Thursday, April 30, 2009

Watch Dollhouse Week #3

A little late again with Wednesday's episode post, but I'm trying to stay up to date at least. Looking forward to the new episode Friday, but this is fun catching up.

DAY 3: Needs
Episode 8 - Actives Escape! Thought it was more about super glitching and then suddenly realized that DeWitt wanted this to happen. Ballard isn't in this episode much, but last week he got a message from inside the dollhouse. Pretty cool and the story is becoming multi-layered which I love. Topher says they are running a test. At the end we realize it was Dr Saunder's idea. It was a self-contained episode that really only dealt with the ideas behind the series and not resolve anything. I found it engaging, but I craved the need for more mystery which I got in the last 30 seconds. I also got to see glimpses of the actives' past which I really enjoyed since the characters of the actives are hard to engage in. This episode made me feel for them and got me thinking about why they would enter the dollhouse to begin with. Good episode.

Hulu has all the episodes online, plus you can get them on FOX ON DEMAND. Both Hulu and Fox on Demand are FREE. Plus, you can buy from Amazon or iTunes. Watch Dollhouse Week has all the links you'll need too.

Again, I can't say it enough. Watch Dollhouse. It's a great show and Eliza Dushku looks fantastic each week.

American Idol Results

For a minute I thought Adam Lambert might go home. Alas, my prediction of Matt G came true. Good luck Matt! Looking forward to hearing your record.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

American Idol Thoughts - Top 5: Standards

April 28th, 2009 - Top 5 Perform Rat Pack Standards

My initial reaction is that this was an excellent show. I loved it. Everyone did a really great job. But tomorrow, someone has to go.

Kris - I loved his performance. Understated and effortless. Great job.
Alison - C'mon, she did fantastic! She was really great and I loved her tonight. She did much better than I thought she would. Vote for her America. I did twice.
Matt G - He did a bang up job tonight. I thought he did a good job by singing lower most of the time and really opening up tonight. I think he still tried a little too hard by singing more runs than he needed too, but all around I found it one of his better performances.
Danny - In it to win it. I really loved him tonight. Hands down my favorite of the night!
Adam - He was good. But I still don't like him. Too theatrical and a little too confident. He doesn't need to win, he might want to, but he can still get a record deal if he doesn't. I just wasn't that thrilled.

Overall, a great night of music and we'll see what tomorrow brings. My gut tells me that Matt G is out of his depth in this competition now. In a slower year, he could win the whole thing, but I think he goes out 5.

Watch Dollhouse Week #2

DAY 2: Echoes
This was originally episode 7.

This episode introduced us to the greedy soulless corporation behind the Dollhouse - the Rossum Corporation. Basically, the episode is framed around the idea that the Rossum Corporation is testing a drug on a college campus that affects memories and makes people loopy. We were also introduced to the lives of the dolls before they became "actives". It talked about memory "glitches" where the dolls start to remember their lives before they came to the dollhouse. Also, for some reason, Echo/Caroline, sees a glimpse of a college building from her past and she is compelled to go there even though she is on assignment. We also meet a secondary character, Sam, that helps propel this story as he is trying to steal a drug that the Rossum Corporation is testing on a college campus and sell it to a rival corporation. We also find that the "actives" can remember things outside of their lives that they are programmed to live while on assignments, since Echo does this repeatedly. I'm convinced that this wasn't just the drug but a side affect of what they are doing at the dollhouse. We also see Echo refuse a treatment from her handler Boyd, but I'm convinced it's because he was affected by the drug at the time. It gives us glimpses of details about how Echo came to be and the idea that she was recruited by Ms. DeWitt. We also see her doing it again with Sam. Possibly, dolls are recruited and it's all done for money and they think of this as a job even though the "actives" are just being exploited by the greedy Rossum Corporation. I'm probably dumbing this down, but see how interesting it is. It was a very engaging episode that left me with more questions than answers, but it helped to make a richer story for me as a whole for the series.

Watch Dollhouse Week continues tomorrow.

Again, I can't say it enough. Watch Dollhouse. It's a great show and Eliza Dushku looks fantastic each week. There's a new episode on Friday at 9pm on FOX.

Watch Dollhouse Week #1

Yesterday started Watch Dollhouse Week. It's basically an internet fan movement for the TV show Dollhouse created by Joss Whedon. I am really enjoying this show and like all Whedon series, it's in danger of not getting renewed. Since I love the show, I decided to take part in this internet social experiment by watching an episode of Dollhouse that is suggested each day from 4/27 - 5/1 and then tuning into a new episode Friday night at 9pm on FOX. I figured I'd blog and twitter about it each day after I watch the episode they suggested and give a reaction. I've seen all the episodes already, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to re-watch and comment, plus it would be fun. I'm a day behind already, but it's the thought that counts. And if you're not watching DOLLHOUSE, this is a good opportunity for you to start by watching the suggested episodes online and then tune in to the new episode Friday at 9pm on FOX.

