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Weekend Update March 26-28

March 26, 2010

“3d cinema has arrived in full force.  This weekend, the Dreamworks flick How To Train Your Dragon will surely end Alice In Wonderlands 3 week reign atop the box-office chart.  Also opening this weekend is the comedy about time travel Hot Tub Time Machine.  Both films have good reviews and are the two films to see this weekend.  Also opening this weekend is the drama Chloe about an untrusting wife who hires an escort to seduce her husband.  ”

How To Train Your Dragon, Hot Tub Time Machine

Watch It

Chloe

Netflix It (This movie has an interesting premise and with all of the drama surrounding the Tiger Woods and Jesse James scandal, people may be interested in this film, however, if you hire an escort to seduce your husband, you are adding insult to injury)

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Weekend Update March 18-21

March 18, 2010

“After a huge opening weekend and a respectable drop last week, Alice In Wonderland has all but secured itself a third weekend at Number 1.  American audiences are thirsty for 3d.  Unfortunately for 3 big entries this week, one of them will have to settle for a high of 2nd.  Most likely to take that spot is the action comedy by Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston, The Bounty Hunter.  It seems funny and if you are a fan of either, this one is for you.  Also debuting this week is the best-selling illustrated novel, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and sci-fi action Repo Man featuring Jude Law and academy award-winner Forest Whitaker.  Also opening in smaller release is the 3d Imax release, Hubble narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as the Runaways, fresh of its release at the Sundance Film Festival about the legendary rock girl group featuring a grown-up Dakota Fanning and Twilights Kristen Stewart.  Lot’s of choices this week!”

The Bounty Hunter, The Runaways, Hubble 3D (Considering it’s in Imax, you don’t have a choice!)

Watch It

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Netflix It (Somehow in the trailer when the mom says, “Have a great day sweetie pie”, it kind of reminded me of the new show on NBC, Parenthood, in a similar scene.  Looks cute, but wait til it goes on DVD)

Repo Man

Forget It (The concept is interesting, but it ends there.  If you are a Jude Law or Forest Whitaker fan then by all means.  If not, you will probably leave feeling you just wasted 111 minutes of your time)

Update: As of this afternoon (March 18) Fandango is reporting that 43% of its sales for this weekend are for Alice In Wonderland.  54% of sales from movietickets.com.  Bounty Hunter and Repo Man have failed to break into the top 5 while surprisingly, Wimpy Kid is responsible for 24% of the sales on Fandango and 15% on movietickets.com

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American Idol Top 12

March 16, 2010

“Overall the top 12 was pretty good as a whole, but I didn’t see essence of The Rolling Stones in most of the performances.  I was expecting more energy and rock n roll.  At least the contestants were able to show their true colors through their arrangements which is commendable. If this competition were a battle of the sexes, the girls definitely ruled tonight with a perfect performance by Siobhan Magnus”

The scores are based on vocal ability, appearance, song choice, personality, stage presence and impact out of a possible 30 points! EPIC (29-30) GREAT (27-28) GOOD (25-26) OK (23-25) FAIL (22 and below)

Here are the guy’s grades in order of performance:

Michael Lynche 28

His confidence is definitely showing and his stage presence is very powerful.  However, I was hoping he would stick to his new formal style and keep to the suits, but besides that it was good but not as good as last week.

Didi Benami 27

She has such a unique voice and she remained consistent from last week.  Somehow she does so much better when her performance his stripped down with a guitar.

Casey James 28

This is definitely the type of music style that suits Casey.  The bluesy-country style! Although vocally he was good, I would have preferred more use of the stage.  Sometimes even if you stand in one spot, you could own the stage.  I just didn’t feel that from him.

Lacey Brown 25

She did okay, but it still baffles me how she made it in over Katelyn and Lilly!!  Besides that, she didn’t do anything different and I did notice that she like to sit on the edge of the stage.  It worked before, but maybe a different approach next time.

