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Jeff
07 May 2008 @ 10:40 pm

Been almost two weeks since the last update - just haven't had or made the time to be more diligent here, but I'm trying. 

And thus, I need to first give belated Happy Birthday! wishes to

apriljoiex, who celebrated on the 3rd (sorry for the late-ness), and I'll go ahead with two-day early wishes for empressvesica, whose day is the 9th. Here's giving you ladies only good thoughts for a prosperous and fortune-filled year to come.  

So, what's worth mentioning?  Ah, yes - movies.  

As I said a couple weeks ago, I thought Forgetting Sarah Marshall was just outstanding, and not just because of my (obvious) KBell infatuation. The overall quality of the Jason Segel-penned script, with the inclusion of realistically-developed and portrayed characters, made the whole story that much more memorable.  I'm glad to see that other flist-ers have seen it and also approved. Though I do believe the final box-office will show its merit as a financial success (it's already cleared much more than its budget), it doesn't look to be matching the domestic totals of other Judd Apatow productions - The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, or Superbad. Which, really, is unfortunate, because I think FSM is probably the best well-rounded film of the bunch, in terms of balancing comedy and heart with great dialogue. Perhaps Jason Segel's full-frontal scenes scared dudes away from repeated viewings? Oh well - I'll probably see it again this weekend. 

And easily the biggest movie of the year so far is Iron Man, and I also saw that on opening day. I'll add to what other flist-ers have said, and agree that it is definitely worth the price of admission. Director Jon Favreau has hit a home-run with his biggest project to date, and Marvel's first foray into financing their own movie (rather than selling the rights to an outside studio) has paid off.  Iron Man manages to combine an enjoyable script (a little sarcasm and satire cleverly mixed in with the humor, not taking itself too seriously) with an A+ cast and superb visual effects (courtesy of Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic).  I'm not an Iron Man comic die-hard by any means, but I am a little familiar with Tony Stark's background, the type of person he's supposed to be, and with the characters that surround him. And from what I took away from the moves, the entire cast is just about perfect for their roles. Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, and Terrence Howard are pitch-perfect in their respective supporting takes on the well-written script. And of course, Robert Downey, Jr. just nails Tony Stark. The attitude and physicality are dead-on for what was really necessary for the character, and he just seems to really be having a ball as a big-budget action-star. 

I'll have to see it again to be completely fair, but I'd say Iron Man ranks right up there in my top-5 of modern-era "comic book" movies.  It's easily better than any of the Spider-Man films, and the Fantastic Four jokes. I think I'd even put it past the first X-Men, and possibly on par with X2. It's still below Superman Returns and Batman Begins on my personal list, but those two are Warner/DC masterpieces that I really almost look at as heavy dramas about comic characters, rather than just comic-based action flicks, which is pretty much where all the others lie.  But as an eye-candy-filled, entertaining-as-hell introduction/origin story that isn't leveled-down for the kiddies (Spider-Man and FF, I'm looking at you), Iron Man is top notch. Go see it. Oh, and stay 'till the end of the credits - especially if you're a Marvel-'verse comic reader. There's a bit of a nice tease. 

I've already got my ticket to see Speed Racer this Friday in IMAX. And it's not that I was highly-anticipating this flick as a "must see right away" type of thing, but just watching the teaser ads the last couple of weeks in HD on my 60" TV made my jaw drop a bit, so I'm anxious to see the next evolutions in visual effects the Wachowski brothers can come up with. Oddly enough, I recently re-watched all the bonus material from The Complete Matrix Collection - all the behind the scenes documentaries and featurettes about the stunt work and filmmaking technologies developed for the first film, Reloaded, and Revolutions, as well as the shorts from The Animatrix. All of that reminded me that Larry and Andy Wachowski have some seriously ballsy imaginations, so my interest in Speed Racer - where the sets and locations are almost entirely virtual - is definitely piqued.  Also, my boy Matthew Fox plays Racer X. So that's another plus.

Speaking of Foxy, last week's episode of Lost: 4.10 - "Something Nice Back Home" - became one of my all-time personal classics, and probably my second favorite of the season (behind 4.05 - "The Constant"). 
  

I see that a couple of other flist-ers have recently started the show, which is awesome. Again I advise anyone that doesn't watch, but is curious about doing so - either borrow or rent the DVDs, or download all the eps from the beginning.  You won't be sorry, and will easily become a more intelligent and quality-discriminating television viewer just by watching.

Battlestar Galactica has also been excellent, but IMO is almost in a plot-limbo right now, as the characters are scattered around  - or away from - the fleet. The acting is still top-shelf as always, but I think we're in the midst of a build-up toward the race for Earth. Seeing the varying reactions by Tori, Col. Tigh, Tyrol and Anders to their respective newly-found identities as Cylons is interesting as hell, though. Lee's beginning to see that having and enforcing the morally-righteous high-ground isn't necessarily what may be best for the populace, politcally, as Baltar's prophet/messiah status builds.  And Kara's facing mutiny along her desperation to "feel" her way to Earth. Classic.

