Saturday, September 26, 2009

Easy Virtue - DVD Review


Starring Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Barnes, Kris Marshall, Kimberley Nixon and Pip Torrens.
Directed by Stephan Hopkins.

Jessica Biel is supposed to be a sore-thumb, but she still never quite worked for me as an American girl marrying into a well-to-do British family in the 1920's. The one that captured my attention was Colin Firth, the cynical yet easy-going patriarch of this dysfunctional clan. This comedy-of-manners still works better as a play.

(500) Days of Summer - Movie Review


Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel.
Directed by Mark Webb.

I'm glad going into it I knew that they don't wind up together at the end. I was geared for it. It's had me reflect on a few things. For one thing it reminded me how good filmmaking can be. There were many good details here, as though Woody Allen was reborn as a non-pervy Angelino. It also made me think about my relationships.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Tom, our hero. He meets Summer (Zooey Deschanel), our heroine. But he likes her more than she likes him. We go back and forth within those 500 days, seeing the peaks and valleys. She eventually dumps him and screws him up, and I remember what it was like to be that guy. I felt that way for about a month after this girl dumped me, and even as I started dating other women, (She) would be in the back of my head. And then I met the One, the One who's been my wife for over 13 years and counting.

My wife was that girl too. She was dating a guy who liked her more than she liked him. She dumped him, and who knows what happened to him, but she knew she wouldn't be happy with him. And then she met Me. Her One.

Tom and Summer are likeable people, where even as it falls apart, we want both of them to be happy. Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel are charismatic enough actors that we root for them. But we ebb and flow with the characters, I couldn't help but think this is what more "romantic comedies" should be like. Director Mark Webb throws in great details here. I love that one of the walls in Tom's bedroom is a chalkboard. I loved the musical number thrown in to demonstrate how a guy feels the morning after, when the sun is just a little more shiney.

I have the Ghosts of Girlfriends Past DVD sitting on my desk, not yet watched. I didn't have much faith in it being good before, but somehow now after see (500), I think it's going to be that much more sucky.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

NBC's Heroes . . . meh

As cool as Robert Knepper's Samuel and his carnivals of freaks are, it made me wish they were actually showing up to rival Michael J. Anderson's Samson and company in a third season of HBO's Carnivale. Season 3 of Heroes so messed around with the continuity of the characters that I find I don't really care about any of them anymore. When it looked like Bennett was going to be drowned by Tracy in his own car, I was okay with it, and 'Company Man', with him as the focus, is the best episode in the series' history. He lived, though. Maybe most of the originals will be killed off or move away and the show can focus on new people showing up.

Mon-Tue TV Ratings


ABC - Dancing with the Stars hr 1 - 17.43 million viewers
CBS - How I Met Your Mother - 9.22
:30 --- Accidentally on Purpose - 8.99
NBC - Heroes hr 1 - 6.27
FOX - House hr 1 - 15.76
TheCW - One Tree Hill - 2.48

ABC - Dancing with the Stars hr 2 - 17.64
CBS - Two and a Half Men - 13.59
:30 --- The Big Bang Theory - 12.83
NBC - Heroes hr 2 - 5.77
FOX - House hr 2 - 17.25
TheCW - Gossip Girl - 2.09

ABC - Castle - 9.43
CBS - CSI: Miami - 13.73
NBC - The Jay Leno Show - 5.67

House won the night in the coveted 18-49 demographic category, but Dancing with the Stars had the most overall viewers. DWTS's premiere is down from last season.

Castle had poor audience retention from DWTS and scored only a 2.3 in the 18-49. To compare, the second hour of Heroes had a 2.7. Unless the show has a major spike in quality, I see this as its last season.

The Jay Leno Show meanwhile had its lowest ratings yet, and is probably now in the ratings realm it can expect.


ABC - Dancing with the Stars hr 1 - 14.14 million viewers
CBS - NCIS - 20.00
NBC - The Biggest Loser hr 1 - 6.94
FOX - Hell's Kitchen hr 1 - 6.65
TheCW - 90210 - 2.17

ABC - Dancing with the Stars hr 2 - 16.22
CBS - NCIS: Los Angeles - 18.32
NBC - The Biggest Loser hr 2 - 8.02
FOX - Hell's Kitchen hr 2 - 6.96
TheCW - Melrose Place - 1.45

ABC - The Forgotten - 9.53
CBS - The Good Wife - 13.72
NBC - The Jay Leno Show - 6.77

CBS rules again. NCIS had the ratings of the week so far, and NCIS: LA had decent viewer retention. The Good Wife held its own.

ABC saw DWTS decline from Monday's ratings, and The Forgotten was not as successful in retaining viewers. Looks like Christian Slater may have another series on his hands that won't last the year. (Although marketing-wise ABC never seemed to believe in this show.)

FOX's Hell Kitchen's had the edge over NBC's Biggest Loser in the 18-49 demographic, but Loser had more total viewers. In fact, Kitchen had a higher 18-49 demo than The Good Wife.

TheCW's 90210 is holding on okay (for CW) but the Melrose Place reboot is a bust.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

30 Rock wins Best Comedy

I can't help but think 30 Rock keeps winning because Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin are big-time Democrats. I mean, 30 Rock is Night Court. Funny, yes, but The Office, Big Bang Theory and Better Off Ted are funnier. Night Court was funny in its day too but it still appropriately lost to shows like The Cosby Show and Cheers.

Cloudy gets $30 million

Weekend Box Office

1. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - $30.1 million - 1 wk (Sony)
3119 screens / $9651 per screen
2. The Informant! - $10.55 - 1 wk (WB)
2505 / $4210
3. I Can Do Bad All By Myself - $10.06 ($37.93) - 2 wks (LG) -57.1%
2255 / $4461
4. Love Happens - $8.46 - 1 wk (U)
1898 / $4455
5. Jennifer's Body - $6.8 - 1 wk (Fox)
2702 / $2517
6. 9 - $5.46 ($22.79) - 2 wks (Foc) -49.2%
2060 / $2650
7. Inglourious Basterds - $3.6 ($109.9) - 5 wks (Wein) -41.3%
2519 / $1430
8. All About Steve - $3.4 ($26.68) - 3 wks (Fox) -39.7%
2159 / $1575
9. Sorority Row - $2.49 ($8.87) - 2 wks (Sum) -50.8%
2591 / $961
10. The Final Destination - $2.38 ($62.39) - 4 wks (NL) -57%
1805 / $1316
11. Whiteout - $2.06 ($8.48) - 2 wks (WB) - 2 wks (WB) -58.1%
2745 / $750

Sony Animation (Ice Age) has another hit with Meatballs, so while Disney/Pixar puts out the critical cream of the crop each year, DreamWorks Animation and Sony Animation have found ways to be players.

I think Megan Fox's already overexposed. In her first star vehicle (Jennifer's Body), audiences met her with apathy. But I think that it was also hurt by being another gory movie opening in the wake of Final Destination 4, Halloween II, Sorority Row, and Whiteout.

Inglourious Basterds is now the highest grossing movie in Quentin Tarantino's career.

Dance Flick - DVD Review


Starring Damon Wayans Jr., Shoshana Bush, Essence Atkins, Chris Elliott, Amy Sedaris, Affion Crockett, David Alan Grier and Keenan Ivory Wayans.
Directed by Damien Dante Wayans.

Parody movies have been done to death, and done so poorly by Seltzer-Friedberg (Date Movie, Meet the Spartans, etc.) that I question if the genre can ever be funny again. This movie made me a lugh a couple times, but for this style of comedy I need more than one of out twenty jokes to be funny to actually recommend it.

I liked that it had a story structure to it. Its main inspiration is Save the Last Dance, but it gets in shots at Stomp the Yard, Step Up, and many other youth-dance dramas. I laughed at the "Fame" number, which is a coming-out song ("Flame! I'm gonna be gay forever...") It had some good one-liners ("Why do porn stars pray? You know God just has his fingers in his ears going 'Lalalalala'!")

But when it can go for crude it will, and it pushes the boundaries of PG-13. But hey, if I had to watch one more Seltzer-Friedberg spoof or three more Wayans spoofs, I'd take the Wayans.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall TV Comparisons

Fall 2008

22 new shows on the Big Five.

