Archive for the ‘Josh Lucas’ Category

Fall TV Week Two, Monday: Gotham, Scorpion, & Forever

September 22, 2014

tvset1This is the big week for fall TV premieres (hoorayyyyyzzzzzzzz. . .), so I’ll be breaking it down one day at a time for a few days, so as not to overwhelm.   But first, a few thoughts about last week’s n00bs.

First off, I already said I wasn’t going to be able to stomach Red Band Society though I did, in fact, go watch the rest of the pilot. Opinion unchanged. It’s a show tailor-made for 12 year old girls, so if you’re one of those, you should totes watch because the boys are super cute.  Everybody else, on the other hand, is just going to sit there cringing at the waste of a perfectly fine Octavia Spencer. Did you know she was supposed to star in a remake of Murder: She Wrote instead, but it got shelved? Wouldn’t that have been awesome? (Yes, I know I’m old. SO ARE YOU.)

The Mysteries of LauraAs for The Mysteries of Laura, I have mixed feelings about that one.  I surprised myself by kind of enjoying it, though I was irritated pretty frequently, and not just by that extraordinarily ill-fitting Columbo coat on Debra Messing (though, of course: first and foremost the coat).  At the same time, there’s going to be a lot more Josh Lucas in this than I was expecting, which could solve a lot of scripting and characterization crimes for me. We’ll see what happens with this one over the next couple of weeks.

I also saw the first two episodes of Z Nation on FOX, which I liked well enough to want to keep going.  The characters are decent, and the story so far is intriguing, despite not being terribly original (guy immune to zombie virus being protected to the death by ragtag team of survivors trying to get him to California science lab — been there, done that, but I did like the zombie baby — there would be a LOT of zombie babies, after all). Will be sticking with that one too, at least for now.

What did you guys think of these?  Hitten zee comments withen your comments!

And now: what’s up tonight:

The Big Bang Theory – 8pm – CBS – Can’t stand this show, but since I’m pretty much the only person on the planet who feels that way, I wish you all the best.

gothamGotham – 8pm – FOX – One of the most-hyped new series of the year, this one stars Ben McKenzie, formerly of The O.C. and the extremely good cop series Southland.  He plays commissioner Jim Gorden of Batman fame, but back before Batman times, when he was a fresh-faced young detective.  Based on what I’ve read, each season plans to chart the rise of a particular villain from Batman lore, including Catwoman (tween-aged in season one), the Riddler, and the Penguin.  Bruce Wayne is here too, but as an 11 year-old, so don’t expect much in the way of crime fightin’. Even more inspiring a concept, for me anyway, is the fact it co-stars the ever-scruffy and delicious Donal Logue as Gordon’s much-more grizzled partner.  Mighty good Boyfriend material here, in other words.  Could be fun — should at least be put together fairly well. Looking forward to seeing what they do with this idea, though keeping my expectations at a minimum just in case.

The Voice – 8pm – NBC – Never seen it. Not planning on startin’.

scorpionScorpion – 9pm – CBS – This is one of the few new shows this fall I’m actually kind of excited about (it could be super fun as long as it doesn’t totally suck).  It’s (loosely) based on the real-life experiences of Walter O’Brien, infamous genius hacker, and is about a group of nerds who form a Justice League of sorts to solve crimes for the government.  Not incredibly inspired by the cast, I have to say, but the premise is a good one and it might at least tide us over until CSI: Cyber premieres mid-season.  Fingers crossed!

sleepyhollowSleepy Hollow – 9pm – FOX – I really enjoyed this series last year until the last few months it was on.  Then, suddenly, I found myself losing interest, and I still have about 8 unwatched episodes from season one on my DVR. I’m recording the new ones with the plan to try to get back into this one at some point, but who knows what’ll happen there.  Are you guys big fans of Sleepy Hollow?  If so, what do you like about it? Tell me in comments and I bet you’ll get me all revved up to get back on board.

The Blacklist – 10pm – NBC – Frankly astonished this is still on.  I lost patience with this show about 2 episodes in last year. Did it actually end up being good? Did I screw up again? Oh, don’t answer that.

foreverForever – 10pm – ABC – Poor Ioan Gruffudd, trying for a network TV hit again.  Will this one be the one?  I was game to think so until I saw an ad for it the other day and was physically pained by the incredibly cheesy, overacted narration (from Gruffudd). I literally went like this, “Blaaaaaarggghhhh!”  But who knows, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Gruffud plays a medical examiner who is immortal, and I’m certainly intrigued by the fact that every time he dies (which is apparently a lot, weirdly enough), he apparently comes back to life completely naked in a nearby river.  I could get into that.  Co-stars Judd Hirsch, too, and I do loves me some Judd Hirsch. Not exactly excited about this one, but we’ll see.  Incidentally, the pilot is tonight, with a second new episode tomorrow, and then starting next week, I think it moves permanently to Tuesdays.

