Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise & Emily Blunt: Smart, Fast, Funny, Emotional

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Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise & Emily Blunt: Smart, Fast, Funny, Emotional

Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt

Image via comingsoon.net

Premise

Aliens called Mimics have invaded the earth, and they are winning. Humans’ chance of survival has increased slightly with the invention of metal suits with several weapons.

The war’s one of the most successful and courageous soldiers is British sergeant Rita (Emily Blunt), also called Full Metal Bitch.

Major Cage (Tom Cruise) is the PR specialist of the US army, an advertising guy who had to join the military after losing his business. Before another battle with the Mimics led by British general Brigham (Brendan Gleeson), Brigham asks Cage to lead a film crew, and record what’s supposed to be a not-so-deadly front.

But when the freaked out Cage declines, and tries to blackmail his way out of it, Brigham sends him off to a base as a fresh recruit/runner, and poor Cage is sent to fight a war with no skills and no knowledge of the weapons they need to wear.

But the supposed mild battle turns into a bloodbath as the aliens knew they were coming, and Cage doesn’t make it through the day alive.

Except he wakes up, day reset, right when he first met his commander Farrell (Will Paxton) yesterday. He can’t figure his way out, and he can’t survive again.

But the day keeps resetting, and when Rita understands what he’s going through, she tells him to find her when he wakes up.

So they start training, and with the help of the brilliant but literally resourceless Carter (Noah Taylor), they try to find a way to win the war.

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Edge of Tomorrow is the ideal big budget movie: it has great CGI to justify the cost, riveting plot, a lot of action with heart, decent character development and with enough emotional and funny moments to balance the sci-fi and action.

What I especially liked is that our protagonist isn’t a born, trained or willing fighter in the beginning. He’s just a regular, albeit well-educated and healthy, Joe who doesn’t want to die on a battlefield. He’s no soldier. His being in the army isn’t by choice, really. Cruise’s transition from the funny blood-averse man to the mandatory kick-ass soldier is well-performed, and well-timed.

It’s currently 8.2 on IMDB voted by about 40,000 users, and I think it even deserves a 9.

COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE FILM (Not Mine)

Of course there are some popular complaints about the movie, but most of them aren’t relevant to the plot. Let’s go over them one by one anyway:

1)    The lead should have been Asian.

Because the script was adapted from a Japanese graphic novel called All You Need Is Kill, loyal readers aren’t happy the lead is the very white Tom Cruise.

The point is, not everyone reads all graphic novels. I know I don’t. I didn’t even know what the script was based on before researching details after I’ve seen it.

But we are talking about a 178-million-dollar movie here. It doesn’t matter which ethnicity the actor comes from. The producers want to take the least risky path, and who better to front a movie like this than Cruise?

His action/sci-fi movie revenue record speaks for itself. He is also an Oscar-nominated actor (3 times). So basically, if I were a director/studio executive/producer, and could get someone like Tom Cruise or Denzel Washington, I’d be crazy not to.

2)    Tom Cruise is 51.

And? The graphic novel character might be a 25-year-old, but his character is this movie is a Major in the US military. He’s also supposed to have his own advertising business before joining the military. Add the numbers up, and his age makes a lot of sense.

One could argue 51 is too old for to lead an action-packed movie, but if the actor is fit and badass enough, who cares how old he is? And I’m not the only one who thinks Cruise is fantastic for his age or any age in general.

3)    Emily Blunt is 3o.

You can hardly tell there’s a two-decade age gap. She looks ageless, and so does he. They have great chemistry, and they are terrific in their parts. Also, this movie isn’t about their characters falling in love, getting married and raising kids together. Yes, there’s an emotional connection, but considering their circumstances, it makes more sense than majority of the action romances/pairings Hollywood has presented.

4)    The ending doesn’t make sense.

In order not to give spoilers here I won’t get specific. But I find the ending quite right. It fits the logic of the world described in the movie. And since what happens in the end (and what causes it) is the first time it happens in the movie, so previous events can’t be used to refute it.

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Personally, I loved the movie in its entirety. If there’s a sequel, I will watch it. But I think I prefer this one as a one-off.

 

Favorite Moments

 

-       How Tom Cruise recites everyone’s lines before they could say anything to make his point.

-       How his character logically and emotionally transforms from an ordinary, violence-averse guy to a leader true/hero through training and what he experiences.

