Friday, September 25, 2009

"The Amazing Race 15" starts Sunday!!!

It's time again for a new installment of TV's best reality show, The Amazing Race. Believe it or not, this is the 15th edition of the show, which recently won its 7th consecutive Emmy for Best Reality Competition. Many of you know that this is probably my favorite show (depending on the current state of 24 or Lost), and this Sunday we get a two-hour season premiere. I can't wait.

I found this sneak peek (click to make bigger) of the route the racers will be following this year, courtesy of While I'm bummed they won't be hitting any South American or Caribbean destinations, reading my grandpa's personal history has increased my interest in Scandinavia. I'm sure it will be good times no matter where in the world they go.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stephanie Meyer's "The Host" coming to theaters

I haven't read Stephanie Meyer's first "adult" novel, The Host, but the very concept seems like a little obscure for a big-screen adaptation. Something about a friendly alien who attempts to take control of a friendly human's body, and together they fall in love with the same man (I'm doing this from memory of Wendy's synopsis two years ago). I remember the reviews were generally kind; much more so than for Meyer's polarizing Breaking Dawn. Still, it's not really my cup of may just be how I feel about all things Stephanie Meyer (bless her heart).

Regardless, the author has apparently finally agreed to sell the rights for her novel, which will be written for the screen and directed by Andrew Niccol, director of the sci-fi classic Gattaca and screenwriter of the terrific The Truman Show. Again, the story itself doesn't really appeal to me, but the talent involved at the very least raises my level of interest just a bit. I'm curious to get casting news, although I'm assuming it will be several months before we get any details.

What about you? Does a big-screen version of The Host get you all tingly like you do about Twilight?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Monday, Jacob-philes

Though there is an off-putting abundance of shirtless men, I'll be the first to admit that the new trailer for New Moon makes the movie look a lot better than the previous two trailers did. Whether or not this translates into me actually paying money to see it remains to be seen.

What do you think? Are you "squealing with delight" as my female coworkers are?

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Pirates 4" gets a title and release date

This isn't much by way of news, since we knew it was on its way, but Disney today officially announced that the fourth Pirates film will be called Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, with a scheduled release in summer 2011. Johnny Depp is the only one confirmed to be on-board, but rumors are that Geoffrey Rush will reprise his role as Captain Barbossa.

Can't wait!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

"State of Play" review

I'm terribly behind on reviewing the movies that I have seen in recent months, so I'll quickly recap: HP6 was terrific, and one of my favorites from the series. Julie & Julia was breezy and cute, and made me hungry. 500 Days of Summer was a really interesting movie; an equally funny and painful look at what makes relationships begin and end. And Race to Witch Mountain was a harmless adventure for kids that was almost worth the cost of the rental. Almost.

Last night Wendy and I watched State of Play, a suspenseful and intelligent conspiracy thriller set in the intriguing backdrop of the current (dying) state of print journalism. The ensemble cast is fantastic: Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Jeff Daniels, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright Penn, Jason Bateman, all of whom are given a moment or two to shine. It's a terrific little mystery and one that--despite a couple of obligatory Hollywood cliches--doesn't insult our intelligence. If you haven't seen it already, it's definitely a nice way to spend an evening.

When all was said and done, what lingered with me the most was what appears to be the pending death of the newspaper industry, which is losing relevance admidst the almost-instantaneous (and free) news currently available via the internet. I've often spoken of my favorite TV critic, USA Today's Robert Bianco. Though he seems to be reluctantly embracing the electronic transition of print journalism, he never misses an opportunity to remind his readers to pony up the $.75 to buy a printed copy of the paper.

I love a good newspaper. I love the smell, the way the print smudges on my fingers, the way I can hide behind its pages and educate myself. But I'm also a pragmatist: I don't like the clutter of having a stack of newspapers that needs to be recycled, and I don't like having to pay for something I can get for free online. And therein lies one of the many conundrums of our modern-day, information-rich generation: we want as much information as we can get, and as quickly as possible (Twitter, anyone?), but we don't want to pay for it. It's a wonder that any newspapers (or magazines, for that matter) are still in business.

Within the context of last night's movie, the real, quality journalism only occurred with the marriage of the traditional vs. the electronic media. But it makes me wonder: is there a price that our society is paying for all the free information we now have access to? Is the product becoming diluted or less trustworthy? Or has the push for urgency made the information the same or even better than it once was?

What do you think?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Dimitri, the ladykiller

I don't normally post stuff like this, which may or may not be made up. It's the type of thing your annoying cousin or almost-friend from junior high would forward to you by email. But because I love my readers (you know who you are), I'll give you the option to listen to the following answering machine messages, which are allegedly real (though I can promise that you will laugh):

Dimitri, wherever you are, I hope you find the elegant woman you so clearly deserve.