Monday, September 28, 2009


Trauma is a new show that premiered on NBC tonight. I tuned in with my parents, as we were all ER fans and are looking for something to "fill the void". Theoretically, I could be watching the early seasons of ER, but I've never been good at watching tv on DVD. I didn't start watching ER regularly until about season 13 so I've been watching the early seasons on DVD. I'm almost done season four right now...been "almost done" it for about six months. I tend to go in spurts, I'll watch several episodes in a two week period, then not pick it up for a year or so. But I love the early seasons very much.

Back to Trauma. It wasn't a bad show, but I could tell that the characters were heavily modelled off of ER characters. They shared some of the same characteristics anyway. Cliff Curtis, the New Zealand actor who played "Porourangi" in Whale Rider, plays one of the main characters, Rabbit. I thought he was a real find, easily the stand out among the cast. His character is the most interesting of the bunch so far. I suppose it's easy to say that the characters are based strongly off of ER characters because ER is such an iconic show, and many of the characters presented on that show have become sort of "stock characters" anyway (the fresh, young doctor, the rebellious but oh-so-lovable doctor, the responsible doctor with the troubled family, the doctor with the rough past, etc).

Will I be watching again? Most likely. I'll be giving this show a shot, considering a lot of my shows got cancelled last year (Pushing Daisies, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), or ended (ER). The premiere wasn't fantastic, but I've seen a lot worse. I'll watch a few more episodes, see if it gets itself into a good groove, then decide whether I'll start following it or not. NBC is banking hard on this show becoming the next ER, so we'll see how it does.

I'm also thinking about getting into Flashforward on ABC. The only thing stopping me is that I've heard it is like Lost, in that if you miss an episode, you can't really catch up. That, and I'm always reluctant to get into new tv, since shows seem to be cancelled left and right nowadays. I just don't think I could take the heartbreak of another Pushing Daisies, a show I loved with all my heart that ABC gave up on. There was very little conclusion with that show. However, I just read some awesome news via Wikipedia. Turns out the show will be back for a "third season" in comic book format! Here's hoping that offers a bit more closure than the tacked on "series finale" ever did.

Has anyone watched Flashforward? If so, is it worth watching?

Friday, September 25, 2009


Zombieland Trailer

Trailer #2

This movie looks fantastic. I was talking with my boyfriend, Kirk, about movies coming out next week and he looked it up and said that this one was coming out. I told him we have to go see it at one point and he agreed. Which is one of the many reasons why he is such a great boyfriend.

Shaun of the Dead is one of my favourite movies, so that gives you all some insight as to why I am so excited about this film.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Art, and the Ability it has to Move Us

I love art. Of all types. I love film and television (obviously), literature, paintings/drawings/more "classic" artwork, and even music, though I am not very educated musically. What I love is the ability art has to make us feel something, whether it makes us happy, sad or even angry. I just wanted to take some time to share pieces of art that have really moved me recently.

Sometime Around Midnight--The Airborne Toxic Event

(I've also included a link to the video itself, as it cannot be embedded and the video is so moving, that I feel it's part of the "experience" of the song)

I discovered this song at the beginning of the summer when I heard it on the radio. It took me awhile to actually listen to the lyrics and discover the meaning of the song (initially what I enjoyed was the emotion in singer Mikel Jollett's voice). Once I really listened to the lyrics, I cried, because it was exactly what I was going through at the time. I love the music itself; the violin is probably my favourite instrument and it's used very effectively. And how the emotion in the song builds. It starts calm, with an almost indifferent tone, and it slowly builds to the climax (Oh and when your friends say,“What is it? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”), where Jollett sings with so much pain and emotion in his voice, to the point where it sounds as if he's almost screaming in agony. It's beautiful.

As I said earlier, I can really relate to this song. I lived it over the summer. And sometimes, when the situation I was in was really hurting me, I'd put on this song, and cry it out, and it was about the most cathartic thing I could do. It wasn't the only song I'd play at those times, there were many others, but this is the one I wanted to give special mention to. Thankfully I've moved past everything from the summer, but it is still a song that moves me very much. And I gotta say, I've never written this much about a song before.


(Yes, I believe television is an art form, as I stated earlier in this entry.)

Lost is my favourite tv show, by far. I discuss it, almost obsessively when it is airing, I have my own theories about what's going to happen, and am even reluctant to go out while it is airing because I'm paranoid my VCR will die and it won't tape!

This show has me feeling a whole range of emotions. I've felt great happiness, sadness, anger, even frustration (such as when we don't find out what's going on, or during some of the "weaker" episodes). I believe every single season finale so far has had me shedding tears at some point, and certainly every season so far has had at least one or two episodes (sometimes more) make me cry. Every season finale has left me frozen in shock as well, and longing for more! The most recent season finale has been the best (or perhaps worst?) for that, the minute it ended, I found myself shaking, tears rolling down my cheeks, wishing for more. I'm still waiting for January to roll around, so I can get into the final season.