-       The relationship between Rita (Blunt) and Cage (Cruise). It’s for the most part a friendship/comradeship. But an emotional bond is inevitably formed, and not just because Cage gets to experience the same day with different events with her, and getting to know her, but also because she can empathize with him. Even though she technically spends one day with him, he tells her what happened, how she died and how they can last longer. She also had the time-resetting ability he did before.

-       She just shoots him whenever he gets injured or risks captivity. The loss of his own blood, and transfusion of new blood, will cause him to lose the ability, hence forever destroying their chance of winning the war.

 

 

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Please do share what you think about Edge of Tomorrow.

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The Good Wife: Overview of the Strange Season Five & That Solid Finale

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Spoiler Warning: This post can contain spoilers about any The Good Wife season or finale.

The Good Wife season 5

Image via zap2it.com

What a weird season that was! They killed one of my three beloved characters (Eli, Diane and Will). In fact they killed my favorite character Will Gardner (Josh Charles) – the leading male character of the show in the middle of the season.

But even before Will died, things had gone a little awry:

-       Most cases weren’t that interesting.

-       I wasn’t crazy about Florick/Agos, especially since “Florick” got there because she wanted to stay with her husband even though she had feelings for Will- like that’s how you make healthy career moves!

-       She chose Peter (Chris Noth) over Will (I’m not letting this one go!)

-       They overplayed the music in most episodes where it started ruining the ambiance instead of complimenting or enhancing it.

-       They used a guest star way too many times (talking about” Colin Sweeney”, not Michael J. Fox – I love him, and his weirdo character, so he can become a regular for all I care),

-       The whole out-to-get-Alicia Will was starting to get old (even though it was understandable)

Josh Charles as Will Gardner

The G in LG. Will Gardner: funny, charming, creative. He is missed. Yes, I know he is fictional:) Image via tvline.com.

 

And then, just as I was thinking they had forgotten about Hunter Parish’s character Jeremy (the young guy they charged for murder), the storyline became a curious one. They also hired Finn Polmar (Matthew Goode) to oppose Will and voila…we suddenly had a court shooting, a new recurring character, grieving friends, an obnoxious Peter and a Will-less show.

But writers came out OK in the end. They brought on constantly scheming Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox), a friendship was born between Alicia and Finn, Alicia (Julianna Margulies) kicked out Peter because he was being an ass, she slowly got her groove back – along with the show.

In the finale we had the separated Peter and Alicia, state-attorney candidate Finn not backed up by Peter (because he taught Finn and Alicia were a thing), Canning and David Lee trying to out-vote Diane (Christine Baranski), Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) kind of dating Cary (Matt Czuchry), and poor Eli (Alan Cumming) trying to prevent Peter from sleeping with 20-something interns…. 

I was a bit bored, and somewhat annoyed by the season 4 finale. I didn’t care about Peter and his votes, Alicia changing her stance at the court, and her making out with Will – only to join Cary and stay with Peter.

 

SEASON 5 FINALE EVENTS

But this finale gave us fighter (but emotionally worn) Diane, a loyal Kalinda (to Diane), spying Florick/Agos, fighting Cary and Alicia on a possible merger with Lockhart and Gardner.

Cary took his point on not wanting to merge to the extreme, and fessed up the idea to Louis Canning, who in turn came up with a plan C – resolving the firm that means so much to Diane.

Eli needed a quick, already-vetted state’s attorney candidate since Peter backed up from endorsing Finn, and already hated his opposition. They decided to offer it to Diane – who now had another complicated move to consider.

But the spying FA learned about Cary’s betrayal, and Alicia was enraged.

Finn decided to withdraw from the race because they had something on a case they’d use against him, while Alicia supported his decision either way.

Zac was about to graduate so a pre-ceremony family dinner was in the works, but Jackie and Alicia’s mom (Stockard Channing) doing their own thing while being themselves and drinking made things funnier, and put Peter in the middle as Alicia was still caught up about the merger option.

Diane did however something unexpected, and ultimately very logical: she asked to join FA on her own, with her clients and turned down Peter’s offer, who had pulled quite a number on her about her judgeship.

Alicia got to her son’s ceremony at the last minute.

Goodbyes were said to Zac.

But my absolute favorite moment is the ending where Eli got the “no” call from Diane, and stared at Alicia in such an adoring way where we nearly, almost thought he was going to say he had feelings for her…or something like that. He had that pre-romantic confession look. But this is Eli, and it was a pure, unspoiled, awesome Eli moment as he said:

“Alicia, would you want to run for State’s Attorney?”