Smallville's still a jumbled mess (and it's gonna drag on for an eighth season - fuck me), but I will say that last week's Tom Welling-directed episode was his best work of the three episodes where he's been behind the camera. Story was hole-filled and preposterous at points (as usual), but his blocking and camera placement was much improved. 

Supernatural is still the only critical-acclaim-worthy show on The CW, and is still fun as hell. The faux-reality satire of "Ghostfacers" had me LMAO for an hour - among the appropriately creepy traditional haunted-house standbys. Tweaking the suspense/horror genre is something this show does consistently well - IMO, on par with Buffy the Vampire Slayer in that regard. I'm really looking forward to seeing how in the hell Dean's soul-to-Hell pact will be dealt with, now that we've got a fourth season to look forward to.

I guess that's about all I've got.  Plus, I'm tired of typing - doing all this tonight since there was no new TV to watch. Tomorrow's another full Thursday night lineup, including the last episode (of a stike-shortened season) of Scrubs to air on NBC. It's almost a sure thing that ABC will pick it up for an eighth and final season, since it's an ABC Studio show. So hopefully we'll get at least 13-17 more episodes to see it sent off properly - one of the funniest shows to ever air, IMO.

Off to bed in a bit, probably. Peace out.




Kristen Bell is awesome.

 
 
Jeff
24 April 2008 @ 04:40 pm
Random TV talk, among other things....

So this is the first Thursday night in quite a while - months, at least - where everything I watch on this night of the week is brand-spankin' new.

First, and most importantly, Lost is back from its five-week, strike-imposed catch-up period with the first of 6 straight new eps to finish out season four. "Kick-ass" #1.  

Closely following in excitement, Supernatural is also back from its strike-lengthened hiatus with new stuff. "Kick-ass" #2.

In addition, NBC's lineup is all-new, all of which I watch: My Name is Earl, Scrubs ("Kick-ass" #3), The Office ("Kick-ass" #4), 30 Rock, and ER.  Prior to Lost on ABC, Grey's Anatomy is back with new stuff. And before SPN, The CW has another new Smallville. Both Grey's and SV have become little more than tiresome chores to keep watching, but I'm multiple seasons into my show-obligation, and can't stop myself now. *sigh*

Oh, and if all of that were not enough, my hometown Orlando Magic are trying to go up 3 games to none against the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the NBA playoffs.The Magic are my second-favorite team (behind my beloved and awesome San Antonio Spurs), so I'd like to see some of that, too. Perhaps both VCRs will be working tonight, in addition to the dual tuner DVR.

Lastly, I didn't want to forget the Happy Birthday! thoughts for my flisters gracejen and candlewaxdreams, as they both have birthdays today and tomorrow, respectively. Hope the last year has treated you well, ladies, and that the next one is even better!

Also trying to decide if I want to see Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay this weekend. I didn't see White Castle until it was on DVD for quite a while, but loved its absurdity - especially the part of NPH. I'm really tempted to see this one in the theaters, stupid though I know it will be. It's like I need something to see this weekend while anticipating next week for Iron Man - which looks loads of fun, btw.

That's all I've got.  May not get to update tomorrow, so I hope everyone's weekend goes swimmingly.




Kristen Bell is awesome. 
 
 
Jeff
22 April 2008 @ 05:16 pm
It's getting sorta late in the day, but I did not forget, and just had to post to give super-fantastic Happy Birthday! wishes to my girl _cinjudes_. Today is her day (I'll be a gentlemen and won't mention the number of days she's had), and I hope it's not entirely stressful, being a workday and all.    Hope Ben and the life-enders are treating you well today, Cin.  And of course, the vacation time was great fun, and went by way too fast. 

Lots of hugs and smooches!

*snoogins*



Oh, and just throwing it out there that I saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall on Friday (of course), and it is great. Not just laugh-out-loud funny, but a very well done story with heart, and well-developed characters, too.  Kudos to Jason Segel for the script - and for his... *ahem*... bravery in the performance. 

That is all.





Kristen Bell is awesome.
 
 
Jeff
14 April 2008 @ 05:40 pm

It seems this is the only reason I try and post here lately. Just haven't had the time and/or motivation to ramble about much else, but I still stick around to read the flist when I can.

