Media Monday

Media Monday–Penny Dreadful

Penny DreadfulI watched Penny Dreadful last evening (free weekend on Showtime). Not sure what I think of it.

I adored the characters themselves, especially Eva Green, Timothy Dalton & Josh Hartnett, but it almost seemed like it went too fast, if that makes sense. I always felt like I was scrambling to catch up. Maybe that’s part of the Gothic draw?


The concept itself is really fun, and I love the fact that Dr. Frankenstein is a main character, as is Dorian Gray.

Anyway, I’ll grab the first season off of Netflix and see if I enjoy it any better the second time around.

Did anyone catch the season premier? ¬†I’m interested to see where it went ūüôā

Auto-Watch Movies

Everyone has a list of movies that they‚Äôll stop and watch when they‚Äôre aimlessly flipping through the channels, even if they’ve seen them a million times.¬† Without further ado, here are mine:

  • ¬†Romancing the Stone
  • Independence Day
  • The Fifth Element
  • National Treasure
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • RED
  • Tremors
  • Practical Magic
  • ANY of the Bourne movies
  • ANY of the Oceans movies

So what are some of yours????

Media Monday — True Detective

The hubster and I picked this up after hearing the rave reviews about this short, 8-episode series. Boy, were those rave reviews ever right! Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey hit this one out of the park with their portrayals of Detectives Marty Hart and Rust Cohle. As a mystery writer, the plotline had me hooked–mix it up with the characters of Marty and Rust and you’ve got a gripping psychological thriller that goes far beyond just the whodunit.

Set across the state of Louisiana, the gist is this–a young woman is found dead, posed, with ritualistic offerings left around and on her body. ¬†The detectives work to solve her murder, and discover not only a deeper, more despicable evil, but secrets about themselves as well.

What was most interesting to me was the way the story unfolded. ¬†After the 3d (or maybe 4th) epiosode, we then flash 17 years into the future, where we meet up with Marty and Rust again. ¬†There has been a similar murder, and they’re brought in to answer questions about what they discovered. ¬†As they’re questioned, the rest of the story unfolds.

Harrelson and McConaughey both do stellar jobs in their “before and after” sessions, with¬†McConaughey’s change in appearance being the most surprising.

The only part about True Detective I didn’t care for was the gratuitous sex scenes. ¬†I am by NO means a prude, but if we’re going to have a pretty vivid sex scene (or set of them), then it needs to further the plot. ¬†Something needs to happen in that encounter that makes it worth showing, and with the exception of one (it was a major plot point, so I won’t go into it), it just didn’t happen.

Other than that small quibble, this was damned close to a perfect 8 hours of viewing pleasure. ¬†We’ll be picking up the DVDs so we can watch it again, and pick up anything we might have missed.

Movie/Music Monday…Silver Linings Playbook

So just like Mona Lisa Smile (last week’s movie review), I watched this one because I didn’t think the hubster would be particularly interested. ¬†I’m pretty sure I’m still correct in that assessment, but I’m so glad I took the time to watch this movie!

The cast in this was just plain amazing. ¬†From Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence’s awesome performances to Robert DeNiro, Jacki Weaver and Julia Stiles (always a fave of mine), I was sucked in immediately. ¬†But even with a great supporting cast, if Cooper and Lawrence hadn’t played their parts with such manic perfection, this would have fallen apart in the first half hour. ¬†Their portrayals of people dealing with neuroses, loss, and not fitting in were fabulous, and so spot-on it was almost uncomfortable to watch.

If you haven’t had a chance to grab this one on Netflix, I’d highly recommend you take the time. ¬†It’s totally worth it!

Media Monday…Mona Lisa Smile

I’ve been rolling through a few movies on Netflix that I *know* the hubster won’t enjoy, and Mona Lisa Smile was one of them. ¬†All in all I’d probably give it a 6 or 7 on a scale of 1-10, but that’s more because of pieces of the plot, rather than the performances.

For starters, what a great cast!  Seriously, Julia Roberts, Marcia Gay Harden, Julia Stiles, Kirstin Dunst, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Ginnifer Goodwin?

While the premise of the movie was a bit simplistic, I loved the acting. ¬†Julia Roberts was great (altho seemed to almost too reserved, IMO), but the younger women in this ensemble cast really stole the limelight. ¬†I especially loved Julia Stiles’ character, and the fact she could back up the choice she made, even if it didn’t seem like the “right” one. ¬†Kirstin Dunst was great, so good, in fact, I wanted to smack her character through a huge percentage of the movie ūüôā ¬†And Maggie Gyllenhaal and Ginnifer Goodwin were just fabulous. ¬†Marcia Gay Harden was also fantastic.

The “romance” in this? ¬†Not so much. ¬†This is definitely a movie about all of these women, so the romantic secondary story seemed almost gratuitous to me…it just didn’t need to be there, and seemed to be more of a way to make Julia Roberts’ character more sympathetic, when she was just fine as she was.

This is a great girls’ night in movie, so butter up some popcorn, grab a few tissues (because the end WILL make you sniffle) and chill with your best girlfriends.

Media Monday: The Olympics

So we’ve been watching the Olympics for the last week, like most everyone else, and this time around, I’ve noticed a few huge “irritators”. ¬†First, commentators, you are NOT more important than the athletes, so please shut the hell up! ¬†Ice skating seems to be the only sport I’ve seen without a continuously running commentary that doesn’t educate for squat. ¬†Second: NBC, for God’s sakes, let us know (maybe by using an icon on the screen?) when it’s a qualifier or a medal competition! ¬†Lastly, while I applaud the concept of showing a cross-section of competitors, at some point, as a viewer, all I care about are the top 5 or 6 seeded folks. ¬†Since we’re on a significant time delay here in the States, is it too much to ask that we see the competitors that actually have a shot, instead of almost every freakin’ country? ¬†Just sayin’.

Okay, bitchfest complete.  What say you??

Media Monday: Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Sherlock Holmes

I’m currently¬†sniveling my way through a blossoming head cold, and there’s nothing better to combat that than a good movie, right? ¬†Sherlock Holmes¬†came on last night, and I realized I hadn’t reviewed it here yet. ¬†Plus, the next movie we have up in the Netflix queue ¬†is the second one in the series, so I figured it was an opportune time.

So, Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law. ¬†Need I say more? ¬†LOL. ¬†No, really. ¬†IMO this is a perfect date movie. ¬†It’s smart, sexy and funny. ¬†Downey, Law & McAdams have a fabulous chemistry together, and I love the spin Director Guy Ritchie put on the whole Holmes/Watson mythos. ¬†Seeing Holmes as a brawler was a great character growth tool, as was Watson’s goal of becoming “normal”, which was thwarted by Holmes at every turn.

The depiction of turn-of-the-century London was fabulously gritty, and the music was just awesome. ¬†If you haven’t seen this one yet, do it!

Media Monday…Where I rank the Superbowl (Game, Halftime & Commercials)

superbowlEven though I was born and raised in California, I didn’t have a specific alliance this year in the Superbowl. ¬†Originally, I would have rooted for Ray Lewis, but I got sick of hearing his name every five minutes, so just decided to appreciate the game for what it is…entertainment…by which I’m obviously referencing my affection for¬†a bunch of extremely fit dudes running around hitting each other while wearing Spandex ūüėČ

Along with the big game, you’ve got the obvious halftime gig. ¬†It was okay. ¬†I’m not necessarily a big Beyonce fan, so while I wasn’t necessarily agog over her performance, I was pretty damned impressed by her ability to do anything but scream in pain with those heels.

Commercials… (you can see all of them here: ¬†

First for me was the Jeep “Whole Again” spot, followed very, very closely by the Dodge Ram “Farmer”, and then, because I’m really a big ole softy, I’m gonna go with the¬†Clydesdale bit. ¬†The Rock gets an honorable mention for his milk spot, as does Hyundai for the Playdate and The Team.

Which part/commercial was your favorite?

Media Monday: Alias

So, I started watching Alias last week on Netflix, and I just couldn’t get into it. ¬†I really, really wanted to. ¬†I mean, hello, kick-ass spy chick, lots of intrigue and over 100 episodes to feast on. ¬†But I never really bought Sydney as a spy. ¬†Two pieces I loved? ¬†Her portrayal of the grief in losing her fiancee. ¬†It was fabulously done, and made me root for her. ¬†The second? ¬†Bradley Cooper, of course. ¬†What’s not to love there? ¬†So to say I was disappointed that I didn’t care for the intrigue bit is a bit of an understatement.

The Following premieres tonight after Bones, and I can’t WAIT to watch it!

Treadmill Playlist Goodness

Been hitting the treadmill for the last two weeks, and have been working on a playlist to keep it interesting. ¬†This is what I’ve got so far…

  • Run Around, Blues Traveler
  • Ants Marching, Dave Matthews Band
  • You Get What You Give, New Radicals
  • West End Girls, Pet Show Boys
  • Smooth, Rob Thomas & Carlos Santana
  • Rise Above This, Seether
  • Bodies, Drowning Pool
  • Wild, Wild Life, Talking Heads
  • The Middle, Jimmy Eat World
  • Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, KT Turnstall
  • The Sweet Escape, Gwen Stefani
  • So What, Pink
  • Lonely Boy, The Black Keys
  • Devour, Shinedown
  • Stupify, Disturbed
  • Hey Ya!, OutKast
  • Time Bomb, Rancid
  • You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid, Offspring

Any other recommendations with the same tempo?