Only 4 of them have made it to a second season. CBS's The Mentalist and Gary Unmarried. FOX's Fringe. The CW's 90210.

Fall 2006

25 new shows on the Big Five. 11 of them got second seasons. 7 of them are still around. NBC's Sunday Night Football, 30 Rock, Heroes, and Friday Night Lights (now on DirecTV). ABC's Ugly Betty and Brothers & Sisters. Fox's Til Death.

Fall 2002

32 new shows on the Big Six (when The WB and UPN hadn't merged into The CW yet.) 12 of them got second season. Only one, CBS's CSI: Miami, is still around.


Fall 2009

There are 22 new shows, though one of them is NBC's The Jay Leno Show which gets five hours of primetime. So anywhere from 20% to 40% of the new shows may make it to a second season. Pretending that eight will get a second season and the other fourteen will be cancelled, what would be my guess?

NBC's Jay Leno Show
FOX's The Cleveland Show
CBS's NCIS: Los Angeles
NBC's Community
ABC's Modern Family
ABC's FlashForward
The CW's The Vampire Diaries
FOX's Glee

Which would leave:
CBS's The Good Wife
The CW's Melrose Place
CBS's Three Rivers
NBC's Trauma
ABC's Hank
ABC's Cougar Town
ABC's The Middle
CBS's Accidentally on Purpose
NBC's Mercy
ABC's The Forgotten
ABC's Eastwick
The CW's The Beautiful Life
FOX's Brothers

The Vampire Diaries / The Beautiful Life - TV reviews

The CW has a couple new shows, both aimed to about the same age group. One I think will succeed and one won't.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES - They are in what is maybe the toughest time-slot of the week. Thursdays at 8/7. It'll need to take on ABC's FlashForward, CBS's Survivor, FOX's Bones, and NBC's comedy line-up. But with The CW, anything above 3 million viewers is a hit show.

It's very much like Twilight: The Series. The acting and directing started to bug me before the end of the first episode. The actors all have that pose-acting thing going, almost soap-opera style. The camera always has to be close up on whoever has the line, and the cast had very mannered delivery. It feels particularly cutesy after watching True Blood, and while it has its detractors, Twilight has a more compelling lead actress.

For my wife it was the soundtrack. The song always swelled to be louder than the dialogue right before every commercial break.

THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE - Having seen the ratings, this thing's going to disappear in a few episodes. Maybe if they'd called it a remake of Models, Inc., to correspond with their sequel/reboots of 90210 and Melrose Place, it would have worked for them. As is, it's a shallow drama about the modeling world, with Sara Paxton as the stand-in wholesome girl keeping her principles in a competitive industry. I think having this follow America's Next Top Model hurts it, because the reality-show drama can be more entertaining than the scripted one right after it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wizards of Waverly Place

Not too long ago, I pulled into a JiffyLube because the sign out front said "Open bay." Once I was in, I saw the sign was a lie, but I was already there, so I figured, "I do need an oil change; it'll just take a little longer than I wanted."

There was a kid in the waiting room and on the TV, she was watching Wizards of Waverly Place. My 11-year-old loves those shows. Wizards, Suite Life, Hannah Montana, etc., etc.

After over an hour, my car wasn't done, and Kid's parents car wasn't done. After 2 1/2 episodes of Wizards I was ready to smash something. I can only take so much banality peppered with an insincere laugh track.

My brother blogged about the tweencoms that Disney and Nick churn out. They're like Laffy Taffys. They're not funny, but kids think they might be.

The Jay Leno Show - TV Review

So did Jay change some of his shtick now that he's moved to primetime? No.

It's the Tonight Show earlier. Slightly different set, two chairs instead of a desk, but that's pretty much it. It's the Tonight Show. Now he had quite the "get" by being Kanye West's first interview, who choked up when apologizing once again for his rude rant stealing Taylor Swift's spotlight.

I see NBC settling into averaging 6 million viewers a night, which will keep them in fourth place, but an ffordable fourth place, and I see Conan continue to lose his audience to David Letterman and Nightline.

But for its debut night, it was big.

For the 10/9 timeslot:

NBC - The Jay Leno Show - 17.66 million viewers
CBS - How I Met Your Mother (r) / Big Bang Theory (r) - 6.83 / 5.23
ABC - Dreamgirls - 4.31

DVD Reviews (Surveillance, Duplicity, Delgo)

SURVEILLANCE (**1/2) - Starring Julia Ormond, Bill Pullman, Pell James, French Stewart, Michael Ironside, Kent Harper, Mac Miller, Ryan Simpkins and Cheri Oteri.
Directed by Jennifer Lynch.

It's been a long journey to her second film, but David's daughter makes a pretty decent, grimy little thriller that's better than it probably deserves to be.

Two FBI agents come to a small town to investigate some brutal murders. We know that two cops, a boyfriend-girlfriend team, and a family of four (mom, dad, son, daughter) were involved, and in the aftermath, we know that only one cop, the girlfriend, and the daughter are still alive. As the three relate what happened in three separate rooms, the truth slowly unfolds.

Lynch gets effective performances from unexpected sources. French Stewart, best known as the squinty-eyed one from 3rd Rock from the Sun, plays a chilling cop. He and his partner get off on shooting out tires of strangers driving through these parts, then terrorizing them with the good cop / bad cop routine. SNL vet Cheri Oteri plays exactly the kind of loving mother that Wes Craven would kill off halfway through. And for what he's supposed to do, Bill Pullman gets the quirks of his agent into Twin Peaks territory.

The ending's a little easier to guess than I would have liked.


DUPLICITY (**) - Starring Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Tom Wilkinson, and Paul Giamatti.
Directed by Tony Gilroy.

Ocean's 2.

This con-game featuring two ex-spies should have been better. The pedigree's there, the dialogue's there. What's missing? I never felt engaged with what the characters were doing nor did I care about their fate. I was more interested when Tom Wilkinson or Paul Giamatti was on-screen as either of the two unscrupulous CEO's, which is Problem #1. Problem #2 is that there are so many twists and turns and cons within cons that I stopped caring what the truth actually was.

It also doesn't help that the story's told out of order. Sometimes the lack of narrative order makes the movie better (Pulp Fiction, Memento, Once Upon A Time in the West, etc.) Not here.

Now Julia Roberts and Clive Owen can both hold the screen, and I noticed I did enjoy their scenes when they're just talking about side matters, but when it got back to the story, I didn't care. Because one or both of them could be lying and we won't know until the end what the case is.


DELGO (*1/2) - Starring the voices of Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt, Chris Kattan, Anne Bancroft, Val Kilmer, Malcolm MacDowell, Eric Idle, Michael Clarke Duncan, Louis Gossett Jr., and Kelly Ripa.

I had no intention of ever seing this, but after the Avatar preview, I had to.

On one hand, it's a fairly generic war-story. Two different races live near each other. One evil instigator frames both sides for things to make them go to war so she can then assume the throne of one of the sides. But a boy from Team A (named Delgo) and a girl from Team B meet in secret and fall in love, and together they set out to expose her.

Its main problem is that its one attempt at humor is through Delgo's best friend voiced by Chris Kattan. It's a twitchy annoying Jar Jar type character.

As it's animated, both races are not human. One side looks like gelfings from The Dark Crystal, the other side look like the lizard race from Enemy Mine. One side has wings, the other side can use the Force with red rocks. Or something like that. The sides fight, it's all bloodless to keep a PG, but neither my 6-year-old nor 11-year-old liked it.

Must've been on the shelf for a while too. Didn't Anne Bancroft die about three years ago?

Come to think of it, the final big battle reminded me a lot of Attack of the Clones. So there's just three ways it reminded me of Star Wars to its detriment.

Monday, September 14, 2009

9 - Movie Review


Starring the voices of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Crispin Glover and Martin Landau.
Directed by Shane Acker.

If you've ever wondered what a movie would be like that combined The Longest Day, The Matrix, Pink Floyd The Wall, and Elmo in Grouchland, what glue are you sniffing?

Moving right along, this post-apocalyptic visual wonderfest is a grown-up ethereal exploration of teamwork and the humanity of inhuman objects blessed with partial human souls. This was a world I wanted expanded and played in longer. Alas, the plot is too thin to go beyond 80 minutes, but I enjoyed my time regardless.

Elijah Wood voices 9, the ninth burlap-puppet thing that awakens to find the human race has been annihilated. He explores this world alone until he finds 2, a fellow whatever-they-are, but 2 is quickly captured by a red-eyed dog-skulled beast-machine. On his own again, he sets out to find others. After all, what about 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8?

I found it fitting that Frodo voices 9, as his journey takes him to a distant factory with a tower and a glowing red eye overseeing it.

State of Play - DVD Review


Starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright Penn, Helen Mirren, Jason Bateman, Jeff Daniels, Viola Davis and Harry Lennix.
Directed by Kevin MacDonald.

This love-letter to the newspaper industry is a dying breed of its own - an intelligent adult thriller.

Crowe's the hard-nosed, shaggy-haired reporter. Affleck's his former college roommate, and also happens to be a U.S. Senator. When the good senator's mistress winds up dead, the two try to figure out who would have killed her and why. I enjoyed the thrill of the discovery, of actual investigation. It reminded me of All the President's Men in that respect.

The last five minutes were a bit of a letdown for me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ellen DeGeneres as 4th Idol judge

Ellen's a good name and all, but Simon Cowell is a music producer. Randy Jackson is a former musician and music producer. Paula Abdul and Kara DioGuardi are singer/songwriters. Ellen's been a sitcom actress, stand-up comic, talk-show hostess, but... why is she the fourth judge?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Our yearlong Ben Lyons nightmare is over. Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott have restored credibility to At the Movies. Scott's 30-second intro to his review of The Burning Plain was more interesting than anything said on that show in a year. Glad to see these guys in the seats.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

SNL hires 2, fires 2 female cast members

I'm disappointed. There's a guy or two int he cast I'd like to see go before getting rid of either of these women.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fall TV Schedule - Saturday

Dateline, Cops, America's Most Wanted, 48 Hours Mystery, college football, reruns... no one really watches TV on Saturdays. if they do, they're catching up on DVR what they recorded earlier in the week.

Fall TV Preview - Friday

New Shows:

BROTHERS (FOX) - Michael Strahan plays an ex-NFL star (thanks for stretching) who moves back home after a shady accountant loses all his money. Hijinks ensue with his wheelchair-bound brother (Daryl "Chill" Mitchell) and his parents (Carl Weathers, CCH Pounder).

ABC - Supernanny
CBS - Ghost Whisperer
NBC - Law & Order
FOX - Brothers / Til Death
TheCW - Smallville

ABC - Ugly Betty
CBS - Medium
NBC - Southland
FOX - Dollhouse
TheCW - America's Next Top Model encore

ABC - 20/20
CBS - Numb3rs
NBC - The Jay Leno Show

Fall TV Preview - Thursday

New Shows:

FLASHFORWARD (ABC) - For 2 minutes and 17 seconds, the whole world blacks out and sees six months into the future, where they see that millions of people are dead and cities have been destroyed. Joseph Fiennes plays a FBI agent trying to figure out what's going on, and for good measure, two Lost vets (Sonya Walger, Dominic Monaghan) are in the cast. The first episode is supposed to be epic.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (TheCW) - Another Lost vet - Ian Somerholder - stars as a bad-boy vampire intefering with his younger vampire brother's high-school dating. Sounds like it's aiming for the Twilight crowd.

COMMUNITY (NBC) - Joel McHale plays a lawyer who's ordered back to school after it comes to light he never really went to law school. There he hooks up with some strange college students, including Chevy Chase. This is supposed to rival Modern Family for Best New Comedy of the season.

The Saturday Night Live Thursday Specials will only last six weeks, at which point Community will move to 8/7 and 30 Rock will return to follow The Office.

ABC - FlashForward
CBS - Survivor: Samoa
NBC - SNL Specials / Parks & Recreation
FOX - Bones
TheCW - The Vampire Diaries

ABC - Grey's Anatomy
NBC - The Office / Community
FOX - Fringe
TheCW - Supernatural

ABC - Private Practice
CBS - The Mentalist
NBC - The Jay Leno Show

Fall TV Preview - Wednesday

New Shows:

MERCY (NBC) - Like ER but the nurses are the star of the show. Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 17 Again) is the novice nurse making her way at a New Jersey hospital.

HANK (ABC) - Kelsey Grammer returns to sitcomland as a corporate executive who must learn to live with more meager means after getting downsized, and be a better husband and father than he has been up to this point.

THE MIDDLE (ABC) - Patricia Heaton, who co-starred with Grammer in Fox's back to You, will now follow him in her own sitcom about getting by in Indiana. Neil Flynn (Scrubs) plays her husband.

MODERN FAMILY (ABC) - Mockumentary-style comedy focussed on three families: the nuclear family with parents trying be "hip" with their three growing children, the gay couple who's just adopted a baby, and the middle-aged guy on his second marriage with a new stepson. Ed O'Neill leads the ensemble. This has been getting very positive buzz.

COUGAR TOWN (ABC) - Courtney Cox stars as a newly-divorced mother of a teen who's getting back into the dating scene. Josh Hopkins (Swingtown), Christa Miller (Scrubs) and Brian Van Holt (Threshold) are in the cast.

GLEE (FOX) - Fox aired the pilot back in May and now it's back. It's about the joy of glee club, a Freaks & Geeks for 2009.

THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE (TheCW) - This melodrama about modeling follows America's Next Top Model. Not sure how wise that is, but Mischa Barton, Sara Paxton and High School Musical's Corbin Bleu star.

EASTWICK (ABC) - Inspired by the Witches of Eastwick, it's about three witches and the Devil mixing it up in a small New England town. Rebecca Romijn's one of the witches.

ABC - Hank / The Middle
CBS - Old Christine / Gary Unmarried
NBC - Mercy
FOX - So You Think You Can Dance (results)
TheCW - America's Next Top Model

ABC - Modern Family / Cougar Town
CBS - Criminal Minds
NBC - Law & Order: SVU
FOX - Glee
TheCW - The Beautiful Life

ABC - Eastwick
NBC - The Jay Leno Show

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fall TV Preview - Tuesday

New Shows:

V (ABC) - The 1980's alien-invasion show gets rebooted, with Scott Wolf (Party of Five, The Nine) and Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost) as the humans suspicious of the human-looking "visitors" led by Firefly's Morena Baccarin.

NCIS: LOS ANGELES (CBS) - It's all a plot by CBS to fill their schedule with acronymed titles. This spin-off is said to be a little less ensemble-y and more focussed on the two leads (Chris O'Donnell, LL Cool J) who spend most of the time undercover.

MELROSE PLACE (TheCW) - Tuesdays for The CW look just like Fox circa 1994, with this revisit following 90210. The old apartment building is back, lived in by a new crop of twentysomethings, but old favorites like Laura Leighton, Daphne Zuniga, Thomas Calabro and Josie Bissett have agreed to show up. Katie Cassidy and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz are among the new generation.

THE FORGOTTEN (ABC) - Christian Slater leads a group of amateur detectives who work on finding the ID's of John Doe murder victims. Actually, Slater was a replacement for the original lesser-known lead (Rupert Penry-Jones).

THE GOOD WIFE (CBS) - Julianna Margulies plays a wife standing by her man (Chris Noth), a high-powered State Attorney brought down in a call-girl scandal. Now he's behind bars and she's gone back to practicing law to pay the bills. Josh Charles and Christine Baranski co-star.

NBC - The Biggest Loser
FOX - So You Think You Can Dance
TheCW - 90210

ABC - Dancing with the Stars results
CBS - NCIS: Los Angeles
TheCW - Melrose Place

ABC - The Forgotten
CBS - The Good Wife
NBC - The Jay Leno Show

Fall TV Preview - Monday

New Shows:

ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE (ABC) - Sounds like Knocked Up: The Sitcom. Jenna Elfman is a successful career woman who gets pregnant after a one-night stand with her fratboy neighbor (Jon Foster, Life As We Know It). Grant Show (Melrose Place, Swingtown) plays her ex-boyfriend/boss.

TRAUMA (NBC) - Cliff Curtis leads a group of San Francisco EMT's. It's like ER, except it's all about the accidents before they get to the hospital.

THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) - Jay has taken up five nights a week of primetime real estate that he promises to be a comedy show, not a variety show. And the Chin has to be feeling a little satisfaction that The Tonight Show has fallen behind The Late Show with David Letterman in ratings since he left.

ABC - Dancing with the Stars
CBS - How I Met Your Mother / Accidentally on Purpose
NBC - Heroes
FOX - House
TheCW - One Tree Hill

CBS - Two and a Half Men / The Big Bang Theory
NBC - Trauma
FOX - Lie to Me
TheCW - Gossip Girl

ABC - Castle
CBS - CSI: Miami
NBC - The Jay Leno Show

Fall TV Preview - Sunday

New Shows:

THREE RIVERS (CBS) - Alex O'Loughlin (Moonlight) plays an organ-transplant surgeon. The show's gone through some overhaul, as boss-lady Julia Ormond was replaced by Alfre Woodard.

THE CLEVELAND SHOW (FOX) - Seth MacFarlane now has three shows on Sunday night, as this Family Guy spinoff features Cleveland Brown moving to Stoolbend, Virginia, and getting married. Features the voices of MacFarlane, Mike Henry, Sanaa Lathan and Arianna Huffington.


ABC - Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
CBS - The Amazing Race
NBC - Sunday Night Football
FOX - The Simpsons / The Cleveland Show
TheCW - Local

ABC - Desperate Housewives
CBS - Three Rivers
FOX - Family Guy / American Dad

ABC - Brothers & Sisters
CBS - Cold Case

More DVD Reviews



Starring Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, Matthew Perry, Thomas Lennon, Michelle Trachtenberg, Melora Hardin and Hunter Parrish.
Directed by Burr Steers.

I was hoping this movie would be better than the atrocious 18 Again, which failed to make a star out of Charlie Schlatter in 1988, and it was. I was pleasantly surprised. It was Zac Efron's first movie not relying on his singing, and he has legitimate screen presense. He's a likeable lead, and funny enough as a thirtysomething trapped in a high-schooler's body. Stealing the show though is Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!) as his geeky best friend who poses as his father.

And this is the only movie I can think in the past few years with a non-preachy pro-abstinence message. It felt refreshing.




Starring Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Steve Zahn, Jason Spevack and Clifton Collins Jr.
Directed by Christine Jeffs.

Chick flick.

Yes, the plot is about two sisters who run their own crime-scene clean-up business, but it hits a lot of familiar notes. In fact, I think Practical Magic followed the same arch, except with witches. Amy Adams and Emily Blunt are two actresses who can make anything watchable, but I was disappointed how predictable and inconsequential it wound up being.

It gained a half-star for giving Mary Lynn Rajskub (24's Chloe) a role where she isn't scowling and barking her lines into a headset.




Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Martin Starr, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Margarita Leviera, Wendie Malick and Jack Gilpin.
Directed by Greg Mottola.

Hey, a teen movie that John Hughes would be proud of. I guess it helps that it's set in 1987.

Jesse Eisenberg plays a rich kid whose parents suddenly don't have the money to support him. He has to get a job for the first time, and the only place he can find is the local amusement park. There he befriends the Weird Kid (Martin Starr) and falls for the Girl with Issues (Kristen Stewart).

Plenty of laughs are scored from the supporting players, and the very Eightiesness of it all. Greg Mottola (Superbad) tells his story with heart, though, and in the end, that's what matters.




Starring Tony Goldwyn, Monica Potter, Garrett Dillahunt, Sara Paxton, Aaron Paul, Spencer Treat Clark, Riki Lindhome and Martha MacIsaac.
Directed by Dennis Iliadis.

Nothing much to say about this grisly revenge flick except that everyone involved is capable of better, and it really bugs me when the preview for a movie includes a scene that doesn't happen until the last thirty seconds of the actual movie.