sarahmichigan: (Default)

I had this Christopher Nolan-directed small, indy black&white film in my netflix queue but hadn't watched it until recently. Thanks to [ profile] wednes for recommending it. Simply put: I loved it. I thought it was a powerhouse for a low budget film lacking any well known actors-- with a good script and decent to great acting and a fantastic gritty film noir look.
sarahmichigan: (Default)
So, over the years, I've seen the cover for the video of "Death Trap", thought it seemed interesting and vaguely thought I'd seen the play version. Death Trap was based on a play by Ira Levin, but I was actually thinking of "The Mousetrap," an entirely different play by Agatha Christie. Incidentally, if you've ever heard me tell the story that I never EVER heard my father say a swear word (I'm not exaggerating in any way) EXCEPT when he had to for a theatrical production, The Mousetrap is the play to which I'm referring.

Anyhow, my pal [ profile] wednes recently invited me to watch Death Trap at her place, and I loved it. Christopher Reeve is at his hunkiest - you can see why they thought he had the physical attributes to play Superman. His acting is also quite good. And I love Michael Caine, despite the fact that he's been in some stinkers. He's got a wonderful maniacal gleam in his eye in this one. It's a really fun show.

Googling the film and play afterward, I ran across Spoiler info behind the cut: )
sarahmichigan: (Default)
The good:

We watched the hysterical "Singh is Kinng" at a Bollywood party on Friday. I picked it, and I'm so glad I did, from the hilarious disclaimers about hens not being harmed at the beginning to the bizarro end credits, with lots of WTF throughout. Apparently, Punjabi films with Sikh characters and dress are rare in Bollywood, so this was kind of different.

Have a fun video snippet from the show...

The bad:

I know some of you will probably be appalled that I didn't care for "Chicago," but I didn't. In case you want to talk about the stage play, I did see it performed by a community theater many years ago and enjoyed it, but I was a teen Christian at the time and didn't quite approve of how racy it was. Watching the movie version, I found I liked the songs, thought the costumes and set were fantastic, and was favorably impressed by Richard Gere's singing. However, my main problem with it is spoiler )
sarahmichigan: (Default)
So, it's probably a big old "duh" to some of you that I should have watched the classic 1962 David Lean film "Lawrence of Arabia" BEFORE I tried to watch the made-for-TV movie "A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia."

And I'm sure some of you are appalled that I've reached the age of 37 without having seen the '62 film before.

Nevertheless, it was kind of interesting to watch them in the "wrong" order, and here are my thoughts on both.

"A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia":
OK, I admit it that Ralph Fiennes' hotness was one of the reason I initially checked this movie out. I thought I knew enough about Lawrence's life that'd make sense, but I think I would have gotten more out of it if I'd seen the '62 film first.

First off, the positives: It's beautifully shot, Fiennes is radiant and makes a wonderfully beautiful but asexual Lawrence, and Alexander Siddig (still going by his real name Siddig El Fadil at this time) was a huge surprise. He plays the Arabic prince beautifully and he is stunningly handsome, which doesn't hurt. This film also deconstructs some of the mythos around T.E. Lawrence and looks at his life more critically than the '62 epic did as well.

Big negative, though: It's a terribly talky movie. It's mainly about political maneuvering, and there's a lot of dialog and not nearly enough action, though there is some smoking, smoldering chemistry (not really sexual, but intense, nonetheless) between Fiennes and El Fadil.

So, I went back and watched the classic not too long afterward...

"Lawrence of Arabia": Things started off badly because we've been having some issues with our DVD player, and when the music started up with a black screen, I thought there was something wrong with the DVD or the player. I went back to the menu, started over, and saw there was a disclaimer saying that "Director David Lean intended for the overture to play with no picture" both at the beginning of the film, and after the "intermission" that's inserted into this (rather long) movie. I was thinking to myself, "Well, David Lean is a punkass, then, because film is a visual medium!" Philistine or not, I fast-forwarded through the 4-minute-plus overture to get to the visuals... And, from there on out, I have to say it was a fantastic movie.

Did they take liberties with the truth? For sure. Lawrence had turned into a legend in his own time, much less nearly 30 years after his own death, but that's part of the charm of the movie.

It's one of Peter O'Toole's earliest roles, and he is... again the word "radiant" comes to mind. His blue eyes peering out of a wind- and sun-burned face, his platinum hair, his white robes of the desert sherif. Wonderful. And he plays him asexual but slightly effeminate, extremely smart and arrogant and masochistic, which is just right. He also does a bang-up portrayal of Lawrence's wild-eyed craziness after being captured, beaten and sexually abused (though the last bit is only hinted at extremely obliquely) by the Turks.

And Omar Sharif as Sherif Ali? OHMIGOD. I've always had a "thing" for Omar Sharif since the first time I saw him in Dr. Zhivago, but he is 10 times sexier in "Lawrence." Those eyes! I could fall into them and never come out. Even his dorky mustache cannot detract from his beauty. And, I should probably mention that he acts the part beautifully as well. :)

I do have some quibbles, in addition to the one already mentioned about Lean's lunk-headed ideas about the overture.

For one, PLEASE STOP CASTING ALEC GUINNESS AS 'THE EXOTIC ONE' for chrissake! I'd just recently watched him play the Indian character Godbole in "A Passage to India" not long ago, and here he is cast as a blue-eyed Arab. Guinness can act the fuck out of any part, but why, why couldn't they find more Arabic actors for these roles? Anthony Quinn, with his dark-browed looks, actually was passable as Bedouin mercenary, but Guinness is the ultimate English white boy. Geezy petes! *

Also, I had to laugh at an early line in the movie that that said the Bedouin could "travel 60 miles a day in the deep desert." No disrespect to the Bedouin, who I'm sure are desert experts, but they can't move 60 miles in a day in the desert - their CAMELS can. I have a lot more respect for camels after watching the film, actually. They're odd and clumsy looking out of context, but in the desert, they actually look pretty elegant, especially when dressed up colorfully Bedouin-style. And they can go 20 days without water. These are some tough animals!

When all is said and done, I'm glad I watched both, but it's certainly the '62 movie that I will definitely have to watch again.

(Also, thanks for reading and sorry that this devolved into a drool-fest over all the eye candy...)

*as I noted in the comments, this is actually me chiding the David Lean of 1984 more than the David Lean of 1962.
sarahmichigan: (Default)
In honor of Escalante's recent passing, we just re-watched "Stand and Deliver," which I liked very much the first time and enjoyed again on re-watching.

Favorite lines:

"What is cal-COOL-us?" -Angel (played by Lou Diamond Phillips)


(whispered) "I'll snap your neck... like a toothpick. Crrrk!" - Escalante to a student


"I've seen you do a lot of low-down things, but bringing your abuela to my house on Christmas Day...?" -Escalante to Angel


Feb. 23rd, 2010 10:48 am
sarahmichigan: (Default)
So, I'm feeling rather ashamed of myself that I've just now sort of unpacked and examined a stereotype/prejudice I didn't really consciously realize I had: that gay men are apolitical.

Lesbians? Sure, I expect them to be politically active.

But, come on, Sarah, there were gay men at Stonewall, and you don't get too much more political than that!

I think it comes from the fact that most - though certainly not ALL - of the gay men I've known personally have been apolitical, some to the point of apathy and/or intentional ignorance. But there are plenty of examples of gay men who are making things happen in the area of GLBT rights but also anti-racism and other social justice issues.

And by "political," I don't necessarily mean going to protest marches or organizing boycotts, ala Harvey Milk. You can have a political consciousness and not do marches; you can influence people just by the way you choose to live and the causes you choose to support with your money or by leveraging your fame.

Most recently, I've been respecting the hell out of gay men who were out and/or active pre-Stonewall. Two examples: Christopher Isherwood and Quentin Crisp.

I just finished Isherwood's "Berlin Stories" and reading up on him on Wikipedia. Definitely not apolitical.

And Quentin Crisp? I recently watched "The Naked Civil Servant" on Watch Now, with John Hurt playing Crisp. Hurt's performance is FUCKING FIERCE, and he deserves every award he got. My eyes tear up just thinking about it. Crisp is oddly passive in his love life in the film depiction (and likely in the memoir its based on), and yet the way he lived his life was so brave- he refused to be anybody but Quentin.

In an interesting coincidence, when I was googling the made-for-British-TV-movie, I found out that John Hurt will be playing Crisp again, as an older man.
sarahmichigan: (Default)
I'm amused at the mix of highbrow and lowbrow stuff to which I gave the thumbs up in my video posts: from Brokeback Mountain to Sledge Hammer!
sarahmichigan: (Default)
Previous posts in this series:
Part 1: January-March
Part 2: April-June
Part 3: July-September
Part 4: October/November

Here's what I watched & loved/hated in December:

TV Shows

LOVED The Venture Brothers Season 3. I actually think 1&2 held together better in terms of story line, but I still love the series. Also, we were introduced to The Big Bang Theory, and watched all of Season One in December. Geek love!


Enjoyable: Smallville Season 8, News Radio Season 5, The I.T. Crowd, Series 3, Heroes Season 4.


LOVED: a tie between the new Sherlock Holmes movie and Brokeback Mountain. I liked Sherlock better than I expected from the previews, but I'm a big SH fan, so anything related is mostly going to get 3 stars or more from me. Brokeback Mountain blew me away. I felt the leads really disappeared into their roles and I really believed them. In contrast, I respected the movie "Milk" but didn't feel the leads immersed themselves the same way- I always felt like, "This is an interesting performance from two heterosexual men" in a way that I didn't with Brokeback.

HATED Delta of Venus and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. Delta was kind of sexy, but I didn't believe the actors in their roles- they were so wooden and badly cast. I've read some Anais Nin, and I don't think she'd care for this adaptation, either, but what else can one expect from Zalman "Red Shoe Diaries" King? Also, "Underworld" was so bad we couldn't finish it.

Enjoyable: Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince, Love Actually, Still Crazy, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Escanaba in da Moonlight, Point of No Return, Eddie Izzard: Definite Article.
sarahmichigan: (Default)
What I watched & loved or hated in 2009, part 4:

TV Shows

LOVED MST3K: Laserblast. One of the better MST3K movies we've seen recently. I'm somewhat arbitrarily including it as a TV show, since the snarking is the best part.

HATED: None.

Enjoyable: McGyver Season 1, The I.T. Crowd Season 3, The Dick VanDyke Show Season 1.


LOVED Idlewild. It was a really interesting contrast with "Bamboozled." Bamboozled focused a lot on caricatured white representations of black people, while Idlewild gave realistic views of working black folks in the 1930s era - and the music and dancing were fantastic.

HATED Tideland. I thought it was well done and had artistic appeal, but the characters and plot were so repellent, I can't really say I liked it. Terry Gilliam is sort of that way, though, isn't he? Very artsy and brilliant, but sometimes kind of hard to take. Also thought Cloverfield was kind of a stinker- I hated the characters and was rooting for the monster. Also, Transformers 2, but I knew I was going to hate it since I didn't like the first one.

Enjoyable: Beerfest, A Tale of Two Cities (1935), Romancing the Stone, Possession, Brideshead Revisited, Besieged.

TV Shows

LOVED Saturday Night Live Season 1. Great musical guests and hosts. They haven't quite found their weekly formula yet, but that's what makes it so fun!

HATED: None.

Enjoyable: Tenacious D: Complete Masterworks, South Park Season 10, The Addams Family Season 1, Numb3rs Season 4.


LOVED Star Trek. One of only two movies I saw on the big screen this year, but also enjoyed it on DVD. Great energy and more sex appeal than the original show. Also loved the documentary "Bukowski: Born into This." I can't describe it- just watch it.

HATED Tempest. It's a retelling of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" but I hated almost all the characters. Raul Julia as a rascally Caliban with a love for goats saved this from being a total waste of time.

Enjoyable: The Hobbit, Pirates of Silicon Valley, Insomnia (original Norwegian version), Milk, Orgazmo, Eddie Izzard: Glorious.

There's still a week of December left to go, so I'll make that it's own post later...
sarahmichigan: (Default)
What I watched & loved or hated in 2009, part 3:

TV Shows

LOVED The Flight of the Conchords Season 1. My mother, of all people, recommended this to us. A crazy comedy-musical duo from New Zealand try to make it in America while dodging their one rabid fangirl. Also loving Psych Season 3.

HATED: None.

Enjoyable: Ben Franklin (PBS documentary from 2002), Doctor Who Season 4, The Mighty Boosh Season 1, BSG Season 4.5, Sledge Hammer! Season 1, The I.T. Crowd Season 2, Tripping the Rift Season 3.


LOVED The Great Escape, the Steve McQueen wartime flick from 1963. Really a lot of fun, and very suspenseful, while also touching. 1963 must have been a great year for movies, because "Charade" (Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant) was also made in '63 and I loved this film.

HATED Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. The premise sounded interesting, but I just didn't care for this and turned it off after about half an hour. We'd also heard good things about "Death Note," but I found it just "meh."

Enjoyable: Watchmen, The Color of Magic, Coraline, My Name is Bruce.


TV Shows

LOVED In Living Color Season 2. Great season, great energy.

HATED: None.

Enjoyable: Smallville Season 8.


LOVED Slumdog Millionaire. Again, maybe an obvious choice since everyone else love it, too, but I really enjoyed this film.

HATED The Hound of the Baskervilles may be the only Sherlock Holmes film I've ever given less than a 3-star rating. Matt Frewer was badly-miscast as Holmes and chews the scenery. The movie is actually tolerable in the scenes where he's absent.

Enjoyable: Pygmalion, Finding Neverland, The Mists of Avalon, The Specials, 24 Hour Party People, Modify (documentary on body mod).

TV Shows

LOVED Dead Like Me Season 1. OK, this is an exaggeration. I found this show to be OK, but I love Mandy Patinkin.

HATED: None.

Enjoyable: Nothing new this month other than "Dead" mentioned above.


LOVED Bamboozled. I'm a Spike Lee fan, and this was a good one.

HATED Van Helsing. Easy to pick on, I know. It was so bad that J. apparently shut it out of his mind. About 2 weeks later, he mentioned that we hadn't watched this movie, and I made him re-watch part of it to remind him that we had, indeed, watched this stinker.

Enjoyable: Dhoom 2, Wet Hot American Summer, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Departed, Lathe of Heaven (2002, though I think the earlier one was better), The Iron Giant, Dead Again. (Edited to add: Also enjoyed "Up" at the second run theater.)
sarahmichigan: (Default)
What I watched & loved or hated in 2009, part 2:


TV Shows

LOVED: a tie between The Richard Pryor Show and Series 1 of The I.T. Crowd. The Richard Pryor Show didn't even last half a season, but it is Richard Pryor at his finest. The show is mostly skits, and all seem based on the premise "What if Richard Pryor was a _____." As in, "What if Richard Pryor was the bartender in Star Wars?" or "What if Richard Pryor was a racist white judge from the south?" The whole first season of The I.T. Crowd was hilarious, but the season-ender was pee-your-pants funny.

HATED Harsh Realm. Well, 'hate' is a little strong, but it was disappointing. I wanted to like this because I'm an X-files fan, but it's not that great.

Enjoyable: Crusade, Dark Angel Season 1, The Monkees Season 2.


LOVED Netherbeast Incorporated. Dave Foley is my secret boyfriend, so I love anything he's in, but this was a sleeper hit.

HATED Hero. Again, it was less that I hated it than I found it disappointing. I remember thinking it was OK when I first watched it, but upon re-watching, I found the script painfully clumsy, especially the ham-fisted attempts at characterization early in the movie.

Enjoyable: Quantum of Solace, Waiting..., To Be or Not to Be, The Meaning of Life.

TV Shows

LOVED Sherlock Holmes: Murder Rooms. These are feature-length but made-for-TV movies and I love them all. They are based on the premise that the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories did some detecting with an old physician friend. These stories are sexier and darker than the Sherlock Holmes short stories and really well done.

HATED Afro Samurai. Again, really not so much about "hate" as not really getting into it, despite the fact that it has samurai and the voice of Samuel L. Jackson.

Enjoyable: Still watching and enjoying David Tennant as Dr. Who.


LOVED Something Wicked this Way Comes. I could not believe this was Disney. I loved this film thoroughly: the sets and cinematography were spot-on for the period and the performances were excellent. Creepy and fun. I was also pleasantly surprised by a little film about the scientists in Australia who oversaw the first moon landing, called "The Dish." Lovely little film.

HATED Grey Gardens. I'm referring to the documentary. I watched about half, but it was so painful, like being an unwilling witness to a family squabble at your best friend's house. The Musketeer (2001) was also disappointing- visually appealing but the acting and script were "meh."

Enjoyable: Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder, Changeling, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the Constant Gardener, Bottle Shock, Earth Girls are Easy.


TV Shows

LOVED Dr. Who: The Infinite Quest. Would I like some animated Dr. Who? Yes please! We also really enjoyed the short-lived series Undeclared.

HATED: None.

Enjoyable: Bottom, Torchwood Season 2, Eureka Season 3.


LOVED Cabaret. As a former fag hag, this is probably predictable, but I loved this movie through and through. And Peter York is at his yummiest, I must say.

HATED The Worst Witch. It starred Fairuza Balk and had a small role by Tim Curry, so I wanted to love it, but it was terrible. Let me count how many ways this movie sucked. It  had Charlotte Rae (a.k.a. Mrs. Garrett from The Facts of Life) playing a good witch and her evil sister, and THEY BOTH SING. This might be the most horrifying part of this made-for-TV movie. And I'm surprised Tim Curry didn't blush or throw up while singing, for no apparent reason other than that it rhymed with the previous line, "Where's my tambourine?"

Enjoyable: DiscWorld: The Wyrd Sisters, The Merry Wives of Windsor (1982), DiscWorld: Soul Music, Unbreakable, The Ice Storm.
sarahmichigan: (Default)
It's been a long time since I did a "What I've been watching" post, and I thought it'd be fun to look back at what I loved and hated on video in 2009. This is going to get long, so I'll break it up into a few different posts.

TV shows:

LOVED "Frisky Dingo" Season 1. This show is so wrong and so fun.

HATED Mutant X Season 1. Worst sci-fi show I've seen in a long time. We compare everything else to this now, as in, "Well, it wasn't as bad as Mutant X."

Enjoyable: BSG Season 4, Numb3rs Season 2, Monk Season 3, Doctor Who Season 2, Little Britain Series 1, Jeremiah Season 2.

LOVED "Futurama: Bender's Dream." Actually, we've been loving all the stand-alone feature Futurama movies.

HATED: Nothing, really, though several movies were kind of "meh."

Enjoyable: King Solomon's Mines (1950), Repo! The Genetic Opera, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Legends of the Fall (a guilty pleasure rather than an outstanding movie).

TV Shows

LOVED Kids in the Hall Season 4. The kids were really on this season.

HATED Earth 2. Man this was a piece of crap! Runner-up is Galactica 1980. Also a piece of crap.

Enjoyable: South Park Season 9, Smallville Season 7, The Monkees Season 1, Frisky Dingo Season 2, Doctor Who Season 3, Heroes Season 3.


LOVED Juno. It got a lot of press and awards, so this is a pretty obvious choice, but I really did like it. Runner-up, the film "Birdy" which I reviewed here.

HATED Event Horizon. J. made me watch this again, even though it sucked the first time I saw it.

Enjoyable: The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), The Brother from Another Planet, Velvet Goldmine, Fierce Creatures, Dangerous Liaisons (1988), Domino.


TV Shows

LOVED Numb3rs Season 3. I love both the science and the relationships. Runner-up: X-Men Evolution Season 3. This is the best of the cartoon X-men interpretations, in my opinion.

HATED none, but Ren & Stimpy: The Lost Episodes was disappointing. It's mostly an excuse to inject more boobs and booze into the Ren & Stimpy universe.

Enjoyable: The Kids in the Hall Season 5.


LOVED The Bucket List. Another obvious choice, but I never claimed I wasn't sentimental!

HATED the Woody Allen movie Celebrity. I hated every character introduced in the first 10 minutes, so I never finished it.

Enjoyable: Return to Oz, Scotland PA, Sherlock: Case of Evil, True Believer, A Passage to India.
sarahmichigan: (Default)
The two most recent films I've watched are "The Constant Gardener" and "Something Wicked this Way Comes."

Watching the first, I was thinking that the screen play, and presumably the novel by John LeCarre that the movie was based on, had a tricky problem with the main character. cut for minor spoiler: )

The other thing I noticed was how absolutely beautiful Ralph Fiennes is. This is not a new observation for me, but I do think it's funny that the Harry Potter films take this gorgeous specimen with his resonant voice and luminous eyes and boyish charm and turn him into this no-nose taloned freak of evil. You don't even get the full effect of his lovely speaking voice because of the way they obscure his nose with makeup. The eyes are still there, though.

Something Wicked
Why had I not seen this movie before now? I absolutely LOVED this film. It's weird and wonderful and feels nothing like the Disney film that it is. I attribute that to the fact that they had the foresight to have Bradbury adapt his own novel for the screenplay. They did have some good special effects for 1983, but I was just convinced that the actor who played the barkeep with only one leg and one arm was indeed a disabled actor and that wasn't a special effect. I looked up his bio on IMDB, and it's quite a trip! It's like the book "Fortunately" by Remy Charlip (a great children's book you should read and/or buy for your favorite kid).

Fortunately, James Stacy was able to pursue his childhood dream of becoming an actor.
Unfortunately, he was in a car crash caused by a drunk driver and lost one arm and one leg.
Fortunately, his friends rallied to his side and he went on to act again, as well as directing.
Unfortunately, he was convicted of sexually molesting an 11-year-old girl.
Fortunately, he got out early and is now quietly living with his family.


sarahmichigan: (baking)
We had a Night of Unspeakable Horror at our place last night, featuring the movie Cthulhu. Aside from the unspeakable horror of Tori Spelling being in the cast, I thought it was a decent movie. We had fun MST3K-ing it. I think others thought it was a stink-bomb, but I'd actually give it a 3 of 5 stars. The gay sex was definitely not a detractor for me, but I also thought the movie captured some of the heart of Lovecraftian horror- that you never see things full on but out of the corner of your eye, and that the horror is as much from within the heart of mankind than it is from burbling monsters from the deep.

Anyhow, the food was supposed to be horror-themed, too, though J. discouraged people from contributing anthing "actively nauseating." I had all kinds of plans for horror-themed foods but only ended up contributing two dishes: Evil Eye Deviled Eggs and Festering Devil's Food Cake. I wish I'd taken photos before we got started noshing on them, but you can see the leftovers...

P. also contributed the movie Versus, kind of a samurai zombie flick. It was funny-bad, but I couldn't stay awake for the whole thing. Gettin' old...

sarahmichigan: (Default)
With a few exceptions in the excellent category (Full Metal Jacket) and the execrable category (Vision Quest), my general impression of Matthew Modine's career is mediocrity - nothing fantastic, but not a bad actor. I have to say he totally knocked my socks off in "Birdy" (1984), though. I just finished watching it, and wow. I'd read the book by Will Wharton as a teenager (Wharton is an incredible author- I recommend pretty much anything by him, but especially "Birdy' or 'A Midnight Clear'), and I saw the movie probably at least 10 or 12 years ago. Seeing it again, I was just so impressed all over again. Modine even brings out the best in Nicholas Cage. In some of Cage's scenes, he's his usual wooden self, but there are really great acting moments from him as well.

Roger Ebert wrote a great review of it here, but if you click, be warned that there are fairly big spoilers in it.
sarahmichigan: (Default)
J. and I recently saw both "Night Watch" and "Day Watch" via the "Watch Now" feature on netflix. I recommend them.

They're part vampire flick, part supernatural thriller, but with a weird Russian twist. The cast is all unknowns (in America, anyway), though they're based on novels that have some cult following in the U.S. They're all in Russian, with subtitles, but they do fun things with the subtitles, like turning them colors, making them vibrate, and so on. Aside from the whole "Battle of the light against the dark," it doesn't feel familiar and formulaic to me, probably because I'm less familiar with the myths and legends they draw from.

They're making the next in the series, "Twilight Watch," for 2009, but they're filming in English. I'm just assuming they'll fuck up all the things I liked about the first two.
sarahmichigan: (Default)
The editor of the Milan News-Leader paper and I are former colleagues and still stay in touch. She sent me this link to a blog entry about a full-grown man who lost out to her 11-year-old movie reviewer in the Michigan Press Association Better Newspaper Contest.


Meet Ryan Michaels. Ryan Michaels is an award-winning journalist who does movie reviews for Heritage Newspapers, Inc. Ryan’s reviews are printed in the Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader, published online and occasionally broadcast over the Internet.

Ryan Michaels is 11 years old.

The “award winning” aspect of Ryan’s title refers to the Michigan Press Association’s 2008 Better Newspaper Contest. Two weeks ago, Ryan received honorable mention in the category of Local Columnist for a weekly paper with a circulation under 4,000. I’ll give you one guess as to who didn’t.


If you have time, check out Ryan's blog, too. Highly entertaining.

sarahmichigan: (Default)

Just watched "Ghost Rider."



Don't feel too sorry for me-- it was free.

sarahmichigan: (Default)
I have an offer for a free month trial of netflix (their usual trial is only 2 weeks). I can forward the email to you if you're interested. At least one other person on my FL posted about this, so I hope you're not getting deluged with offers. Just puttin' it out there...
sarahmichigan: (Default)
J. and I got hopelessly addicted to the TV show "Heroes" and have been watching Season 1 for free via Netflix's "Watch Now" feature. We just finished off Season 1 last night, and I was joking that I hoped the TV writer's strike would end soon so we could watch more episodes. There are 10 of Season 2 available on "Watch Now" but I'm  sure we could plow through those pretty quickly based on the rate at which we devoured Season 1. 

This morning, I googled the writer's strike to see what the latest news was, and lo and behold, they just settled. Thanks to [personal profile] figmentj, I have a link to when new episodes of favorite shows will be coming out. Sadly, there are no new episodes of Heroes slated until fall. :(

Here's some additional "What I've been watching" commentary:

-The character of "Dawn" on Buffy irritates me severely, even after finding out her back story. I want her to die screaming NOW, but I hear she's around for a couple more seasons at least.

-"Venture Brothers" continues to be brilliant into Season 2.

-I think the two back-to-back South Park Season 6 episodes that have Lord of the Rings references in them are sheer genius. I especially loved the quest of Lemmiwinks to escape from the Ass of Doom. If you've ever watched the LOTR cartoons from the 70s and you remember that music...? Oh, yeah...

-I thought "Jesus Camp" was well done, but it was PAINFUL to watch. Other than the talking in tongues, it's not that far from my experience growing up as a young fundamentalist on fire for Christ.

-I've had Freaks and Geeks recommended to me repeatedly. We've watched a few episodes, and I can see why people like it. It's also somewhat painful to watch since I WAS such a freak/geek in high school, but it's so fun, too.

-The Simpsons movie was fairly forgettable fluff, but I LOVED SpiderPig!

-The Final Cut, a near-future distopia sci-fi thriller with Robin Williams, had an intriguing premise, but I found it disappointing overall.

-I still really dig the movie "The Last Supper" but it does seem as if the moral of the story is not to trust conservatives because they will kill you and then go on to become president.

-I tried to watch "Flesh," an art film by Andy Warhol. While it had full frontal male nudity in its favor, I despised every single character and stopped watching after about 55 minutes.

-While I was home sick in January, I watched "Manhattan Murder Mystery" which I liked a lot better than I thought I would (I'm kind of so-so on Woody Allen movies) and "Remains of the Day." All I have to say about the latter is, "What kind of knob asks the butler to explain the birds and the bees to his godson?"

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