Thursday, July 26, 2012


Normally I start with a cute title using the word “Edition” at the end of it. Maybe because I have been on yet another extended hiatus this will be a joke-free edition of the Entertainment Guru News and Views. This will be much different than anything I have ever written here. Before I get started, I promise to once again return to writing my pop culture thoughts on a more regular basis. Batman stands for justice. Everyone knows that. But on July 20th something occurred in the real world that was a grave injustice. We could have used the Dark Knight in Aurora, Colorado. That was the night that James Holmes strolled into a midnight showing of Christopher Nolan's movie "The Dark Knight Rises." If you looked at him, you wouldn't have given him a second glance. With his dyed red hair, he looked like someone that would be in a comic book movie at midnight. But no one knew what was going to happen that night. According to reports, he propped the back exit open and left the theater, returning to his car. When he returned, he came back with several guns. When gunfire erupted on screen, gunfire also erupted for real. In the aftermath, there are twelve people dead and over forty people injured. His motives weren't clear. Why would someone do that? Unfortunately, we may never know. Clearly he wasn't in his right mind. Especially when he also admitted to booby trapping his apartment for the cops. I'm not a lawyer but in days like this a part of me wants to be. I would love to be on the prosecution team against James Holmes. I have already heard the term “temporarily insane” being tossed around. I'm not a doctor. I'm not a lawyer. But to me premeditation doesn't scream temporarily insanity. He ordered the guns and the 6000 rounds of ammo on the internet. It's not like they were delivered the next day. Holmes had plenty of time to change his mind or think "This isn't the great idea I thought it was!" To me, he knew exactly what he was doing. He had a plan and he carried it out. Granted, if I said that in court I am sure I would be met with an "Objection! Pure speculation." Reports came out yesterday that he detailed his plan in a notebook that he sent to the University of Colorado. He drew stick figures killing people in a theater. But no one understood what it meant. So it sat in the mailroom for months. Which is really a shame. To think this could have been prevented. Karma can be a funny thing. During filming of Terminator 4 just three years ago, an audio recording of star Christian Bale was released of him verbally destroying one of the crew members. He was said to be difficult to work with and arrogant. In the days after the shooting, Bale came forward with thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families. That could have been enough for him. But no. He traveled to Aurora, Colorado to meet with the victims of the shootings. A little bit of good karma goes a long way, Mr. Bale. I went to the midnight showing in my town. I never once thought my safety was at risk. But I am on the east coast, the shooting occurred after I had left the theater in my town. I didn't find out about it until the next morning. But I did see it a second time, knowing the events of Colorado. It made some of the violent scenes a little hard to watch. Sometimes I wish I was still a child. Because news like that wouldn't bother me. I wouldn't know what it meant. Just two days later, I saw a child walking around with a Batman t-shirt and a Batman cape. He was blissfully unaware of the tragedy. He just knew that Batman was his favorite super hero (OBJECTION! Pure Speculation!!) and he wanted the world to know that. I'm not going to lie. I was jealous of him. It's hard to look at the black bat in a yellow oval and not think of what it must have been like in that theater in Colorado. I, like many others, wish I didn't know what happened that night. For every person in the world like James Holmes, we need someone like Batman. Batman in the film says "A hero can be anyone." There were heroes in that theater. People who protected others and paid the ultimate sacrifice. You don't need fancy weapons or a costume to be a hero. As a lifelong fan of the movies (I attended my first movie at roughly age 5 or 6) I never thought going to the theater would be dangerous. And just because one person did this, it will not change my feeling. Going to the movies is a great experience. That will never change!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Hunger Games Review Edition

Welcome back to the Entertainment Guru News and Views page, where this week I will continue the trend of reviewing a recent movie I watched. You may have heard of the movie I saw last week with my girlfriend Lord called "The Hunger Games".

First, I thought I would break down the cast a little bit. I didn't want to just do a standard movie review this time around. So I thought I would talk about the cast a little to get started. The main character is Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawerence. I had only seen her in one movie prior, and she wasn't exactly a lead in it. That would of course be X-Men: First Class, but let us not forget she is an Oscar Nominee for Winter's Bone. Then we have Josh Hutcherson, who was a child actor (of sorts) that grew up before our eyes. These two were basically the leads. I honestly love what they did as far as casting goes. I personally think movies like the Harry Potter series casted the same way. Add a few young actors (mostly no named actors) and give them the best possible supporting cast possible. In Potter, it was the teachers, etc. Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt, etc. In Hunger Games, we get people like Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz and Wes Bentley.