I just wanted to highlight one particularly moving moment from the fourth season (there will be season 4 spoilers, season four not being the most recent season, but the one before the most recent season):

Desmond speaks to Penny on the phone ("The Constant")

Just a bit of background information: Desmond's mind was travelling between 1996, and 2004, because after leaving the island, he experienced a "time shift". Once the chopper landed on the freighter, Desmond spoke to someone experiencing the same thing, and saw this man die. After speaking to Daniel Faraday both via walkie talkie in 2004, and finding him at Oxford in 1996, Desmond learns he needs a "constant" to stop the time shifts. A constant is someone you know from both times. Desmond picks Penny, his ex-girlfriend, whom he still loves. In 1996, he convinces Penny to give him her phone number, and tells her that he will call her Christmas Eve in eight years. He returns to 2004, remembers the number, dials it, and upon speaking to her, his mind recovers.

Desmond had been trapped on the island for years, after his boat crashed onto the island. All that time, he's been longing for Penny, and wanting to return to her. That phone call was the first time they'd talked in years, so hearing them profess their love for each other was amazing. As was knowing that phone call saved Desmond's life. The actors Henry Ian Cusick and Sonya Walger played the scene perfectly.

(Have I mentioned that Desmond is also my favourite character? And that their love story is my favourite love story on television?)

When I first watched this scene, I actually had to stop it midway through that scene (I'd taped it because I worked the night it was on) because I was crying so hard I couldn't see the screen or hear what they were saying. Afterwards I rewound the tape and watched the scene again. And again.

Later on in the season, you find out that their phone call lead directly to the rescue of some of the "Oceanic 6". Another very touching moment in that season, as the clip I linked to shows their actual reunion.

(end spoilers)

As you can see, I am a bit of a romantic, and things to do with love or lost love move me. :) I also got a bit carried away with my write-ups, so I'll probably devote another entry or two to the subject of very moving art at later dates. Here's my question for those who choose to comment: What piece of art (any medium) moves you? I mean that in any way, my examples were ones that made me cry, but yours can be ones that fill you with joy, or make you angry. Anything, I care what YOU think!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bad News From Disney Studios (and a Blurb About the New "Survivor" Season)

I was originally going to write a post dedicated to the new season of Survivor, but just a minute ago I read this news story, and it is much too big not to write about. I'll have a blurb about Survivor at the bottom, for those who are interested.

The film-unit chairman of Walt Disney Studios, Dick Cook, has resigned. Personally, I think it may be something resembling a dismissal as the article states that Cook's unit lost $12 million dollars last quarter, which is quite a bit of money. It is also possible that his position was no longer needed after Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment Inc. In the same vein, I'm still very unhappy about Disney acquiring Marvel, I'm worried that it will lead to a "wimping down" of the Marvel franchises--less violence, less potentially "adult" subject matter, etc.

Normally news of a chairman's resignation wouldn't even hit on my radar, but I found out via this story. This is bad news, for Disney, and for the fans. Johnny Depp is hot stuff, and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is even hotter. If Depp is unhappy, there is the possibility that Pirates 4 may not happen. The Hitfix article even stated that there is not a script! Why announce the project if it is not 100% guaranteed, script ready? Depp said in the article that his participation in the project is dependant on whether or not there is a good script. I just wonder what Disney will do if the script ends up being junk and Depp refuses to commit to the project. Recast Captain Jack? That would be blasphemy, and there'd be a fan revolt. Many of the fans would not see the film if Depp is not involved, as well. There is a real possibility of Disney losing one of their big cash cows.

What do I think? I think Disney needs to focus on writing an amazing script, and making some calls to Depp to show him that they support his vision for Captain Jack and that they want him in the movie, which is what the Hitfix article also said. I'm not happy about the situation, I think Disney dropped the ball big time in announcing Pirates 4 before all the t's were crossed. If Pirates 4 doesn't happen, it's not just the revenue from that film they'll be losing. Fans will be very disillusioned and angry at Disney, perhaps to the point of refusing to watch a Disney film or get invested in a Disney franchise. I would not go that far, personally, I'll be disappointed of course, but I wouldn't be calling for a Disney boycott. In any case, this is not a good situation to be in right now.

Changing topics to Survivor! I really love Survivor, I've watched part of the first two seasons, but from season 3 on, I was a devoted fan. My Mom and I would get together every Thursday night to watch it and comment on it. For three years, while I was employed I worked every Thursday so that tradition couldn't happen (I taped it and watched it on Friday or Saturday), but now that I'm unemployed, it's back and I couldn't be happier! My Mom and I both agree that Russell H is slime, and definitely going to be this season's villain. That being said, he sure is going to be fun to watch.