Anyway, I need to give some belated happy wishes to

lalam, who's day was on the 10th. I was in the middle of vegging-out time with_cinjudes_, so I was hardly online at all last week. I hope the big one wasn't too bad, Laura ;)

Also, in celebrity-world, belated wishes to Nicholas Brendon (and his twin brother Kelly Donovan), who turned 37 on the 12th, and - yay! on-time! - wishes today, the 14th, to my girl Sarah Michelle Gellar.  Mrs. Prinze is the big 3-1. Hard to believe.  And as I did last year, I will commemorate the two-days-apart birthdays of the actors who played their roles in my uber-'ship with a few pics. Cut below for the non-B/X-ers (pretty much all but me): 

 

And just because, some old-school SMG as Buffy:

That's all I've got for now. Hope everyone's weekend was good.





Kristen Bell is awesome.

 
 
Jeff
27 March 2008 @ 04:34 pm
Kind of in a weird mood, but I just wanted to make a super-quick pop-in to give "Happy Birthday" celebrity shouts today, March 27th, to Nathan Fillion - my respect for whom and admiration of needs no real explanation to anyone reading this; Elizabeth Mitchell - she has impressed me more than I can say as Dr. Juliet Burke on Lost; and Mariah Carey. Yes, Mariah - I know what some may think, and shut up. 

I was a fan of hers waaaay back in the day when she first arrived as a seven-octave-ranged vocal-phenom - I'm talking middle-school days for me.  I mean, I was obsessed, and there was no bigger fan/purchaser of her albums and singles than me. She's had her well-publicized ups and downs and weird idiosyncracies on full diisplay for awhile now, but she's still got the chops - I've seen her live three times, so I know.

Anyway, also wanted to add a big CONGRATULATIONS to  houses7177 and her husband, who welcomed their first bundle of joy into the world on Saturday, just before Easter. I heard through _cinjudes_ that everything went fairly smoothly, so I was glad to hear that her pregnancy burden was finally lifted. Now she just has a new person to raise! ;) 

That's about it - pretty boring right now. Oh - but less than 8 days until _cinjudes_arrives here in O-Town for vacation! Sweet!




Kristen Bell is awesome.
 
 
Jeff
16 March 2008 @ 10:25 pm
Well, it seems my first March entry comes in halfway through the month.  So goes the nature of my professional/personal time the last several weeks. 

I won't get into a whole rant or venting spiel, but will just say that work is on an ever-descending shit-spiral, that seems to be picking up speed the last few months. Essentially, the workload combined with the kind of work my job entials day in and day out is pushing me to the end of my tolerance levels.  The new job/career path search is officially underway, because this current work is making me too old (and too bitter) way too fast.  And the zero down-time at work has joined forces with fairly busy evenings (and simply being too exhausted for Interweb play) the last month or so, thus my severe lack of updating and/or keeping up with regular commenting on my flist. For that I apologize and will try to do better.

Anyway... aside from that crap, I've been meaning to post all week about last weekend's MegaCon 2008 here in Orlando. I actually got too busy to remember to buy my advance pass online, prior to the week before (when advance ordering closed), so I had to get a ticket at the gate. I only wanted a one-day ticket for this one, as it was half the price of the three day pass, and I figured I could get what I wanted to get done in one day, and reduce the two added days of temptation to spend more $$$ on fandom stuff I really don't need.  It worked out okay for my day spent there on Saturday, but the waiting lines were horrendous. A fairly brief summation (compared to FX, anyway) under the cut:


Other than the above show stuff, the only other babbling I've got is that Lost is continuing to be sock-knocking-off fantastic this season. I won't get plot-spoilery for already-aired episodes, but  I just feel pity for anyone that will never realize the monumental nature of what this series is - how original and groundbreaking it is as a "genre" drama - and am continually impressed with the turns the story takes. We have been getting some substantial answers to questions that have been lingering for a couple of seasons now, as well as being given new questions and puzzles that we had no idea could be introduced prior to this season.  I anticipate the weekly installments of this show more than anything else I have ever watched. No lie.

Also, the best TV-related news since the strike ended must be the respective renewals of Supernatural and Friday Night Lights.  The CW must know by now that SPN is by far the best thing they have on their schedule, quality-wise, and I'm sure the stellar ratings numbers (highest of the season, if not of the series) of the last pre-strike filmed episode helped with the decision. And I don't care what kind of episode-sharing deal has to be made with NBC and Direct TV (or any other network), as long as FNL is back in some capacity. In terms of genuine overall-quality - from writing to acting to directing and overall production value - the series is THE best show since the 2004 season brought us Lost, Veronica Mars and Battlestar Galactica

And finally, this month's Paley Center for Media's Television Festival makes me temporarily wish I lived near L.A. The annual event has an awe-worthy lineup of show panels this year, the first notable of which was yesterday for Pushing Daisies. The event's entire lineup can be found at the official page, but I'll also c/p the list panels I'd be there for in a heartbeat, if money and distance were no object:

 


I mean, really - the Buffy reunion is worth the drooling alone - almost the entire friggin' cast, plus Joss! - but to be there for talk about Daisies, Judd Apatow's insane entourage, Chuck (moderated by Lost's exec. Damon Lindelof!), Friday Night Lights, Damages (best FX drama since The Shield), The X-Files (new film being made - awesome), and Mad Men - a show I want to get into, hearing only good things about - all of those are a TV enthusiast's dream. I look forward to reading/hearing/seeing details about what went on during each, and will be insanely envious of anyone who gets to actually be there.

I guess that's about it for now. Hopefully I won't go a few more weeks between posts again.  Oh, and since I may not be online tomorrow, early Happy St. Patrick's Day to all. It's the honorary Irish day, and I'll at least have a beer or two to celebrate.  Too bad it's not on a weekend this year. Oh well.





Kristen Bell is awesome.

 
 
Jeff
29 February 2008 @ 08:39 pm
I know the day's almost over, but it's still the 29th here, so the day's just an excuse to have an entry. And, it's worth noting a date that comes around only once every four years. 

Plus, you know, I wanted to make a post to prove that I do still exist. I've barely been able to check my email regularly the last few weeks, so updating and commenting here have been virtually impossible.  BUT - I have been scrambling to read my flist every few days, so I have been keeping up with all the wonderful ramblings my fascinating flist has to offer, I just can't seem to comment or reply nearly as often as I'd like.

Oh, and I also need to wish a very belated Happy Birthday! to blackmamba2517. I'm not sure if she's even been on LJ in ages - no updates for over a year - but her birthday was the 23rd, she's still got an LJ page, and I knew her prior to the world of LJ and flists. So if you eventually see this Hallie, I didn't forget, I just got busy!

I have no time to even get into it now, but for anyone who keeps up with Lost, I sure hope you are enjoying the ride as much as I am. This season is just redefining the nature of how to blow one's mind with serial television. Especially last night's episode, 4.05 - "The Constant". A seriously whacked-out hour of TV, in absolutely the best way possible.

Will be driving down to West Palm Beach tomorrow, for a wedding on Sunday afternoon - the wedding for which I went to Las Vegas two weeks ago for the groom's bachelor party - so another weekend of trying to catch up on the interwebs will be shot. Oh well. Having a life of some sort is not too bad, I suppose.  

On that note, I'm off to do some laundry.  Hope everyone's weekend is swell.




Kristen Bell is awesome.
 
 
Jeff
Just got back from a Friday-through-Monday bachelor party weekend in Las Vegas.

To say that fun was had would be an understatement.  Not sure I was ever 100% sober from the first hour we arrived until about 12:00 AM PST this morning (when our flight left). And amazingly, I think I almost broke-even on the gambling front for the weekend. I consider that a success. 

And that's about all I can disclose... you know the expression.

Now I'm on the harsh come-down, trying to recover for work tomorrow. And I've got some Friday-Monday TV with which to catch up. Will also try to flist-read some, and sort through gobs of email.
 
But since I've been awake for about 28 hours straight, I think I'm off to go nap for a bit.





Kristen Bell is awesome.
 
 
Jeff

I haven't been intentionally procrastinating with updating, just haven't had the free time. I know I'm over a week late getting to this, but I had to finally get around to putting in a brief account of the 2008 FX Show from the weekend before last - Jan. 25th-27th - with some pictures, while all the memories are still fresh. I'm trying not to match the essay-length of my post from last year's event, but it may still be quite long. I'll cut, of course, for those not interested, and to mercifully spare flist reading. 

I ended up purchasing a three day pass for myself, and a Sunday-only ticket for my dad, because he also wanted to meet Nathan, but didn't want to deal with all the walking and standing for three days. I had to work Friday, but ended up leaving at 11AM to make it to the Orange County Convention Center before noon.  My main goal for Friday was to try and meet Nicholas Brendon and Laura Vandervoort, since they were supposed to be there all three days. Greg Grunberg was on a tight schedule and would only be there Saturday, and Nathan Fillion was listed for Saturday and Sunday. 

And Cindy - I know I gave you a brief rundown of the days when we spoke on the phone, but after sitting down to type all of this, I think I left some things out in our conversation, so most of the details should be here.

All in all, a very memorable FX Show weekend once again. I'm pleased to say that all of my various celebrity encounters have been nothing but great so far for the last couple of years. Hope that trend continues.

And now I need to get some grub.  Perhaps a post on the mind-blowing-ness of Lost later in the week, if I get time.





Kristen Bell is awesome.

 
 
Jeff
31 January 2008 @ 08:17 am
LOST is back!

The best show on television - possibly of all time - finally returns to kick off its fouth season tonight. Strike-shortened season notwithstanding, I'm still way more than ready to get more story.  To say I'm excited would be an understatement.   If anyone has yet to jump on board for this series, I'd highly recommend a marathon of the S1-3 DVDs. Totally worth your time.



That is all. 

Another update this weekend, probably - for an FX Show briefing.





Kristen Bell is awesome.
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