A shocked Alicia says “What?” and then it ends.

So I’m sticking for the sixth season, fingers crossed for seeing more Finn, more riveting cases and some Alicia action – whether she gets it from Finn or someone else. She did grieve for Will for months, add the summer, and we should be fine with her romantic storylines…

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How did you find the season finale? What were your favorite/least favorite moments of the season, or the finale?

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The Mentalist Season 6 Finale: Very Well Done!

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My last post was about why I was happy The Mentalist was renewed for a 7th season, and the finale didn’t disappoint. In fact, it was one of the best season finales I have seen this year.

Let’s take a look at Season 6 before talking about the finale:

Simon Baker as Patrick Jane

Simon Baker as Patrick Jane -solving cases and making trouble at the same time. Image via seat42f.com.

After the shaky seasons 4 and 5, season 6 delivered as a whole. Sure, it wasn’t as gritty as the first two seasons, but it didn’t need to be. Red John had been killed, Jane had avoided prison and had time to digest and move on.

Agents (Fisher and Abbott) got some character development, especially Abbott. He was no longer the annoying, ambitious guy who was hell-bent on catching Jane and putting him behind bars come hell or high water, but rather someone who joined the ride, took advantage of Jane and enjoyed the results.

Chow showed that his dry humor and short, on-the-nose observations didn’t need Rigsby. Tech Wiley was fun and nerdy enough, without quite reaching the overt nerdiness of Marshall (from Alias). He’s also fully enjoyed Jane’s quirks, and looked forward to them.

Lisbon started dating fellow agent Pike at the end of episode 16. Pike was, refreshingly a nice, straightforward guy without a hidden agenda. His one flaw was that he put the relationship on fast track, but only because he received a great job offer from Washington, and didn’t want to leave Lisbon behind. After all, how many smart, gorgeous, independent women are there who don’t sweat the small stuff, and have survived Jane professionally  while being able to hold their own in a fight? So naturally, he asked her to go with him, making his intentions clear.

Jane hasn’t been able to express his feelings clearly other than to say he wants Lisbon to be happy, so Lisbon goes ahead and says yes to a job in Washington and leaving with Pike. He has asked her to marry him too. Ah, the nerve of the bastard….Just kidding:)

Abbott expected Jane to have a long-awaited epiphany about his feelings for Lisbon, but our fastest case-solver was so slow when it came to dealing with his own romantic feelings (but who could blame him after what he went through), of course waited until the last minute.

Let There Be Spoilers: Season 6 Finale

Jane is a bit depressed about Lisbon’s upcoming departure, so he spends his first crime scene moments inquiring Cho about details and even with a side galance, he solves it and wraps it up for the campus security.

When an uncaught killer from 5 years ago sends a letter to the FBI announcing he’ll kill again, all transfers are suspended, included Lisbon’s. The team goes to the sunny and fun Miami, with Jane determined to enjoy their last case together. As they talk to the suspects, Lisbon cracks the code on the letter, which turns out to be the location of a lovely hotel where Lisbon and Jane take adjoining rooms.

Evening attire is required for dinner, for which Jane has of course prepared three pretty options to await in Lisbon’s room.

Robin Tunney as Lisbon

Lisbon picked the dress I wanted, and looked absolutely stunning! Image via spoilersguide.com

Things do get hairy for Jane when she discovers the letter was written by Jane, to flush out the killer – but primarily to finally have a decent, Pike-less oppurtunity to tell how he really feels. Lisbon is pissed that he’d use a murder case for his own gain, and that he lacks the ability to act normally. The whole episode is great, but Robin Tunney and Simon Baker own the emotional scenes.

Thankfully Patrick Jane (thank you Bruno Heller!) didn’t leave us, or the case, hanging. After a hearty talk with one of the suspects (suspects have all cracked the code –the innocent have come to avenge the victim), and surviving the guilty party’s reaction, he swiftly hands the solved case over to Abbott and Cho.

He gets on Lisbon’s plane making a bit of a scene, but does manage to say everything that needed to be said. It was, after six years, lovely and fullfiling. Lisbon is still mad Jane is kicked out off the the plane by the security, but all’s too late for Pike now.

Lisbon visits Jane in holding, asks him if he meant what he said. After getting a hearty confirmation:

Lisbon: Good. I feel the same way.

Jane: (genuine big, emotional smile) Well, that’s lucky.

When Lisbon asks him to repeat what he said on the plane, he moves in and kisses her. That took him long enough!

thementalist_lisbon and jane_kiss

Finally! Image via tvline.com.

This might be my second I Love You scene after the one in the first season finale of Case Histories. Romantic, but funny and endearing too.

This episode provided a funny, quick, smart Jane we all adore as well as the vulnerable guy with an unfortunate past we know him to be. The fact that he used a cold case to make his big romantic gesture, solved the case while getting to drink with two potential suspects was priceless, as well as the swift case-closing in the beginning. May it continue like this in season 7….

 

 

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The Mentalist Got A 7th Season: Yay!!!

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Simon Baker, The Mentalist

Simon Baker as Patrick Jane. Image via thecultden.com.

The Mentalist was an addiction. It was a smart, witty, gritty and fun addiction I was proud of. I loved everything about it, with my favorite thing of course being Patrick Jane, played by the talented Simon Baker. The Mentalist hooked me with great one-liners, the elusive but resourceful psychopath Red John, and always enjoyable case-of-the week.

Season 3 was somewhat satisfactory, but my addiction was slowly turning into a habit. Instead of wanting to watch the episodes over and over again, once became more than enough. I stopped raving about to show to anyone and everyone. I still liked it, though

With seasons 4 and 5, we definitely broke up. Yes, we were still friends. But I was cheating on The Mentalist big time. I had begun to multi-task during episodes, and I even started flash-forwarding scenes when the mood struck me, which happened often.

And when Red John was revealed? Oh my…That level of disappointment hadn’t probably occurred since William Wallace’s choices that led to his capture in Braveheart.

Red John didn’t compare to what they built up at all. Of course at that point, even Robert De Niro or Jack Nicholson playing Red John (a girl can dream!) would have had trouble living up to the myth… But they chose to stick to a disappointing list of 7, and finally, one of the most disappointing names on the list.

But then something happened. With Red John gone, Jane was free. He was allowed to be funny, happy and tricky all the time. He went on sort of a vacation, and came back to the crime-solving world with a deal made with the FBI. At first it was annoying to see Abbott (Rockmond Dunbar) all bossy and self-righteous, but he loosened up. He understood Patrick, and he became one of my favorite characters. I didn’t miss Van Pelt or Rigsby (even though I really liked them), and I have no qualms with Fisher (Emily Swallow) – in fact I’m looking forward to learning more about the real her. Is she really more like the girl Patrick met on the Spanish-speaking island when she was undercover?

This season gave me some of my favorite Mentalist episodes, which is not something you can say for the sixth season of most shows.

I especially recommend the art heist episode. We have a decent villain, a great Jane deceit with everyone participating, Lisbon meeting someone….

Episode 16 (season 6),  Violets, is strongly recommend. Charles Mesure guest-stars.

So yes, I’m happy about the renewal. My only wish is that they don’t create this super villain whose shadow alone will dominate seasons, and whose revelation will end up disappointing pretty much all the fans.

Also, let’s either bring Lisbon and Jane together for good, or end that potential romance for good. We know they care, we know everyone else around them thought about it at one point, we know they really love each other. It’s time to establish if there’s anything romantic/passionate there.

Who else is happy about the renewal?

 Recommended Reading on The Mentalist:

 The Mentalist: End of an Era – Disappointed by Red John, Happy to See Him “Go”

7 Engaging Tv Shows with Suspense Featuring Castle, The Mentalist, House, NCIS Los Angeles and More

Castle vs The Mentalist: Comparing Two Addictive Shows

 

 

 

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Why I Don’t Mind Sparkly Vampires, Pretty Aliens or 30-Year-Olds Playing Teenagers

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matt-lanter-star-crossed-roman-emery

Matt Lanter, born in 1983, stars as the lead alien Roman in the TV series Star-Crossed.Image via justjared.com. Pretty alien, and a 30-something playing a high school kid. I approve, though:)

It doesn’t matter if the ratings of a supernatural TV show with pretty supernatural characters is high or low. It doesn’t matter if the book about the love between a shining pretty vampire and a human girl tops the bestsellers list or is published into oblivion.

If the said creatures were formerly written as ugly, weird and vicious at one point, there’ll always be people complaining about the beauty of these characters.

If you are lucky and have hooked your audience with your actors, stories and characters, the vamps looking gorgeous won’t be a problem. True Blood (yeah, yeah they show teeth but Billy and Eric aren’t your average-looking guys, let’s be fair.) and The Vampire Diaries managed to bypass the problem. While watchers, fans and haters critique the hell out of the show (Vampire Diaries), they’re concerned with plot points, and not beauty issues. They’ve accepted the fact that the cast members look like they have sprung from a fashion catalogue. They can act, and they fit their roles.

So whether I like the episodes of a certain supernatural show/movie or not, it feels refreshing when the criticism focuses on plot, and not looks.

As much criticism as Stephenie Meyer faced about the quality of her writing, people were a lot more passionate about the “shining” vampires. How dare she make a vampire not burn in the sun? Frankly, I embrace vampires who don’t burn in the sun. It’s refreshing. As a 29-year-old entertainment addict, I’ve seen enough ugly-ass vampires who couldn’t go out in the light.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Dracula in NBC's Dracula

Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Dracula in NBC’s Dracula. Image via fandomobsessed.com. Jonathan is one hot vampire, and he doesn’t even look his best in the show.

Dracula (starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers) series got its fair share of the complaints, and Star-Crossed series discussion boards are filled with people comparing it to Twilight. Yeah because why should other writers explore a love story between a supernatural creature and a human? And how could a writer allow himself to envision an alien without disgusting features? Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

Man, writers can’t catch a break. We sweat and bleed to get our work sold. And if we’ve managed to sell it to TV, have it made into a pilot and have that pilot picked by a network, we then have to struggle week after week to not just create an enticing story, but to try to create an enticing story that will bring high ratings.

As viewers, I get “we” don’t care about the writer’s (hard) work. We demand compelling, fun work. Fair enough. There might be writers out there who give in to the popularity of a certain (sub-)genre, but in general, writers write from heart, mind and soul. I know I do.

 

Image via ign.com. Vamped-up Angel (David Boreanaz - pre-Bones days). Not the ugliest undead guy out there, but he has looked better See the pic. below:

Image via ign.com. Vamped-up Angel (David Boreanaz – pre-Bones days). Not the ugliest undead guy out there, but he has looked better See the pic. below:

David Boreanaz, Sarah Michelle Gellar

Image via comicvine.com. David Boreanaz with Sarah Michelle Gellar. And people are complaining Twilight vampires are pretty?:)

One writer depicts vampires are sparkly creatures, one with ridiculous fangs, one with a made-up ugly face (Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, anyone?).

One writer can make a serial-killing psychotic couple protagonists (Natural Born Killers), and one can choose to make a hitman protect a 12-year-old  at all costs (you know this one too well).

I don’t care if a vampire looks horrendous or gorgeous. I don’t care if an alien is a green reptile or birth-marked teen or just a regular-looking human with special powers. Do I care for the story? Am I invested in what they do? That’s all that matters.

So yeah, as a writer, I’m completely on the writers’ side.  Yes, it helps that I don’t mind attractive characters. You can go all the way to my childhood and blame it on my parents for taking me to see Dirty Dancing at the age of 3. When you introduce Patrick Swayze to a girl, it’s unsurprising she’ll grow up to have a thing for good-hearted rebellious hunks (and romance and dancing). Don’t almost all the male protagonists of mentioned shows/films/books fit this criteria?

But my tendencies aside, this is the writer’s child. Their story. Yes, they want to be read/watched and admired. But from idea inception to the end product, it’s the writer’s baby. It’s her choice if she wants to go with Bram Stoker’s baby-eating dracula, or she wants to make him a tortured, a handsome, revenge- warrior like the series (Dracula).

The "ugly" leads of Supernatural: Jensen Ackles (on the right) and Jared Padalecki. Image via supernatural.wikia.com.

The “ugly” leads of Supernatural: Jensen Ackles (on the right) and Jared Padalecki. Image via supernatural.wikia.com.

It’s their choice if they just want a show on vampires, or if they want to add all sorts of creatures we have never heard of (Supernatural introduced some bizarre stuff). And despite being created by a guy, the two human leads of Supernatural are not exactly ugly. (Yes, major understatement here.)

