Monday, June 11, 2007

Arrivederci, Goodbye Sopranos

I just wanted to take a small posting to big farewell to the greatest television show ever made - The Sopranos.

Last night was the final episode ever. With his right-hand and brother in law Bobby shot dead and consiglieri Sil in a death-bound coma, Tony was made organizationally weak with the next crosshair likely to hit his face. But no, it was a relatively peaceful finale. A sad one, nonetheless. Closures, galore. Characters that you haven't seen since the first season (e.g. Meadow's friend Hunter), AJ's finding a new meaning of life and a career (thank God!), and many implications that Tony was likely to be indicted on RICO charges soon - were all highlights of the episode.

The last scene showed the Soprano family (Tony, Carmela, AJ and Meadow) meeting up in a diner, and the screen went black for 80 seconds, followed by the end credits also without any music in the background. David Chase just decided to leave that all to imagination. Some guys in the diner could have been hitmen. Or maybe just patrons.

Farewell, my favorite show. You've entertained well.

Movie Review: Knocked Up

Movie Title:Knocked Up
Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel and Kristin Wiig.
Directed by: Judd Apatow
Genre: Comedy/Romance/Stoner
My Rating: 9/10!

I kid you not. Unless Live Free or Die Hard or something unexpected like Stardust takes the box office by storm, Knocked Up has got to be the best summer release this year. It is not just a comedy, but I would strongly refrain from calling it a chick flick too. It does have some humor comparable to 40 Year Old Virgin, yet manages to portray something totally different and new. It's about time we saw something new, anyway.

Seth Rogen plays Ben Stone, a stoner who lives with a quartet of stoners, all dreaming of launching a web site and making a lot of money one day. But until then, their only goal is smoking up and stoner activities. On the other hand, gorgeous Katherine Heigl plays Allison Scott, a behind the scenes assistant at the E! channel, who lives with her sister and brother-in-law in their out house. Allison gets promoted to an on-camera interviewer and in joy, decides to celebrate with a night out. At the club she meets Ben, they both get drunk, come home to Allison's place and ta-da! Some miscommunication makes Ben not use a condom... and the consequences of the same occur weeks later.

Upon confirming she's pregnant, they both decide to make the one-night-stand more than that and try knowing each other better. But her being a career woman, and him a stoner with weak perspective make matters more and more difficult. Allison's older sister Debbie, played by Leslie Mann who looks more glamorous than ever, has had a dysfunctional marriage with her husband Pete, played by an ever-reliable-and-funny Paul Rudd. This discourages Allison from getting deeply involved with men and yada, yada, yada, breaks up with Ben.

But yea, this is barely half the movie what I've written out for you above. And I may have made it seem like a chick flick which it is not. The laughter and wisecracks/dumbcracks in the movie are constant with a lot of "unused" humor. The gynecologist scenes, of course some stoner scenes, Ben and Pete bonding, and the two sisters getting angry and throwing out the F-word like a bad hangover. Katherine Heigl is absolutely hot when she cusses, reminds me of the scene in Grey's Anatomy when she had to admit she underwear-modeled her way through medical school. I haven't watched that show since the first season, and now I'm glad that's no longer the source to see some Katherine Heigl/Izzy.

Seth Rogen beyond excelled in his first major lead role. He totally owned the part. Katherine Heigl did a great job too, better than one would expect. Hope this gets her more good movie roles and break-away from that homewrecker of a TV show. The cameos were hilarious as well. SNL's Kristin Wiig contributed her creepy-low-but-constant voice for a couple of scene, SNL's Bill Heder too said a word or two as a cutting room guy. The gyno's (including Office's BJ Novak) were all funny in their own way. Above all, Ben's stoner friends - heading by Jason Segel from How I Met Your Mother boldly played their parts which would get them roles in the next National Lampoon stoner flick, or if they make a Harold & Kumar 3.

What I liked about this movie was: it did not encourage nor discourage pre-marital sex or abortion. It does not self-righteously make any religious, liberal or moral proclamations whatsoever. But it does show the heavy consequences. The climax in this movie, spoilers saved, is less realistic and less likely, but a cheerer ending to have.

A laugh-riot comedy, eye candy (Heigl), extreme stoner stuff and in the end a feel-gooder. Now that's a great dish to serve!

The movie does nudge over 2 hours, but lacks boring moments. Take lots of pop corn.
9/10 - never thought I'd give that to a summer movie.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Sarah Silverman bashes Paris Hilton!

Now, I don't blog gossip material, but this is real and hilarious! Last night at the MTV Movie Awards, ballsy hostess Sarah Silverman pep talked Paris Hilton in front of the entire audience and the whole world on TV, about going to jail etc..

Here's the clip:

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Movie Title: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Starring: Johnny Depp, Kiera Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Chow Yun-Fat, Bill Nighy, Jonnathan Pryce, Jack Davenport, Naomi Harris and Stellan SkarsgÄrd.
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy
My rating: 8.5/10

What a great movie, a true relief after relatively disappointing part-3's of Spider-man and Shrek so far this summer. Let me warn you that the approach was, once again, different that than of it's predecessors. The comical content got reduced even more this time, even though everyone's favorite Jack Sparrow manages to offer a laugh at regular interviews.

Johnny Depp stole the show once again even though his wasn't completely the lead character in this movie. Character development was exceptional in this movie, and I'll elaborate on that bit below.

The story continues with Elizabeth (Knightley) and Will (Bloom) searching for Jack Sparrow (Depp) with the help of Singaporean pirate Sao Feng (Yun-Fat) and former enemy Captain Barbossa (Rush) and the sorceress Tia Dalma (Harris). Of course, every one of these have a hidden agenda as far as rescuing Jack goes. Elizabeth has the guilt of trapping him in the last movie, Will wants to bring his monstrous father back to life, Barbossa wants his ship (Black Pearl) and I'll leave the other 2's secrets off here before I could spoil it all. Davey Jones is still around, so are his tentacles, locked-up heart (both ways) and sea-monster crew. Just weaker and more controlled by the East India Company. Pirates all over the world are facing a possible extinction with the British Empire expanding above the speed limit and giving all support to the E.I.C.. This gives incentive to all the remaining pirates to join together and fight the imperials. Interesting costumes and well researched characters of pirates from India, Africa, Portugal, China etc. add delight to the movie.

The acting and special effects were spectacular this time again. Depp may not get another Oscar nomination for portraying the lone drunken pirate, but definitely gets an applause for the same. Orlando Bloom has matured significantly and his character of Will Turner is much darker and deeper. Kiera Knightley looks beautiful just like her performance as Elizabeth Swan. Geoffrey Rush and Bill Nighy showed their experience and maturity in their roles, and the pirate crew is lovable, as usual. Chow Yun-Fat made his presence felt, and like I mentioned in an earlier review, he does have potential to play a great baddie! Naomi Harris adds strength to her character of Tia Dalma, and does a decent job for a lesser known actress. Past romances are always a good way to keep a sequel going ;-)

I was actually glad that the romantic angle wasn't dragged this time. More action, less talk and wonders galore highlighted this feature. Only downsides may be that it spans over two hours, mercilessly sheds a lot of blood, It was a great way to (if they are) end the trilogy. Rumors say there may be more Pirate movies. I don't see Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley returning if there are any.

I give this movie an 8.5/10. It isn't as grand as Curse of the Black Pearl but at least it has a definite ending for a movie. The start may make some weak hearts sob. Glad I had a pretzel to munch half-way through the movie.

Do stay past the end credits. And enjoy!