Andrew Garcia 26

Andrew is my Danny Gokey of this year.  I was a huge fan!!!  Only difference is while I was drawn away from Danny fan-club midway through the season after I became bored, I am already over Andrew.  After Straight Up, nothing has been the same and I feel that his time will be coming very soon if he continues down this rut.

Katie Stevens 27

She was definitely far improved from previous weeks, however, I was comparing her rendition to Susan Boyle’s and it was somewhat off.  It was good in parts, but overall a big improvement.

Tim Urban 25

His vocals have definitely improved and after last week, he has improved considerably.  However, it was an interesting song choice for me and the arrangement was quite odd!

Siobhan Magnus 30

This girl is amazing.  Her vocal range is outstanding.  The performance was dramatic and that last note was out of this world.  She looked amazing in her Harajuku-esque style and this was definitely her best performance.

Lee Dewyze 27

He definitely stands out in his own way and I agree that he needs to break out more.  With that voice he can rock it out, but he remained safe but sure.  If it works it works, but he can take it a step further.

Paige Miles 27

For someone who had laryngitis this week she did an amazing job especially considering her poor vocals last week.  The performance was okay, but she did mention this was her first real practice this week.  Being the one that counts, she did a good job

Aaron Kelly 28

Aaron was great this week.  His vocals were on point and he really connected to this song which made it more believable and stand out.

Crystal Bowersox 28

There is nobody quite like this girl and even her off-performance is miles better over other performers.  She may have not delivered her best, but considering she is such a strong favorite, there is so much expectations from her that anything negative can be blown out of proportion.

My top 12:

  1. Siobhan Magnus
  2. Aaron Kelly
  3. Casey James
  4. Crystal Bowersox
  5. Michael Lynche
  6. Didi Benami
  7. Lee Dewyze
  8. Katie Stevens
  9. Paige Miles
  10. Andrew Garcia
  11. Lacey Brown
  12. Tim Urban

Final Thoughts: Siobhan Magnus was the unexpected star of the night delivering a standout performance from start to end.  Crystal may have been off her game but was still good.  Lacey and Tim showed why they shouldn’t be in the competition and either should be the first casualty in the top 12.  However, Paige’s laryngitis may also play into the voting.  Her top 12 placement was also unexpected and she may also be up for elimination.

Result: No surprises here.  Tim, Lacey and Paige were in the bottom three.  Tim was the first one who was safe with Lacey and Paige in the bottom 2.  Lacey was eliminated and the judges chose to let her go.  Once again, a wasted spot for someone else.  In the end the judges were right no the mark.

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United World Charts March 20

March 16, 2010

“Debuting in the top spot is Japanese boy band, Arashi.  Rihanna also climbs to the number 2 spot while Ke$ha’s rein at the top ends after 8 non-consecutive weeks.  Taio Cruz is also a big re-entry after Break Your Heart re-enters at number 5 after climbing to number 1 in the US.  All of the other songs in the top 10 fall a few spots while Iyaz and Lady Antebellum fall out of the top 10. ”

Singles Chart:

1.  Arashi – Troublemaker
2.  Rihanna – Rude Boy
3.  Ke$ha – Tik Tok
4.  Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
5.  Taio Cruz feat. Ludacris – Break Your Heart
6.  Jason DeRulo – In My Head
7.  Owl City – Fireflies
8.  Black Eyed Peas – Imma Be
9.  Train – Hey, Soul Sister
10. Young Money feat. Lloyd – Bedrock

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Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce – Telephone

March 11, 2010

“This video is amazing.  Great product placement, funky and crazy outfits, Paparazzi-like cinematography and Jonas Akerlund does it again.  I have never seen a music video or rather, short music film in my life.  Its crazy, its a conversation starter, and it’s ultimately Gaga.  Beyonce also played her part very well and I have never seen her like this before.  The video may get banned in some places or heavily censored but it was definitely worth the wait and is one of the most creative and unique videos I have ever seen!! As Gaga says, this is what a pop music video should be.”