A Note on The Cast Ages:

Of course the other famous complaint is the casting of “older” actors as high school peers, but I for one can speak for myself: they are possibly doing it for the “older” crowd like me. I like romance and supernatural stuff. But I don’t write YA, and I don’t particularly seek to watch/read YA. So what can you do to make it more appealing? You cast actors aged 20-30 so we get to be “attracted” to the leading character. I see the logic, since at 29, I find Dylan McDermott way more appealing than, let’s say, Taylor Lautner. OK, I find Dylan McDermott more appealing than a lot of people, but that’s another issue.

dylan-mcdermott

Dylan McDermott image via tvguide.com. A terrific actor who happens to look awesome. Did I mention he is over 50?

I don’t watch shows because they are set in high school. I watch them despite of that.

Besides, actors playing younger characters is such an old tradition. Michael J. Fox was born in 1962, so in the first Back to the Future film, he was 23. Grease is a favorite across generations, with high school students Olivia Newton-John being 29 and John Travolta 24. Would you even consider replacing them with actors at the “right” age? I wouldn’t dream of it.

 

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What’s your take on pretty creatures and “older” casting?

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Labor Day: A Slow But Rewarding Movie For The Ultimate Romantics

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Josh Brolin, Kate Winslet, Labor Day

Image via heyuguys.co.uk

 

 

Labor Day starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin

Adele’s (Kate Winslet) husband (Clark Gregg) has left her for his secretary, and she lives with her son Henry. Henry is pretty much the only joy in her isolated and depressed existence.

She leaves her house once a month with Henry for groceries, and this is where escaped convict Frank (Josh Brolin) enlists their help. I say “enlist”, because even though he does subtly hint they don’t have a choice, and keeps Henry closeby, you could say this is the nicest hostage-taking situation ever. (Yep, I know how weird it sounds.) Frank asks them to drive to their house.

Once there, he tells them he only needs to hide until trains start, and he doesn’t mean any harm. At first Adele is skeptical and defensive, but Frank proves his kind nature by taking good care of them. After he realizes there might not be a train due to the holiday, he proves to be the best house guest ever by taking the chores upon himself, and being a better housemate/partner/father than Henry’s father ever was in the short span of time. He and Adele share an immense connection –so much so that Adele doesn’t want him to leave.

Of course hiding a convict in a small town full of nosy people isn’t easy. Add to this Henry’s confused adoloscent mindset and his new manipulative friend…and let’s say, the tension picks up…

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Based on Joyce Maynard’s novel, Labor Day is a modest, slow but sincere film. The acting is really good, and even if you want to dismiss some of the dialogue as sappy, you can’t. Josh Brolin owns his character: a gentle guy who did something horrible without intending to, and Kate Winslet is just lovely. She transforms gracefully from sad and tired to passionate and lively. And given both their pasts with the opposite sex (Frank’s is slowly revealed through flashbacks), and how opposite they are personally to those people (and not to mention, how attractive both Kate and Josh are), the romance, commitment and passion make a lot of sense.

Speaking of flashbacks, the choice for young Brolin (Tom Lipinski) just might be the best younger version casting choice I’ve ever seen. They look so much alike, you could imagine Lipinski as Brolin in the future.

 

The only thing that bothered me as how Henry – the kid- starts as a lovely, thoughtful and insightful kid but then makes such naive, silly choices that makes you wonder if it’s the same kid. That said, this is not a complaint about the story. Yes, he is an adolescent. And he is somewhat isolated. Combine hormones and the complexity/novelty of the situation, it makes sense. I was just really disappointed because I expected more from him.

The movie also features two fun cameos from James Van Der Beek and J.K. Simmons. The movie was adapted and directed by Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air, Thank You For Smoking).

I recommed Labor Day to all romantics. Is the ending sad? Yes and no. It’d frankly be my third preffered ending. If you see the movie, we can discuss those in the comments. Would hate to spoil things for you.

After all, this is not a romantic comedy. The ending isn’t that clear, though of course you can feel it coming at some point.

But I absolutely loved Brolin’s character.

Let me know what you think.:)

P S I decided to read the book to see how they compare.

 


 

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The Mentalist: End of an Era – Disappointed by Red John, Happy to See Him “Go”

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Image via fanpop.com.

Image via fanpop.com.

I wrote this post after episode 6.8, where Patrick finally caught Red John. And even though I was disappointed by his identity, I’m glad that storyline is behind us. Episodes 6.9 and 10 have been different, in a really good way. Lighter, smart and fun- just the way we like our Patrick. Or let’s say we had enough of the depressed/darker Patrick. Since we are on a break, let’s say goodbye to RJ and celebrate the end of an era…

Warning: This post includes spoilers for The Mentalist pilot, finale and movies Fight Club and Identity

Ah, the good old days when we met Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) for the first time: the former psychic who joined CBI (the fictional California Bureau of Investigation) after a serial killer known as Red John killed his wife and daughter.

Remember that shocking and highly impressive first episode where he just figured the killer out from the mother’s expressions, her style and taste?

Remember that adorable, slightly cocky guy who asked all the controversial questions, made himself tea in the victim’s home and got the killer shot by his own wife after she found out what he did?

Good times. Gritty, complicated plots; sense of humor and lightness combined with repressed depression, grief and anger; a guy who made you laugh, smile and scratch your head while he solved cases fast so he and his team could have more time to figure out Red John’s identity and well, Patrick could kill him.

Interesting premise, awesome leading character, fun supporting characters, some terrific lines…

But then something happened along the way. Because after a while, nothing Jane did surprised us anymore. So it lost the shocking, or at least impossibly captivating effect. I used to want to watch 4-5 episodes in a row and that didn’t feel enough, until one a week seemed all right.

Still, like many fans, I held on. I wanted to know who Red John is. I also wanted to see a RJ-free Patrick.

But then something else happened. The show made too much of a big deal about Red John. They made him impossibly charismatic, manipulative, smart, dangerous, cunning, resourceful…You see where I’m going with this? Red John was like that killer in Se7en and more, always a couple of steps ahead.

He was so super influential that he had disciples. He had men and women willing to die & kill for him. So after a while, the cult leader Brett Stiles (Malcolm McDowell) seemed like a man who could pull it off. He had the resources. And while I didn’t see the charm and charisma, he already had a cult to do anything for him. So if the writers hadn’t given us a younger Red John, Stiles could have worked.

The longer the show lasted, the longer Red John story line got. He/she became more powerful, more influential. He got too big, dangerous and super-powerful for the show’s own good. And it came to the point where I just wanted them to get it over with. End of season 3 could have been the place to say goodbye…

One popular theory among fans was that PJ was Red John. Now, it would be spectacularly disappointing in many ways as we had come to accept and know Patrick as a decent, loving guy who, despite his faults, would do anything to protect his loved ones. A loving husband/father avenging the death of his loved ones revealed to be the killer? Nope, thanks.

A Dissociative Identity Disorder (aka Multiple Personality Disorder) “twist” would destroy the Patrick we grew to love, and would give us a not-welcome déjà vu feeling. It was once a great twist ending for books and movies. But even with Identity, I was disappointed. But now that I know who RJ is, PJ could be the better choice.

There was also the theory of one Patrick’s team members could be working for Red John. That wouldn’t work, as it would undermine Patrick’s intelligence and ability to read people.

When the 7 suspects were revealed, I didn’t like any of them for RJ. I wished that it would turn out to be a fake. That there would be a surprise.

There wasn’t. Now, of all the ones on the list, FBI agent Reede and Gale Bertrum are in deed worse candidates than the revealed Red John. They lack the charisma, IQ and the manipulative skills promised. They are also not eerie or scary one bit. Creepy, yes. Red John-level charisma? No way.

McAllister aka Red John showed up in season 1, as a sheriff of a town where one of the crimes was committed. He then showed up a couple of more times after the list, but that’s it.

McAllister being Red John feels like writers put the names in a box and then pulled with eyes closed and went ahead with the choice, no further questions asked.

Now, I’m not claiming I could have written a better show. But had I been on the writing/producing team, I’d have definitely voted for a different Red John. I’d also have a different list of suspects, if there absolutely had to be one. I’m not a big fan of the Blake association either.

Now that RJ is gone, I’m happy we moved on. Of course if this was a trick, they have this awesome Red John hidden somewhere that wasn’t on the list, I hope they won’t dedicate many episodes to it.

*

The Mentalist suffered from the serialized show curse. They made the big bad really big and bad, and in the end, we got a disappointing reveal and showdown.

Red John aka Sheriff McAllister. Image via wikpedia.

Red John aka Sheriff McAllister. Image via wikpedia.

I’m loving the happy Patrick. I hope RJ storyline died with the Blake Association storyline. Looking forward to the return of the show on January 5th.

*

How about you? How happy are you with the seasons, the identity of Red John and how he was revealed and taken out? Are you enjoying the post-RJ era?

 Other Posts on The Mentalist

 The Mentalist Season 3: Patrick Jane is back with episodes 1 & 2

The Mentalist Review

The Mentalist vs . Castle – fun characters and plots comparison

Other Posts on Simon Baker 

Book of Love starring Simon Baker, Frances O’Connor & Gregory Smith

The Guardian TV Show starring Simon Baker

Not Forgotten starring Simon Baker

Something New starring Simon Baker

The Lodger starring Simon Baker, Shane West, Alfred Molina and Hope Davis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Is The End: Would Work Much Better as an SNL Stint

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This Is The End cast

This Is The End survivors. Image via ign.com.

 I wasn’t sure about This Is The End. I wanted to see it, because the idea is really cool, and some of my favorite humor has been about celebrities making fun of themselves in TV shows or on live stints. For instance:

Gerard Butler and Saturday Night Live

Writing Humor That Cracks You Up 1: Poking Fun at Oneself Unashamedly (includes Kevin Bacon, Dermot Mulroney and more.)

I didn’t want to see This Is The End because I wasn’t sure I’d be laughing that much at Seth Rogen. I have nothing against the guy, but I’ve liked him a lot more in drama. Same goes for Jonah Hill. Or if he’s doing comedy, I want Channing Tatum and a Johnny Depp cameo, aka 21 Jump Street.

And apparently, I like Jay Baruchel a lot more when he comes with Nicolas Cage, Alfred Molina and Teresa Palmer, aka The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It might be mindless entertainment, but it is very entertaining, and sometimes that’s enough.

Now, I have a soft spot for James Franco because of Freaks and Geeks, as well as Tristan & Isolde. But his character wasn’t any more entertaining than Rogen’s. And maybe a little less annoying than Hill’s.

Also, there’s the chance the humor could/would overuse jokes about weed, guys being around other guys and then sum. Too bad I was more right about my reservations than my enthusiasm.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I hated the movie. I just hated some parts of it (especially if it included Michael Cera. How was that supposed to be funny other than his death scene? That was enjoyable.)

I laughed a bit, but I was more disappointed. I had to fast-forward quite a bit.

On the plus side, writing a review is easy because I don’t have to remember character names. Everyone plays themselves.

Let’s go over the good and the bad.

The Good (Also The Funny & Fun):

-       Two guys (Rogen and Baruchel) having weedy bromance moments and the background music is Backstreet Boys. That’s hilariously weird. And 90s.

-       Seth Rogen being greeted by reporters at the airport and is told he always plays himself.

-       Seth being on a cleanse which includes smoking, weed and hamburgers.

-       Also him thinking gluten is the mother of evil, and not knowing what it actually is.

-       Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel finding themselves in the middle of Armageddon, and screaming like crazy, trying to survive until they head back to Franco’s.

-       James Franco and party folk not having a clue the word outside is falling apart and not believing Baruchel, and Rogen selling out Baruchel to maintain believability.

-       Emma Watson surviving and thinking they are in a zombie apocalypse.

-       Remaining guys shooting a sequel to the Pineapple Express at home and watching it for fun.

-       The ending with the Backstreet Boys cameo. Considering where and when Baruchel makes a wish, it’s too ridiculous not to be hilarious.

*

The Bad:

- Danny McBride: his fictional Danny takes obnoxious to a new level, and I think a character wouldn’t be that obnoxious/selfish/stupid in real world. Or people would have killed him. Seriously.

- The repetitive, unfunny jokes.

-Getting high in the middle of world ending. Yeah, sure, do that. Get extra hungry and thirsty and risk sickness. That’s cool.

- The dialogue in general.

-The Channing Tatum cameo. You want to use Tatum for comedy? Great. Have him scream his head off in a shrill voice when he is faced with real danger. Don’t make him McBride’s bitch. Literally.

*

I have nothing against well-done, R-rated comedies. And I don’t mind political incorrectness. Or actors playing similar characters, if those characters are likeable and plots of the movies vary enough. Some of my favorite comedies of all time are Old  School, Wedding Crashers and The Hangover (the first one). But not all absurd comedies click with you (like The Hangover sequel).

I think the movie would have worked a lot better if it ran for 5-10 minutes instead of 107 minutes.

Hey, all reviews and criticisms are obviously objective. However sometimes the “average” views and ratings baffle you. Like when this gets a 7.0 on IMDB. I’d have been OK with a 4 or 5. If I had seen it at the theater though, I’d have rated much lower (than 5).

*

So have you seen it? What did you think?

 

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