DAY 1: Man on the Street
This was episode 6 in the series and this is the one that changed it all for me. Dollhouse up until this point was a hard to follow yarn about an underground club of sorts for the really rich who rent humans that are imprinted with specific memories and abilities. I say hard to follow, because it was very mysterious up until this point and I wasn't sure where it was headed. This episode gave it a new focus and new dimension for me. FBI agent Paul Ballard comes face to face with Echo, whom he knows as Caroline, and thinks he's finally on to something with the mysterious dollhouse. I'm like, he's going to figure it out and drill in. But then as you'll see it goes deeper including the introduction of a sleeper "active doll" which is fantastic. I don't want to ruin it if you haven't seen it yet. An abused "doll" by their handler, more talk about the "actives" becoming attracted to one another. It's a stand out episode that is interspersed with Man on the street interviews asking the general public about the Dollhouse. I loved those. Anyway, this episode made the series more intriguing for me and more enjoyable. I suggest you check it out. Hulu has all the episodes online, plus you can get them on FOX ON DEMAND. Both Hulu and Fox on Demand are FREE. Plus, you can buy from Amazon or iTunes. Watch Dollhouse Week has all the links you'll need too.

Tonight, I'll blog about the next episode in Watch Dollhouse Week: Echoes

Again, I can't say it enough. Watch Dollhouse. It's a great show and Eliza Dushku looks fantastic each week.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

April 21st, 2009 - Top 7 Perform Again! Disco Night
Good all around show with lots of surprises in my opinion. Hated the old disco performances from the elimination night, but we did get a little Archuleta after having some DC (David Cook) the week before. Here's my reactions from this week's performances.

Lil - "I'm Every Woman". Finally a great song choice, but I didn't love it. Man, this girl just needs a super producer to take her and scoop her up. She needs lots of guidance and I still feel that she could be a Whitney Houston type. But, this is probably it for her.
Kris - "She Works Hard For The Money". Seriously Kris, you picked this song? It was a good performance and I liked what he did with it. But a very weird song choice for me.
Danny - "September" by Earth Wind & Fire. I knew this would be a rough week for Danny, but he pulled it off. I liked it and it had tons of energy. I'm sure not the type of song he would normally perform, but he did great.
Alison - "Hot Stuff". She looked hot! Wow! Her singing was good as usual, but not her wheelhouse either. I did like her performance though.
Adam - "If I Can't Have You". Just when I'm starting to hate him again, he pulls out another fantastic performance. I did like this performance.
Matt - "Stayin Alive". I liked what he did with the song. I enjoyed the performance. I'm not sure it's enough to stick around another week.
Anoop - "Dim All The Lights". I really liked his performance. I thought he did a great job. Top 5 he you go Anoop.

Elimination Night I was figuring that Lil was going home. Good luck to her. I was surprised that Matt G stayed and Anoop went home. I really was. I like Matt, but I thought Anoop was better the night before.

Let's see what happens this week on Idol. I hear it's Rat Pack Standards Week. Should be interesting....

American Idol - Top 7 perform

April 14th, 2009 - Top 7 Perform Movie Songs
Here's my reactions from this week's performances. Overall a good show, but a few hits and misses. And can I just say, Quentin Tarantino as a guest mentor? I didn't like that. He was so wired and yes he knows music, but he's not a singer and shouldn't be giving singers - singing advice. Good to see the Inglorious Basterds footage though. Then they keep the Quentin packages, but don't allow all 4 judges to give their critiques, but only 2 at a time. DUMB! Hated that. Just make the show longer. I do want to watch FRINGE, but I also want to watch my Idol unfiltered. Just my thoughts. Let's get down to the performances...

Alison - "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" by Aerosmith. She did great. Not my favorite performance of hers, but she did a great job and made a fantastic song choice.
Anoop - "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" by Bryan Adams. I love this song. Anoop did a great job with it. I know Quentin told him to rough it up a lot, but I thought he did a great job with the song. Great Job!
Adam - "Born to Be Wild". OK - I know a lot of people loved it. I'm not denying the guy is good. This performance is exactly what I don't like about this guy. All the squealing and Mick Jagger posing. Didn't care for it.
Matt - Another Bryan Adams song "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman". I thought he did a fantastic job with this song. I agree with Randy & Kara that he may have tried to do a little too much with it, but overall I really enjoyed his performance and would rank it up there with some of his best.
Danny - "Endless Love". I didn't love this for Danny. I thought he was emotional and I connected to that, but he sang the song as the song. For me, that song is always a duet (Lionel Richie/Diana Ross & Luther Vandross/Mariah Carey) and I just couldn't get into fully since it was only Danny. He was good, but I would've loved him to sing a different song.
Kris - "Once" from the movie of the same name. I liked this. I didn't gush over it like the judges did. Too soft for me and I would've like him to do something new with the song. But I liked it.
Lil - "The Rose" originally by Bette Midler. Lil tried to change it up a bit and add a little gospel to it. I'm really not sure what type of album this girl would put out . For me, Lil's performance was pretty good. But I know that this girl can do more.

