mother started dating Louis. And for a couple of years it was fine, it just wasn’t love.”

That look on her face after Louis rejects her English muffin song. We all know that look. We’ve all had that look. Heartbreaking.

The Mother is a lot like Lily yelling, “What the damn hell?” vs. Lily’s “You sonofabitch,” and her breaking the glass with one hand when she’s angry.

The Mother to Louis: “I think that I have been holding myself back from falling in love again and I think it’s because I can’t let you go, but you’re not here anymore so I have to ask this, would it be okay if I moved on?”

I am a big fan of romantic comedies and How I Met Your Mother is one long 9 years of a romantic comedy. It’s funny and utterly relatable and I really care about these characters and how they turn out. Also, I’m ready for Ted’s happy ending. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to happen, in the grand scheme of things….

 

( > > > Scary insight ahead < < < )

( < < <  Don’t read if you don’t want me to severely depress you  > > > )

I have a terrible, terrible feeling that The Mother has died, and this is why Ted is telling his kids the story of how he met her. This season my than any other there are little clues hinting at it. Like at the end of the episode when Ted said, “Kids, I must have heard your mother’s rendition of ‘La Vie En Rose’ a million times over the years, every night when she tucked you in for instance, but that performance, that first night I ever heard her sing, that will always be my favorite.” There was a finality to it, a sadness to it. If she died, after all this time….I don’t know if I’m going to be able to handle it.

All I know, kids, it’s going to be a rough end of the series.

 

 


Safe Haven

Directed By: Lasse Hallstrom
Starring: Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough, Cobie Smulders, David Lyons, Noah Lomax, Mimi Kirkland

I’ve never been a big fan of Nicholas Sparks movies. I liked A Walk To Remember and The Notebook (even though I think the Notebook is overrated), but I also hated a lot of his other movies, The Last Song, The Lucky One, and DON’T even get me started on Dear John. Let’s just not go there. So knowing all this, I can’t believe I’m going to say this…but I didn’t hate Safe Haven. In fact, I REALLY didn’t hate it. I may have even *gulp* liked it. But shhh…just don’t tell anyone.

We all know there are different types of romantic/rom-com movies:

  • “Everybody Loves Them”: Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, Pretty Woman, Princess Bride, Etc
  • “You Love Them, Others May Not”: How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, The Wedding Planner, A Walk to Remember, Etc
  • “Guilty Pleasure”: Letters to Juliet, Music and Lyrics, Ever After, The Vow, Etc
  • “Why Did I Watch This?”: Something Borrowed, The Ugly Truth, The Back-Up Plan

 

So what would I classify Safe Haven as? A Guilty Pleasure movie. While it’s not on par with some of the greats, it’s definitely worth a watch. Here are 5 reasons why:

1)      The Storyline Was Interesting: Katie escapes to a small town, harboring a big secret, but desperate to start her life over. She meets Alex and his two kids who are still reeling from the death of his wife and their mother. And despite reservations for both sides, the two start falling for each other. However dark secrets and Katie’s past start to catch up to her.  Ok, so…it’s nothing we haven’t seen before…but it played out in an interesting way.)

2)      The Movie Wasn’t TOO Cheesy: With any romantic movie or rom-com you expect a certain amount of cheese, but the movie was surprisingly light on the cheese factor as opposed to other Nicholas Sparks movies. (It did have similar themes though.) I was grateful for no lip singing into a hair brush, pillow fights in underwear, I-hate-you-but-I-really-like-you moments…

3)      The Characters Were Likeable: What’s a surefire way to get your audience to like certain characters? By making them interact with an adorable, spunky, too-smart-for-her-age little girl. When Katie first meets Alex’s daughter Lexi, the girl is so adorable you can’t help but immediately like Katie, and even Alex, even though we haven’t even met him yet. That just goes to show you, little children aren’t just good for scaring people or making them cry.

4)      Julianne Hough’s Acting Has Significantly Improved: She’s come a long LONG way from Footloose (which was so corny and awful, in case you’re wondering, which I know you are!). She still has issues when she has to be absolutely serious, but overall I didn’t hate her performance. She just had this ease about her.

5)      Cobie Smulders: Love her.

 

If I had a boyfriend, I definitely would NOT take him to see this movie. This is one of those movies you see in private, tell people you hate it (or never saw it), while secretly knowing you’ll probably buy this on DVD when it comes out. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to hide it somewhere no one will see it…probably in the same place I stashed my Hanson CD…both of them.

 

Rating: 2 1/2 – 3 Stars.

 

 

This movie had a lot of things going for it, but I found it predictable. Saving factor? Rooney Mara’s portray of Lisbeth Salander. Completely fantastic. I just wished the rest of the movie could have lived up to great performance.

 

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard,
Joely Richardson, Goran Visnjic

Premise: Writer, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is hired by Henrik Vagner (Christopher Plummer), head of the Vanger family, to investigate his family and the disappearance of one of their own that occurred over 40 years ago. As Blomkvist digs deeper into the Vanger family, with help from a young, unique, computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, they uncover dangerous secrets that put their lives in jeopardy.

My Review: About a year ago, I tried reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo book and I couldn’t get beyond the first 50 pages. There were just too many Swedish names and places and I just couldn’t get through it. But upon hearing how good the foreign films were, I decided to give this movie a chance. I mean, David Fincher is awesome. I love Christopher Plummer and Stellan Skarsgard and I’ve been hearing good things about Rooney Mara’s transformation. I’ve been a bit on the fence about Daniel Craig, but the plot intrigued me. Not to mention the first trailer for the movie was pretty great. So good plot, good director, good actors, what could go wrong…right?

I don’t think anything went wrong, per say, but I came out of the movie feeling just lukewarm about it. The acting was great (Rooney Mara was fantastic – more on that later). The plot kept me interested even if things didn’t move at a lightning-fast pace. But there was something missing. The story didn’t feel fresh to me. And frankly, I found it utterly predictable.

What made this movie – what really made this movie – was Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). Lisbeth is a troubled, troubled girl. We don’t even need to know her backstory to figure that out. From the spiky hair, to the leather and motorcycle, to the pierced face, to the permanent look of anger, we know the girl has issues. After setting her father on fire, Lisbeth has been in and out of mental institutions, and on her own for the longest time. The only person “looking out for her” is a government-issued parole officer, who uses the fact that he controls her finances to control her – in horrific ways you cannot possibly imagine. But Lisbeth isn’t one to sit back. She takes revenge in an awful, he-won’t-walk-right-for-days, kind of way. But no matter what disturbing things she did with a vengeance, the punishment fit the crime. Lisbeth could have chopped him into a million pieces and we’d still root for her. That, is a character.

And she was the ONLY character. Everyone else was run-of-the-mill, standard, family murder mystery fare. Even our protagonist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig). There was nothing about any of these people who made me want to root for them, or care about them. Well, except for maybe Christopher Plummer. But how can you NOT root for Christopher Plummer?

Even though the movie was a half hour too long, David Fincher managed to hook me with his slow burning murder mystery. I enjoyed the movie much more once Blomkvist and Salander actually teamed up (the first 45 minutes of the movie were intercuts between their separate lives). The two were such an odd pairing they were actually pretty funny together. Yeah, you heard me right, funny. Or maybe the right word is amusing. But once they started working together something just clicked with the movie. Thank you, Rooney Mara.

Overall, this movie is a good watch. I’m not saying you have to spend $13 to go watch it, but you should definitely check it out of murder mysteries are your thing. There are disturbing images and situations so don’t be alarmed if you find your body tensing up. I know during one part I had my hands balled up in fists.

