September 2009

Top Ten Returning TV-Shows

by Alan Rapp on September 17, 2009

in Essays , Nework & Cable TV News 

TV’s new Fall Season seems to be upon us. There are plenty of new shows. There are also more than a few who were dragged out back and unceremoniously capped in the back of the head and dumped in shallow graves. I’m still a bit bummed with the fact that both Life and Pushing Daisies got the chopping block, but there are still plenty (at least ten) which are returning and are worth watching (including a couple returning tonight). Is this a top ten you are sensing? I think it is.

Before we begin let me take a moment to give a shout out to NBC’s Chuck which only misses the cut because his return won’t happen until Spring of 2010. Damn you NBC!!!! (And you wonder why you didn’t get a single show on the list) Okay, having gotten that short rant out of the way, now on with the list…

10. Dollhouse

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Whiteout

by Alan Rapp on September 11, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Whiteout
  • IMDB: link

whiteout-posterAlthough Whiteout was slightly better than I expected, the film is nothing more than your basic thriller complete with a masked killer, a plucky detective with hidden scars, dangerous situations (most of which could be avoided the slightest hint of common sense), and a late plot twist which is far less surprising than it’s expected to be.

Kate Beckinsale stars as US Marshall Carrie Stetko. Due to an unfortunate case in her past, which we are given glimpses of in flashbacks, Carrie transferred as far from the action as possible. For years she has been the law in the icy wilderness of Antarctica where nothing ever happens.

Until now! Cue the suspenseful music.

Only days before her vacation, when the last planes will leave the Antarctic station for winter, a body is discovered. Carrie will have to put her past behind her and with the help of her doctor friend (a gruffy looking Tom Skerritt) and an agent from the United Nations (Gabriel Macht) she’ll try to find a killer from among the small population of the research station.

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Lucky Number “9”

by Alan Rapp on September 9, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: 9
  • IMDB: link

9-posterAdapted by creator Shane Acker from the short film of the same name, and produced by Tim Burton (who knows a thing or too about creepy and unconventional animated films), comes 9.

CGI animation in the style of stop-motion, Acker’s film is a breath of fresh air in both style and story. If you enjoyed Coraline earlier this year then this one’s for you. Here’s a good story beautifully rendered and not afraid to inspire both fear and awe in younger viewers.

Rather than take time to explain the world and its rules (i.e. talk down to its audience), as would happen in well over 90% of animated films (and close to 100% of kid’s films), we’re thrown right into the middle of the action.

The story begins with birth into a world of death. This is a post-apocalyptic world populated only by small puppet figures and dangerous mechanical beasts. We discover the world through the eyes of the newly created 9 (Elijah Wood).

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Taken

by Alan Rapp on September 1, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Taken
  • IMDB: link

taken-posterTaken is the film for you if you simply love Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme flicks, and are constantly bemoaning the fact that they have been relegated to direct-to-DVD and made-for-TV projects. If however, you want more out of a film than pace, so-so action, and a high body count you’re going to be disappointed.

For those of you who haven’t seen the trailer, Liam Neeson stars as a retired spy trying to reconnect with his estranged 17-year-old daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) who wants his permission to travel to France for the summer with her best friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy).

Of course knowing the hidden dangers in such a trip Bryan is reluctant to let his daughter go. That is until he’s guilted into agreement by his ex-wife (Famke Janssen, in full-on bitch mode) only to have his daughter and her friend kidnapped hours after they touch down in Paris. Note – never trust your ex-wife.

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