All posts by Sheldon Wiebe

Battlestar Galactica: The Ties That Bind – The Next Day

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Civil unrest; civil war; a potential for mutiny and character death – this week’s Battlestar Galactica episode, The Ties That Bind, is picking up the pace. Outside of Cavil’s response to last week’s little fracas with the Centurions, did anyone see any of this happening? Spoilers follow.

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Reviewing Forgetting Sarah Marshall In 300 Words or Less

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Forgetting Sarah Marshall is doomed to be remembered as “that naked break-up movie” though it’s considerably more. For one thing, the naked break-up is a simultaneously funny and poignant scene and Jason Segel’s performance as Peter [the breakee] is staggeringly vulnerable. For another, that vulnerability continues to come into play when Peter tries to get away from it all at the same Hawaiian resort where Sarah [Kristin Bell] is staying with her rock god boyfriend. In turn, Peter’s heartbreak is tempered by Rachel [Mila Kunis], a pretty, intelligent hotel employee who has also had a miserable heartbreak.

Segel‘s script meanders a bit, but those wanderings lead to emotional payoffs that make sense – especially when news that the TV series that stars Sarah, and for which he composes the “dark, ominous tones,” has been cancelled. A comment from Rachel leads Peter to finish his dream project [a rock opera for puppets – about Dracula and his search for True Love], while Aldous’ [the rock god, played by Russell Brand] behavior has Sarah rethinking leaving Peter.

Director Nicholas Stoller keeps the wandering script focused and gets terrific performances from his entire cast. Check out supporting work by the reliable Paul Rudd [as a goofy surfing guru] and Jonah Hill as Aldous’ number one fan. Stoller understands the necessity for an extra beat in a quiet moment and how to set up a gag without being obvious. As a result, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is one of the best films to come out of the Judd Apatow crude-with-a-heart comedy factory. I may not have laughed as often as the lady behind me, but I did laugh and smile and chuckle enough to recommend Forgetting Sarah Marshall as more than your daily recommended dose of fun.

Final Grade: B+

Forbidden Kingdom: Jackie Chan and Jet Li Together At Last!

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For a long time, fans of martial arts movies have longed to see Jackie Chan and Jet Li do a film together. Well, even though Chan is noticeably a step slower, and the real hero of The Forbidden Kingdom is a time-traveling poor white kid from the present, the two still provide a lot of fun in a movie that’s a fun riff on a number of martial arts movie themes.

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Ben 10: Alien Force – Aliens, Action, Adventure and… Girls?

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When we last saw Ben Tennyson, he was a ten-year old kid with a ten-year old’s attitudes to most things – including thinking girls were yucky. Now he’s fifteen, a sports hero and more tolerant of girls – practically a fan, in fact. After five years, he’s also pretty certain that he won’t need to become Ben 10 again. He’s wrong… dead wrong. Ben 10 premieres tonight [8/7C] with a special, hour-long episode before moving to its regular time slot, Saturdays [10 a.m./9] on The Cartoon Network.

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Lost and Grey’s Anatomy to End Season with Two-Hour Finales!

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ABC has just announced that two of its most popular shows, Grey’s Anatomy and Lost, have been given the go-ahead to shoot two-hour finales. In both cases, this means that plot arcs that were severely pruned because of the WGA strike will be given extra room to complete.

The news is especially good for Lost fans, as the series had been slated to run for sixteen episodes but was cut back to thirteen because of the strike. With the addition of an extra hour to the post-strike schedule, the show will now run the equivalent of fourteen eps – drastically reducing the expected need to condense its elaborate story arcs.

The Grey’s Anatomy two-hour finale will air on Thursday, May 22nd [9/8C] while the two-hour Lost finale will run Thursday, May 29 [9/8c]. Both shows return Thursday, April 24th with original episodes – Grey’s at 9/10C, and Lost at 10/9C.

Battlestar Galactica: Six of One – The Day After

Lee's Farewell Salute

After a rather ho-hum premiere, Battlestar Galactica seems to be moving back in the right direction. Where He That Believeth In Me tended to rehash the season three finale without adding much to the running story – except for the development of the Starbuck-Roslin situation – Six of One is almost chockfull o’ stuff.

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John, Paul, Tom & Ringo – The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder: John Lennon’s Last TV Interview, Plus: Paul McCartney & Wings, Ringo Starr and [huh?] Angie Dickinson!

Joh, Paul, Tom & Ringo Box Art

The day after John Lennon was killed outside his New York home, The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder aired his last televised interview, which had been aired five years previously, along with appearances by journalist Lisa Robinson and Lennon’s producer, Jack Douglas. Interviews with Paul and Linda McCartney and two other members of Wings, and Ringo Starr and his wife, Barbara Bach, briefly touch on John and The Beatles. Plus, Angie Dickinson…

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Pucca: Kung Fu Kisses & Ninjas Love Noodles – A Kids’ Show In Theory, But Definitely Not In Practice!

Ninjas Love Noodles

Pucca is an animated series about a girl with super strength who loves a ninja with super speed. Sounds pretty basic, doesn’t it? But add a group of renegade ninjas who will stop nothing to destroy Pucca’s One True Love and you get an action-packed, beautifully designed series. These two DVDs are great fun for all ages.

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Battlestar Galactica: He That Believeth in Me – The Day After

Sam, Lee & Kara

Battlestar Galactica may be the best SF series, start to finish, ever produced for television. Even so, after sleeping on it, I have to say that the final season opener left me cold. [SPOILERS beyond this point!]

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