Rating: 3 Stars

Random Thoughts:

 

 

Watching Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol, is what I imagine riding a roller coaster to be like: clutching the edge of your seat, some moments forgetting to breathe or resisting the urge to shut your eyes.  Though I hate roller coasters, I really really liked this movie. Really.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Starring: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton

Premise: On a mission at the Kremlin in Russia, the team – Ethan (Tom Cruise), Benji (Simon Pegg), and new comer Jane (Paula Patton) – finds themselves alienated when their mission is compromised by terrorists who bomb the Kremlin to the ground. With the world convinced onvinced it was the IMF’s fault, the Secretary of Defense is forced to activate Ghost Protocol. This means the IMF is shut down, and the team are now WANTED. Unless they can take out the real terrorist, they will be caught and labeled forever terrorists – enemies of the country.

My Review: It is my belief that anything J.J. Abrams’ touches (LOST, Felicity, Cloverfield, MI:III) turns to GOLD and I’m beginning to think the same things about, the director of this installment, Brad Bird (Incredibles, Iron Giant). Being already an impressive action movie, the fact that Bird has only previous directed animated features makes this movie all that much more amazing. The action sequences were almost like action sequences straight out of animated movies. Though exciting, with animated characters there is no real danger level. However with live action, the threat is much more imminent. There were three sequences alone that left me worrying about the fate of Ethan Hunt, and he’s the lead. I know they would never, ever dare to kill off the lead, but I was still imagining the worst. I was left on the edge of my seat. And any movie that can make an entire theater go “OH!” out of pain (more than once), is a good movie in my book.

The team believes the man responsible for the attack on the Kremlin is Hendrix (Michael Nyqvist) a man convinced that America needs to “start over.” From destruction the strong emerge to create a new, better world. Their mission should they choose to accept it (and they should because if not they’d be on the run from the government forever) is to find Hendrix and stop him from launching Russia’s nuclear missile at America. However, without the government backing, Ethan and his team don’t have all the usual luxuries and resources making everything they do that much more life threatening. It’s easier – scary, but easier – to scale a building when you have a harness and other team members backing you up. But when you have to scale the tallest building in the world, with wonky glue gloves created, but never tested, by a first-time-in-the-field techie, there is cause to worry.

Besides Jane (Paula Patton), another new addition to the team is Brandt (Jeremy Renner) who became an unintentional member of the group. Though I’m used to seeing Renner in more serious roles (The Town, The Hurt Locker), it was nice to see him in a more comedic and, for lack of a better word (because weaker doesn’t seem right), a vulnerable role. It was a nice chance of pace, though it took some getting used to. Simon Pegg, was his usual funny, smart, nerdy role, but he provided some nice comedic relief from the unrelenting, heart-racing action. Paula Patton, who is so gorgeous it should be illegal, was a different kind of character from this type of movie. Sure she played the pretty girl to catch the eye of some horny diplomat, but her character had motive, had a back story, had something at stake which made her motivations all that much more believable and more than just a pretty face who can kick ass.

And last, but certainly not least, there is Tom Cruise. No matter what crazy gossip you hear about him, or what you think about his religious beliefs or marriage to Katie Holmes, there’s no denying Tom Cruise has star power. He makes this movie what it is and he knows how to put on a show. It’s always been known that Tom Cruise likes to do must of his stunts, and this is evident in a majority of the action sequences (unless the VFX is just incredibly amazing). But he’s also just utterly believable as Ethan Hunt, Daredevil.

Overall if you want unrelenting action sequences, edge of your seat tension, fast cars, fancy toys and beautiful women, check out this movie. It’s fun, exciting, and a great way for 2011 to go out strong. Tip: The only way to see this movie is in IMAX. It’s worth it! Plus this movie solidifies the fact that Taylor Lautner will never be Tom Cruise.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

 

PS: The Dark Knight Rises Prologue – Amazing! Though I can’t understand what Bane said at all, I have no doubt TDNR will be amazing. That action sequence alone was terrifying. In a good way.