Movie Trailers: Up and Land of the Lost

>This might seem like a strange thing to create a new post about, but as I was in the theater getting ready to watch Disney’s Race to Witch Mountain, I was thoroughly entertained by two movie trailers and I just had to tell you about them.

The first one for the upcoming Disney/Pixar animated adventure titled Up, which is about a crotchity old retired balloon salesman and an eager young scout as they set off on an adventure around the world. The first time I saw anything about Up, I had no idea what it was really going to be about. it almost seemed like some kind of artsy film of some kind, but every time they release a trailer that reveals more of the plot, I keep getting more and more excited to finally see it.


You can watch the same trailer that I saw tonight in the theater, here:

http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/up/

Up opens in theaters May 29th.

The second trailer was for the new Will Ferrell movie which is a very loose remake of the old TV series, Land of the Lost, from Universal Studios. I didn’t remember hearing anything about this movie before seeing the trailer tonight, but now that I have seen it, it’s one of the year’s movies that I’m anticipating most!


You can see the trailer here:

http://www.landofthelost.net/

I was excited to see Anna Friel as one of the co-stars in Land of the Lost. She was a star of one of my favorite shows, ABC’s Pushing Daisies, which has unfortunately been cancelled.

Land of the Lost is hitting theaters on June 5th.

It’s starting to look like this is going to be a very good year at the cinemas!

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The Amazing Race, “It Was Like a Caravan of Idiots”

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The Amazing Race, on CBS, is one of the most energetic and exciting shows on television. I don’t usually become very enthusiastic about what you might call “reality” shows. But when The Amazing Race is on, I enjoy every minute of it, and when it’s off, I get nostalgic for it and anticipate its return.

So far, this season hasn’t failed to please. It started off with the standard breakneck pace that typifies every season. It’s common on this show for some competitors who appear to be extremely athletic and able to fall behind because of stupid mistakes. Often they choose one task at a Road Block—which is a choice between two tasks—and after struggling for a while make the error of quitting that task to go and do the other.


This mistake of second-guessing tasks is what happened in tonight’s episode where the diminutive team, Mark and Michael, were in the top 3 teams with a huge lead over the remaining 5. In the middle of their Road Block challenge in Siberia, their stack of wood collapsed, making them have to start over. Instead of bucking-up and fixing it, they abandoned the task and went to do the other challenge, which ended up leaving them even more confused. All of these problems caused them to fall from the first group of 3 teams with a huge lead down to the second. Mark and Michael saved from elimination only because one of the most athletic teams, Kris and Amanda had been given a “U-Turn,” which meant they were forced to go back and complete the other task also in the Road Block.

Among the competitors this season, my favorites are mother and son team Margie and Luke. Luke is a totally deaf young man who communicates solely by American Sign Language and does not read lips. If anyone was under the impression that deaf people are any less capable of performing any task, Luke is definitely one to prove them wrong.

The Amazing Race’s host, Phil Keoghan, who has learned how to use sign language to tell Luke their standing in the race when they reach each pit stop, also particularly impresses me. I’m sure for logistics of the show, it made sense for him to do it that way, but they could have just as easily left it up to Luke’s mom to tell him what place they were in. Phil impresses me as probably one of the nicest hosts on TV. Actually, the first year they were nominated for and won an Emmy, I found his email address on his personal site and sent him an email congratulating him and telling him that I hoped to see more seasons. He actually responded to me, thanking me and saying that he was hoping for more seasons as well. It always impresses me when someone takes time to communicate with a random fan like that.

For me, The Amazing Race is much more than just a reality show—it’s like a sporting event. It isn’t as much about social dynamics as it is about skill, luck, and levels of sportsmanship. It’s the only game/reality show that I’ve seriously considered applying for. Who knows… maybe next season?

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TV Review: The Office, “Blood Drive”

DWIGHT: “Michael, why do you keep looking at the front door?”
MICHAEL: “No reason.”
DWIGHT: “Is somebody after you?”
OSCAR: “Why do you always go to that? Has anyone ever been after anyone in this office?”
DWIGHT: “Hey, it just takes one!”

NBC’s The Officeicon is at it’s best when they’re portraying things that really occur in actual offices in the documentary, “reality show,” format. That’s why I thought tonight’s episode, “Blood Drive,” worked so well—I have participated in quite a few blood drives in my own workplace experiences.

I have to admit I was a little confused by the Valentine’s theme so far after the actual Valentines’ Day—maybe it was bumped for some reason. It was fun to see love trying to blossom for Michael as he flirted and joked with the mystery woman on the blood drive bus so I thought this worked into the Valentines’ Day theme of the show very well.

Sometimes The Officeicon strays into more cartoony storylines and it doesn’t work as well as it does when there are a lot of subtle moments worked into the mundane lives of these people at work. Seeing things like Creed and Meredith’s computers forever stuck on Solitaire are things that ring very true in the modern office environment. In fact, many years ago a company that I was a temp employee for removed Solitaire off of all the computers in our little pool of workers in order to increase productivity. Of course, I wasn’t one of the violators. Really.

It was fun to watch Jim and Pam’s lunch outing with Phyllis and Bob because I could identify the initial awkwardness of a meal with someone you don’t interact with much socially. Of course, any comfort they were able to gain in the pleasant conversation was thrown out the window when the Vances had their little detour in the middle of their lunch hour in the janitor closet. Yikes.