(episode 1 spoilers to follow)

Russell H has made alliances with pretty much all the female members of the tribe, and is already calling the shots. He also stated that he has no interest in winning the money, and that he's there to cause trouble and show everyone how easy it is to manipulate the game. He also poured out all the water canteens and burned Jaison's socks. I was disappointed to see Marisa go, I was hoping Ashley would get the boot, but it just shows how much power Russell H has. He orchestrated Marisa's removal by telling everyone that she was suspicious of him and didn't trust him. Don't be getting on Russell H's bad side, folks.

(spoilers have ended)

I think it'll be an interesting season. I'm wondering whether Exile Island will be returning, or whether that, and the hidden immunity idol, have been retired. We will probably find out for sure next episode, and you know I'll be tuning in at 7pm on CBS/Global, on Thursday!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"The Jay Leno Show"

I am not a Jay Leno fan, in the least. I used to be at the tender age of 14, when I just started watching late night television, but nowadays, I'm all about Conan O'Brien. Unfortunately, I cannot watch Conan all that often, because The Tonight Show doesn't start until 10:35 pm, and due to CreComm, I'm generally in bed before then (my, do I sound old right now!). Nevertheless, I decided to tune in on Monday night, particularly because Kanye West was set to be on, and we all know about the latest Kanye West debacle.

I can't say I was a fan of the show. It was essentially Jay Leno's The Tonight Show, only at nine pm instead of 10:35. The one interesting part of the show was when Leno spoke to West, who was apologetic, and says that he was rude. Headlines, one of Leno's more famous segments, also appeared on the show, though near the end. Jerry Seinfeld wasn't bad, but I can't say I'm a fan of his either (will I be shunned by the world if I admit that I am not a Seinfeld fan in the least?). I rarely watch these sort of shows for the guests, I watch them for the monologue and the segments. Neither the monologue nor the segments made me laugh, save for Headlines, which got a giggle or two out of me.

Will I watch again? Perhaps, if it's 9pm and I have nothing better to do. But I think I'm better off starting to record my precious Conan O'Brien in order to get my fill of Late Night television.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend Movie Thoughts

I was sick most of the weekend, so I ended up seeing two "new" being in theatres (shh).

Be Kind, Rewind

To say I was disappointed with this film would be an understatement. I really wanted to see it in theatres, but I was rather busy when it came out and I ended up missing it. I went with my Dad to rent movies, and I was in the mood for something funny (I thought about getting Waltz With Bashir, but I was sick and sore and didn't want to watch something about war that would bring me down), so I recalled this film and decided to rent it, thinking my parents would like it. We also got I Love You, Man, which I'd saw in theatres, and loved. My parents loved it at well.

Anyways, I think Be Kind, Rewind was poorly marketed. I thought it would be a light hearted movie about two guys filming their own versions of famous movies, and to an extent it was, but it also had some very sad aspects to it. These two aspects did not mesh well together, nor was the film as funny as I'd thought it would be. I hate to say it, but it was actually rather boring. I'm not a big Jack Black fan either, which didn't help things either. Luckily, on Sunday I saw a movie I really enjoyed....


Let me start out by saying that I really enjoy animation, particularly computer animation. If you talk film with me long enough, I will most likely mention that I adore Pixar and have seen every single Pixar film in theatres (I saw Toy Story in theatres when I was five years old!), and intend to continue that trend as long as possible. Now, 9 isn't Pixar, it was done by Relativity Media, and Starz Animation and released by Focus Features.

What I really enjoyed about the film was just how beautiful it looked. The animation was impressed, the post-apocalyptic setting was both sad and very haunting. I was impressed at the detail put into the characters, it looked like they were actual fabric. Just take a look at this image:

(Originally from theflickcast)

I also liked that it was essentially a story about human nature, and how people function in groups and when exposed to danger. But the characters weren't human, they were "stitchpunks" (according to director, Shane Acker) , or dolls as I refer to them. It was very dark, which is something that is a little unusual in animation, at least in North America. The voice cast impressed me, especially since the actors were not playing themselves in animated form. Elijah Wood was particularly good as the protagonist, "9". A big pet peeve of mine is when actors do an animated film, and are essentially playing versions of themselves, which is common in Dreamworks animated films. Take a look at Kung Fu Panda for example, Jack Black is playing himself. Though admittedly, I am biased, as I stated earlier that I do not like Jack Black much. Shark Tale is another example, where all of the actors are playing characters that look like themselves (albeit, themselves as fish), and act like themselves, or caricatures of characters they often play. In 9, the actors were actually acting, and they did it very well.

So please go see 9 in theatres, the spectacular animation lends itself very well to the big screen.

Friday, September 11, 2009

On the Run Post: Excellent Movie News

I'm going to make a quick drive by post. Pirates of the Caribbean 4 has been announced.