Watch It

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American Idol Top 8 Boys

March 10, 2010

“One thing that has been true on American Idol is the uncertain and the surprises.  The guys are an interesting bunch.  Not as unique as the girls, but there are a few standouts.  What was surprising was that arguably the worst singer among the guys came out almost on top and one of the front-runners flopped.  This will make for an interesting elimination episode.”

The scores are based on vocal ability, appearance, song choice, personality, stage presence and impact out of a possible 30 points! EPIC (29-30) GREAT (27-28) GOOD (25-26) OK (23-25) FAIL (22 and below)

Here are the guy’s grades in order of performance:

Lee Dewyze 27

Another consistent performance and popular song choice! He did add his own take on the song and it was good, but what is going to get him through to the top 16 is his voice and his overall appeal.

Alex Lambert 26

This guy is definitely improving his stage presence although he is still not there quite yet.  Vocally he is still beyond his competitors in terms of its distinct unique flavor; however, the performance was just okay.  I kept comparing it to the soul and believability of Taylor Hicks and it fell short.  I still like this guy though.

Tim Urban 29

Where did he come from?  I honestly thought after knowing the song he was going to sing it was the kiss of death.  But he came out tonight looking good and his acoustic rendition was amazing.  I felt like I was watching a different performer on the stage who was both believable and vocally on point.

Andrew Garcia 24

Is it a challenge for him to pick the most random songs and try to make it work?  Couldn’t he have picked a newer song to change up instead of Genie in a Bottle?  Another off-night again and I hope if he makes it through that he can pull it together soon because he may lose a fan in me!

Casey James 26

Another consistent performance but it was the type of song played in a set and not a stand along song to sing for the top 16.  However, good or not, I doubt Casey has much to worry about.

Aaron Kelly 25

He started shaky which put me off, but did recover at the end.  I will say though that unlike another young singer on the girl’s side, at least Aaron knows exactly who he is and that makes him stand out.

Todrick Hall 26

This guy knows how to take direction well.  The first show he changed the song too much so he changed.  The second show he did too much with his vocals and he changed again.  This time he was able to find a health medium.  However, there were a few too many runs here and there and whether he came out on top after his third attempt; he may still be in danger.

Michael Lynche 30

If last week he became the best male performer, this week he even outshined Crystal Bowersox.  There is nothing I can fault for this song and he did everything right.  This was definitely the best performance of the season so far and he hit it out of the ball park.

My top 8:

  1. Michael Lynche
  2. Tim Urban
  3. Lee Dewyze
  4. Alex Lambert
  5. Casey James
  6. Todrick Hall
  7. Aaron Kelly
  8. Andrew Garcia

Final Thoughts: One thing that is for certain, Michael Lynche is the one to beat among the guys and outshined Crystal Bowersox this week.  If the competition ended tonight, it would be between the two of them.  Surprisingly, Tim Urban came out of nowhere with that gutsy and memorable performance.  The funny thing was that before the show I was certain he was going home this week.  Andrew Garcia on the other hand will test his popularity tomorrow after his worst performance.  Among the top 8, anyone from 4-8 can be eliminated.  On performances alone I would say Aaron and Andrew, but I think it could also be Todrick and Alex so I am expecting a surprise tomorrow night.

Update: For the first round of eliminations, they place Casey, Lee, Tim, and Todrick on the stage.  Casey and surprisingly Tim (who nailed his performance last night) were the first to make the top 12.  Todrick and Lee were left on stage and Todrick was sent home.  At least one obvious elimination tonight.  He did better last night but he hasn’t been consistent and it was his time.  On the other elimination duo, Andrew and Alex were next and Alex was eliminated.  It was such a pity because Alex had an amazing voice but lacked the confidence and personality.  Andrew on the other hand suffered from back to back poor performances.  Lucky for Andrew, he made it through because he was the huge favorite going into the semi’s and that’s why he made the top 12!!

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Weekend Update March 12-14

March 10, 2010

“After becoming the biggest Spring and March opening of all-time, Alice has all but assured itself the number 1 spot for another week despite four big releases this week.  Four completely different films are vying for the second spot including a thriller, comedy, romance and romanic comedy.  However, most likely to open at number 2 is the thriller Green Zone which is about the occupation in Iraq.  Whether the film will become a success on the heels of the most recent best picture winner, The Hurt Locker is yet to be seen, but Matt Damon fans should expect a Bourne-esque film which is definitely going to be the number 2 film to see this weekend.  Most likely opening in the top 5 is the romantic comedy with the Twilight heartthrob Robert Pathinson about love amidst heartbreak.”

Green Zone, Remember Me

Watch It

Our Family Wedding

Netflix It (The film is about an African-American man and a Mexican-American woman that comes together amidst cultural differences.  This one almost feels like My Big Fat Greek Wedding starring America Ferrera and Forest Whitaker)

She’s Out of My League

Skip It (The film is about your typical loser who falls in love with a perfect 10.)

Update: As of 4pm today, Alice In Wonderland is responsible for 74% of presale tickets on movietickets.com and 69% on Fandango!

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American Idol Top 8 Girls

March 9, 2010

“For the show when the contestants are singing for the top 12, it was pretty weak.  Crystal remained on top proving that she is the one to beat, but the rest of the crop was for the most part once again riddled with bad song choices and less than memorable performances.”

The scores are based on vocal ability, appearance, song choice, personality, stage presence and impact out of a possible 30 points! EPIC (29-30) GREAT (27-28) GOOD (25-26) OK (23-25) FAIL (22 and below)

Here are the girl’s grades in order of performance:

Katie Stevens 24

She picked a younger song but she didn’t do anything with it and it fell short.  What type of singer does she really want to be?  This is American Idol, not tell me what to do each week so I can improve.

Siobhan Magnus 28

I am starting to like this girl.  Her voice is amazing in its lower and upper register and she picks some very interesting songs that she owns.  She takes these male songs and makes them female.

Lacey Brown 27

She definitely picked the right song for her voice.  She was better than the last two weeks which made this performance sound so much better than it really was, but good timing and good choice.

Katelyn Epperly 24

It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either.  It was the song you would play within a set and it really didn’t make her stand out.  She did such a great job the last two weeks, that it almost felt like a different singer was on stage.

Didi Benami 28

Her voice is amazing and she really changed it up here.  She does ballads like this so well and it was a record-worthy performance

Paige Miles 23

She started off a little shaky and remained awkward throughout.  That big ole voice was wasted again and she should have picked a power ballad.  When it really counted, she failed.

Crystal Bowersox 30

While most people have had issues picking songs, that has never been an issue for Crystal and she continues to prove why she is the best performer in this competition.  The performance was miles above the rest.

Lilly Scott 26

For some strange reason, her vocals weren’t as good as they usually are.  Her personality and uniqueness were there but I wasn’t wowed by it.

My top 8:

  1. Crystal Bowersox
  2. Siobhan Magnus
  3. Didi Benami
  4. Lacey Brown
  5. Lilly Scott
  6. Katie Stevens
  7. Katelyn Epperly
  8. Paige Miles

Final Thoughts: This is definitely going to be one of the biggest surprises of the season so far.  Although Paige is a great singer, her performance was her weakest which came at the wrong time amidst other girls who already have strong fan clubs.  Two of the major front-runners Katie Stevens and Katelyn Epperly failed to impress which will definitely make the results interesting while Lacey Brown and Didi Benami who failed last week improved this week.  However, it seems Crystal is the only safe bet with Siobhan and Didi a distant second and third.  Anyone from 4-7 may be eliminated and it’s definitely going to be a shocker.