That’s it for today!  Check back tomorrow for more! IF YOU DARE.

Fall TV – Week One: Kids Die, Women Have It All

September 16, 2014

tvset1Okay, my peoples!  Here we go!  It’s week one of the Fall TV season, and we’re kicking it off a bit on the slow side, with just three new shows this week and five returning.  Having mapped out the next two months to prepare for this year’s TV posting, I have to say I’m sorely lacking in optimism. But one never knows, after all. Maybe going into this with zippity in the way of expectations will result in mega-pleasant surprise?  What — IT COULD HAPPEN! Just because it never HAS. . . well. . . that’s. . . Oh, never mind.

Here’s what’s coming this week:

Monday, September 15

dwtsDancing with the Stars – ABC – 8pm – I’ve never watched this show, and I don’t aim to start, especially when there are only two people in the cast whose names I recognize (Lea Thompson and Antonio Sabato, Jr.). I did get a teeny tiny little burst of interest when I noticed there’s a regular cast member whose last name is “Murgatroyd;” however, that burst lasted exactly as long as it took me to think, “Heavens to. . .!”, and then quickly passed away again. Enjoy if it’s your thing!

Tuesday, September 16

newgirlNew Girl & The Mindy Project – FOX – 9pm – I don’t watch these two, either, I’m afraid. I’ve seen season one of New Girl, and I enjoyed it well enough, but my tolerance for Zooey Deschanel is fairly limited. I feel like I’d probably love The Mindy Project, but in order to love it, I’d have sit down and watch it, which is where I keep getting stuck.  SOMEDAY!

Wednesday, September 17

redbandsocietyRed Band Society – FOX – 9pm – Good lookin’ teens with terminal illnesses are all the rage these days, thanks to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, but I have to say, I’m not a huge fan of ’em in general. I’m sure many of them are swell kids, but do I really want to get sucked into a TV show all about their impending doom?  I’m going to go with “No,” especially since I already watched part of the pilot, and the word that sprang to mind, lo but ten minutes in, was “schmaltz.”  There’s one potential upside, however, and that’s Octavia Spencer. Kinda love her. I MAY give episode 2 a try, except, oh, no, I won’t. You can watch this one online now at TV Guide, if you want to get an early start at ruling it out.

The Mysteries of LauraThe Mysteries of Laura – NCB – 10pm – Upsides: Debra Messing, Josh Lucas. Downsides: having to pretend it’s actually interesting, in 2014, that a woman might be able to handle being both a cop and a mom, all at the same time. It’s a “mystery,” all right — how humans with boobs might be able to pull that one off. Heavens to Murgatroyd! The tagline for this series is “Who says you can’t have it all?!” I’m irritated already. But I’ll watch the pilot — I will. I’ll do it. For you guys. You’re welcome! (Or something!)

Sunday, September 21

60 Minutes – CBS – 7pm – Without Andy Rooney, I just don’t see the point.

madamMadam Secretary – CBS – 8pm – Reviews for this new political drama have been mixed, so I’m not sure what to expect. I will say I can’t look at Tea Leoni without feeling instantly bored, but since Kirsten Gillibrand was the inspiration for the main character (not Hillary, as you might’ve thought), well, maybe. She’s certainly an interesting lady. Then again, creator Barbara Hall described the show like this: “How do you deal with the president of the United States in the morning and the president of the PTA in the evening?” which leads me back to: seriously? In 2014?  Here’s how: You do. And what’s so weird about that?  C’mon, network TV.  Can we move on from this tremendously tedious concept?  I’ll definitely give this one a try, but, you know, see above re: zippity hope. I bet Kirsten Gillibrand would agree.

goodwifeThe Good Wife – CBS – 9pm – This is another series I’m sure I would love if only I sat down and watched it. But attempts to get through season 1 have mostly failed me; I’m not sure just why.  I’ll definitely try again, but first I feel like I have to watch Scandal, and before that, I have to finish Veep.  So much to do! So little time!

Anyway, there’s the exciting launch of Fall TV 2014.  Hey!  You!  Wake up!  WAKE UP!  I know it’s boring. I know. We’ll try again next week.

MOVIE: The Lincoln Laywer (2011)

March 31, 2011

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a decent legal thriller, and even longer since I’ve seen Matthew McConaughey in anything particularly good, so when reviews of this movie came out and many of my favorite critics said it was fun, I was game.

And fun it is.  While the plot is nothing terribly original and definitely has a few weak spots (for example, when your friend is murdered while investigating something specific, it’s a pretty safe bet that the something-specific is what got him killed — you might want to start there, dummy), overall I found the film really entertaining and McConaughey thoroughly charming as its star.

Matty plays Mick Halter, a rich LA defense lawyer whose office is the back seat of his Lincoln town car, and whose license plate sums up both his track record and his cocky personality:  NTGUILTY.

He mostly specializes in getting bad guys off, living in perpetual fear of the day he’s forced to defend an innocent man and fails.  But when his pal Val (John Leguizamo), a bail bondsman, asks him to take the case of a super-rich young man accused of assault (Ryan Phillippe), Mick quickly realizes his greatest fear may be coming to pass.  The kid, Louis Roulet, seems innocent — his story makes sense, the woman accusing him is a known prostitute trying to get enough money to get out of the biz, and there’s even security camera footage that supports Louis’s description of what went down.

Things get complicated, though, when Mick discovers a connection between this case and one of his old ones.  A man he’d defended years ago and talked into taking a plea for a life sentence — in an attempt to avoid the death penalty — was accused of a crime that looked and sounded a lot like the crime Louis is accused of.  What’s the connection?  Who’s innocent and who’s guilty?  One?  Both?  Someone else altogether?

Though all the “twists” at the end were predictable and all-too-familiar to anyone who reads mysteries regularly (this flick’s based on a novel by Michael Connelly, by the way), I still found this movie good escapist fun.  McConaughey is great in this kind of part — intelligent, arrogant, and thrown for a loop — and the casting of Marisa Tomei, a middle-aged woman with wrinkles and everything!, as Mick’s ex-wife and occasional lover was utterly refreshing.  How nice to see a movie about a handsome guy dating a woman HIS OWN AGE!  Hear that, Harrison Ford?  Yeah, whatever, dude.

All in all, definitely a great way to spend an afternoon.  You can probably wait for the DVD to come out, since there’s nothing that spectacular about it visually, but it’s definitely worth watching somewhere, some how, some day for sure.  Recommended!

[Prequeue at Netflix | View trailer]

Genre:  Thriller
Cast:  Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, William H. Macy, Josh Lucas, John Leguizamo, Michael Peña, Bob Gunton, Frances Fisher, Bryan Cranston

MOVIE: Peacock (2009)

March 3, 2011

I saw a trailer for this film a month or two ago that made it look it might be sort of a reimagining of Hitchcock’s Psycho — an intense thriller about a young man whose mother recently died after a lifetime of tormenting him, and who has since developed a second personality — a woman.

Though this IS essentially the plot, as it turns out, Peacock is not really a thriller so much as a dark story about one man’s tail-spin into madness.

John Skillpa (Cillian Murphy) is a painfully shy guy living in the small town of Peacock (I’d guess it’s the late 50s or early 60s, but I don’t think they actually say).  He works in a bank (for a bit of a tyrant, the always delightful Bill Pullman) and recently lost his mother, continuing to live in the eerie family home alone after her passing.

The townsfolk all know John, but mostly don’t interact with him much — until the day a train derails and crashes into his backyard, nearly killing a young woman none of them had ever seen before.

She introduces herself (skittishly) as Emma Skillpa, John’s wife, but we in the audience can tell immediately that she’s actually John (why no one else can tell, or even remarks on how similar they look, can only be explained by whatever phenomenon it was that protected Superman’s identity every time he put on a pair of glasses and called himself “Clark Kent”).

Almost immediately, a local politician and his wife come up with a great idea — he’s running for reelection and wants to hold a rally in the Skillpa’s backyard, as the train crash has caused a bit of a sensation.  Emma agrees, but John disagrees, and soon, the two personas are engaged in a furious battle of wills.

When a young woman named Maggie (Ellen Page) shows up to tell John her son is his child, the product of a visit from her years ago when she was a prostitute, this throw John even further for a loop.  Especially when he learns Emma is also talking to Maggie and seems to be trying to figure out a way to get custody of the little boy, Jake.  John, afraid Emma will torture Jake as his own mother tortured him, immediately begins trying to subvert all her plans for Maggie.

As the conflicts between John and Emma pile up, John becomes increasingly unstable while Emma begins to come out of her shell.  This transition was fascinating to watch and Cillian Murphy did a fantastic job, I thought, of expressing the contrast between John’s building terror and Emma’s increasing confidence.

Oddly, though the film feels like it’s leading up to a dramatic, thrilling showdown, it ends with more of a whimper than a bang.  It’s possible a more thriller-type finale would’ve felt too predictable, too expected, so I can understand why the filmmakers might not have wanted to go that route.  But while this film was definitely adept at creating a mesmerizing and tense mood, ultimately it left me feeling unsatisfied.  I don’t know how it might’ve avoided that — I have no suggestions for a better ending.  But I wanted more than I ended up with, which is always a bit of a let-down.

All in all, an interesting and unusual film, and one well worth a rental for Cillian Murphy fans.  Sort of recommended, but don’t hate me if you end up hating it.

[Netflix it | Buy it]

Genre:  Drama
Cast:  Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Susan Sarandon, Josh Lucas, Graham Beckel, Bill Pullman, Keith Carradine