Category: television

2010 book/movie list

Last year, I posted all of the books and movies I enjoyed (or did not enjoy) in 2009.  I thought it would be nice to do it again this year!

When I listed all of the books I read, I was ashamed.  Only five.  I could blame it on being busy with school/stress etc. but there really wasn’t an excuse.  So, I made a resolution to read at least two books a month in 2010.  That’s twenty-four books.  Way better than five.  I thought that seemed pretty reasonable, considering my work schedule and getting back into animating.  Unfortunately, I didn’t make my goal.  But, I read almost the entire year.  Some books took me two months to complete (because they were so bad) but I pushed through and the important thing was that I continuously read.

My goal for next year is to complete the Harry Potter series.  I read the first three when they came out but then I stopped for some reason so I’m basically going to have to start all over!  I know, I’m way behind but the books just look so huge and it seems like I’d really have to be in the mood to read them and my interests were always elsewhere so I have put them off but I will put them off no longer!

Book List 2010 
January
Nevada by Joshua Stephen Porter (3.5/5)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Re-read) (3.5/5)

February
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel (3/5)
March
Chuck Klosterman IV by Chuck Klosterman (1/5)
Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler (2.5/5)
April
Night Chills by Dean Koontz (2/5)

May
Lucky by Alice Sebold (3/5)

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (4/5)
June
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (3.5/5)
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer (2/5)
July
The Shack (2/5)
August
The Damnation Game by Clive Barker (4/5)
The Spinal Cord Perception (Re-read) (3.5/5)
September
Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk (4.5/5)
Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz (0/5)
November
(I was still reading Fear Nothing and eventually had to stop because it was so bad.  And I never not finish a book.  I literally could not go on.) 

December

The Giver by Lois Lowry (3.5/5)
So, sixteen books!  Not twenty-four but way better than five!  Because the Harry Potter books are so large and I’ll probably be busy animating, I might not make it to twenty-four next year but as long as I’m continuously reading, I think I’ll be happy with that!
Upcoming Books I Want to Read
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Exquisite Corpse
Siddhartha
Animal Liberation
The Undertaking
Weekend
Wasted : A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
Go Ask Alice
Movie List 2010 
January
Christmas Evil (2.5/5)
Julie & Julia (4/5)
Ink (3.5/5)
Paranormal Activity (2.5/5)
The Final Destination 3D (3/5)
Martyrs (4.5/5) Read Review
Lightning Over Water (0/5)
Hurt (2/5)
February
Lying to be Perfect (TV) (3/5)
Halloween (2007) (2.5/5)
Halloween 2 (2009) (2/5)
All About Steve (3/5)
Transformers (3.5/5)
Jennifer’s Body (4/5)
The Children (3.5/5)
Tamara (2.5/5)
The Hills Have Eyes (2006) (TV) (3.5/5)
District 9 (4/5)
Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen (3.5/5)
Sydney White (TV) (3/5)
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (TV) (4/5)
Zombieland (3/5)
March
House of the Devil (2/5)
Last of the Living (2/5)
The Crazies (2010) (3/5) Read Review
Humpday (2.5/5)
Zombie Dearest (1/5)
Precious (3.5/5)
A Perfect Getaway (4/5)
Humble Pie (1/5)
Mr. Brooks (4/5)
Dead Snow (2.5/5)
30 Days of Night (3.5/5) Read Review
Repo: The Genetic Opera (3/5)
Jacob’s Ladder (3.5/5)
The Convent (3/5)
Zombies of Mass Destruction (3.5/5)
Possession (2.5/5)
Lo (2.5/5)
April
Kill Theory (3.5/5)
Zombiegeddon (0/5)
Masters of Horror: Family (4/5)
The Sorority (1/5)
Soldier’s Girl (4/5) Read Review
How to Be a Serial Killer (3.5/5)
Pandorum (2.5/5)
Homecoming (TV) (2/5)
Moon (4/5) Read Review
Party Monster (2.5/5)
Hallowed Ground (TV) (1.5/5)
The Comeback (TV Series) (3/5) Read Review
The Collector (2.5/5)
Where the Truth Lies (3.5/5)
May- ZOMBIE APPRECIATION MONTH!
Blood Creek (4/5)
Beneath the Surface (4/5)
City of the Living Dead (1/5)
Zombie Honeymoon (4/5) Read Review
Dorm of the Dead (0.5/5)
Wind Chill (TV) (2.5/5)
Solstice (TV) (2/5)
The Secret (TV) (2/5)
The Haunting of Sorority Row (2/5)
Die You Zombie Bastards! (2/5)
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (4/5)
Zombie Night (0.5/5)
Awaken the Dead (2/5)
Zombie Town (2.5/5)
Electric Zombies (0/5)
Necropolis Awakened (0.5/5)
Dead Fury (2/5)
Awakening (2/5)
June
The Lovely Bones (2/5)
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (3.5/5)
Ninja Assassin (3.5/5)
The People Under the Stairs (2/5)
Shutter Island (2/5)
Zombie Lake (0/5)
True Blood: Season 2 (TV) (4.5/5)
July
The Fall (3.5/5)
Finale (1.5/5)
Happiness (2/5)
Goblin (TV) (1.5/5)
The Stink of Flesh (2.5/5)
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (3.5/5)
Hell of the Living Dead (3/5)
Living Dead Girl (0/5)
August
Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America (1.5/5)
Kick-Ass (4.5/5)
Piranha 3D (4/5) Read Review
Survival of the Dead (2/5)
Aeon Flux: Complete Series (TV) (4/5)
Days of Darkness (3.5/5)
September
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (4/5)
The Vampire Diaries: Season 1 (TV) (4.5/5)
Dexter: Season 4 (TV) (4/5)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 6 (TV) (4/5)
October
Easy A (2.5/5)
Night of the Demons (2009) (0.5/5)
Dawn of the Dead: Documentaries (4/5)
Darkness: The Vampire Version (3.5/5)
Satan’s Little Helper (2/5)
Night of the Demons (1988) (3/5)
Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (3.5/5)
Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (3/5)
Night of the Demons II (3/5)
November
Hunger (3.5/5)
Daybreakers (2.5/5)
Pathology (3.5/5)
December
$9.99 (2/5)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) (2.5/5)
Me and You and Everyone We Know (2/5)
Amelie (2/5)
Frozen (3/5)
The Unborn (2.5/5)
Being John Malkovich (2/5)
Best Movies
Julie & Julia (4/5)
Martyrs (4.5/5)
Jennifer’s Body (4/5)
District 9 (4/5)
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (TV) (4/5)
A Perfect Getaway (4/5)
Mr. Brooks (4/5)
Masters of Horror: Family (4/5)
Soldier’s Girl (4/5)
Moon (4/5)
Blood Creek (4/5)
Beneath the Surface (4/5)
Zombie Honeymoon (4/5)
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (4/5)
True Blood: Season 2 (TV) (4.5/5)
Kick-Ass (4.5/5)
Piranha 3D (4/5)
Aeon Flux: Complete Series (TV) (4/5)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (4/5)
The Vampire Diaries: Season 1 (TV) (4.5/5)
Dexter: Season 4 (TV) (4/5)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 6 (TV) (4/5)
Worst Movies
Lightning Over Water (0/5)
Zombie Dearest (1/5)
Humble Pie (1/5)
Zombiegeddon (0/5)
The Sorority (1/5)
City of the Living Dead (1/5)
Dorm of the Dead (0.5/5)
Zombie Night (0.5/5)
Electric Zombies (0/5)
Necropolis Awakened (0.5/5)
Zombie Lake (0/5)
Living Dead Girl (0/5)
Night of the Demons (2009) (0.5/5)
Advertisements

The Comeback (2005 TV Series) Review

Valerie Cherish was TV’s IT Girl. Now IT’s a different story.

Valerie Cherish is a washed up sitcom actress.  Her big comeback comes in the form of a new television show and a new reality show that will document her rise to relevance.  Or, at least that’s the hope.  Unfortunately, Valerie stumbles through heartbreaking (and hilarious?) obstacles on her journey to becoming a star again.

I just have to say that this is probably the most depressing “comedy” I’ve ever seen!  The whole series is only thirteen episodes and each episode is soul crushing.  I think there is a difference between getting into whacky situations and just downright being trampled by life and poor Valerie is trampled in every single episode.  I mean, I sat there just feeling so sorry for this lady.  This isn’t a case of her farting in front of the audience or having her period in the middle of a sex scene.  This is about her career, self-esteem, identity and life basically being whittled away on screen!

The most tragic part to me is how Valerie keeps on trucking although everything falls apart.  Some people say she was naive.  Some people say she was clueless.  I don’t agree.  I think she knew exactly what was going on but she tried to make the best of it.  I don’t know if that was just her personality or if she was going it for the cameras but, God bless her, she was a trooper.  First of all, the television show that was supposed to jettison her back into the limelight is retooled and her starring character is turned into a frumpy side character called Aunt Sassy.  Her costars are a bunch of beautiful twenty somethings.  One of the writers of the show absolutely hates her and all the while the creators of her reality show might not be portraying her in the best light.  Each episode is an exercise in humiliation and because I saw the entire series in one sitting, it became almost unbearable.  Perhaps if I would have seen the show weekly and taken it in small doses, it might not have been as traumatic as it was but watching it all in one large lump only emphasized her agony.

Here’s what I liked:  the show was a great satire of reality television, not only revealing some behind the scenes happenings on reality television (such as how the producers have to get permission from restaurants and other businesses that the stars of the show enter or how anyone not associate with the show has to sign a release to appear on camera and how that really interrupts the flow of not only the show, but of the people’s lives they are capturing) to how reality shows aren’t real at all.  I mean, none of these are big secrets anymore but maybe some of that information was new and revealing during its time.  Not only was the show full of jokes but the show itself was a huge joke.  And this is kind of a small thing but I really liked how Valerie got along with her cast mates, especially the young and beautiful Juna.  So many times you see women brought together who feel they are in competition with each other or act catty toward each other but Juna seemed to legitimately look up to Valerie and Valerie seemed to legitimately look at her as someone she could teach and protect.  I liked that.

Here’s what I didn’t like: Valerie Cherish was not a great person.  There were many times where her kindness felt disingenuous.  When someone would tell her something personal, she’d interrupt them with a “Put a pin in that, dear” as a way to shut them up because she just wasn’t interested.  And when a girl broke off a key in her dressing room, Valerie ran away because she didn’t have time to help her.  She even adopts a puppy and then pawns it off on someone else because she never actually wanted it, only took it to look good.  She’s also not the best step-mom to her husband’s daughter, ordering take out instead of cooking and never taking the time to bond with her unless the camera is on her.  She is also quick to abandon her castmates in favor of going to a party with more famous actors.  And then there’s the ending of the series when her character really comes out.  And as mentioned before, any of the kindness she did show is put into question because you never know if Valerie Cherish really is nice sometimes or if she’s just trying to make herself look great for the viewing audience.

Here’s why I think it didn’t work:  the show was just way too depressing.  Listening to the commentaries, Lisa Kudrow and her co-creator Michael Patrick King said they wanted to make the show dark but comedic.  I think they made it more dark and less comedic.  Yes, the show was funny in some parts but it was mostly just sad to see the destruction of this lady on camera.  Next, as mentioned before, Valerie isn’t that likeable.  Now, I’m not saying that she’s completely unredeemable but you do get the sense that she cares more about her career than those around her.  It’s hard to root for someone who seems just a bit self-absorbed.  That, combined with her hopeless situation makes the audience just want to give up.   I know I did.  At the same time, I would have watched a second season.  But I don’t think the rest of the world was willing to.  At the end of the series, I think people realized that she was kind of a fame whore.  And frankly, what else could they do to her in the next season?  Have her husband leave her for her gay hair and makeup guy, Mickie?  Have her show canceled?  Have her get cancer?  No thanks.  We don’t wanna see that.