August 2014 Movie Preview

E: Ah, our birthday month, C.  A great month for our family, but not typically an impressive one for Hollywood.

C: With a few exceptions, and maybe more than in your typical August. At least, so we hope.

M: Looking at the slate below, I think that this year the summer movies are actually spilling over into one of the two months that actually comprise summer. What a novel concept!

C: A few classic summer movies, and a lot of weirdness. There’s just no other word for several of these movies.

M: And with that to pique your interest, on to what’s opening… Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance: Season 11, Top Sixteen

E: Well, that was a terrific couple hours of dance (the group routines! I swoon!) followed by an oh so predictable elimination.  The two dancers the judges ranked on the most last week go home: surprise!  There are a few actual surprises in store, but they relate to next week’s episode; first that next week’s a double elimination week which will take us from the top fourteen to the top ten (horrible horrible horrible), and then that after a massive block of Misty, we’ll get a new (unnamed) guest judge. Also, I’m fascinated by the way the public (including myself) are responding to the contestants. Dancers who seemed to be cannon fodder because we’d never seen them excel, while dancers who received scads of screen time falter.  On the other hand, still other dancers who received lots of screen time appear critique-proof. It’s fascinating.

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So You Think You Can Dance: Top Eighteen, S11

E: Now that’s what I’m talking about!  What a fantastic show!  This episode made this season came together for me; I feel like we’ve crossed the threshold, somehow.  No, none of the partnerships have the sizzle that Aaron & Jasmine and obviously Fik-shun & Amy brought us last year, but still, I’m feeling pretty happy.

Now, okay, it’s kind odd that Misty Copeland was the guest judge for a second week in a row – and even odder that she’s coming back next week.  I enjoy Misty as a judge very much, but I like variety, too.  But no matter.  This was so good, guys.

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So You Think You Can Dance: Top Twenty, Take 2, S11

E: Some years, I feel like I have a good handle on who the partners are going to be.  Last year, most of it made sense to me.  Divide everyone up by height and genre, and you can get pretty close.  Not this time, though.  I was surprised by almost every pairing.  And also, as with most sophomore efforts, I was a little underwhelmed.  Hopefully next week everyone will have settled a little more into the groove of the show?

Also, Nigel spends a lot of time being nice before being a real jerk in his final send off of two devastated dancers.  I’m pretty disappointed in him.  I’m not disappointed by Cat’s sleek hair or loose leopard mini-dress, though, with the belt and blousing and three quarter sleeves; it’s such a fun look.   She can even reconcile me to those booties.

I was delighted by the opening Top Twenty routine – a tribute to Broadway’s On the Town, the musical the winner (or winners?) will “star” in choreographed by Josh Bergasse, who won an Emmy for choreographing “Let’s Be Bad” on Smash –  though not so delighted that I didn’t notice the heavy featuring of male soloists and no female ones.  Odd, huh?  Teddy, Emilio and Zack got solos: Ricky, Rudy and Nick (the perfect trio for the sailors, since the Miami boys can really pull off that WW2 look) got an extended – what do you call that, a group solo?  There’s one brief moment where three girls (fronted of course by Jessica) sashay across the stage, but that’s it.  It was just odd, because the movie On the Town does in fact include several key roles for women.

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2014 Emmy Nomination Reactions

E:  What does a broadcast drama have to do around here to be nominated?  Today nominations were announced for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.  There’s a lot to be excited about, but man.  If you’re a network executive in broadcast tv, you have a lot of soul searching to do.  A quick discussion of and response to the nods coming right up. Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance: Meet the Top Twenty

E: Sometimes, it’s so freakin’ awesome to be wrong, and this, my friend, this is one of those times.  Only slightly less wonderful than being a fly on the wall at Cat Deeley’s annual Fourth of July bbq for the contestants is this year’s Meet the Top Twenty episode!

The format differs from years past: instead of a plethora of group routines, the producers have paired the dancers with someone in or close to their own style.  These won’t be their official partners for the first half of the season – it’s just for tonight, babe. Though I miss the Top Ten Boys and Top Ten Girls routines which were, presumably, cut for time, I definitely enjoyed getting a closer look at contestants we’ve in some cases only glimpsed.  Long-time judges Nigel and Mary are joined by musical performer/celebrity friend to the show Jason Derulo, and despite his casual tank top and slumpy posture, Jason brings real dance expertise, ease and humor to the judging panel.

Cat opens the 200th episode of So You Think You Can Dance wearing a crimson sheath dress with flaps pinned under cut outs just above her hips.  There are jeweled buttons fastening the flaps down, which give the unfortunate effect of very spangly diaper pins; she’s a ray of sunshine as ever, though, and I’m happy to return to the portion of the show where we get more rather than less of her cheer and wit.  One awesome thing she lets us know?  Added to this year’s prize package is a part in a new Broadway production of On the Town!  Gah.  I’m such a dork for musicals; this makes me swoony.

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July 2014 Movie Preview

C: July, always the month of second-tier blockbusters, and this year, the month of one- or two-word film titles. (Not all of them, but seriously, more than usual. Odd.)

M: Whoa whoa whoa… second tier blockbusters? Me thinks you need a history lesson. Are the Harry Potter movies second tier? What about the Dark Knight sequels? Pirates of the Caribbean? Forrest Gump? Saving Private Ryan? X-Men? Inception? Die Hard?

E: Yes, but she’s weirdly right about this year.

M: It was the “always” that caught my attention.

C: Okay, fine! I guess I did need a history lesson. But this year, without speaking for any other, they are sort of second tier, and a few of the summer’s biggest movies (like Guardians of the Galaxy) won’t come out till August. Which is not to say, by any means, that nothing in July looks good. In fact, the first of all looks pretty intriguing…

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