October 2009

A Serious (and downright pathetic) Man

by Alan Rapp on October 30, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: A Serious Man
  • IMDB: link

a-serious-man-posterFrom the minds of the Coen brothers comes this tale of a rather pathetic Jewish professor of physics in late 60’s Minnesota. Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) is having all kinds of problems, from the serious to the mundane.

Larry is indeed A Serious Man, and one whose existence isn’t likely to be improved over the course of the film. Though you have a feeling if he could see the dark humor of his own situation he might laugh himself to death.

His wife (Sari Lennick) has decided to leave him for a widower (Fred Melamed), his unemployed brother (Richard Kind) is living on his couch, his daughter (Jessica McManus) is stealing from him, a student unsatisfied with his grade (David Kang) and his family are bribing and threatening him, a neighbor wants to build a shed on his property, the committe deciding on his tenure at the college is receiving unflattering letters about the professor, and he’s being hounded by a telephone calls from a man demanding money for records Larry neither asked for nor received.

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Psych: Please not Paul Walker!

by Alan Rapp on October 26, 2009

in Nework & Cable TV News 

  • Title: Psych – Romeo and Juliet and Juliet
  • tv.com: link

Psych may be off the air for a short hiatus, but it will be back in January with new episodes. I’m a fan of the show’s offbeat irreverent nature and plentiful pop culture references. In this clip taken from “Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark” Shawn’s pals finally track down the robbers who have taken the psychic detective hostage. Although happy to see the cavalry our hero is less than enthused by being the Paul Walker of the scenario.

Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark

The Vampire’s Assistant

by Alan Rapp on October 23, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant
  • IMDB: link

vampires-assistant-posterI’m pretty sure Ed Wood would have loved Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant. Messy, flawed, riddled with odd choices and questionable casting, and stuck with a plot that make less, not more, sense as it progresses, The Vampire’s Assistant is in every way a B-movie. And, I’ll admit, I kinda liked it.

Based on a series of novels by Darren Shan the film’s main plot revolves around a rather bland high school student, Darren (Chris Massoglia), and his more rambunctious best friend Steve (Josh Hutcherson) whose main purpose it seems is to get Darren into as much trouble as possible.

A night out takes the pair to a freak show where events unfold that lead Darren into an agreement with vampire Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) in order to save his friend. Leaving behind his life, Darren becomes part vampire, and begins his new life in the Cirque de Freak as Crepsley’s assistant.

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  • Title: Where the Wild Things Are
  • IMDB: link

where-the-wild-things-are-posterThere will no doubt be critics and film professors who dismiss Where the Wild Things Are for it’s lack of story and structure. There will also be those who find immediate emotional attachment to this primal story of a child struggling with a world he can’t control.

Although I do have some qualms about the film mainly dealing with its length (and I thought it could use a bit more polish plot-wise), and didn’t have the emotional attachment to the story I expected, I will freely admit the film is worth a long look.

Aside from the bookends of his normal life, the entire movie takes place in a world Max (Max Records) discovers while trying to escape problems at home he can neither deal with nor articulate. In running away Max discovers a refuge on island of monsters (voiced by James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Catherine O’Hara, Forest Whitaker, Chris Cooper, and Lauren Ambrose).

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Heat Wave

by Alan Rapp on October 14, 2009

in Books & Magazines, Nework & Cable TV News 

  • Title: Castle – Heat Wave
  • tv.com: link

It seems Richard Castle has a best seller on his hands. Who cares if he’s fictional? Heat Wave, which debuted at #26 on the New York Times Bestseller List, was authored by the fictitious author played by Nathan Fillion on Castle (no word yet on who really wrote the book), and follows Detective Nikki Heat (inspired by the character played by Stana Katic on the show):

“Tough, sexy, professional, Nikki Heat carries a passion for justice as she leads one of New York City’s top homicide squads. She’s hit with an unexpected challenge when the commissioner assigns superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook to ride along with her to research an article on New York’s Finest. PulitzerPrize-winning Rook is as much a handful as he is handsome. His wise-cracking and meddling aren’t her only problems. As she works to unravel the secrets of the murdered real estate tycoon, she must also confront the spark between them. The one called heat.”