Monday, July 23, 2012

Review of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee A New Web Series Starring Jerry Seinfeld

This is a spoiler free review

Network and cable television are not the only way to get your fix of Jerry Seinfeld's comedic gifts. Jerry's new on-line show made it's debut on July 19th and is titled "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee". Larry David, the show's first guest and long-time Seinfeld friend and collaborator tells Jerry, that with this show, he may have succeeded in what had been their goal with "Seinfeld"---to create "a show about nothing".

On the surface it may seem like "nothing", but besides being extremely funny, the show is also informative. We learn about different makes of automobiles and we learn things about the comedians. They and Jerry have philosophical discussions about the things in life that are at first glance about "nothing", but are in the larger scheme of life really quite interesting.

In the opener Jerry calls Larry to invite him to have coffee. Larry doesn't drink coffee, he drinks tea. But there's another reason for them to meet. Jerry wants to show Larry his azure blue 1952, 4 cylinder, 25 horsepower engine, split rear window, Volkswagen beetle. And man she is a honey. One of the car's charmingly eccentric attributes are the the retractable bright orange flippers that act as a turn signal. They pop out horizontally just behind the car's front door.

Compared to those in a more modern vehicle, the shock absorbers are not the friendliest to the kidneys. But the interior's upholstery & seats look to be cushioney soft. Of course this being Jerry Seinfeld's car the interior is also immaculate.

Scheduled guests on upcoming episodes of "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee" are Alec Baldwin, Ricky Gervais, and Michael Richards.

New webisodes of Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee air on the website of the same name and on on Thursdays.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises

This is a spoiler-free review

The tragedy that occurred in Aurora Colorado during the July 20th opening weekend midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises is understandably in everyone's thoughts.

Had i not been gifted with tickets from Fandango via Swaylo prior to the actions of a real-life villain, i might have resisted seeing this film. And while i with the rest of the nation mourn for the wounded and the loss of life in Aurora, i'm glad i did not give in to fear or morbidity. 

If i had, to borrow a phrase that has become all too necessary to say "then the terrorists win". And even though there was as far as evidence indicates only one assailant and we don't know the motive, make no mistake, the actions that took 12 lives and wounded 58 others is, by the nature of it, an act of terror.


"Oh boy, you are in for a show tonight, son." ~ Gotham City veteran cop to a rookie cop in director/co-screenwriter Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises

With that line, Mr.Nolan could have easily been giving a wink to the movie going audience.

Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth is everything the fans expect of the character and then some. A gentleman's gentleman to the marrow, as well as a friend. The kind of friend who will tell you not just what you want to hear but what you need to be told.

Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox is also enjoyable. Doing as best he can to protect the assets of Wayne Enterprises while maintaining the secrecy of it's namesake's extra-curricular activities.

i really liked the shot of the back of Anne Hathaway's head when we first see her. i don't know if it was Mr.Nolan's intent but the angle from which we see her, Ms Hathaway's nape reminds me of Katie Holmes' and Maggie Gyllenhaal's nape & just for a split second i thought it might have been one or the other of them. A nice nod to the first two female leads of the trilogy.

Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman [although she is not referred by that alias in this film] for my taste does not generate as much heat as actresses who preceded in giving life to that character but her performance is a good one none the less. She is fun, clever, and does not shy away from danger or kicking ass. Also [as Elaine of Seinfeld said of one of her friends] Ms Hathaway has brows that most women covet.

If OWS had been lead by a buff charismatic sociopath Tom Hardy's Bane would be the prototype. A commanding screen presence.

Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, Matthew Modine as Deputy Commissioner Foley are good bookends. The former an honorable but troubled man, the latter a decorated police officer but paradoxically, not so much an honorable man.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as officer and subsequently detective Blake respects and admires Bruce Wayne and instinctively knows what manner of man Wayne truly is.

Christian Bale is easy on the eyes and does a great job as both the dark knight and Bruce Wayne. There is a subtle yet notable distinction between the philanthropist and the caped crusader embodied by the same man.

There are good cameos that got strong positive reactions from the crowd at the screening i attended. Except for a reveal given by one character [and to remain spoiler free i will not say which or what] the outcome in the final scenes did not come as a surprise to me as i was already speculating what they would be given the previous action and implications but i was not any less entertained. Even when i can figure something out before it happens it does not necessarily translate as a negative for me. Plus there is that reveal that did surprise so there is that. Good job Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan [co-screenwriter] and all involved in this action packed thrilling spectacular.

The Dark Knight Rises rated PG-13 is in theaters now.

Monday, July 16, 2012


The exquisite beauty of southern California's pacific coastline is a perfect contrast to the violent action in screenwriter/director Oliver Stone's Savages.

Savages, adapted from author Don Winslow's best selling book, tells the story of three friends: Ben played by Aaron Johnson, Ophelia aka O for short, played by Blake Lively, and Chon, played by Taylor Kitsch. Ben is a botanist of the genius calibre. Chon served in the military in Afghanistan and Iraq and also worked as a mercenary. O is the woman who is lover to both men.

Aside from their [by the standards of many] unconventional extended family, Chon and Ben are also business partners. Their business [again unconventional by the standards of many] is supplying the residents of the pacific coastline with some of the highest [no pun intended] quality marijuana in the U.S. Some would even categorize it as the best in the world given it's 30% THC level.

Salma Hayek as Elena, the head of a Baja Mexico drug cartel is a terrific, cold-blooded, pragmatic villainess. Elena proposes a partnership, but her timing could not be worse as the guys were intending to retire, and Ben and Chon want no part of her deal. Elena does not take kindly to refusal. Violence ensues and escalates to levels of horrific proportions. John Travolta as Dennis, a corrupt DEA agent, and Benicio Del Toro as a cartel henchman make for intriguing and entertaining casting choices.

Savages, Rated R, is in theaters now.

“Just ’cause I’m telling you this story doesn’t mean that I’m alive at the end of it. It’s that kind of a story where things got so out of control.” ~ O, from Universal Pictures' Savages
Universal Pictures' Savages Production Notes Excerpts:
Three-time Oscar®-winning filmmaker OLIVER STONE returns to the screen with the ferocious thriller Savages, featuring the all-star ensemble cast of TAYLOR KITSCH (Battleship), BLAKE LIVELY (The Town), AARON JOHNSON (Kick-Ass), JOHN TRAVOLTA (Pulp Fiction), BENICIO Del TORO (Traffic), SALMA HAYEK (Frida), EMILE HIRSCH (Into the Wild) and DEMIƁN BICHIR (A Better Life). The film is based on DON WINSLOW’s best-selling crime novel that was named one of The New York Times’ Top 10 Books of 2010.

Laguna Beach, that glittering seaside resort in Orange County, California, is home to the privileged and the bored: Teens with too much free time and disposable income, as well as men and women kept perpetually young by an ample supply of plastic surgeons—all making a weekly pilgrimage to that suburban mecca, the high-end shopping mall. The temperate climate and the sparkling Pacific Coast give it all a faux laid-back sheen. 

O (Lively) knows all about that. She’s a lovely local who is certainly familiar with her hometown’s homegrown foibles and charms.

O is short for Ophelia…she has her reasons. She’s a unique spirit, as are her housemates—Laguna Beach entrepreneurs Ben (Johnson) and Chon (Kitsch)—an extraordinary trio who share a one-of-a-kind love. Ben, a peaceful, charitable botanist aspires to save the world. His closest friend, Chon, a former Navy SEAL and ex-mercenary, isn’t sure the world is worth saving.

Ben, Chon and O keep to themselves and share a special bond…a postmodern family. They enjoy a quiet, well appointed, free and easy lifestyle, made possible by Ben and Chon’s lucrative business: raising some of the best marijuana ever developed. Independent, fairminded impresarios with a mind-blowing product, they are local heroes providing a product that people want.

Ben and Chon’s company, naturally, does not remain off the grid for long. Their legendary weed and innovative business model have attracted the keen interest of the Mexican Baja Cartel, headed by the merciless Elena “La Reina” (Hayek), her brutal enforcer, Lado (Del Toro), and her unscrupulous head attorney, Alex (Bichir). Elena demands a partnership with Ben and Chon, and nobody refuses La Reina without sacrificing something they hold dear.

But the Cartel underestimates the unbreakable bond among these three remarkable friends. Ben, Chon and, in her own way, O, wage a seemingly unwinnable war against the drug empire with the reluctant assistance of a dirty DEA agent named Dennis (Travolta) and a crafty accountant called Spin (Hirsch). And so begins a series of increasingly vicious ploys and high-stakes brinksmanship in a savage battle of wills.

Based on the novel by Don Winslow (“The Kings of Cool: Prequel to Savages,” “The Power of the Dog”) and from a screenplay by SHANE SALERNO (Armageddon, Shaft) & Don Winslow & Oliver Stone. Savages is produced by longtime Stone collaborators MORITZ BORMAN (W., Alexander, World Trade Center) & ERIC KOPELOFF (W., Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps).

The thriller is executive produced by FERNANDO SULICHIN (South of the Border, The Killer Inside Me), Shane Salerno and TODD ARNOW (Battleship, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World).

The Following clips from Universal Pictures'/Screenwriter/Director Oliver Stone's Savages contain violence and adult language
Viewer Discretion Advised

Monday, July 09, 2012

Review of: Perception Starring Eric McCormack on TNT

If you like Monk, Numb3rs, Columbo, Quincy M.E., Matlock, Body of Proof, Castle, and other shows similar to those, then you're sure to enjoy TNT's Perception.

Eric McCormack stars as Dr. Daniel Pierce, a neuro-science professor, well liked by students and faculty. LaVar Burton co-stars as his friend and dean Paul Haley. One thing that sets Dr.Pierce apart from his colleagues and charges: he's schizophrenic. Teacher's assistant Max Lewicki played by Arjay Smith helps keep the doc on an even keel, but sometimes, despite Lewicki's best efforts, things go awry. 

But this is not always a bad thing as the doctor's hallucinatory episodes tend to help him help a former student, now an FBI agent, played by Rachael Leigh Cook, solve crimes. One of the doc's quirks is a love of crossword puzzles and anagrams and his ability to quickly solve them is a useful tool in the solving of crimes.

For you FallingSkies fans Colin Cunningham is in Perception's pilot episode. 180 degrees different from Pope but no less entertaining.

The doctor eschews pharmacological treatment and has for the most part successfully managed his illness, primarily through maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and a consistency of routine. However, as the good doctor instructs during a lecture, the brain's synapses during a dream state i.e. hallucinatory, are virtually indistinguishable from those when one is wide awake and not hallucinating. So when he is having a schizophrenic episode, his perception is, sometimes frighteningly so, that he is not hallucinating.

Bravo to Perception's writers, directors and producers [one of whom is McCormack]. They do an excellent job of allowing the viewer to experience things through the doctor's mind. There were only two moments in the pilot ep, when i knew the doc was NOT hallucinating, and even then, i had to convince myself he wasn't before it was proven to him that he was not.

Perception premieres Monday July 9th at 10:00pm on TNT Please check your local listings.

Press Release: TNT Introduces Unusual Crime Solver in the New Summer Drama Series Perception, Starring Eric McCormack. This summer, it’s mind-over-murder as TNT introduces a unique view of crime-solving when Emmy® and Screen Actors Guild Award® winner Eric McCormack (Will & Grace, Who Is Clark Rockefeller?) stars in the all-new drama series Perception. This fascinating series also stars Rachael Leigh Cook (She’s All That), Arjay Smith (The Day After Tomorrow) and Kelly Rowan (The O.C.).

Perception is slated to premiere Monday, July 9, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), exclusively on TNT. Viewers can keep up to date on all the news about the series by following @PerceptionTNT or searching for hashtag #PerceptionTNT on Twitter.

In Perception, McCormack plays Dr. Daniel Pierce, an eccentric neuroscience professor with paranoid schizophrenia who is recruited by the FBI to help solve complex cases. Pierce has an intimate knowledge of human behavior and a masterful understanding of the way the mind works. He also has an uncanny ability to see patterns and look past people's conscious emotions to see what lies beneath.

Pierce's mind may be brilliant, but it's also damaged. He struggles with hallucinations and paranoid delusions brought on by his schizophrenia. Oddly, Daniel considers some of his hallucinations to be a gift. They occasionally allow him to make connections that his conscious mind can’t yet process. At other times, the hallucinations become Daniel's greatest curse, leading him to behave in irrational, potentially dangerous ways.

Daniel's mental condition and offbeat manner make it difficult for him to achieve the close friendships and intimate relationships he craves. He’s in his element when solving an intricate puzzle or a coded message. But in unfamiliar situations, he can quickly become overwhelmed, and only his favorite music and a crossword puzzle have the power to make things right again.

Cook co-stars as FBI agent Kate Moretti, Pierce’s former student who asks him to consult on certain cases. Unlike her colleagues, Kate is willing to look past Daniel's peculiarities. Also in Daniel's life is Max Lewicki (Smith), who serves as his teaching assistant. His primary job is to keep Pierce in line and on task, whether that means grading midterms or laying out Pierce's wardrobe for the day. And Natalie Vincent (Rowan) is Daniel's best friend and every bit his intellectual equal. In addition, award-winning actor LeVar Burton (Roots, Star Trek: The Next Generation) will play a recurring role as Paul Haley, a dean at the university and Pierce’s friend.

Perception, which comes to TNT from ABC Studios, was created by executive producer Ken Biller (Star Trek: Voyager, Smallville) and co-executive producer Mike Sussman (Star Trek: Enterprise), with McCormack serving as producer. Alan Poul (Six Feet Under) directed and served as executive producer for the pilot.

About ABC Studios

ABC Studios, part of ABC Entertainment Group, develops and produces compelling programming for both broadcast network and cable television as well as digital platforms. ABC Studios has delivered some of the most successful, talked-about and evolutionary series on television such as Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Criminal Minds, Army Wives and Brothers & Sisters.

About TNT

TNT, one of cable’s top-rated networks, is television’s destination for drama. Seen in 99 million households, the network is home to such original series as The Closer, starring Emmy® winner Kyra Sedgwick; Rizzoli & Isles, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander; Falling Skies, starring Noah Wyle; Franklin & Bash, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; and Southland, from Emmy-winning producer John Wells, as well as the upcoming series Major Crimes, Dallas, Perception and The Great Escape. TNT also is the cable home to powerful dramas like The Mentalist, Bones, Supernatural, Las Vegas, Law & Order, CSI: NY, Cold Case and, starting this year, Castle; primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; blockbuster movies; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. TNT is available in high-definition.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world. CONTACTS: Carmen Davenporte-McNeal, Atlanta, 404/575-9709, Barrie Gruner, Los Angeles, 818/729-7312,

Visit our press site at Follow TNT on Twitter @TNTweknowdrama and @TNTPR.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Review: Falling Skies On TNT ~ Young Bloods ~ Season 2 Episode 4

Review: Falling Skies on TNT Young Bloods Season2 Episode 4 [original air date was Sunday 7~1~2012]

Papa Tom Mason's boys Hal, Ben, and Matt have had to grow up quickly since the first season of Falling Skies. Matt aka 'M&M' by the berserkers, the rogue band of fighters whose initial and strongest allegiance is to biker/ex-con John Pope, have taken a liking to Matt and he to them, as they don't treat him like a 9yr old boy---they treat him like a scout and a soldier. Something Matt has craved since the 2ndmass resistance was formed. 

And even though their intentions are good and they have an excellent kill ratio, at the end of the day, the reality is, however much tragedy and horror Matt has experienced, he is still in fact a child, who should not be involved in the dangerous situations adult fighters would face. 

In much the same way that Matt had been told to stay away from John Pope, Tom is now laying down the law of what activities Matt is and is not allowed to participate in with the berserkers. 

That said, i gotta say, the berserkers' plans involving Matt as a decoy and the money-shot of splattered skitter skulls was, as Matt said, "AWESOME".

Middle son Ben, aside from the usual teen angst, is dealing with his friend Jimmy being killed, and the remains of the parasite that was harnessed to his spine still having a
biological/psychological control, to what end not yet specified. 

But it doesn't take a lot of thought to know whatever purpose it may turn out to be, it won't be good for Ben or any human. It is pretty neat that he now has some super-human abilities, such as the ability to hear something from not only miles away, but also knowing from which direction the sound is generated.

Eldest son Hal is handling war-time conditions as well as could be expected---his concern for his younger siblings is causing him to be stressed and even though he is an adult he has burdens that no young man should have to carry. i do think Hal's reactions are sometimes re-active when he would be better served to make pro-active choices. Even though he has to follow chain of command from his dad and captain Weaver i would like to see the character be more assertive and not always being such a by-the-book don't color outside the lines kind of guy.

Captain Weaver is starting to realize that changing his usual way of dealing with things could be better for him and his charges. i won't go into why he came to that decision because i think it would be better for the viewer to experience the moment first hand. Suffice it to say have a hanky handy.

Even in the midst of a war zone romance can happen and Tom and doc Anne are having their chances however brief or interrupted.

Falling Skies' 2nd season episodes air Sunday nights at 9:00pm on TNT with a repeat of the previous week's ep airing the following Sunday at 10:30am on TNT Please check your local listings. The series is also offered by some cable/satellite providers for on-line and mobile device access.