Category Archives: christina ricci

New Season Fail?

I hate to say it, but other than the “Wonder Woman” pilot from David E. Kelley that NBC did not buy, I haven’t really seen anything from this newest TV season that has impressed me, nothing.

I love Zooey Dechandel, so I checked out her sitcom, “New Girl,” on Fox. First I was curious what someone like her who has been so successful in movies would want with television. I mean, this had to either be a great show, or a lot of money, right? Well, it turns out it might just be money. She’s fun and hilarious, but her three male co-stars were unwatchable. The problem – there’s three of them and just one of her. Awful.

Also on Fox, I tried the much anticipated “X-Factor” from Simon Cowell, and again, I was unimpressed. For someone who wanted to make a show that wasn’t like “American Idol,” it sure seemed a lot like “American Idol,” and not in a good way. Here’s hoping that Simon, along with Paula Abdul, return to “AI” next season. It will be better for everyone.

As long as we’re beating dead horses, the show I most was interested in this new season was “Terra Nova,” which at first glance kinda looked like an American version of “Primeval.” If only it was. I’d take another rip-off of a mediocre British scifi series over this dreck any day. Where were the freaking dinosaurs? Damn tease.

Look, don’t show dinosaurs in your thirty-second previews of the show for the last four months and not put any damn dinosaurs in the pilot for over an hour. To quote Millhouse in one of my favorite “Simpsons” episodes – When are they gonna get to the fireworks factory?”

There were other series that were disappointments. “Unforgettable,” “A Gifted Man” and “Person of Interest” all had intriguing concepts, and quickly displayed with second episodes that they were all three simply formula shows. I don’t think we will ever see any progress on the main plot that got us hooked on the show, but will just be case of the week series. Damn shame too.

I was even disappointed by “Homeland.” It reeked of predictability for me. Again, a fine concept that just didn’t do it for me on the screen. Wow. When the pay cable shows aren’t good, you know it’s a bad season.

“Pan Am” was a pilot that has to be seen to be believed, so if you didn’t catch it, check OnDemand and see it. Not just for the now anorexic Christina Ricci, you need to see this decidedly confused show. First it’s kinda “Mad Men,” then it wants to be a comedy, then it’s an Airport movie and finally at the end it’s a spy thriller. See it while it lasts, it could be the quirky fun hit of the bunch, so bad, it’s good.

The only show I thought had promise, was canceled before I actually got to see it, which shows you just how on the mark I am with these things. Like “Pan Am,” it’s a period piece, same time frame, but this one’s deadly serious. “The Playboy Club” is/was about a mob murder in, you guessed it, a Playboy club. It had much promise, but, unfortunately, dead on arrival.



It looks like we’ll have new replacement shows coming up quickly as I think many of these are headed to the same fate as “The Playboy Club.” Hmmm… maybe NBC should take another look at “Wonder Woman”…

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Quickies 4-3-2009

Prozac Nation ~ I’ve decided that Christina Ricci is best when she’s snarky and sarcastic. From The Addams Family to The Opposite of Sex to even Pumpkin, her best feature (although there are so many others) is her snarkiness. This film, sort of a Mommie Dearest meets Almost Famous based on the true story bestseller by Elizabeth Wurtzel (who incidentally thought this movie was horrible), is a bit depressing and you want to slap the heroine (more than once), but hang in there. The performances of Ricci, Jessica Lange and even Jason Biggs are worth it.

Tokyo Gore Police ~ This one is for fans of the gore genre only, and only in small doses. I give the trailer more stars than I would the movie – if any for the movie. Dazzlingly gory and imaginative special effects. Don’t eat before viewing. If you like Troma or J-horror, you’ll love this one.

Lakeview Terrace ~ Take Neighbors, mix well with Pacific Heights and add in Samuel L. Jackson and you’ll get this flick that never tries much harder than to be a 1970s ABC telemovie. Kim Darby would have been proud to have been in this back in the day. Entertaining if you’re not expecting to think much for a couple hours.

Zotz! ~ Bullet time decades before bullet time, and Disney-esque without being Disney, this black and white comedy from 1962 stars Tom Poston as a professor who finds an ancient magic coin that grants him super powers. Able to slow down time and point people into pain, he tries to sell his powers to the government and hilarity ensues. While it would greatly benefit from some idiotic canned 1970s sitcom laughter, it’s still great fun for the kids.

At the Earth’s Core ~ Sadly the only film adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Pellucidar series is just an embarrassment. Doug McClure tries very hard despite more than half of his dialogue being the word “doc,” and of course Peter Cushing hands in his worst and most annoying performance ever. On the good side, Caroline Munro is as hot as ever, but she doesn’t have much to do here. Much of the magic of Pellucidar is missing, the ‘monsters’ look like rejects from the worst of the Gamera films and surely Burroughs is spinning in his grave. A travesty.

Speed Thrills

Speed Racer ~ Forget the Matrix films, and even forget Bound, this –at least so far- is the crowning achievement of the Wachowski brothers.

Folks have said that it’s too bright, too busy and too fast to watch and that it causes headaches, but my advice is to get used to it. But if memory serves, those are the same complaints made to Toni Basil about her “Mickey” music video waaay back in 1982, and so she toned it down. Now, not only are fast cuts commonplace but that particular video is considered extremely tame. Media will change, and the audiences will get acclimated. With Speed Racer, the Wachowskis have come very close to creating a completely new style of film. Twenty years from now, they will be praised as visionaries. I would bet on it. This is an experience rather than a film.

Speed Racer is busy, and I’m sure multiple viewings will be required to catch every nuance. For this reason I predict its box office as well as DVD rentals and sales will be huge. There are superior performances from Matthew Fox, Susan Sarandon, Christina Ricci and Rain, and especially all the cars, real CGI or green screen. If I were pressed to find something wrong with the flick I would say at times the Wachowskis make the same mistake NBC made with “Knight Rider.” When in doubt, always remember, the car is the star.

Speed Racer is an incredible film. As a kid who grew up watching the original “Speed Racer” cartoon, and then, like all my friends, replaying out what I’d seen with my Hot Wheels and Matchboxes, this is a dream come true. See it, see it twice, and as they say in lacrosse – you’ll pay for the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge.