The High Countries

because it’s all paperweight…

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Rotten Tomatoes never lets me down. I’m serious. I go to check out what theater is closest — it uses Flixster, (the RT affiliate app on my iphone) and gets me there. What’s coming out next week? What’s good? What’s bad? What’s not worth 13.50-plus in IMAX? Same result every time. Rotten Tomatoes is genius!

Well, tally one in the let-me-down category now.

Recently, I made a mistake of checking for the first review of Iron Man 2 — the apocalyptically anticipated sequel to the 2008 blockbuster Iron Man. I found a review. It was from the floundering paper mill, The Hollywood Reporter, courtesy of our good friend (I don’t know him, who does?), Kirk Honeycutt.

“Well, that didn’t take long. Everything fun and terrific about “Iron Man,” a mere two years ago, has vanished with its sequel.”

Kirk Honeycutt, you’re a douche misinformed.

I do a little more research. This is the guy that LOVED:

Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D

Death at a Funeral (yep, the new one)

The Back-Up Plan

Clash of the Titans

Remember Me

Green Zone

The Lovely Bones (arguably the most dismal movie of last year).

I’ve been bamboozled! I keep looking around….WHAT?! He HATED Brothers and Sherlock Holmes. I’ve been duped! So here it is; my attempt to rid the world of that dastardly first review.

Iron Man 2 was a total blast. The villains weren’t quite up to The Dark Knight standards, but this isn’t Batman’s world is it? We’re dealing with a new hero here. Rich, charming (oh man, is he charming), hilarious, and the king of any situation…drunk in the Iron Man suit — no problem!. He’s smarter than you. He’s got more money than you. He’s needs nothing you have and has whatever you might want. He is the perfect superhero and IM2 is his fueled, dying, sarcastic stage. The show lasts two hours, please stay through the credits.

IM2 also weaves the perfect intro into the “Avengers Era”. Clues throughout, a brilliant Easter Egg at the end and intertwining characters make it the perfect kickoff to the films leading into The Avengers, the anticipated superhero Magnus Opus set for summer 2012.

There were a few things wrong with this movie. Don Cheadle just seemed out of place. I’ll be honest, its tough to compete with Robert Downey Jr. on any screen at any time; he’s pure entertainment. Cheadle’s Lt. Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes was, ‘mehh’. Terrance Howard didn’t steal the show, neither did Cheadle; we’ll call it a draw. Why can’t Stark just control both suits? There’s our fix.

Scarlett Johansson was perfectly cast as the busty poised Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanoff and played it coolly across the entire movie. She had her scene. It was neat. It was quick. It was nothing new. Though, for some reason, we had to watch our boy Jon Favreau go all Mike Tyson and box some random security guard! I’m trying to watch Scarlet get her kick on!? I couldn’t’ focus during the fight anyway… I kept thinking Elektra…Elektra….why do I keep think … The suit! It’s the leather suit! Yep, got it. Elektra continues to ruin my life annually.

Once we got back to our boy Tony, everything in the world seemed right again. Oh! One more note — I love Sam Rockwell, I hope to never give him a negative review as long as I live. He was great as the “outcast younger brother” Justin Hammer. Well done, as always. And Mickey Rourke in tats wielding long blades of lightening … I’ll take it. But that’s not why we came to see the movie is it. We came for the man of the hour: Indiana Jones, Jack Sparrow, Jake Sulley!

This is Tony Stark, the most loveable playboy/superhero/billionaire on Earth — hopelessly in love with Pepper Potts almost as much as he’s in love with himself.

Kirk Honeycutt, you just…you really screwed the pooch on this one.

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May 4, 2010 Posted by | Entertainment, Film Reviews, Lost, Movies, Television | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brothers

Why Maguire, Portman and Gyllenhaal weren't nominated is beyond me...

My girlfriend (Heidi) had a take on Brothers unmatched by any I’ve read. Needless to say, if you haven’t seen the movie. See it.

“…Brothers was a movie i was not expecting at all. Not that i was expecting a movie full of feel-good dialogue and a fairy tale ending but the gritty reality of human experience was intensely thrown into my face. The movie begged me to look at a complexity of characterization I’m not entirely sure i was ready for.

As i was watching i kept thinking i knew what was going to happen. Typical story of a political bashing on the ugliness of war and the irrelevance of marriage in our society today. A “higher calling” by deconstructing traditional institutions and values. I could not have been more wrong. At every turn, every scene change, every climax, I found myself trying to evaluate the purpose of the story.

I kept thinking okay this is going to be about war. I was wrong. This is going to be about destroying the perfect marriage. I was wrong. This is going to be about the false redemption and eventual fall of the rebel brother. I was wrong. This is going to be about how the sins of the father are visited on the sons. I was wrong. This is going to be about children being affected by the whims of their parents. I was wrong. what then, could this movie, so in my face, so painful, so raw have been about?

I was then brought to two specific scenes. The first was the ending scene: a picnic table in the dead of winter. A place where truth was finally communicated, where hope was finally allowed to show a glimmer of a spark. It was perfect. Just a picnic table — a symbol of carefree happiness, the American dream, the perfect life — right in the dead of bleak winter — a symbol of cold, death, and evil. the other scene i thought about was at the very beginning when the family is at the dinner table. The subject of war was being discussed and uncle Tommy asks the youngest daughter who exactly were the bad guys daddy was fighting. The scene goes on with the older daughter answering with humor but the question he asked, i realized, was crucial to the movie’s development and message.

After thinking about this movie for several days with those scenes running over and over in my mind, i finally came to the conclusion that the movie was centered around portraying the deep complexity of humanity. When dealing with people, a simple understanding of right and wrong, black and white does not apply. Each human in the move was capable of great good and great evil in varying degrees. Every time i identified with the “good” guy, they would do something i hated or made me sick. Not a soul in the movie was innocent. Not even the little girls. At the end of the day, however, each received grace. GRACE was the theme. It was the name of the mother. It was tattooed over daddy’s chest. It was granted to each character in their darkest moment.

Humanity is complex. Each person a deep cavern incapable of comprehension. Necessary for life, necessary for “happiness” … is grace. Consequences will be paid, but grace must be given. Unselfish, unconditional grace.

Great movie.”

— Heidi Myers

March 1, 2010 Posted by | Entertainment, Faith, Film Reviews, Lost, Movies | 1 Comment

T-minus 28 days. And if you look over to your left, you’ll see the fat lady singing. That’s right. It’s over. LOST is coming to a close starting Feb 2, 2010. The one show that gave this blog its wings oh-so-long ago is finally beginning its phoenix flight. Is that the right term?

In honor of LOST kicking the bucket, I’m going to resurrect the blog in rare fashion (frequent posts) for the remainder of its season. What better way to reignite the blog than with a grease-lightning round of “Machine Gun Movie Review”, courtesy of the common cold. Friday I woke up and literally could not feel my face. I was sick. I did no writing. I did no calling. I did very little talking. I did, however, do a frequent amount of movie-watching. Nine in two days actually.

Here’s a rundown…

Food Inc.: What a great inquisitive movie. A fantastic look into the actual nuts and bolts (or is it salt and steroids?) that make up our food industry. Scary, convicting, horrifying all wrapped in one big bowl of cheap, subsidized, fast-food burgers. (8.91/10)

The Cove: Maybe one of the coolest doc’s I’ve seen to date. I wish the end would have been a little more triumphant, but the overall movie was beyond excellent. Oceans 11 meets Free Willy meets Bourne Identity. Fantastic, should win Best Doc at the Oscars. (9.2/10)

Bronson: One man’s take on Britain’s Most Violent (re: Famous) Prisoner. What many thought was going to be Director Nicolas Winding Refn’s take on the crazed, though uniquely charming prisoner, Charlie Bronson turns out to be actor Tom Hardy’s masterful portrayal of a man so disturbed for stardom. Bronson, a journey of fame: any press … may actually be good press. (8.02/10)

The Messenger: Woody Harrelson puts on a masterful portrayal of a broken down, compelling, Iraq War soldier. Sure, we’ve seen these types in movies before, but Woody’s, much like all his other stuff, lets us in on a secret … without a few turns of events, we could easily be that guy too. Ben Foster hops onboard as the new guy, assigned to bring the news of a soldier’s death to the Next Of Kin, along with Captain Tony Stone (Woody). Maybe one of the most heart-wrenching movies I’ve seen this year. Also maybe one of the best. (9.31/10)

Tyson: straight Mike Tyson drama thanks to HBO. I thought I knew Mike Tyson’s life well … until I watched this film. Talking head interviews I still can’t believe made it to screen. The sheer drama in his voice has to be worthy of some award. I dare you to do anything but stare as you watch his interviews. What a life… (8.34/10)

Where the Wild Things Are: I thought I had it on pretty good information that this was a children’s movie for adults. Whoever told me that was wrong. This is a children’s movie for children, and me going into it with a  different mindset ruined it completely for me. I was unimpressed, though, there were some legitimate laughs. (5.9/10)

The Lovely Bones: Quite possibly one of the worst films I’ve seen in years. It takes a lot to get to the top of my movie list, let alone the bottom. One main criteria is that you need to adapt or create already great work. The Lovely Bones, the novel, was already good (great), apparently and the film adaptation butchered it. First 19 minutes: compelling, great, intriguing. Last (what felt like) 8 hours: horrendous. (2.85/10)

Julie & Julia: My mother LOVED this movie, so naturally, I was bit hesitant. Though, after I finished it, I was overcome with this giddy sense of inspiration. Maybe I should challenge myself to something for a year? It probably helped that I watched it three days into the new year, I am a blogger, I love to eat and that I love Amy Adams and Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci (who were all exquisite) but regardless; truly, honestly, fun. (8.78/10)

Dead Man Walking: This is an old 1994 classic. I liked it. It doesn’t much fit with the current Oscar season, but oh well. I watched it. It was good. It was not great. Sean Penn was good. Susan Sarandon was great. I thought it had a great message about Jesus and his life and what it meant to confess, love our enemies and work towards redemption, but for some reason … I felt it should have been even darker. Terrible crimes are typically done by terrible people, show me some of that. (6.86/10)

Brief Interviews With Hideous Men: I love The Office. Brief Interviews With Hideous Men was a masterful written work by the late David Foster Wallace. It touched The Office’s John Krasinski while at Brown University. While watching it, you can almost see why Krasinski – playing the tired, selfish ex-boyfriend of the film’s main’s narrator and lead – chose to play the movie. At the conclusion of the film, we get “The Monologue”; you know, the one that solidifies in your mind exactly why this was considered Krasinski’s passion project? The one any stage actor would kill for? And that’s the rub, the monolgue would have worked infinitely better on a stage – where two people can actually keep our attention for 9 minutes and where big, 25-dollar words seem perfectly placed as opposed to corny and forced – rather than on the screen. The moment Ryan/Subject #20 (Krasinski) begins to speak like David Foster Wallace, my interest got up and walked out. I had no energy left to translate the postmodern boil of rape-induced love connection that followed in the hitchhiker-story’s wake. It was a wreck; any 80 minute adaptation of a 330 page, four-part short story would be. So, it’s not Jim’s fault? (5.31/10)

January 4, 2010 Posted by | Entertainment, Lost, Movies, Television, The Office | Leave a comment

LOST Live Blog: LaFluer

Our Boy Sawyer Jim James LaFluer

Our Boy Sawyer Jim James LaFluer

Lost Live Blog

Rules: I will say whatever comes to my mind when and how it comes in. Koppin in my roommate. He may be interjecting thoughts as well if I deem them fit for print. This is un-doctored, straight-from-the-hip first thoughts.

Let’s do this.

9:00: we’re starting, let’s do this. It’s the recap from the last couple. Faraday is talking about dislodging themselves from time. I’m gonna dislodge someone’s dome if I don’t get some answers. Still recapping…

Charlotte just died. That really pissed me off.

Locke is talking. Locke, if anyone can do it; you can. Get me back to the island Jesus.

9:02: the recap is over. The ep is beginning. Hollerluejah. Miles is becoming intriguing.

Holy whaaaa?? We just saw the massive Atlantis/Sphinx guy. Holy Hannah Montana.

I think we’re seeing a different perspective on the folks while John was in the donkey wheel chamber.

Is the episode starting? Sheesh. I need a clue. I need four to six clues.

Our four-toed ancient friend...

Our four-toed ancient friend...

Okay, never seen this. I think we’re rolling.

Are sawyer and Juliet going to be together soon? Nose bleeds stopped… that’s good. Maybe they’re set. Maybe the record is a runnin’.

9:05: Jin is the coolest around. He’s like the black guy this show doesn’t have any more. The quiet one with the one-liner wisdom.

9:06THREE YEARS LATER

9:08: Dharma creeper(s) are dancing in the room. ‘Hoot-i-nanny’, what a word. We need to throw that in more. One’s named Jerry. Prediction: These guys are going to die.

Ben’s dad is drunk and wandering. Horace is Ben’s dad right? No. Horace is … who si Horace? He’s throwing dynamite like a fraternity boy.

9:10: Okay, sawyer is LaFluer. That’s creepy as all get out. That is also awesome.

COMMERCIAL 1 – WTF, I’m going to kill myself. Koppin: WTF.

9:14: Myles is a Dharma, too? Horrace is the leader? Horace is about as capable as a box of crayons.

9:16: okay, so everyone has lived on the island for 3 years after the oceanic 6 left. Got it. The 6 are living on the ‘mainland’ and the leftover folks are living on the island.

She’s having her baby. Whoever she is. I think I missed something.

THREE YEARS EARLIER

9:18: What the FRICK is going on. Are we really doing this? Back and forth and forth and back? There’s faraday. I like faraday. Make everything better faraday; you’re my boy.

Charlotte cannot be DEAD. I will be beyond pissed. There she lay on the ground. Faraday is not doing so good. He should be on suicide watch. Or … maybe … time travel watch. Eh??

9:19: “Charlotte ‘moved on’ and ‘we stayed’. Its over. Wherever we are now, whenever we are now (cliché!?!?) – we’re here for good.” – Daniel ‘kill-myself’ Faraday

9:22: Koppin: this show sucks.

“Maybe when you get there; you’ll want to go back to the orchid again, then back to the beach, and then back to the orchid. It’s the only plan you guys have…” – Myles.

Slow, steady and cynical wins the island race – just ask Ben. Thank you Myles. Someone finally said it. Sawyer is being a douche leader. Hence forth, he shall be known as ‘Sir Walkabout’.

9:24: Someone is screaming. It’s … I don’t know who it is… its some random lady. Some dudes are holding a gun to her brain.

“We don’t even know when they are…” – Myles (no way! Time travel!)

Who-knows-who is about to shoot someone else until Sawyer and Juliet cap em'.

Who-knows-who is about to shoot someone else until Sawyer and Juliet cap em'.

9:25: Sawyer just killed him. Holy, nope! Juliet just killed him. NO! Sawyer killed the other dude.

“Juliet is bad ass, dude.” – Koppin

Guess what – they’re going to go back in time and those two guys they got shot are NOT GOING TO BE DEAD! Called it. Done. Nailed it.

COMMERCIAL 2 — One side comment, this Charles Schwab commercial just said, “who’s bailing you out?” That’s a good point Charles … that’s a very good point.

9:26 (I’m a little off): there is a TON that Juliet knows and she isn’t saying. Which makes me want to beat her with a set of deer antlers until she talks. Or we could blackmail her with a make-out with BEN. Money. Make her talk. Whatever it takes.

9:27: We gotta bury them? Will the monster get them? The dead guys?

Jin. Again, comin through. He said he’d carry the dead guy. Jin is legit. If Locke is Jesus, Jin is John the Baptist.

Apparently either Sawyer or Juliet killed this lady’s husband. That’s a grave deal.

9:28: Okay, we’re back to these mushroom smurph things. Sonic fence or something? Yeah, try a time travel, time warp, brain shredder thingy. Freaking lady. She’s starting to piss me off. Turn it off woman.

9:29: “okay its off” – the lady. She’s a lying sack of hammers.

Koppin: you walk through it first, sister

Sawyer: you walk through it first.

Bryce: mmm hmmm

Here they go. They walked through. They’re down. She pulled something from her ears. She is a tool. I hope she dies in childbirth. Man, her face is so creepy.

The Smurph Fence

The Smurf Fence

9:31: They got an intern delivering a baby. Standard. Seems logical to me.

Koppin: Juliet is working on cars. That is so hot.

9:32: Juliet’s got a few jack issues. (They’re going to kiss [Juliet and Sawyer]… nope didn’t happen). Everything Juliet tries she fails at, in regard to women. A little like jack right? Juliet has a thing for jack. Sawyer is falling for her – they’re gonna kiss!

No, they didn’t again. I’m out of my league here. I want to pre-call something so bad.

Jin’s back — in a dharma suit. I like Jin. Have I said that?

“I pulled Juliet out of retirement.” – Sawyer (cool)

9:33: So Jin and the guys are looking for the oceanic 6!? I like. I like very much.

Juliet delivered the baby. Hollerluejah. Sawyer looks like a proud papa. That’s funny.

COMMERCIAL 3

Update: Is anyone going to see NEXT, wait, its called KNOWING, with Nick Cage? Isn’t that the same movie? I might take a girl to this. It would make me look so good. And by good I mean bad.

Koppin: I will go and see that movie. I hate the title, but I will go and see it.

Bryce: I will watch it streaming on netflix.

9:34 (a little off, again): Horace is a bit of a douche. Sawyer is calling himself James LaFluer. That’s sort of cool. Nice Southern Louisiana name.

9:35: Horace hasn’t heard of the Black Rock. Well news flash, Horace is LYING. Either Horace is literally retarded or he’s lying. Okay, he could be retarded. We all know Jacob runs the show.

9:36: “you are not dharma material” – Horace-suck.

That’s right captain America. Sawyer is not Dharma material. Sawyer is legit. He just can’t lead very well.

9:37: Oh, Juliet used to be an ‘Other’ … sort of. See, Juliet knows crap. Myles needs to read into her dead mind and tell us what’s going on.

“Daniel, no more flash?” – Jin.

Heck yes, no more flash. Keep that blood in the nose. Now bring Charlotte back.

Faraday sees Charlotte! She bounced back to when she was young! Yes! Does that count as calling something?!

9:38: Sirens. I think the monster is coming. I’m positive. Well, maybe. Either that or a hostel invasion … I think.

Koppin: hahaha, creepy FREAKING lady. She has an assault rifle in her hand in the kitchen.

RICHARDS BACK! He puts the proverbial and literal stake in the ground. A man that never ages with good style. Man, so many chicks and dudes want Richard.

COMMERCIAL 4 — Thoughts: what if this is the night that the others attack? And they upset it or something? What if they change time? I don’t even care. Charlottes back. Faraday n’ Charlotte 4 Life. I may or may not be getting that as a tattoo.

9:43: Horace doesn’t stand a chance to Richard. Man, Richard is legit. He should be the face of L’Oreal, right?

9:44: Sawyer just called Myles ‘banzai’, hahahhhaha.

9:45: “It’s a good thing I ain’t asking your permission.” – Sawyer ‘I-think-on-my-feet-and-it-gets-me-in-trouble’ LaFluer.

Koppin: if my wife looks like that (Juliet) at 45 … I will be a happy man.”

9:46: Sawyer and Richard. Having a heart to heart on the bench. “Did you burry the bomb?” sawyer has inside info. Nice. Finally he’s not talking with his Season 5 belly.

9:48: “Two of my men are dead and my people need some kind of justice.” – Richard.

Rich and LaFluer have a beer together on a bench, talking about the days of 2001

Rich and LaFluer have a beer together on a bench, talking about the days of 2001

So kill Horace? Geez, who gives a case of mango’s about him. They’re going to take the baby aren’t they. Richard’s folks are going to take the baby. Nope, I was wrong. They’re talking Paul’s body. I don’t … I just…

I’m LOST. I’m going to punch Koppin’s TV.

9:50: She’s going to take a minute with the body. They’re playing that theme song – ‘Life and Death’ from season 1. I’m going to starting bawling. She took Paul’s wooden cross. Hmmm.

9:51: Juliet and Sawyer-suck on the dock. Juliet’s going to leave. I can’t say I’m surprised. Its 1974. Wow. Bell bottoms and disco. Can’t say I blame her.

Oooooohhh, “what about me” – sawyer. They’re in LOVE. Potentially. They’re going to kiss. I know it. Two weeks sawyer says. Gimme two weeks. Sawyer looks like a proud pappa, again.

Sawyer convinces Juliet to throw her life away.

Sawyer convinces Juliet to throw her life away.

Side note: This could be the worst decision of Juliet’s life.

THREE YEARS LATER

9:53: it’s been more than 2 weeks, Juliet. Whoooops.

Koppin: I just want to point out right now that if Juliet is in this room right now, Sawyer will have gotten with both the women that Jack has been interested in.

9:54: hahah, there’s Juliet. Brilliant! Nice sunflower Sawyer, are you going to give that to Kate when she comes back and you become peanut butter in her dirty hands? Tell me I’m wrong … I dare you.

They pecked, that counts. Ha HA! They kissed. I was right. Okay, they just full on open-mouthed. I was right. However, for the record, this was too easy to count as a pre-call.

Bow-chica-bow-wow

Bow-chica-bow-wow

9:55: Whoa, whoa. The L word. They’re in love apparently. Well there’s nothing on this freaking island. I’d go for a 45 year old washed up surgeon, too.

Side note: Sawyer wants to lead, but Jack is the leader and always will be. Jack wants the girls, but Sawyer always get them, and always will.

9:56: Horace is a daddy. It’s a boy. I don’t like Horace. Sawyer looks like the proud papa again.

9:57: “it’s only been three years. Three years since he’s (Paul/KATE!) been gone. Is that really long enough to get over someone?” — Horace

Bingo was his name-oh. The answer to that is no. Sawyer is in love with Kate and when he sees her it will be like Zues and Athena.

News flash Sawyer, Jim, James, LaFluer: she IS comin’ back. Sawyer hears Horace’s penetrating wisdom and now looks like a depressed father.

9:58: phone rings. What if that is Kate. Gosh I hope it is. I’m the biggest fan of Jack/Kate, but I don’t think I know the subconscious emphasis I have that leads me down the Sawyer Kate path. Hmmmm. We’ll see. (This whole episode has been so lovey-dovey. Where’s the smoke monster? Where’s crazy Rousseau killin’ her friends?

9:59: Hurley, Jack, (the car!), Jin – Sawyer realizes she’s there…

Sawyer sees what he knew he'd see someday.

Sawyer sees what he knew he'd see. Perfect.

KATE. Bam. Who’d a thunk it? I would. We all did. Nicely done.

L O S T

March 5, 2009 Posted by | Entertainment, Lost, News | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LOST: Episode 6 — Doubting Thomas, The Island and Proxy’s.

Jack (Matthew Fox) finds himself where everything started.

Jack (Matthew Fox) finds himself where everything started.

It’s back to the land of the LOST. Except this week – it’s not so cut and dry. I mean, the castaways are back. Some of them at least, but this time the rules have changed. As always, Thursday morning was met with a recap of the previous night’s episode. I’ve heard many takes on this week’s (218/09) sode’:

You [we] learned absolutely nothing in 58 minutes of Lost that you didn’t know in the first 2. Complete filler.”

“It was good not great – talk about a bunch of biblical references.”

“I like the bible stuff – the writers are so smaaaart!”

“This may be my favorite episode of the season, thus far.”

And to think that the first and last comment came from two people who use to be dating.

It was really until this morning that I realized that this episode really was something great. Granted, it was a caught-in-the-middle-of-a-much-bigger-story episode, but was that all? This week we opened with what we all thought was a flash back to the pilot. It was not. And we soon realized – crap, they made it. They made it back!? Then we got one of those 52 minute story’s explaining how they got where they just told us they’d be. Part of me felt like we could have done without that. Let me get straight to the point, though.

The most intriguing thing about last night’s episode was the fact that each person onboard the flight had to recreate the original flight sequence. We saw this clearly play out with jack putting his father’s shoes on Locke’s dead body in order to recreate the original flight. We also saw this when we noticed that Sayid was handcuffed to an officer of the law in order to become a proxy for Kate – who was in a similar boat on her maiden flight. And I thought that was it. That must be that Jack was himself, Hurley the same and Sun, too, right?

Wrong.

Think about it. Here we go.

Locke = Jack’s daddy – coffin-ized

Sayid = Kate, cuffed like a renegade.

Hurley = Charlie, with his guitar and carefree spirit (I made the second part up)

Sun = Sayid, who was looking for a lost love

Ben = Hurley, both ended up being late to their flights

Jack = Jack, because he is weak, and the only person weak enough to play Jack, is Jack himself. Pussy.

And now for the kicker….

Kate = Claire (Kate is prego with Jack’s baby from the night before). Whooooaaaa.

What is going to happen to the extra business classer’s that we got to meet briefly in last night’s episode? It hurts my mind to think about. I’m sure they’ll somehow find a gun, point it at someone and die – or they’ll shoot at someone in a raft as they’re paddling away, just before they jump points in time – wait a second!? Eureka!

As for Ben and his gladiator face, I think it’s obvious that he tried to kill my love, Penelope. Can’t you just see Ben about to execute Penny the same way Widmore’s boy Keamy did in Alex? And then, in walks Desmond – all excited because he just told Ben he wasn’t going to The Island. And then as Dez realizes that Ben always gets the best of everyone, Ben softly says, “Desmond, this doesn’t concern you. But if you stop me, I will hurt you.” What’s the only way Desmond will go back to the island – if Penny’s in trouble right? Maybe she dies, or is really hurt and the only way to save her is to go back. Back from where he once came.

Side note: Jack’s character arc coming on around with the inclusion of doubting Thomas (Jack: someone like me exists?!) and the Good Will Hunting-esque, “it’s not your fault” moment from Ben — of all people — was outstanding.

This is all turning out to get very good. Geeeeez, I love LOST.

February 19, 2009 Posted by | Entertainment, Lost, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lost: Season 4 Finale

LOST Finale

As it all goes down, fans wait, watch and wilt till next season.

There’s No Place Like Home: Part 2 & 3

By Bryce VanKooten

Well, its all over. At least for now. How do we all feel? Can we describe it all in one word? Legit. Two words: deceptively inspiring? I suppose we need a time machine to get out exactly how we feel.

This year we saw lots and lots of things happen. Wait, no we didn’t. The season started with the ever-fateful ‘the folks on The Freighter are coming to get us’ and ended with the incredible twist: ‘the folks on The Freighter, although tricksy little hobbits’s––did not get us’. Granted, we got to meet Faraday (awesome, eccentric, all good things) and Charlotte (hmmm) and I’ll be the first to admit that I like them, but frankly––when all was said and done, plot wise… It was a simple season.

Remember first season when we saw a Hatch and were entertained just by the thought of it for about 15 episodes? Or when we saw only the feet of The Others walking by––just a glimpse––and we had more Goosebumps than a 6th grade library? Those were the days when nitwit fans were mixed in with the rest of the nuts and left to fight amongst themselves as to who would get the last handful of theory crumbs. Nowadays though, where do we live?  What is it going to take to get us back to that state of wonderment without that nostalgic sense of hate we so often feel? Can it be that we are too smart for our own good?  Always thinking outside the magic box, we can only be duped if hand-fed lies? I say nah, but that’s closer than not.

If ever there was a breaking point for me, it was the end of Season 3. It was the first season where I had to moan along with the rest of the world week by week (or should I say, week off to week on) because I had used up my luxury of DVD seasons (see previous post Lost: The Logic-Free Fee). It was then when I sat back and said, “Lost, I hereby swear I will disown you like a right-wing father to his hippie son if you don’t impress me beyond belief.” And like a true nonconforming child, it did. There I was, watching Jack drink his life away–– popping pills like a MLB All-star thinking to myself, “Well, it looks like this is it. I have to quit. I gotta shut er’ off.” And then it happened. They took me to the future. And like Never, Never, Land, I was hooked again.

When this year’s finale rolled around, I can’t say I was in as angry of a place, but I can say that I wanted some movement. When Desmond did his Marty McFly bit in The Constant, I went wild. When Keamy went from ‘not that tough’ to ‘okay, he could be tough’ by going hard as The Wire and shooting Ben’s daughter, I coincidentally wanted to jump up and scream, “That’s what I’m talking about!” You can’t have anyone to really love if you don’t have anyone to really hate. Throw in a loathsome person like Benjamin Linus (who we all love, lets be honest) and you have a terrific show. Leverage that dynamic with the island’s properties and now we’re talking. The Season 4 finale did just that. It didn’t do everything I had hoped (i.e. reveal to us the/a time machine, show where the island went after it ducked below the surface, give us more insight into where Ben goes after banished, etc, etc), but it did enough. I liked how the island disappeared. I liked how Sun sold out for her final scene with Jin (fyi; that was heart wrenchingly painful to watch and I likely won’t watch it again; I liked Jin, I did…. I did). I liked how Sawyer was the man, again––if only for a little while. He kind of went to that hey-don’t-forget-I’m-still-Sawyer place where he does things, almost subconsciously, just to show how much cooler than Jack he is. I thought his jump was well placed and perfect. And if you didn’t hear what he said to Kate in the whisper, you can hear it here.

Bottom line, this finale was like a punch in the belly button. A good punch, though. It hurts a bit; torments you for a while, but its good to know that you can still feel. You can still hurt–– and they still care enough to take the time and effort to punch you.

June 3, 2008 Posted by | Entertainment, Lost, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lost: Ji Yeon

Ji Yeon Lost Season 4

Well, its the homeward stretch to the bow-your-head-and-hope-for-quick-filming session that we have all be so dreadfully awaiting for the past 8 weeks. Question: has it been more fun to look forward to Meet Kevin Johnson, or less fun knowing there will be a substantial hiatus from our addiction in the aftermath of the Writer’s Strike? Regardless, we press on. With the winds of theory as our guide, we once again hit the beaten, battered path to Episode 8.

Last night I watched Rescue Dawn. If you haven’t seen this movie, I challenge you to sign up for the free Netflix membership (which, I did), wait your two days for delivery and watch a solid flick. If for no other reason, if gives you a chance to watch two fellow Losties at work (François Chau and Jeremy Davies). Currently, Davies’ character Faraday is my second favorite on LOST, second only to Desmond and therefore Rescue Dawn was that much more terrific. It also happens to be, quite possibly, the best role of Davies’ career. It truly is a shame that no one saw this movie––both Steve Zahn and Jeremy Davies are absolutely brilliant in this film. Anyway, sign up, get er’ done.

Ji Yeon (Season 4: Episode 7) left me with sort of a bittersweet taste in my mouth. Altogether looking forward to the episode and coincidentally impacted by its story, the more I think about it, the more it frustrates me. LOST, could you do me a favor? Could you answer one friggin’ question? I’m not asking to know exactly what the Smoke Monster is. I’m not relinquishing to use my wish to discover the Island’s true power or Ben’s ulterior motives. I’m just asking to know, say, does Jin get to see dry land again? Can you give me that? Can you just tell me some of one person’s story? That way, when I lay in my bed, thinking of all that just went on, I don’t have to look at the list of characters and repeat over and over, “…don’t know this, don’t know this, don’t know that…” One time. That’s all I’m asking. One character, 99% answered, with the final 1% coming in the Series Finale.

As the past couple of weeks went flying by, I wrote (as you can read above) that I got the impression that Juliet was going to die. This could still be very true, but after watching last week’s episode, I didn’t realize how much I’d be both taken by suprise and how much I like(d) Jin; how much we all liked Jin. Probably the staple for change, Jin presented to us the simple side of Lost and combined cross-cultural divides with unbridled social boundaries. Jin was the friggin’ man. If were on the island and Jacob came screaming looking to throw me in the cabin, I’d hide behind Jin. We’d all hide behind Jin. I could guess, I suppose, as to how he died. We all already have. We all want him to defend Sun in their attempt to leave, only to give his life for hers. We all want Jin to continue to be the man. Producers, if you screw this up, I will hunt you down and take your first born. Needless to say, as soon as I saw Hurley, I knew what had happened. Usually, for stuff like that, it takes me a second because I don’t enjoy trying to figure it out––I call it my Sixth Sense Motive. If I sit back, take it all in and play the viewer, its usually more fun. But as soon as Hurley was standing at the door, I knew we were about to go see a very dour situation.

Last week’s episode, although understandably gloomy, was not fun––for three reasons. It tore me up at the end of the episode, tore me up throughout the entire week and then, to cap it all off, they played us for idiots with that retarded Michael ‘surprise’. Come on, really? That was about as surprising as heartburn from Greek food. Ji Yeon was about as enjoyable as a hangnail and proved its a sad thing when I find more comfort from filling out NCAA practice brackets than I do from my favorite hour of the week––thanks for the gloom; my despair ends Thursday.

March 18, 2008 Posted by | Entertainment, Lost, Television | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lost: The Other Woman…and…Etc.

