Sunday, September 29, 2013



The first time that I saw the trailer for Prisoners was sometime in July, and I must say that it hooked me. Hugh Jackman's great screaming and the film's mysterious aura were enough to convince me that this film may actually have something more to it than most of your typical kidnapping, whodunit mysteries. However, as we moved from July to August to September, I had seen the trailer about 11 bazillion times, and I began to question whether the film really had anything else to offer, aside from the dramatic moments in the trailer. The same thing happened with me and World War Z, over the summer, and I still have yet to see that film. Luckily for Prisoners, I had not been to the theater in almost ONE WHOLE MONTH, and I was having serious withdrawals. Thank goodness that Orange is the New Black was there for me, as I attempted to retain my sanity throughout September. So, anyways, I was reluctant and not expecting much, but the movies really needed me... and I wouldn't wanna leave them hanging.

There is no doubt that Prisoners had one of the most unpredictable storylines of the year. Not that the outcome was totally out of left field or anything, but I don't think anyone watching the film could have been absolutely certain of what was going to happen. Personally, I don't think of unpredictability as an overly exciting quality of a film, because I don't try to figure movies out. I just let them happen to me. So, the one aspect of the film that everyone seems to love just doesn't really matter to me. However, throughout the entire film, the drama was very, very real, and that I do appreciate. The only real problem that I had with the plot was how slowly they dwelled on each piece of the plot, making for an unnecessarily long run time. Other than that, kudos to the filmmakers for keeping it dramatic and interesting.

Everything I read says the same exact thing... "Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal are great!" and "Viola Davis, Terrence Howard, and Paul Dano are underused!" I'm sorry, but I disagree (for the most part). As I said already, the run time was waaaaay too long, so I don't believe that anybody was underused. Sure, Viola Davis and Paul Dano are great actors, but that doesn't mean that they HAVE TO be the leads or steal the show. Also, Jake Gyllenhaal was NOT great! Was he bad?... No... But he wasn't great.

The only performance that I did not care for was that of Melissa Leo, who played Holly Jones, the mother-figure of Paul Dano's Alex. Her makeup and hair just didn't look real at all, so I couldn't take her seriously. That's probably all it was, though.

Following his Golden Globe winning performance in Les Miserables, Hugh Jackman did not disappoint as crazed, confused father-figure, Keller Dover. Prisoners contained a lot of emotion, but no other character's emotion was brought into the spotlight as much as Keller's. Additionally, Maria Bello, who played Keller's Wife, Grace, was absolutely phenomenal. Of the parental characters, no one showed a wider range of emotions than Grace, which made Bello's performance all the more impressive.

Although I didn't absolutely love Prisoners, I would definitely suggest it for those of you who like to try to figure stuff out. Just make sure that you use the bathroom before you go into the theater! Jackman definitely has a shot at another Oscar nom with his performance in this film, so congrats to him. Maybe his newfound success will help him steer clear of Wolverine, after Days of Future Past is finished. We all know he needs to hang up that towel! I'm just glad that I finally had something to go watch! Even though my birthday is in September, it sure sucked to be without movies to watch for a month. If you want a slow, mellow film that is quite dry, rough, and dramatic, Prisoners is for you. It just wasn't enough for me to have sacrificed 2.5 hours of my life for it. I give Prisoners 3.14 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Must See TV: Emmy's 2013

Now, I'm no TV critic, but it is safe to say that I watch more television than the average individual, so I consider myself a reputable source. Unfortunately, I don't get to watch as many shows as I would like to. In fact, there are more that I want to watch than I actually have time to watch, but that is not your problem! I say all of that to discredit the list that I am about to show you as a complete analysis of all TV shows. This list is my own list of "Must See TV." These are the shows that I required myself to watch as soon as I could, over the past TV season, because I love them so very much. However, my love is personal, and I do not expect anybody to love the exact same shows as me. I'm not even going to claim that these are the best shows on television... Let them Emmy's do that. These are just the few shows that I was the most engulfed in throughout the year, and I want to share this with you, as I truly love my TV shows. Sure, there are movies that can capture your heart and memories, but nothing can connect you to characters like great television. So, here are the five shows that I loved the most, over the course of the 2012-2013 TV season:

5. The Office
The Office is undoubtedly one of my favorite comedies of all time, and I actually started watching the show before it was popular and continued to watch the show after it had lost its popularity. If you didn't get a chance, you can read My Farewell to The Office, and maybe you will fully understand my love for this amazing show. There is no doubt that the final season was better than the previous, which probably wouldn't have landed anywhere near this list, but I still hate to have to put this great show at number five. I must be accurate, though!