This is exciting news. While the second and third films were not nearly as good as the first, they were still fun, and Johnny Depp's character was easily the best in the films. Without his performance, the first Pirates of the Caribbean would have been a forgettable summer blockbuster. I'm also hoping for a return of Geoffrey Rush who played Barbossa in the films.

Johnny Depp is also my favourite actor, so any news about new film roles tends to make me happy. According to the same article, he will also be playing "Tonto" in The Lone Ranger.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Film Release Date Changes: Bad Film or Bad Economy?

Occasionally highly anticipated films are pushed back (delayed), much to the chagrin of film fans. Those who are more cynical see these moves as a sign that the film in question is not testing well among test audiences, is of poor quality, or that the studio simply does not know what to do with it. Much of the time, it is simply a financial move. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince went from a November 2008 release to a July 2009 release. Warner Brothers had a huge financial success with The Dark Knight in 2008, therefore affording them the chance to delay the film, so further final touches could be made on it, and enabling them to make more money in the 2009 summer movie market. This move was a good one for Warner Brothers (though I was greatly angered when I heard the news last year), as HPB has made over 279 million dollars as of September 9th, 2009.

Shutter Island is a Paramount Pictures film that was supposed to be released on October 2nd, 2009. Instead it has been delayed until February 19th, 2010. Paramount has blamed the bad economy, among other things. But why did they pick February 2010? February is generally the studios’ dumping ground for poor quality films. Does this mean Shutter Island is set to disappoint? Darkhorizons states that it has been testing well, but I still remain skeptical. Martin Scorsese is a well known and very well respected filmmaker. Especially after his Best Director win for The Departed, his film deserves more respect than a February opening will give it. I’m thinking that Paramount simply does not understand the film, thinks it will not perform well, and wants to release where it will be quickly forgotten.

Another highly anticipated film, The Wolfman has been delayed multiple times. It was originally supposed to open in late 2008, then February 2009 (again, a bad sign), then April 2009, then it was announced that it would be released in November 2009 so there would be more time to promote the film. Finally, in July 2009 it was announced that it would be delayed again, for February 12, 2010. The Wolfman has undergone extensive re-shoots , which does not seem to be a good sign at all, at least to me. We shall see in February whether The Wolfman was worth the long wait, I am hoping it will be.

One more example of a long delay is with Spike Jonze's Where The Wild Things Are. Originally supposed to be released in 2008, mixed reactions, particularly the film being "too scary", lead to rumours of the film being scrapped and re-shot from the ground up. Thankfully, this rumour didn't pan out, Warner Brothers gave out more money for the project so more work could be done, and the current release date of October 16, 2009 was set.

Now, I'm extremely excited for Where the Wild Things Are. I loved the book as a child, and was devastated when I heard the rumour that the film was potentially going to be scrapped. I'll even admit that under the right circumstances, the trailer brings tears to my eyes. The combination of the song in the trailer (the very powerful Wake Up by the Arcade Fire), the clips shown, and the text between the clips is enough to move me very much. Watching the trailer again for this entry did actually make me cry. So, needless to say, I shall be sitting in the theatre watching this film on or shortly after October 16th.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Introductory Post (Welcome to My Little Home on the Internet!)

Hi! And welcome to my blog! My name is Jennifer Hanson, and I am a student at Red River in the Creative Communications (CreComm) program. This blog was an assignment for the program, but instead of seeing it as an assignment, I'm seeing this as a great opportunity to present myself, my ideas, and my passions to the online world. My goal is to establish a readership, and interact with other film and television fans online. That being said, don't be surprised to see posts relating more to school, or subjects other than film and television (I like to branch out!).

I love film and television. I've been a member of various forums dedicated to the subjects since 2003, since I was thirteen years old. Since then, my love has only grown and in my spare time, I dedicate myself to further educating myself on film and television. In this blog, I will most likely be talking about upcoming films, by posting trailers, commentary and links to stories of interest. I will also talk about the television I watch (and possibly the television I will never, ever watch), and again, post stories of interest. There will also be commentary on films I've seen, and trends in film. Essentially, whatever I find interesting, and feel that my readers will enjoy reading about! My entries will vary in length, from on the run links to stories or trailers, to much longer entries. I'll try to offer a good variety.

I'd like to encourage everyone to comment on anything they find interesting, whether they agree or disagree. However, I would like to ask all commenters to please refrain from making derogatory remarks, personal attacks, and using curse words. This is a school blog, therefore a certain level of professionalism is requested. Any comments with the above will simply be deleted. Please feel free to post film recommendations...I promise I will make a pointed effort to watch any recommendations and post my feelings about them. That being said, school will be keeping me busy and this is not a firm guarantee that I will watch every film that is recommended to me.