The Best and Worst of TV This Year

It was a rough year for network TV. Many of the most talked about shows continued to appear on cable and through streaming services (Netflix’s Arrested Development and House of Cards). NBC cancelled most of its new shows (Go On). But like any other season, there were some welcome additions (Elementary) and some unwelcome ones (Guys with Kids). Some long overdue goodbyes (Rules of Engagement) and some shows we said goodbye to before we ever really got to know them (Ben & Kate). Here are some of my picks for the best, and worst, of the TV season. Read more »

10 Things to Know Before Seeing Star Trek Into Darkness

For the most part, I am excited to see new movies (save for those in the Twilight series or anything starring Julia Stiles). But the movie that I have anticipated the most this year is Star Trek into Darkness. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in a household where my dad and I watched The Next Generation every Monday night. (The best was when Captain Picard and the Enterprise had to fight the Borg or deal with Q. The holodeck episodes? Not so much.) Or perhaps it was due to J. J. Abrams’ killer 2009 reboot that was perfectly cast and perfectly fun. Either way, I’m pleased to say that Darkness lived up to my anticipation.

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9 Best Movie Weddings

The first time I saw the ad I thought it was joke. Surely it was merely a composite photo — put together for some failed movie pitch — that accidentally got released somehow, right? After all, how could the insipidly titled The Big Wedding ever attract Oscar-winners Robert De Niro or Susan Sarandon? Sure, Katherine Heigl is believable (she of the 27 Dresses debacle), but Diane Keaton? And Robin Williams playing a priest in a wedding movie, again? Come on! The poster’s designers must have simply cut him out of a production photo for the 2007 travesty License to Wed and plopped him in this one. Right?

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New Disney Avengers Girl’s T-Shirt: “I Need a Hero”

Merch for Disney’s Avengers movie has hit the stores, and the shit has hit the fan. They’ve released two t-shirts, one for boys and one for girls. The boy’s version says: “Be a Hero,” and the girl’s says: “I Need a Hero.”

To add insult to injury, the girl’s version, is “girl cut,” which means body-hugging and scoop-necked, and oh, yeah, it’s $8 more. Read more »

13 Movies That Film Critics Got Completely Wrong

As I was reading through old reviews and writings of Roger Ebert last week, I stumbled across an interview he did for the Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television. In it he talks about the importance of film criticism and his infamous disagreements with fellow critic and co-host of At the Movies, Gene Siskel. “As mad I was about him not liking Apocalypse Now, he couldn’t believe I could find fault with Full Metal Jacket by Kubrick.”

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Which Goosebumps Books Should Inspire the New Movie?

Last week, when I read that a Goosebumps movie was in the works, potentially under the direction of Rob Letterman, of Monsters vs. Aliens and Shark Tale, I practically wormholed through time, back to my third-grade math class.

Maybe others remember this. The pandemonium that ensued when a kid brought the newest Goosebumps book to school, fresh from Border’s. Teachers could be in the middle of multiplication tables, but when one of those glossy covers was pulled slyly from under a Lisa Frank binder, stops were pulled. Everyone swarmed the lucky new owner, begging for a spot on the “borrow-when-you’re-done” list. I was the first to whip out How I Got My Shrunken Head. It is still the closest I have ever been to rock stardom. Read more »

Hollywood: Enough With the Fairy Tales, Already

In an age when box office receipts are reported like sports scores, when any movie with an opening weekend of $50 million or more seemingly gets a sequel greenlighted, Hollywood wants “sure things.” For studios and producers a sure thing is: a prequel/sequel to a movie that made a lot of money; a movie with a star whose previous, similar films made a lot of money; a film adaptation of a known and well-loved property that has made a lot of money.

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From Seth MacFarlane’s Bad Jokes to Puppy Purses: the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly of Oscars 2013

Maybe it was just me, but this was one of the strangest Oscar nights ever. From Michelle Obama presenting Best Picture to Captain Kirk to the endless array of (random) musical performances, it was an award show that couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. And for a year where six of the nine Best Picture nominees grossed over $100 million, it didn’t seem to be about movies very much. Read more »

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