After having a Lonely Hearts support group, Michael decides to have an office park mixer in hopes that he’ll find the mystery girl that got away from him after he passed out on the blood drive bus. During the mixer Michael does his best to match people up in his own strange ways, and it looks like there might have even been a love connection for Kevin. Unfortunately, the blood drive bus girl didn’t show up.

What I liked most about tonight is how all of the Dunder Mifflin gang who stayed for the Lonely Hearts mixer rallied around Michael in his latest infatuation. At least this time around she is a living breathing person and not a deceased chair model or an Asian waitress that he can’t distinguish from her friend. It was also nice that Michael’s crush didn’t show up at the end. It would have ruined the supposed “reality” of this show for her to show up, because in real life stuff like this happens all the time where you meet someone who leaves a strong impression, but then you never see them again.

This is one of the best episodes of this season because of the understated tone of it. There weren’t any larger than life antics, but most of it was made up of the quirky conversations and office place antics that I’ve come to love from The Officeicon.

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TV Review: Lost, “LaFleur”

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“The record is spinning again, we’re just not on the song we want to be on.”

How a show can keep changing up the circumstances so much and yet remain the most engaging storyline on TV I’ll never know, but such is the case with ABC’s Losticon. I really like the fact that they are now in a different era on the island and we’re just picking up the story from here and running with it. The quote above from Daniel Faraday definitely does not reflect my sentiments. This is definitely the song I want to be on!

Apple iTunes

When tonight’s episode of Lost started and we caught a glimpse of the giant statue which we presume has 4 toes, all I could say was, “holy crap!” Unfortunately John Jocke’s fixing of the frozen donkey wheel shot the castaways forward to a different time so we aren’t going to learn any more about the statue, for now. Where that flash did place them was into a period when the Dharma Initiative was in full thrust in the mid 1970s. Skip 3 years later and we see that our little group of Oceanic survivors has integrated quite well into the organization and Sawyer is in a position of authority and is know by the name LaFleur.

Through a series of flashes back and forth in time, we learn that Sawyer and Juliet develop a love for each other. The guy that Locke saw in the woods building the cabin that he would later find Jacob in, was the leader of the Dharma initiative, and that something must have happened on the island to make it impossible for women to survive childbirth.

I’m starting to feel bad for Juliet who seems doomed to play the part of “The Other Woman”—which, incidentally, was actually the title of an episode about her from last season—especially because at the end of tonight’s episode, we see the reunion of Jack, Hurley and Kate with Sawyer and Jin and it appears that Sawyer still has eyes for Kate.

Lost has once again established itself as my favorite drama on television. No other show is brave enough to introduce as many twists and turns as this one, or smart enough to pull them off and not make it look like they’re loosing focus or grasping at straws. This is truly a one of a kind show.

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Movie Review: Beverly Hills Chihuahua

When Disney’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua came out in the theaters a few months ago I wasn’t very excited to see it, but my 10-year-old daughter loves dogs and nearly fainted with ecstasy when she saw the trailers—so off we went.

The movie was a bit different from what I was expecting from the trailers, which amused me with their “Dog Revolution” themes. Instead the story is about a pampered Beverly Hill’s Chihuahua, Chloe (voiced by Drew Barrymore) whose owner, Aunt Viv (Jamie Lee Curtis) has to go away on business and leaves her prized pet in the care of her irresponsible niece, Rachel (Piper Perabo). Rachel’s friends soon coerce her into a road trip down to Mexico and in the process of it all, Chloe ends up getting lost south of the border.

What follows is a frequently funny mismatched buddy movie as she teams up with the reluctant Delgado (voiced by Andy Garcia), who is a washed-up police dog without a home. Meanwhile, Papi (voiced by George Lopez), a hunky Chihuahua who belongs to Aunt Viv’s gardener and is madly in love with Chloe accompanies his owner to Mexico in an effort to rescue his love.

One technical issue that probably annoyed only me, is that I’m not a fan of the animation of animal mouths that started in the 1990s with the movie Babe. I was just as entertained by the dogs and cat in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey even though we never saw their mouths move once. It was the writing and the editing that made that movie as touching as it was and it’s also what makes Beverly Hills Chihuahua so endearing. It would be just as good without the animated speech of the animals.

With all of the unmanliness of watching a movie about tiny, fancy, talking dogs aside, I found this movie very entertaining. In many ways it reminded me of the wholesome movies that Disney made years back, like The Shaggy Dog, That Darn Cat!, or even The Apple Dumpling Gangor Pete’s Dragon. There were, of course, all of the standard formulaic elements that get tiring in some movies, but I always feel I have to remind myself when watching movies like this that are made primarily for kids, that they are are playing to an audience that hasn’t already been jaded by seeing the same formulas play out again and again.

I’d recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys comedies about animals. It’s nowhere near as annoying as the movie from a few years ago, Cats & Dogs, but it actually has quite a lot of charm.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua is available today on DVD and Blu-ray and is also available for download on iTunesicon. Don’t forget to download the catchy theme song, “Chihuahua,”icon while you’re at it.
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