You may have noticed I left out two people that are shown in the trailers and commercials. However, Liam Hemsworth and Elizabeth Banks, while fine actors, are not exactly showcased in the movie. Hemsworth has one big scene, and the rest of the time he is silent and just brooding. Elizabeth Banks has more scenes then that, but she disappears half way through the movie and isn't needed again. Donald Sutherland does his evil best as President Snow, the man in charge of the Hunger games. He is one step away from being Emperor Palpatine. You would never expect a nice sweet old man to be that callous. But he is. Stanley Tucci plays Ceaser Flickman (which is an awesome name, can I tell you?) who is basically the David Letterman of the Games. He interviews everyone, right before they go out and kill people. Lenny Kravitz plays Cinna, the Tim Gunn of Panem. He is the stylist that will make it work! Wes Bentley (while probably the less known of the actors) plays Seneca Crane, the man who calls the shots of the games. He will create fire to get what he or President Snow wants. He is the Game Maker, and in charge of creating everything the 24 Tributes will deal with while trying to survive. Then you have Woody Harrelson who is perfect as the mentor Haymitch. I had read the book first, and I think they changed his character the most of any of them. I think there are things that could have been said about him to make him more of a sympathetic character like I found him to be in the book. But Woody still does his best. Harrelson has definitely come a long way from playing Woody Boyd on Cheers, my first exposure to him.

My only concern with the movie was there was a lot of shaky camera work. There are times that it makes sense, but there was times it just seemed unneccessary. But if that is my only complaint, you know it's a good movie.

It has alot of different elements going for it. Action? Check! Drama? Yup! Romance? For sure. The movie is almost 2 and a half hours long, but it no where near feels that way. The movie just zips by, and very few moments are spent wasted on useless stuff. It definitely isn't for the young children. It basically is kid on kid violence. But they even do a good job of limiting the gore and blood. There are sometimes it is inevitable, but this is no where a blood bath like it could have been.

I do highly recommend the movie, especially if you liked the books.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dueling Movie Review Edition

The Biggest story in the world right now is the "bomb" that was Disney's John Carter. I put the word in quotations because while I admit it wasn't the biggest success in Disney history, to use the word bomb is not accurate either. It won't make it's cost, that's for sure. And I think that's why the B word is being used as frequently as it is. However, a movie that opens at # 2 and has made over Forty five million dollars is barely a bomb. I just look at how movies like "A Thousand Words" or "Wander Lust" combined probably won't hit $45 million dollars and they have more Star Power then John Carter does. "This Means War" has been out for 4 months and only made 46.9 million dollars. Does that make it a bomb too? Again, I know they are using the word bomb because it won't make what it costs. But clearly, there is evidence out there to say that it is not a bomb. Because if we are SOLELY going on box office earned, there is a movie out there that has been out in theaters for sixteen weeks now and hasn't made what John Carter did in 3 weeks. So that must make it a true bomb right? It's a shame, cause you know... it won a few Oscars including Best Picture! "The Artist" has only made 40.2 million as of March 11th.

John Carter was either going to be a hit or a miss. For any movie that spends as much to make as they did for this movie, you are taking your chances. Unfortunately, it failed to find it's target audience and it gets the horrible label it got.

I have gone to the movie theaters twice in the last few weeks recently. So now I will begin my dueling Reviews! Starting with Dr. Seuss' The Lorax. Now granted I am not the target audience for the movie. But It was a really cute movie. The voices include Taylor Swift as the love interest and Zac Efron as the boy in love with her. Danny DeVito is perfect as The Lorax. Obviously when you have a short ten page story that you are making into a feature length script, you will need to develop other stories to make it fit. The love story was cute. The two villians in the script were voiced by Rob Riggle and Ed Helms. But of course, as usual the person who stole the show was Betty White as Zac Efron's grandmother. I do reccommend the movie to anyone. My only concern was how incredibly politcal the movie was for a kids movie. But again, I think it had to be with the source material.