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Strategically located between episode 6 and 7, respectively; our discussions here are as needless as tassels on wedding tables––but in some minds, still necessary. Throughout this intense and emotional roller coaster that is Lost: Season 4, we’ve been nailed with Time Travel, broken down with the Desmond-Penny story and left out to dry like an old batch of heroine, only to be used when they need us again––Thursday nights at 9pm. Our addictions have been leveraged to a point of contention, but still we talk, we think and we revel in our ability to genuinely hate the thing that we love so much. Time Travel? In your brain? Hmmm, I want to time travel in my brain…

There are a couple quotes I want to share before we see Episode 7. They are as follows:

Jorge Garcia (Hurley):As shocking as these scripts have been for us, nothing has shocked us more than the end of episode 7.

(What he didn’t include, is that he said the same thing about the end of episode 8, which trumps episode 7. why i outta…)

Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet):Yesterday I was reading the script of the episode that comes after the one dedicated to my character. I cried a lot, because I learned something that I didn’t like finding out about.”

Michael Ausiello (AP): “A significant death occurs sometime after Episode 4, but before Episode 8.”

(It hasn’t happened yet, so we’re good to go! America, go for launch!)

For the past couple of weeks, my sister and I have been discussing the various paths that Lost could take, now that its regained strength, story and fervency. I try to be as up front as I can after that weeks episode, saying things like, “Yeah, I thought that would happen”, “I honestly didn’t think they’d take it that way” or even “Molly, no due respect––you are wrong”, but every time that week’s installment ends, I find that I try to seemingly convince myself that I did think that was going to happen. So, once and for all (and probably more than once?), I’m going to get this stuff on paper…er, electronic paper. Earlier today I was asked, “Why do you blog?” My simple response was, “Because if I don’t, I don’t sleep as well.” Five is a good number, so we’re going to go with that. Here’s to sweet dreams.

1. Juliet is going to die––before last weeks episode, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be the case, but after they did a little ‘telling of her story’ it seemed as though she could go. Then she kissed Jack. Then I realized Jack’s life blows. Then I knew she was going to die––at some point.

2. Michael (and Walt) is Ben’s spy on the boat––I know, I know, you’ve heard this already, but the fact of the matter is that he’s his spy in 2004 and 1996, or should I say Walt is. How much would Michael want to go back in time and relive his life, this time with Walt? Ben not only has spies in different topographical locations, but also various time locations. Do we call it time locations? More like, year locations. No, we’ll call it Ben Locations.

3. Sun will actually have her baby off the Island––making her and Jin the last two of the Oceanic Six. Pregnant women die on the island, that’s just a fact. Unless they pull a Thank You for Smoking and add the necessary, ‘Thank god we invented the ________’ explanation line, she’s going to die. And if she did, Jin would go Anton Chigurh on The Others, The Freighter Folk and Mr. Penny’s Dad. It will take a full season to contain his furry. Not being able to speak to anyone + a deceased wife + everyone blaming ‘the island’ + not knowing what ‘the island’ means = Lost-esque frustration. Oceanic Six are final: Jack, Hurley, Sayid, Jin, Sun and that hooker Kate.

4. Jeremy Davies character will continue to be awesome. I’ve never loved a wide-eyed, frizzy haired relativity-fueled, molecular electromagnetic physicist more in my entire life.

5. Kate is going to do a couple things, both of which are explainable (i.e. Its Kate).
a. She will somehow get on The Freighter and screw something up bad––this is like saying ‘there will be a bomb explosion in the middle east in the month of March’, but still, its a prediction. Even great writers have filler.
b. Kiss Jack again soon. They may even get together, but this is obvious speculation. If they did get together, it would explain why jack is so standoffish in the flash forward. Stupid Kate. She’s like that 8th cup of coffee––know its not good for you, but always gets your heart going.

One thing’s for sure: for the next two weeks, Lost is going to be real good.

March 10, 2008 Posted by | Entertainment, Lost, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lost Season 4: The Constant

Lost Season 4 The Constant

The morning began with a slow and steady beeping, rising with time, gaining momentum as it rang out in my ears. Outside of cancer or a kitchen full of home-schoolers, I don’t’ think there’s anything I hate more than my alarm. Now granted, if I liked it, I wouldn’t get up and its track record for a brisk, day-ruining wakeup proves its flawlessness. However, as I lay there at 5:58am, completely unconscious as to the reason I had set my alarm nearly 75 minutes early––it hit me. Like a bucket of water dumped on the brain, it was time for…

L O S T

Going to Pepperdine’s University’s rendition of The Bartered Bride made it impossible for me to watch the previous night; however, coffee in hand, eggs on the stove––I was the readiest. The Constant (Season 4, Episode 5, Summary: Desmond=Awesome) brought a sense of hope for a series that finds its audience in a very hopeless place. We are all lost on an island together; the island of doubt. We don’t doubt that there’s answers, we just doubt that they’re satisfactory. Last night gave us all a taste of some of the puzzles we have yet to be introduced to. The puzzle piece of time. The puzzle piece of The Freighter. The puzzle piece of new characters. And yet, as my roommate Todd (who has yet to officially start the series [re: obscene anger]) sit in the wee hours of the morning, awaiting The Constant’s end, he could see my face––beaten by feeble morning fog, but simultaneously gleaming with a new light: Progress. We’re making headway! As I said before, I feel as though I am on the island with them. Each episode like a pot hole for a blind man, each mystery as ghastly as the last, as if I were to wage my fate along side them and take up arms against the enemy. Wait, who’s the enemy! Which side would I join? And yes, watching me watch Lost is nearly as good as the show itself.