Update: As expected, there was going to be a surprise around the corner.  Ironic how the two i had picked to go home were the two standing on stage for the elimination.  So of course you figure Paige should go because she was not the best last night, but instead Katelyn, one of the previous favorites went home.  Paige is through and as Simon says, she was one of the best in Hollywood so her place is deserved.  She has to have a stronger showing in the top 12 because she was just given the biggest second chance!!  In the other elimination duo are Lilly and Katie, both favorites.  Katie was a front-runner at one point while Lily has a unique look and voice.  Going home is Lilly! This one was as big of a shocker as Katelyn.  Two strong singers from the women’s side are out and the men’s side just became the stronger side!

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United World Charts March 13

March 9, 2010

“Staying put for an 8th non-consecutive week at the top spot is Ke$ha with Tik Tok with Bad Romance at number 2. Rihanna and Jason Derulo climb into the top 10 at 3 and 4.  The remainder of the top 10 remains the same while Train also climbs into the top 10. ”

Singles Chart:

1.  Ke$ha – Tik Tok (8 non-consecutive weeks)
2.  Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
3.  Rihanna – Rude Boy
4.  Jason Derulo – In My Head
5.  Owl City – Fireflies
6.  Black-Eyed Peas – Imma Be
7.  Young Money feat. Lloyd – Bedrock
8.  Iyaz – Replay
9.  Train – Hey, Soul Sister
10. Lady Antebellum – Need You Know

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And the Academy Award goes to…

March 7, 2010

“This is definitely going to be one of the most anticipated Oscar telecast’s in years for many reasons.  First, there are 10 best picture nominees.  The last time that happened was in the 30’s and 40’s.  Second, there are two hosts.  The last time that happened was 1987.  Third, there will be no songs sung from the best song category.  Instead, there will be a montage of the films whose songs are nominated and how the song was incorporated into the film.  Fourth, friends of nominated Actors and Actresses are supposed to be honoring them with their nominations.  Finally, the most hotly anticipated race for best picture and best director between two very different films.  This is the first time since 1997 that one of the nominees is the top grossing film of all-time (Avatar) going up against one of the smaller grossing films (The Hurt Locker) although The Hurt Locker has been a consistent guild and critics favorite, Avatar has won the popular vote hands down.  Will Kathryn Bigelow become the first woman ever to win best director?  All eyes are on these two awards and who from the two films which boast the most nominations (9) will come home with the most statuettes.  My predictions are that Avatar goes home with most if not all of the tech awards with The Hurt Locker going home with the big prizes, although secretly Avatar is my film to win them all!!”

Here are my final predictions and (alternates) for the 82nd Academy Awards:

  • Best PictureThe Hurt Locker (Avatar)
  • Best Director – Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker (James Cameron – Avatar)
  • Screenplay(Adapted) – Up In The Air (Precious)
  • Screenplay(Original) – Inglorious Basterds (The Hurt Locker)
  • Leading Actor – Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart (Colin Firth – A Single Man)
  • Leading Actress – Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side (Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia)
  • Supporting Actor – Christoph Waltz – Inglorious Basterds
  • Supporting Actress – Monique – Precious
  • Animated Feature – Up
  • Foreign Film – Un Prophete – France (The White Ribbon – Germany)
  • Documentary Feature – The Cove (Food Inc.)
  • Documentary Short – China’s Unnatural Disaster (The Last Truck)
  • Short Film Animated – Logorama (A Matter of Loaf and Death)
  • Short Film Live Action – The Door (Miracle Fish)
  • Art Direction – Avatar
  • Cinematography – Avatar (The Hurt Locker)
  • Costume Design – The Young Victoria (Bright Star)
  • Film Editing – The Hurt Locker (Avatar)
  • Makeup – Star Trek (The Young Victoria)
  • Original Score – Up (Avatar)
  • Original Song – The Weary Kind – Crazy Heart
  • Sound Mixing – The Hurt Locker (Avatar)
  • Sound Editing – Avatar (The Hurt Locker)
  • Visual Effects – Avatar

Final Thoughts: Its going to be a tough race when Avatar and The Hurt Locker are competing against each other but all of the precursors have pointed to the success of The Hurt Locker in many categories.  And because of the preferential voting system, Inglorious Basterds has been seen as a threat for best picture as well!