4. The Celebrity Apprentice

Aside from my parents, I highly doubt that any of my readers actually watch The Apprentice, which is a darn shame! I know that many people hate Donald Trump, but I love him and the entire concept that surrounds the show. Unfortunately, the future of The Apprentice is not so clear, so let's pray that we get another season. Regardless, I love this show, and Trump is my bro... And I rhymed...
3. American Horror Story: Asylum
Had I made a list like this last year, there is no doubt that American Horror Story would have topped the list. There is no other show on television that has the ability to shock me, each and every week, quite like AHS. However, I didn't enjoy season 2 quite as much as season 1, probably because I knew that I was going to be shocked (if that's even possible). Regardless, it was still fantastic, and I cannot wait for season 3!

2. The Newsroom
I know that a lot of critics out there really, really hate The Newsroom, but I cannot figure out WHY?!? This new show, from the genius mind of Aaron Sorkin, was able to bring the news industry to its knees in each and every episode, which could be the reason we never hear any good NEWS about the show. The Newsroom's presence on this list is a result of its first season, which is the season that qualifies for the Emmy's next week. However, the season 2 finale is on tonight! So, go turn on HBO... right now!

1. New Girl
For me, the 2012-2013 television season will forever be remembered as the year that New Girl reigned supreme! There is no doubt that I enjoyed the creation of "Jess and Nick" and the hilarity that ensued, but there was never a dull moment throughout the entire season. No show has made me laugh this much in a single season since the third season of The Office, which is probably my favorite season of any comedy ever. So, kudos to New Girl! They may not have a chance to win next week, but they certainly take home all the imaginative awards that I give out as The Average Critic.

As an avid movie viewer, it is understood that I love watching The Oscars each and every year. In fact, I love pretty much any awards show. I even watched the VMAs this year (good grief, Miley!). However, there is absolutely no awards show that I love more than The Primetime Emmy's, and you can take that to the bank!

Here's the deal:
Even though I usually enjoy two or three of the best picture nominees at The Oscars, rarely am I truly in love with the film on a super-personal level. And, if the awards aren't personal, I could care less who wins. Sure, I may be pulling for a movie in a category or two, but, for the most part, I just want there to be some sort of huge upset... which rarely happens at The Oscars! When it comes to TV, though, if my show that I LOVE is nominated for an award, I'm going to cheer them on until their award is given out, and I will be holding out hope for every show, until the final award is passed out. Unlike The Oscars, The Emmy's are unpredictable, so make sure you watch next week!

Here are some folks, in various categories, that I will be cheering on, next Sunday:
Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), Lead Actress in a Drama
Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom), Lead Actor in a Drama
Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey), Supporting Actress in a Drama
Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), Supporting Actor in a Drama
Jane Fonda (The Newsroom), Guest Actress in a Drama
Margo Martindale (The Americans), Guest Actress in a Drama
Henry Bromell (Homeland), Writing for a Drama
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Lead Actress in a Comedy
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Lead Actor in a Comedy
Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory), Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live), Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live), Guest Actress in a Comedy
Bob Newhart (The Big Bang Theory), Guest Actor in a Comedy
Greg Daniels (The Office), Writing for a Comedy
Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Asylum), Lead Actress in a Mini Series or Movie
Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Asylum), Supporting Actress in a Mini Series or Movie
Zachary Quinto (American Horror Story: Asylum), Supporting Actor in a Mini Series or Movie
American Horror Story: Asylum, Miniseries or Movie
The Voice, Reality-Competition
Saturday Night Live, Variety Series
The Colbert Report, Variety Series
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Variety Series
Anybody but John Stewart, Variety Series
The Big Bang Theory, Comedy Series

To my movie lovers,
Don't worry... I'm not turning this into a TV blog! There just isn't much going on, movie-wise, in September, and I needed something to write about. Hang in there! There are many more reviews to come...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

We're the Millers


Aside from watching Will Poulter sing Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls, there was pretty much nothing that interested me about the trailer for We're the Millers. However, the week before, I made my girlfriend watch Elysium with me, and I needed to return the favor and watch a movie for her, because I'm such a romantic. Last year, in my Notscars, I claimed that The Campaign had wasted Jason Sudeikis's funny, but I've come to realize that he just doesn't have very much of it. Honestly, I find neither Jason Sudeikis nor Jennifer Anniston funny at all. Sure, they have been in some very funny movies (Horrible Bosses, Bruce Almighty) and tv shows (Friends, SNL), but they are not funny all by themselves. Also, Emma Roberts just gets on my nerves, and she recently beat up Evan Peters (I'm on Evan's side). Regardless, I was clinging to the fact that Nick Offerman would probably bring some laughs, and, eventually, Will Poulter would sing Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls. I hadn't planned on writing a review for We're the Millers, but, with its staying power at the box office, you may still need to hear my opinion...

The entire "fake drug-dealing family" idea that We're the Millers employed was potentially hilarious. Honestly, I could see some of my favorite comedic actors taking on this storyline and making something great. Unfortunately, the concept was stuck with mediocre comedians, which kept the laughs a bit more contained. Also, I didn't enjoy the whole "We're being chased by evil drug lords" concept, especially after witnessing the similar concept driven into the ground by 2 Guns just a few weeks prior. Not only was it stupid, but it led to Ed Helms's funny being wasted, and he is ACTUALLY funny... I promise!

The addition of Nick Offerman's RV-loving, sexually-experimental family, the Fitzgeralds, was absolutely fantastic, as they just wouldn't stop messing up the plot. Without the Fitzgeralds, my laughs would have been limited solely to Will Poulter, so kudos to Offerman and Kathryn Hahn for taking on two great roles.

Not only did Jason Sudeikis manage to keep me from laughing, but he also failed to fit in his role of drug-dealing-fake-family-creator, David Clark. I just didn't buy it one little bit! At the beginning of the film, Clark was just a bum, which didn't really fit with what we are used to seeing from Sudeikis, making it hard to take seriously. Then, as the film went on, Sudeikis began acting like his usual self, which we had already established was NOT how he was supposed to be acting, furthering the disaster that was this performance.

If you have seen We're the Millers or heard anything about the film, I'm sure you are of the opinion or belief that Will Poulter's Kenny is the character that carries the entire film, which is the absolute truth. I felt bad for Poulter, who gave a great performance in a mediocre film, but I know that he will have a bright future ahead of him. If you watch this film for any reason, let that reason be Will Poulter!

While I will admit to a bit of laughter throughout We're the Millers, I do not understand how it has grossed well over $100 million. That goes to show you just how powerful Jennifer Anniston remains in this Friends re-run filled world that we live. I mean, come on, We're the Millers has even out-grossed This is the End (the summer's greatest comedy), and it is still rolling, finishing in third place at the box office this past weekend. I guess I probably shouldn't be quite so bitter or baffled... It really wasn't THAT bad. My only hope is that, one day, people will give their money to a good comedy, rather than one carried by Anniston and Sudeikis. I've held it until this point, but, yes, Jennifer Anniston does do her stripper thing quite nicely. Unfortunately for her, however, she's getting a bit old. Don't get me wrong, I was not at all deterred from looking her way. But, had she made We're the Millers fifteen years ago, her stripping probably would have engulfed this review! I give We're the Millers 2.36 stars, along with Anniston's stripping.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Great Expectations: September 2013


With school back in full swing, blogging will now become less of a priority in my little world, due to the incredible amount of RESPONSIBILTY that I have with regard to my STUDIES and whatnot (You read that right, parents!). Also, September and October tend to be slow movie months, but have no fear! While the posts may be less frequent, they will come! So, please hang in there with me, because I do have some special things that I am working on.

In the coming months I have three special posts that I will proceed to tease. They are not quite finished yet, so be patient with me. I have provided, below, the titles for each of the three posts. It is your job to figure out what each of these titles will encompass:

1) For the Love of the Game

2) In Focus

3) The Seat to the Right

Leave your guesses in the comment section below! If you guess correctly, you get a shoutout in my next post!

As for September, there are actually a couple of films that I am looking forward to, particularly my main man Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut--Don Jon. So, check out the trailer below:

Don Jon
(September 27)