Then this week I went and saw 21 Jump Street with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. I didn't watch the original show when I was growing up. But if you are in the mood for a fun action comedy, I highly recommend this movie. It was a great bit of role reversal with Jonah Hill playing the cool kid and Channing Tatum has a bit of an outcast. The movie was very tongue in cheek. It never took itself too seriously. There was a line where one of the characters basically admitted that Hollywood has run out of ideas and we are just watching old stuff rehashed as new stuff. My girlfriend Lori and I were the only ones laughing at that line, because it's true. The younger kids in the audience probably didn't even know the movie was based off of a TV show in the 80's. It was incredibly funny from start to finish. Only one bit to me didn't work as well as they intended it to (Wow? That's the thing that actually blows up?) As soon as I saw the trailer I was looking forward to the movie, and it lived up to the hype! See this movie!

Next up is going to be my review of another eagerly anticipated movie "The Hunger Games".

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

First Annual EGNVies Award Edition

Welcome everyone to the first ever EGNVies show. I at one point thought about doing this as a video blog, but decieded against it last minute. Maybe next year. In this edition we will talk about this past weekend's Oscars plus another tragic passing. But we start with some horrible news....

SNOOKI is pregnant. I am thinking about passing around a jar for the baby because that kid is going to need a whole lot of therapy. Just saying. I said this on my friend's facebook page, but it needs to be repeated. I sure how for the child's sake that she has it narrowed down to five to ten possible fathers. My guess? It's the hot tub's baby.

Excuse me a moment while I go and put my suit on as I reveal my Awards for the year. I have taken a list of all the movies that I have seen over the last year that were either in theaters or new to DVD/PPV and compiled the nominations. My categories are a cross between the Oscars, the MTV Movie Awards, and the Golden Globes. Every movie that I have seen will be nominated for best picture, but only one will win. Each category (with the exception of best picture) will have between 2 to 5 nominees. So let's get on with the awards, shall we?

I now present to you the best actor in an action role. Your nominees are Tom Cruise in Mission:Impossible Ghost Protocal, Chris Hemsworth in Thor and Chris Evans in Captain America: The First Avenger. And the winner? Tom Cruise! Say what you will about him as a scientologist. But the fact is he did that stunt on top of the Burj Khalifa tower himself. If that doesnt deserve an award? I don't know what does!

The second category is for Comedy Actress. The nominees are Amy Adams in The Muppets, Elizabeth Banks in Our Idiot Brother, and Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids. The winner? No brainer. If your performance is good enough for an oscar nomination, you deserve an award. Melissa McCarthy wins!

Next up Drama Actress. There are only two nominees in this category, because I don't tend to see too many dramas. The Nominees are Emma Watson for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Scarlett Johnanson in We Bought a Zoo. The winner? Emma Watson. She deserves an award for just having to kiss Ron! Just kidding!

Next up is the Villian of the year. Your nominees are Tom Hiddleston for Thor, Ralph Fiennes for Harry Potter and the DHP2 and Chris Cooper for The Muppets. Your winner? Chris Cooper! If only for his rap song and maniacal laugh!

Next up is Comedy actor. Your nominees are Jason Segal for the Muppets, Paul Rudd for Our Idiot Brother, Simon Pegg for Mission Impossible and Chris O'Dowd for Bridesmaids. This is probably the hardest to award, but in the end it goes to Jason Segal. He was funny and heart warming all while trying to act against someone with a hand stuck up their... nevermind

Ensemble of the Year, your nominees are the cast of Bridesmaids, The cast of Tower Heist, and the Cast of New Year's Eve. The Winners? Congratulations to the cast of Bridesmaids!

Action Female of the year. There are only two nominees again in this category. Is it Paula Patton from Mission: Impossible or is it Jennifer Lawrenece in X-Men First Class? The winner? Paula Patton.

The last individual nominations go for Actor in a drama role. The nominees are Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter, Matt Damon in We Bought A Zoo, and James McAvoey in X-Men: First Class. The winner? James McAvoey did an excellent job making Professor Charles Xavier his own.

And now for the Best Picture of the year.... There are a lot of nominees this year. Some of which you would know from the previous nominations. They are: Moneyball, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Muppets, Tower Heist, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, New Year's Eve, Our Idiot Brother, This Means War, Bridesmaids, We Bought A Zoo, Sherlock Holmes:Game of Shadows, and Mission Impossible:Ghost Protocal. The Winner? The Muppets! It was funny, sweet, charming and so tongue in cheek. It brought back a piece of my childhood, made it funny but never took it self too seriously. I was ecstatic the moment I found out it was being done and to me it lived up to all the hype.

Maybe next year one of the award winners can actually come and claim their award? We must make sure of that! Somehow? No?? Worth a shot!

Now, we had the real awards this past Sunday when the Oscars were held. I said it on Peverett Phile that Billy Crystal was a safe choice for host and he did a fine job. After the debacle that was last years duelling hosts, plus the scandal with Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy this year, that picking someone like Crystal was a good idea. And he lived up to what we expected. A big musical number? A bit dry sense of humor. All in all he was good, but not great. As far as the awards go? No entirely big shockers. Hugo and The Artist were the big winners, with Hugo pulling more of the backstage awards and The Artist winning the major awards. The best moments came from the supporting winners. Octavia Spencer practically had a mental break down on stage. It's a good thing friend to all people (including those that get in his sight line) Christian Bale was there to pick up the pieces. Christopher Plummer had the best line after winning "Oscar? You are only two years older then me. Where have you been all my life?"

In closing, we had another celebrity pass away earlier today. I recently got a chance to see him perform on stage and he put on a great show. We will go out on a sad note as we mourn the passing of Davy Jones....

Wake up Sleepy Jean...Oh what can it mean to a daydream believer and a homecoming queen!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Oscars 2012 Edition

There is a lot in the world of entertainment happening right now. But of course the biggest story so far of the year is the death of Whitney Houston. I would say as far as the late 80's goes, we have lost two of the five biggest musicians of the era, with the other one of course being Michael Jackson. Her later years were not so pretty as far as both personal and professional life. Most people would point to her marriage to bad boy Bobby Brown as what set her down a path she probably never recovered from. Her passing was tragic, but in the end she left us great music and a handful of memorable acting roles as well.

I do however think that too much was made of her passing. The state of New Jersey lowered the flag to half mast? With all the soldiers that died in Iraq and Afghanistan, I personally think that should be reserved for them, not for a musician. I didn't even know she was from New Jersey, quite honestly. But I will reserve judgement on the matter until people like Springsteen and Bon Jovi pass as well. If the honor was fitting her, they deserve the same treatment.

The Oscars are tomorrow, so I wanted to make sure I got my predictions in. For Best Picture, it's hard to argue against the Artist. Making a silent movie in 2011 could have been the biggest gamble ever. That could have flopped worse then Gigli. But I think it's safe to say it was a success! I honestly wouldn't be surprised if in the future we see more silent movies. Think about it. James Cameron made one movie in 3D. It was a success. Now everywhere you turn you see 3D movies. If it works, Hollywood will make it! Until it's overkill...

For Best Actor, I think some guy named Clooney will win. The movie looks like it was made for George plus you add the pedigree of Alexander Payne to him. If it wasn't for the Artist, I think The Descandents would have won best Picture as well.

For Best Actress, wow.... does it get any harder picking between Glenn Close and Meryl Streep? But I think I am going to give it to The Iron Lady, Meryl Streep. Watching the trailer it's so hard to tell that its a movie. She embodied the role of Margaret Thatcher.

For best Supporting Actor, Christopher Plummer will win. Again, a very daring portrait. It's much different then what is usually out there so I hope he wins.

Best Supporting Actress? Octavia Spencer will Help herself to that trophy. Did you see what I did there? No...? Ok. She wins for the Help! There? Better?

For best Director, I will go with Alexander Payne.

I don't see one movie dominating the Oscars like we have seen before though. I think it will be a wide open race for most awards.

The other big news coming out of the Oscars is Sascha Baron Cohen and the Dictator. I am not a fan of this man when he plays these bizarre characters, but I think I am interested in this movie more then I was Borat etc. He wants to attend the Oscars in character, but they said no. Now they seem to be wavering. So we will see tomorrow if he comes in character or not.

Check back later in the week for my Oscar review plus the first ever EGNV Awards!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The I'm so Sorry Edition

Fans of the Entertainment Guru news and views Blog, I am sooo sorry. It's been five months since my last blog, and I promise never to disappear for that long again. I promised a list of the top ten most damaged characters in the history of Television and I never delivered on it. But soon, I will. I was hoping to get alot of imput from other people, but it never happened. So I apologize. I have not given up on the list, as long as my readers have not given up on me!

The biggest news since my last blog is the Oscar nominees were announced recently. I plan on doing my own version of the Oscars, but that's to come a little bit later. Sadly, no actor will actually receive the EGNV Award, but they should! If they want to receive it, they can contact me!

It's rather shocking with all the music that came out for movies the Academy only deemed two songs worthy of best song. I know what song I am hoping for. But then again there are some days I can't tell if I am a man or a muppet. oooops, I guess I gave that away!

Look for a new post coming this week!