Regardless, The Constant brought up situations were have yet to see in a full episode of Lost (outside of Finales). For example, when Faraday (Davies, my new favorite character, fyi) decides he needs to talk to Desmond, it actually happens! Obviously, no on thinks they should talk, but then Sayid throws that guy around like its their wedding night and––right on––they talk on the phone! We get some answers! Now, I completely understand that Kate has to do her thing. With last week, we saw that Jack has some Dad issues, Kate has some matronly issues; I get it, it all needs to be laid out. But don’t you just find it ridiculous that we have to waste an entire week on that stuff? Don’t you wish we could get some good ol’ we’re-in-the-future-this-is-JACKED(no-pun-intended)-UP secrets every week? We want answers, but 95…hmmm…96% of the time, they’re pointless. We’re like a guy on the JV bowling team––we want our chance, but we know once we get it, it probably won’t live up to expectations.

So there I sat. So incredibly happy that the way I believed the show would go, was actually becoming a reality. Overjoyed that my two favorite characters (Des and Faraday) got to have an episode all to themselves. And not only to themselves, but also with some progress. Do I still doubt that the show can live up to my hype? Sure. But do I still think it has a chance? Definitely. And up until last night, I would have given a much different answer. One that most likely involved chairs flying across the room.

March 1, 2008 Posted by | Lost, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lost: The Logic-Free Fee

Lost Season 4

A Brief Synopsis of One’s Man’s Journey

By Bryce VanKooten

Solely relying on last week’s shenanigans (Writer’s Strike) here in the greater LA area, many of us hope to put our lives back on hold and re-start our proverbial television engines. Yes, the news is in: It takes a whole city to raise a show; and it takes all of one hour to regain my trust.

There I sit relaxed in the moment, free of all anxiety (outside of that brought on by the last 4 hours) watching Lost Season 1. Pleasantly joined by my roommate at the time Dave; I sat. I listened. I loved. I have never fallen in love before, nor have a fallen hard for much of anything. I would call myself a simple man, nay––an inherently simple man––willing to see Transformers for its good and able to listen to soundtrack music till I’ve added more lyrics than a Sean-Paul tune. However, there comes a time in every man’s life when he faces his antithesis and realizes, before he proceeds, that he has met not his match but his victor.

So it was with Lost.

Four episodes in, I had relinquished myself to the joys of Doritos and Red Bull and gave a swift, “Be gone!” to the remainder of any other roommates that dared enter their own living room. Free from the woes of academia for the remainder of the month; I was a man possessed. I had a new show, new socks and new scripts––this was the pinnacle of living.

This wonderland lasted only as long as could have been expected (24 Episodes = 24 hours in the course of 3 days) and I was off to the neighbors house to get the second season. Shortly following that season, and after many lengthy philosophical, rhetorical and impossible discussions, I found myself not in need of a cure, but another fix. Six steps down the hall, and there she was: Ahhhh….iTunes. Dave and I — both as addicted as we possibly could be and pleasantly alienating the world — split the cost and decided to binge together. Its never been truer: Pain does love company.  We swiped the credit card faster than Mrs. Clinton at a pants store, and had our 10 episodes — locked and loaded. I wish I could tell you that we watched them carefully, savoring them by the minute knowing the inevitable cliff of depression that was to come in their wake…

We didn’t.

The next couple of months saw a lot of cursing, attempted illegal downloading and other normal stuff (who could quickest track down Cuse and/or Lindelof for ransom, etc). Needless to say and despite all of our anger, during the months of season 2 (and some of 3) we all knew that any given episode would involve three things:

Back Story: Back story that would so fervently mock our intelligence that we would honestly consider breaking the very television we were watching (ex: Hurley’s still fat! Sawyer found a frog! Jack has dad issues!).

Answers … or Lack of Answers: Moments in the episode when an answer seemed inevitable, but never probable.

The Oath: A silent, bitter oath would be taken following each episode — from those of us watching — realizing after all the torment we put ourselves through, we would cancel our wedding before we would miss the next episode. They hopelessly have us. We’re hooked.

Why is this so? Why can something so similar to herpes (its sly way of embarrassing, disrespecting and torturing) bring you back so loyally? Why don’t we face the facts of this injustice and react accordingly by stop watching!?

I’ll tell you why: Its a mystery.

My dad has told me for years, “You can’t add logic to an illogical situation” and after watching LOST, we all know this is true. For some reason, unknown to man and unproved by science, I keep watching. We all keep watching. This is Lost to me.

Granted, there have actually been some fairly insightful (and altogether plausible) theories regarding the Island’s powers, questions and curses––most of which I have checked out and dismissed. Most of them are touched on briefly in Lostpedia and others simply roam the depths of the World Wide Web, stirring mostly in the minds of their creators. My favorite (and most fun) is Jason Hunter’s theory concerning the entrance of Time Travel to the inhabitants of the Island. If you’ve never read it, I urge you to do three things (in this order): Get a cup of coffee. Set aside a good half hour. And as a friend put it, “Prepare to get your mind blown”.

Regardless of opinion, there’s more ‘fun’ to come, wonderful answers to be given and glorious epiphany’s in store, I’m sure. Bitterly, I would rather not have to wait, but alas, we all will. And each week, wrought with hate and focused on revenge, we clear our schedules and tune in. Each week I’m confounded by LOST’s ability to line me up and kick me in the crotch. To keep me coming back to the thing which tortures me most. Lost––quite frankly ––is something I will never understand and for that; I tip my cap, offer my hours of service and volumes of thanks and prepare my crotch once again…

February 12, 2008 Posted by | Lost, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments