Thursday, July 31, 2008

SYTYCD - Top 6 Results Show

The show started with our group performance, choreographed by Mandy Moore. Chelsie got her first chance in the spotlight of a group dance. They had "wind" blowing on the performance, and it really did its job of making it feel really airy. The song for this performance was The Rose by Bette Midler, and while it is pretty, it is cheesy too. I will forgive the cheese because it worked for this dance. I can't give my official opinion on it because I was distracted by something unrelated and didn't get a chance to decide what I thought. It seemed pleasant.

The judges then all got a chance to comment on the final 6 contestants. Each judge gives a heartfelt appreciation of the talent and futures of our remaining dancers.

The dancers each get one more chance to strut their solo stuff. I was going to comment individually on them, but you can just see my comments from last night's post.

Katee & Joshua were sent to safety.

Lady GaGa performs... OK, on to something else.

And it is time. Leaving us tonight is:


I love Chelsie and am sad to see her go, but Courtney has stepped it up lately, so good for her, too.



It seems right that Chelsie & Mark would be eliminated together since I loved their pairing from the very beginning.

I was completely wrong on my prediction for who was going home, but I knew it was a tough call this week. Should make for a fun finale next week. I call Joshua as the winner and Katee as the runner up!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance: Top 6 Perform

Tonight's episode shouldn't be so hard to blog about, now that we are down to only 6 contestants. The show is only one hour tonight, so hopefully we can really focus, and keep the deserving contestants around for the grand finale(but who are the deserving??)!

Cat is looking sparkly tonight, with shower loofahs that seem to have gotten stuck on the back of her shoes. The guest judge tonight is Adam Shankman.

Courtney & Mark -
Viennese Waltz (Jason Gilkison)
Was I wrong that the choreographer said this is NOT a sexy dance? Maybe I misheard that, because I thought Mark & Courtney were really vamping up the tension. I am always a bit bored with Viennese Waltz, but this was pretty good. I thought it was pretty. Mainly, I just like their outfits.

Jazz (Sonya Tayek)
This one was described burlesque, raw and dark. This was good for Mark's kooky personality. The routine was just what I expected from the two of them and Sonya. I liked it a lot. I loved the heavy beat of the song and the way the routine worked so well with it.

Katee & Joshua -
Contemporary (Tyce Diorio)
Tyce should stick with these contemporary pieces. I like them so much better than his Broadway. This was really good. And I was reminded why these two dancers have never been in the bottom. It was great to see them back together. So intense and so emotional (and I love Celine...). And it is so unfair how much more they can do because of Joshua's strength.

Paso Doble (Jason Gilkison)
I love the intensity and attitude of the Paso Doble. Even better that Joshua has no shirt on at all. Goodness gracious, these boys... I liked the music at the start until the beat sped up. It didn't seem like Paso Doble music. But I loved routine. They were great! When these two are paired up they are exponentially better than they are individually (and that is saying a lot).

Chelsie & Twitch -
Mambo (Tony Meredith & Melanie La Patin)
Chelsie looked smokin' in her red outfit. I am guessing that Twitch's footwork wasn't all that great. Of course, the best way to distract from your footwork is to have someone like Chelsie who i snailing the steps. I have complete faith in her work technically.

Hip Hop (Tabitha & Napoleon)
I liked the costumes and the goofy style of the hip hop. I thought Chelsie was really good because this didn't require the hard hitting/attitude-y hip hop moves that some of the routines often require. Twitch was fun as well.


Chelsie - I can't look away from her legs during her solos. Again, a little bored with the same old ballroom dancer solos, but she certainly spiced it up.
Twitch - He certainly know show to entertain during his solos. Those gold teeth were somethin' else.
Katee - Katee has consistently proven that she deserves to be in this competition I prefer her more emotional solos and this one seemed to peppy, but it was still good.
Joshua - Sigh... I love him. I imagine he is quite the crowd-pleaser in da club.
Courtney - Her solos have really been the reason that Courtney has grown on me so much. She is much better than I originally would have given her credit for.
Mark - His has such a strange dance style, I can't help but give him credit for being so original.

With Cat's willingness to put on gold rimmed glasses and slobbery gold teeth, I am reminded once again what a travesty it is that Cat was not nominated for an Emmy, and therefore will not be co-hosting the Emmy's this year. America doesn't know what it is missing.

I was going to rate the final 6 dancers after tonight, but I just can't do it. It is too hard. My favorite one is probably Joshua, but I can't say after that.

I don't think I have a least favorite performance, but my favorite routine was:
Katee & Joshua's Contemporary (with their Paso Doble in a close second!)

My guess for who is going home:

Can't they all just win? I am really impressed with this season's top 6 dancers!

Lost: Season Three, Round Two

I have made my way through a couple of discs of Season 3 without a lot of comments to list here. As you may recall, the first part of the season involves Jack, Kate & Sawyer living as prisoners with the Others. We also get to see the results of the hatch explosion on the other side of the island (Locke saves Eko from the bear cave, Desmond wakes up naked in the jungle). Also, we are introduced to the most hated Losties ever, Nikki & Paolo. So I haven't had much to say so far. But here is where I'll start (and keep in mind that my comments are very SPOILERy):

1) I remember all the haters at this point in the series. I find that I pretty much enjoy every episode the first time I watch it. If it is a good episode, it holds up well the second time around. The best episode so far in Season 3 is the Desmond-centric "Flashes Before Your Eyes." I recall that this episode was really confusing for me the first time I watched it. I think a good deal has since been revealed about the course-correction/time travel that is explored in this episode. I have also had plenty of time to digest its meaning. As a result, I understood it a lot better, and while the big end reveal (that Charlie is going to die!) wasn't a surprise, I enjoyed this episode greatly on the second pass, because it made some more sense. And I love Desmond (see my previous posts where I go on and on regarding my love for him).

2) Nikki & Paolo. Yes, I hate them from the very first introduction. Annoying to start. What about them was so annoying? Well, they are the only characters that have been added that were supposed to have been with the survivors all along. We can accept other people added, as long as they add a new dimension of story (Ben & the Others, the tail-end survivors, Desmond).

3) Mikhail told Locke that "You I might have a fleeting memory of, but I must be confused because the John Locke I knew was..." and then old Danielle interrupted him. But I do think that was an important thing to catch. And one that I had forgotten. How does Mikhail know John from the past, and does this have anything to do with the theory that events on the island all have happened before and will all happen again (BSG anyone?).

4) Speaking of, I don't think we have seen the last of Mikhail. I have the feeling his unable to die like some of our other island friends.

5) What ever happened to the note that Claire & Charlie tied to the migrating bird? Will anything ever come of that? I suspect if that note gets discovered, the O6 stories will fall apart. But then again, it is 3 years later and no carrier pigeon has been found.

6) "You two arguing over who's your favorite other?" - a quote from Sawyer, when talking Jack & Juliet. Just classic Sawyer. I love his Sawyerisms, and have been able to appreciate them more watching the episodes so closely together. Have I mentioned that I just like him so much more this time around? I love redemption stories.

7) I had forgotten about the "camping trip" that some of the boys (Desmond, Charlie, Jin & Hurley) into the Jungle when they are looking for/discover Naomi. But I really loved it when Jin told ghost stories by the campfire. In Korean. With a flashlight. You have no idea what he is saying, but Hurley still jumps out of his skin when he lifts his arm stump and screams.

8) When Sawyer kills Locke's dad in the Black Rock, the scene is just absolutely heartbreaking. While there is so much relief to see Anthony Cooper "offed" finally (I mean, he is just the most awful person... Worse than Ben? I think maybe so.). But at this point, we know that James Ford just wants to be liked and to be the person that Kate deserves. So it is so hard to see him revert to his old ways, but you also know the deed kind of just has to be done. I remember thinking the first time around on this one that he wouldn't actually do it. I was horrified when he did.

9) Charlie's death stands to be the saddest death to date (through end of season 4) on LOST. I know that there are a lot of Charlie-haters, but he was one of my favorite Losties, and not only was I sad to see his character die (and those around him to suffer that grief) but I miss the comedic layer he brought to the show. I keep hoping somehow he is he is still alive (while I know that is not likely).

Related posts:
LOST, Season One, Round Two
LOST, Season Two, Round Two

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Song of the Week, no Month

OK, I used to do a song of the week, but that was when I had a reminder set up on my work calendar. Because now I just don't remember. But I just heard this on rotation on my itunes, and feel compelled to blog about it now.

I have already posted about Alanis Morrissette's new album, Flavors of Entanglement, but here I want to discuss one song.

Alanis always gets me with the depth of emotion revealed in her songs. Plus, this song is just her voice and a piano, which also gets to me. I love simple.

The general gist of this song is that once a relationship is over, you have to start completely over, by yourself. It is heartbreakingly honest, and I find it painful just to listen to. Here are the lyrics of the chorus:

Day one, day one
Start over again
Step one, step one
I'm barely making sense
For now I'm faking it
'Til I'm psuedo-making it
From scratch, begin again
But this time I as "I"
And not as "we"

I snagged this video off of youtube so you can check it out yourself:

Not as We, Alanis Morrissette

Friday, July 25, 2008

Movie: Charlie Bartlett

Just finished watching this with Sean, who said "Eh..." about it. However, I laughed for a good portion of the movie. While it wasn't amazing, it was pretty entertaining. There were some especially positive things to mention:

Anton Yelchin - This kid is a breath of fresh air. He is a geeky, skinny, weird-looking guy that is a very capable actor. His drama audition is hysterical, along with his (fake) piano playing, but he is also able to emote very well, especially on the level of a kid who is just trying to get by and make friends. He first caught my eye in Alpha Dog and I look forward to seeing what he brings to Terminator: Salvation, a completely different genre for him.

Robert Downey, Jr. - How can a person not love him? He is a hot commodity in Hollywood these days, but I have an appreciation for his ability to have come out of a really hard time of his life and make it big again. Plus, he is an incredible actor. I mean, did you see Zodiac?

I found myself cracking up when stuff wasn't even really supposed to be funny. Just the idea of this kid amused me, even though you knew there was a sad depth to him. Here is the trailer, since I didn't even try to explain what this one is about. Sorry! I have a tiny headache...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Movie: The Dark Knight

Just about every blog and website I read has posted about The Dark Knight at least once in the past week. So, of course, I need to add my two cents as well.

The good:
1) Christian Bale. I have an undying, unfailing, unconditional love for him. While that is all that NEEDS to be said, I could go on and on. I love him as Batman, more as Bruce Wayne, because then he is not wearing the mask or doing the cheesy whisper voice. If Bruce were more creative, perhaps he could have just organize a singing-and-dancing-strike against the city's crime bosses, or danced his way to better neighborhoods, or just slaughtered them with a chainsaw.

2) Heath Ledger's performance was amazing, and lives up to the hype. It is also quite funny, while being creepy at the same time.

3) Maggie Gyllenhaal was an improvement over Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes. While not quite as pretty, in my opinion, she is just a better actress, and I am not creeped out with her in real life.


1) This film was a fast-paced, high-energy film. I could tell what parts were shot specificially for IMAX. But, those scenes made me feel a bit sick without the EXTRA giant screen, and I was literally THIS close to having a panic attack from watching it. I left there needing some sort of anxiety medication.

2) The movie was too long. I didn't mind that it was 2 1/2 hours. But this movie lost its fluidity somewhere along the way. It could have ended about 30 minutes earlier than it did, and left room for a sequel storyline to be established. Instead, as soon as we wound down, we picked back up and tied up a loose end.

3) Shockingly, this movie would go several scenes without Batman aka Bruce aka Christian Bale showing up on screen. Here I was thinking I was seeing a movie about Batman. Part of that complaint is just selfish, though, because I wanted more screentime with my 15 year long crush. It is summed up best by this card from

But I still liked it. I love Christopher Nolan's take on the franchise and adore the actors who have taken on the roles. I hope there is going to be a third.

SYTYCD - Top 8 Results

A couple of quick notes on tonight's episode. I didn't like how the bottom 4 were announced. It was unfair that Courtney was just sitting backstage when she found out she was in the bottom 2.

Also, I really didn't think Twitch would be bottom 2. I thought it would be Will & Mark. I was shocked Mark was safe, but good for him. In the meantime, I just felt awful for Twitch when he reacted the way he did to being in the bottom 2.

I loved the special guest dancers doing the pas de deux. Also glad they have added that to the dance roster. Too bad none of our ballet dancers (only 2?) have gotten the chance to do that in a performance.

After FF'ing the LL Cool J performance (sorry, LL), the results are in:

Comfort & Will are going home.

And I love that Gavin Rossdale song. So good!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

SYTYCD - Top 8 Perform

Sorry for the delayed posting. The Dark Knight took precedence. I am shocked it took me this long to go see it.

As for tonight's show, I am anxious to see who is paired with whom, and what dances will be on the docket! Let's get going because there is a lot of dancin' to discuss.

The third judge is Toni Basil (singer, dancer, choreographer, and some other stuff I didn't catch).

Up first:

Courtney & Will
Samba (Jean-Marc Genereaux) - These two looked hot and had all the attitude this dance required. It was fun and sassy. I don't prefer mesh shirts, but I can forgive Will's.

Hip Hop (Tabitha & Napoleon) - Will seems incapable of doing any wrong from a technical standpoint. He is great in any style. But for some reason, he hasn't caught on strong with America. I liked this dance, but didn't love it. I say that a lot. But I think it could have been more emotional or something. Not sure.

Katee & Twitch

Contemporary (Mia Michaels) - I loved the raw, down-n-dirty feel of this performance. I was disappointed only by how long it took for the two of them to start dancing, and, once Katee started, Twitch was still doing a lot of standing around. However, once Twitch got moving, I thought he was good. This was a fun one. One more thing to mention... I love how Twitch can be so goofy and funny one second and sexy and rugged the next.

Broadway (Tyce Diorio) - I guess she got her man in the end, didn't she? I loved the fast part of this performance. Just seems very "Broadway." It was a fun performance.

Comfort & Mark

Hip Hop (Tabitha & Napoleon) - I am over Comfort. Yes, that is mean, but oh well. I hope she goes home this week. Mark was pretty good in this, but I am feeling like he has been floundering since he has been split up from Chelsie. I do like that Mark seems pretty versatile in the attitude he brings to a dance (gangsta, romantic, sexy, silly, proper).

Fox Trot (Jean-Mark Genereaux) - You know, this was at least better than I expected. I enjoyed how stylized this was. I preferred Mark over Comfort here (big surprise). Technically, I am sure it wasn't all that great.

Chelsie & Joshua

Argentine Tango (Dmitry Chaplin) - These are two of my favorites so there is extra pressure. I adored Dmitry's Samba on the show in Season 3, so I have high hopes for the routine, too. Chelsie carried the performance. She was unreal. Joshua sees like such a great partner, so trustworthy, strong, and a good leader.

Disco (Doriana Sanchez) - Oh my gosh! They are doing the Pamchenko! (OK, not really, that was both legs, and the most ridiculous and physcially impossible ice skating move). Doriana's routines are never my favorite, but having these two as the dancers made it more enjoyable for me. I thought it was really fun and energetic. Impressive lifts and tricks.


Comfort - I know Comfort is good, but Nigel's early on acknowledgement she is the best female hip hop dancer this show has seen has really raised the bar for her performances, and she just doesn't seem to meet expectations with her solos...

Will - OK, the wig was so distracting... But this was a really amusing dance and I think Will is trying to show his personality a little better. It certainly showed versatility.

Katee - Katee's attitude just before she made it to the top 20 really grated on me. I didn't like her from the start, and really felt like Josh out-shined her most of the time. But, admittedly, she has grown on me a great deal and I can now give her credit for her own dance ability. Her solo was impressive, and she is very capable of showing her emotion through her movement.

Mark - His solos are so strange. No one could ever say Mark is not original. That is the main reason I like him so much. I worry for his safety this week, though.

Chelsie - I would kill for her legs. She is so quick and has lots of sass in her dance steps. I am never blown away by ballroom dancers' solos (except that cape one from Pasha last year), but this was pretty good.

Joshua - It never fails to impress me how well he moves and how flexible he is for his body type. He has serious butt and thighs.

Courtney - As usual, I enjoyed her movement and her emotion.

Twitch - I liked his solo just fine, but was waiting for something more. Some fun crazy moves or something.

A couple of things to note:
1) I would like to say that I really enjoyed Toni Basil as this week's guest judge. She should come back soon.
2) Was it just me or did Mark not do a very good job of covering his disappointment when he chose Comfort out of the hat?

Fave routines:
Katee & Twitch's Contemporary
Chelsie & Joshua's Argentine Tango

Least fave routines:
Comfort & Mark's Fox Trot

Going home:
Mark :(

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Book: Twilight

I just breezed through Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Now I am wishing I had savored it since the hold queue is so long at the library. But I just couldn't resist. It really sucked me right in and I really enjoyed it! I am tempted to just purchase the next three books in the series so I don't have to wait around (I did this with Harry Potter, since I hopped on that bandwagon just before book 5 came out, and I have since then added the first ones to my library).

I had vaguely heard of this book series because it has been very popular, but I had not been interested because I knew it was a "young adult" series. Of course, finding out it was about vampires made it easy to change my mind. I waited for Twilight, the first book, for 4 weeks. Once I got it, I devoured it in about two days.

This isn't the BEST writing I have ever seen or the most amazing story that was ever written, but it is entertaining and captivating nonetheless. And sweet. The basics of this story: A girl, used to being an outsider, moves to a new town where she meets a boy. But he isn't a boy after all. He is a vampire.

To be as vague as possible, this is a love story between a human girl and a vampire. THAT concept isn't new, but I am always intrigued at how writers interpret what vampires are like, what is myth vs. reality, why vampires are perceived the way they are, etc. Stephanie Meyer does a great job of taking a generic description of vampires and giving them a depth, a pretty original one at that.

And it is a romantic love story, without it being all raunchy, which seems to be a requirement for teenage entertainment these days (Gossip Girl, anyone?). That helps.

Oh, and one more note. This is being made into a movie to be release late this year. I am curious to see how it will translate to the big screen. I feel pretty good about the casting of Kristen Stewart (Into the Wild) as Bella and Robert Pattinson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) as Edward. Fingers crossed because I really do hope this one is good.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

SYTYCD - Top 10 Results Show

Tonight is the first episode where America sends home a dancer, instead of the judges. You know the judges are terrified that our votes will send Will or Twitch home...

After the popularity of last week's Bollywood routine, the group gets to do one this week to open the show. I am glad to see this as a group dance because I think of the huge groups of people dancing in the streets in Bollywood movies and it makes me happy.

And congrats to the choreographers nominated for an Emmy this morning (Shane, Wade, and Mandy).

The top 5 girls get to perform a contemporary routine by Mia Michaels. I can't help but to think they have added these dances in for use during the tour. This routine was really pretty, and I liked how they used the edge of the stage, kind of like this routine last year. Love the song with this.

The bottom 2 girls are:

Up next, the top 5 guys have a routine by a mystery choreographer. Who could it be? Well, the routine was fun; the music was funner... The mystery choreographer turned out to be Nigel! It was good. I had fun.

The bottom 2 boys are:

Up next were the solos, and had they been dancing for their lives, I think Kherington & Gev would have been saved (but it is a tough call). However, the judges are deciding who is eliminated.

So now, the eliminated contestants:
Kherington (Ouch! But only sort of a shocker since I read a few people thought she might get ousted tonight)
Gev (Seeing any of the boys going home at this point is really disappointing. But Gev has gotten to be one of my faves this season! Can't wait to see him on the tour...)

In other news... I'm currently trying to decide if it is sadder that I am THIS excited to have tickets to the performance screening for So You Think You Can Dance on Monday, or that I that I feel so sorry for myself that I don't have anyone to go with. Sean was going to go with me (even though it wouldn't be his cup of tea), but unfortunately we have to show up at 3:30 in the afternoon... I'm working on it. I owe it to my 10 readers!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 10 Performance Show

I am excited to see the dancers paired up with different partners this week. Let's see what they got. Also, they are performing solos of their own styles. The guest judge this week is krumper, Lil' C. The dancers will perform two choreographed routines and a solo.

First off, let me apologize for my rushed comments and my scattered thoughts. I started the show late tonight, so I am actually watching the second half of the show first, and then going back to watch the beginning. These thoughts are just written out in order of the performances on the show. Here are my thoughts:

Courtney & Joshua - Hip Hop by Dave Scott - I loved the Bride of Frankenstein theme. I think Courtney is the most ghetto of all the girls left (minus Comfort). She was better than I expected. No, she didn't hit some of the moves as hard as she needed to, but it was pretty good. Josh sure knows how to carry a dance with his moves and personality. I loved this choreography. So fun.

Chelsie - It is always so hard for a ballroom dancer to show off their skills when performing a solo. They always do the same dance. She was fine but nothing amazing. Good thing she has two partner dances tonight to show off what she can do.

Kherington & Mark - Two-Step with Ronnie & Brandy - This has to be a first! A pregnant (very!) choreographer. It is fun to see new dance styles on the show. Their tricks were fancy and fun. The dance was not at the speed that a real two-step would be. There were some noticeable missed steps and turns. I thought Mark was better than Kherington. I wasn't crazy about it.

Gev - I have loved his sols so far. He knows how to entertain and not just enjoy dancing. He took his shirt off! He didn't disappoint...

Comfort & Twitch - Smooth Waltz with Hunter Johnson - Just hearing they are doing smooth waltz spells disaster for these two. I think the best part of this routine was the use of the Journey song "Open Arms." I wasn't feeling their chemistry. That has been Comfort's problem from the start. The lift was SO high, but shaky.

Courtney - She has really grown on me and her solo was really good. She is brimming with personality all the time. I used to not like her at all.

Katee & Will - Broadway by Tyce Diorio - I liked this routine, and enjoyed the use of the boat. I thought Will and Katee were both great and portrayed their characters well, while having some fun dancing (well). Not sure why Will ripped open his short but he has a great body, so it's all OK.

Mark - His solo was fun to watch, and he shows loads of personality. Not sure how amazing he is technically, but being the only contemporary dancer left, he certainly has not competition (from a contemporary point of view).

Chelsie & Gev - Contemporary with Sonya Tayek - Chelsie can barely do any wrong fr me. I love her and she brings so much passion to her dances. Gev has really grown on me the last few weeks and he was pretty good here, better than I expected. These two were good together.

Comfort - Her solo was full of energy and you could tell she was really dancing with the knowledge that she got a second chance this week. However, I would be surprised if she didn't go home this week. People were okay with her going home.

Twitch - I want to like his solos more than I do. They are fun but not so original. I do think he has tons of personality.

Courtney & Joshua - Rumba by Jean Marc Genereaux - i am sure the judges will be all over them (or at least Joshua) for technique, but they were so committed to the feel of the dance that I didn't mind any lack of technique. They have good chemistry, as well None of the boys seem to have a problem having chemistry with Courtney. Impressive lift at the end.

Katee - I don't think we have seen her solo and I really enjoyed it. She is very passionate and it is good to be reminded of how these dancers got here.

Kherington & Mark - Jazz by Tyce Diorio - I liked this and it just looked fun. It was saucy and snazzy. Mark looked like he was in his comfort zone here. I miss him with Chelsie... I did think that the judges were a little harsh on them. Don't his complaints kind of sounds like they are choreography problems?

Will - I didn't feel like he used his time all that well. The first 10 seconds or so were boring and he barely moved. His jumps and tricks are always beautiful to watch.

Comfort & Twitch - Hip Hop with Dave Scott - My expectations are high with these two doing hip hop. I enjoyed this a lot and thought comfort worked well with Twitch. They both have the perfect personality for such a dance. Of course, Twitch shined in this more than Comfort. I really liked this.

Kherington - Her solo is fine but doesn't blow me away. It is cutesy. Other female solos have been more enjoyable for me.

Katee & Will - Pas de Deux with Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden - I am glad Will is doing this one because he is the most technically trained of all the dancers. And this looks hard. I bet he is amazing as a partner. While probably not my favorite dance style, I thought this was really pretty. They both seemed very invested in it and pulled it off beautifully.

Joshua - So glad to see his solo! I love his style and he is really fun to watch. He has fun tricks, too. And he is sassy, which I love.

Chelsie & Gev - Jive with Jean-Marc Genereaux - This dance was high energy and fun. Gev reminded me of Benji a little (without all the face pulls, thank goodness). The speed of it made it look hard. Gev has come a long way for me and I enjoyed his routine, once again. As usual, I loved Chelsie.

Favorite routines:
Katee & Will's Broadway
Katee & Will's Pas de Deux
Comfort & Twitch's Hip Hop

Least favorite routines:
Kherington & Mark's Two-Step
Comfort & Twitch's Smooth Waltz

Favorite solos:
Gev, Joshua

Least favorite solo:

My guess for who is going home:
I don't want to say goodbye to any of the boys! But if I have to, Twitch??

Tomorrow's results show is going to be painful... For videos of tonight's performances, check out Vance's post.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

TV: The Cleaner

I had heard A&E's new show, The Cleaner, Was starting tonight, but really didn't know anything about it. I decided to tune in because I have little-to-nothing to watch these days, especially on Tuesday nights. Also, I like Benjamin Bratt (I would like to say that I like him based on some stellar movie performance, but the truth is that my love for him is based on Miss Congeniality). Also, Grace Park (Sharon from BSG) is in it.

The premise is a former addict (William played by Bratt) who "helps" other addicts to get clean. But not in the usual manner. He and his rag tag group of characters set up unconventional interventions for clients. As a former addict, William knows that these addicts have to want to get clean for themselves. So he arranges detailed events/situations to allow for people to make the decision for themselves.

In the meantime, William holds ongoing out loud conversations with God. I believe this is based on an agreement he made with God to save him from his addiction, and allow him to be with his family instead.

It is interesting that this show is on the same channel as the successful reality show Intervention, with the obviously-similar subject matter. A&E must really enjoy intervention. The show really does a good job of portraying drug addicts, and the difficulties they encounter in trying to stay sober.

I really liked the premise of this show, and if I hadn't been so tired I could have paid more attention. Compared to the other pilot I have watched and reviewed lately, this was not even comparable. The production value of The Cleaner was so much higher, the subject matter handled so much more compellingly, the actors so much more skilled. Just can't be compared. I would definitely give this show another watch, I just wish it came on before 10pm, because I am apparently ancient and get tired too early.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dr. Horrible, Act I, UP and RUNNING

I just finished watching the first act of the much-anticipated Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog, brought to us via internet by Joss Whedon, starring Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible and Nathan Fillion as Captain Hammer. Even if you are not a Whedon fan, this is worth a look. Really fun and only about 14 minutes long.

I adore NPH, and am always glad to see him get work. I have loved him since the late 90s when I saw him perform a song from Rent on Rosie (I liked him OK from Doogie). Wish I could find that performance online!

I laughed out loud several times and plan to re-watch. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

UPDATED: So You Think You Can Dance - My Thoughts

Since I guest-blogged for Vance this week (and the two before), I didn't post on my own blog my thoughts about this week's performances and elimination. To read my thoughts, check here and here.

After this week's episode, I realized that there is not one guy left that I want to see go home. I like them all. I like most of the girls too! So from here on out, this is going to be a really tough competition... But I decided to rank the remaining contestants, from my faves to least faves.

Boys first:
1) Joshua
2) Mark
3) Will
4) Twitch
5) Gev

Then girls:
1) Chelsie
Tied for 2) Courtney & Kherington
4) Katee
5) Comfort*

*With the unexpected announcement today that Jessica is out due to a knee injury, I made my update with Comfort in the Top 5 girls. Unfortunately for her, she just replaces Jessica for last place on my list.

How would you rank the final 10?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lost, Season Two, Round Two

My observations on Season Two, the second go-round:

1) I despise Ana Lucia even earlier than the first time around. I was not looking forward to her story lines because I really don't like her. Unfortunately, there is just no getting through Season 2 with out here.

2) I teared up when we first meet Bernard and find out that Rose's faith was well-placed. Still a sweet scene, even though I knew it was coming.

3) I don't remember being bored with season 2 at the time, because I didn't already know how annoying a lot of that season's plot was. Now that I know, I am having to "push through" many episodes. Season 1 was SO much better.

4) Are the Dharma food drops new or have they been sitting there unseen till now (late season 2)? If they are new (which they seem to be based on the flashing light on the packs), then why is Dharma still dropping stuff?

5) I am definitely not as big of a Jack fan this time around. I thing watching the episodes so closely together allows me to see that he is so bossy and never lets up. He is controlling. Sometimes, he bosses about things that either have nothing to do with him or are not is decision.

6) For having only a 9th grade education, Sawyer sure knows a lot of literary references (and pop culture ones, too). It doesn't really surprise me since he reads constantly on the island.

7) I love Desmond. I have since the beginning and it was so easy to like him with the way he was integrated into the show. Henry Ian Cusick plays that character to perfection.

8) And of course, the introduction was made of the ever-manipulating Ben fka Henry. Can't wait to re-watch him over Seasons 3 & 4.

8) All in all, I don't think I enjoyed Season 2 the second time around as much as I did the first time. But there were certainly some good parts.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

TV: Lost, Season One, Round Two: My thoughts

I just had a few thoughts as I am watching the entire series of Lost from the beginning through the end of Season 4. Here are my thoughts on season one.

1) I like Sawyer a lot more this time around. In fact, I think I might be ready to jump 'ship (Jack & Kate) for Sawyer. When he finally tells Jack about meeting Christian in that bar and what he said about Jack, I just love him. Because he didn't have to tell him that. It gained him nothing. It was solely for Jack.

2) Locke's flashbacks are always so sad, but that one where Anthony practically steals his kidney is devastating, and I find myself happy for Locke that Sawyer kills him later.

3) Boone dying was sad but not AS sad this time around. It affected me much more at the original air time because it was the first death of any of our beloved 815 survivors.

4) Kate's flashbacks really do nothing for me. I don't find them all that enjoyable to watch. Charlie's, on the other hand, are still good to see.

5) I love thinking about what I know now in my head. Such as, I have said many times during the re-watch that "oh he is dead!" about Charlie. Or "hey they are brother and sister and don't even know it!" Or "why didn't Desmond hear all the banging that Locke was doing on the hatch," knowing he is down there. Or "too bad Jack completely loses it."

6) What is the significance of the black smoke that forewarns that the others are coming? We never do find out what it means, do we? I know it is not the "smoke monster" and the only thing I could come with is that it signals that the Others are camping close by in order to get to the Survivors camp. Maybe I am forgetting something.

7) Why did the smoke monster, the first time we see it, make a mechanical noise like a roller coaster climbing before the big drop?

I really like this UK Season 1 promotion. How come we don't get fun promos like this in the US?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Movie: Rocket Science

Rocket Science is a small indie movie about a teenage boy with a speech impediment who decides to dabble in the kill-or-be-killed world of high school debate competitions. One would wonder why he would choose to, but as is the case with many teenage boys and decisions that make no rational sense, the reason behind his decision was a girl.

I wasn't familiar with anything about this movie and I can't recall what caused me to put it on my online movie queue. It was a pleasant surprise, but doesn't really live up to other movies in its genre (more Napoleon Dynamite than Superbad).

Reece Thompson, who plays the lead Hal Hefner, was likable as the bumbling debate newbie. The only person I recognized at all was Nicholas D'Agostino (West from Heroes, and I like him a lot more here) as the fast-talking debate veteran. Other amusing characters were the less-than-stellar speech therapist Mr. Lewinsky (Maury Ginsburg) and the bully of an older brother Earl (Vincent Piazza). There is something about a movie that isn't well known, with a cast of people you have literally never heard of, that still can be this enjoyable to watch. That is how I felt about Starter for Ten (of course, who doesn't know James McAvoy by now?).

All in all, it was good, entertaining, but I wouldn't say it is the best of its genre. Give it a viewing if you are bored and want some laughs.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Book: The Road

I literally just finished the last page of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. I am a little bit unsure of what to say about it. If you are not familiar with the book, it is a post-apocalyptic story of a father and son who are traveling across a destroyed land, looking for something. Anything. Hope. McCarthy presents a bleak, hopeless world in which the reader (or at least THIS reader) thought of death as a happy ending. The only truly bright point in this story is the relationship between the man and his boy, and the fact that this relationship is literally all that they have. Their bond is all that gives them hope and that is what makes this book so touching.

This is the first novel I have ever read where I felt so hopeless for the characters. I felt lonely for them, sad for them, scared for them. I was angry at a world that allowed for things such as those written to happen to a child. I was emotionally involved to the point of crying. This is not a happy story, but I was incapable of putting it down.

Once the reader gets used to the simple writing style (very basic punctuation, no quotation marks or identifying who is speaking, all of which contribute to the feel of the story), this is a really quick read. I have never read anything by McCarthy, so I hadn't known what to expect, but I highly recommend this book. Just prepare to feel rather despondent.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 14 Results Show

Tonight we said goodbye to Kourtni & Matt, two dancers I really liked at the start at the competition. But I will have to agree with Nigel. These two didn't show much growth, and on a show like this where the contestants get better and better each week, that is a plenty good reason to be sent packing. Best of luck to you both!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 14 Perform

I guest-blogged over at Tapeworthy again tonight, and since I slaved away on that post (and it looks much prettier than mine ever do), you can click here to check out all my most exciting thoughts!

Book: The Other Boleyn Girl

I just finished reading Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl. Before it was a (from what I have heard, bad) movie starring Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, and Eric Bana, it was a novel. A very long novel. Six hundred some odd pages. I made my way through it in about a week. It was an enthralling story, and while we know the general story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, it is always fun to get a little fiction on the side to spice things up. Reading this book made me want to watch Showtime's The Tudors (well, that and Jonathan Rhys Meyers). I am intrigued by the time period and by the seemingly treacherous goings-on of Henry's court.

The reader feels a certain amount of anger toward the Boleyn family, as they are willing to sacrifice any member of the family in order to advance themselves in England and to have power. So much so that they send their married 13 year old (Mary, the protagonist) daughter to the king's bed. Anne is portrayed a despicable, power-hungry, selfish jerk. Her every single action is for self-advancement. While their semi-likable brother George is not so bad, he often gets caught up in Anne's plans and the reader is angry with him for being so dumb. However, while Mary spends a good while being annoying and making dumb decisions, she eventually finds herself capable of making her own decisions, and this book makes for a good love story. If you know your English history, the ending is no surprise, but it is interesting to watch everything unfold (or to watch how Ms. Gregory imagines it, anyway).

The only thing I found frustrating was that so much of the story seemed repetitive, but that was because it had to be. A very long portion of the book focuses on whether the king's first marriage will be annulled, and it is very "will they/won't they" but since I knew they would, I got tired of it. This also happens with pregnancies and such.

The same can not be said for the film based on this book. I only made it about 30 minutes through it, so I suppose it is really not very fair for me to judge the movie. But I was so disappointed that so much was changed from the book that it turned me off. And I had heard it was not good, so that turned me off, too. I would rather keep the book in my mind since I enjoyed it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

Yeah, I watched this. What of it? I don't think I have ever watched an ABC Family original (in fact, I am currently at a loss at another show they have besides Greek and maybe Wildfire(?)). I have friends that like Greek, but I don't really expect much from ABC Family. I only managed to watch this because it was on and I was bored. And for how little TV I am watching right now, I saw a surprisingly large number of advertisements for it.

Oh goodness. This show. It was just too cheesy. Some of the acting was not very good (especially some of the younger cast members). The older ones (Molly Ringwald, John Schneider and Josie Bissett) were fine and a welcome relief to some of the awkward acting by the teens. It was a pilot, so that can be excused to a point, assuming they might get a little better.

[Speaking of John Schneider, I love his country album of Greatest Hits (available on iTunes). He has quite the sexy country voice! You can see a lovely fan vid with videos and song here. Yeah, I just pimped his music.]

The story is good enough, but not well-executed. Most of the characters are contrived, filling a "stereotypical" teenage persona (the innocent one, the slutty one, the pretty one, the athlete, the rebel, the boy next door). Almost every character is given a scene to allow for the viewer to like him/her (or at least forgive him/her, even if their characters don't seem that likable (such as the guy that sleeps with any girl he can, but it turns out it is because he was sexually abused by his father and is now in foster care).

It is brought to us by the creators of 7th Heaven, so there is the portrayal of the Christian teens. Christian characters are always portrayed so cheesily or ridiculously that it gives us a bad name. I have RARELY found it to be accurate (Sarah Paulson's Harriett on Studio 60 was pretty good). But I will be honest. Being a Christian teenager is hard (especially one not having sex). I have a sister that graduated from high school and I hear how it is.

High school is not the same as it was 10 years ago. Er...11 for me. But I just don't remember talking about sex all the time when I was 15. I am sure the boys were and I am sure some of the girls were, but sex is ALL these kids talked about. The whole time. Non-stop. Find something else to do with yourselves. No wonder you are all pregnant. OK, that was my rant.

I am glad to see a more accurate portrayal of teenage pregnancy, instead of how fun and cool it is to be pregnant in high school. That recent news about the pregnancy pact in that high school in the northeast is just disturbing. So it is good news that we are not seeing the fun exciting side of pregnancy here (at least, I assume that is the case), but that it is hard to be pregnant in high school.

I don't know how this show can stack up to a show like Gossip Girl, that has so much higher of a production value. But it can do alright in the summer, if viewers are bored enough (and I am pretty bored, since I just turned it to I Survived a Japanese Game Show). However, I may not be bored enough for this one...

Movie Short: PRESTO!

Now that I have jabbered on about Wall-E and my so-so thoughts, let's talk about something I LOVED. Presto is the obligatory short that came on just before the main attraction. These are usually pretty cute, but I am never really blown away, especially compared to the actual movie I came to see.

But as we were sitting in the theater, Sean mentioned that he had heard that the short was worth the price of admission (and not to sound old, but $9 for a matinee!?!). After viewing, we turned to each other giggling and agreed it was very good. Also, it is probably worth the $1.99 at iTunes if you don't plan on seeing Wall-E.

Written and directed by Doug Sweetland, this didn't have the usual Pixar feel and was rather cartoony. Fun stuff. Check it out!