Friday, May 29, 2009

Final "Pushing Daisies" episodes begin this Saturday

Those of you who have never watched the show won't care, but those of you who have will be thrilled by the reminder that the final three unaired episodes of the late, great Pushing Daisies will begin airing on Saturdays starting tomorrow. It's a shame that this clever, colorful mystery-comedy never caught on with a wider audience, but as USA Today's Robert Bianco reminds us, a little Daisies is better than none.

One suggestion: why not watch Saturday's episode with a delicious piece of pie?

Friday, May 01, 2009

"Wolverine" review

Let me start by saying that I have been pretty indifferent about this movie ever since I heard it was being made. While X-Men: The Last Stand wasn't as terrible as some think it is, the whole cinematic X-Men universe really peaked at X2, and sadly, Wolverine does little to recapture the magic. That said, it's not a terrible movie (especially if you're paying a matinee price), so I can comfortably give it a mild recommendation to anyone who enjoys Hugh Jackman and/or the Wolverine character.

I do have a few gripes: The special effects look sub-par...especially, for some reason, Wolverine's metal claws, which don't look like real, tangible weapons but rather a digital add-on. (Seems like producers would splurge to get that one effect right, seeing as how it's pretty much the most important trait of Wolverine's character.) The romance between Wolverine and his lady-friend just happens--no build-up, no development--suddenly it was just there. And yet the romance plays a huge part in what happens to Wolverine's character. (Seems like producers would have allowed a few more minutes to make that relationship seem more genuine.)

Finally, my biggest complaint is that this movie doesn't really cover enough new ground so as to warrant its existence in the X-Men movie canon. I mean, we already know this story (at least with the Star Wars prequels, we didn't know how or why Anakin went to the dark side...). And with the exception of a few new faces that helped make Wolverine into the Wolverine we know, the whole movie itself feels superfluous. Didn't producers notice that their entire production is simply a lengthier retelling of something we already saw onscreen just a few short years ago?

It's really great to have the summer movie season upon us, and Wolverine definitely isn't the worst movie ever to open the summer season (an honor that goes to another Hugh Jackman film, the laughable Van Helsing). But even as harmless as this movie is, I can't imagine that moviegoers will be lining up for Wolverine: Episode II anytime soon. (**1/2 out of four)