Elimination Night brought us the crazy judges save with Matt G. I thought this whole concept was a bit contrived and I hated it. I'm glad they used it and I'm glad it's over. Let's get rid of this next year.

American Idol Reactions - Top 8 Songs From the Year They Were Born

April 7th, 2009 - Top 8 Perform Songs From the Year they were Born
Here's my reactions from this week's performances. Overall a good show, but a few hits and misses.

Danny - Performed "Stand By Me". I really liked it. In my iTunes now. Was it his best? I don't think so, but it was a great way to get the show started.
Kris - "All She Wants to Do is Dance" by Don Henley. It was OK. I enjoyed that he was doing something much different than the week before and I usually enjoy him with the guitar. It was just OK for me.
Lil - She did Tina's "What's Love Got to Do With It". It was alright. She is really trying, but she just isn't getting it. She tried to be Tina. She isn't Tina. She's Lil. I'm getting worried.
Anoop - Did a heartfelt "True Colors" from Cyndi Lauper? I loved this performance. I thought he did great and didn't try to sound like anyone. Brilliant.
Scott - "The Search Is Over" by Survivor. What were you thinking? Great song, but not for you. The guitar isn't your friend. Good choice, but I think it's over for you too.
Alison - Did "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt. This was fantastic. I loved it. She is really proving to be a girl with some stage presence. Really really good. Now part of my iTunes library.
Matt G - Stevie Wonder's "Part-Time Lover". Weird song choice I felt, but I liked it. He did a good job I thought.
Adam - not a big fan. He did "Mad World" by Tears for Fears. Not one of the bigger hits. Again, not a big fan - But you can't say he didn't blow it out of the park. This was a genuine moment. I didn't see this on TV, since the show ran over and I was watching it on tape. I watched it on I didn't realize that they put up all the performances online. This is a fantastic idea and they should promote that more, but I guess they want you to watch the show. And you don't get the judges' critiques.

Man this show should've been 2 hours to make more time. Anyway, elimination night Scott went home which was a relief personally. I didn't love Scott. He was good and I enjoyed him, but I believe he was a level down from most of the other contestants. I would have rather Alexis was still in it. Anyway, that's my thoughts.

need to catch up

I'm going to try to post a bunch this week since I've been MIA from the blog. I've been pretty busy and not able to get to share my thoughts much. I've been posting to twitter though so you can keep up there too if you'd like. Have a good week! I'm going to try to post some thoughts on American Idol, Dollhouse, Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, no clue movie reviews and we'll see what else. That's the plan anyway.

Buffalo a #1 Arts Town

I read most of this info on the All Things Jennifer Blog.

This is a link to an article in American Style Magazine website.
Direct Link to more about Buffalo in same article

Here's a link to an article from the NY Times that lists Buffalo as one of the Top 44 Places to Go in 2009!

Finally, one last link: National Trust for Historic Preservation Names 2009 list of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations

Go an enjoy Buffalo people. There is art, theater, green space, water access, decent movie theatres including old gems like North Park Art Theater, football, hockey and much more. I've been visiting a lot this year due to some family issues and it's always a pleasure to be back home. It's more than just a snowy city folks. Spring/Summer/Fall is a great time to visit if you're not into the snow.

If you're in the area, spend a few days and experience North Tonawanda, Erie Canal and Niagara Falls. I hear Brad Pitt was just there, so why not you?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Out of Town

Been out of town for a little over a week. Not much blogging.
Hopefully, I'll try for more next week when I get back to Burbank.
Later. Hope everyone had a Happy Easter.

Sent from freddie's iPhone

Friday, April 10, 2009

Netcot & podcasts direct to iPhone

Downloaded some podcasts directly to my iPhone this past week. Great
feature. I enjoyed the Netcot podcast about DisneyWorld this week.
Very enjoyable and I highly recommend it.

Sent from freddie's iPhone

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

American Idol iTunes Night Top 9

In a strategic partnership, Fox, American Idol and Apple/iTunes have banded together again this year to offer downloads of songs from each night of American Idol performances. This year, they've upped it by mentioning iTunes a ton during each broadcast. Tonight, they talked about it so much, I'm curious how much each partner is getting paid. Regardless, tonight's lame attempt at a theme night was iTunes night. As long as you could download the song on iTunes, you could sing it. Weird, but good excuse to have a night when the contestants could sing absolutely anything. Here's my review of the performances tonight.

Anoop - I liked his performance of "Caught Up". It wasn't the best of the night, but it was a good solid performance. I think he deserves another week to see what he can do. I was glad to see him do something upbeat this week too.
Megan - This was just bad. She did Bob Marley. Not good at all. I think she's going home this week.
Danny - This was his best performance yet. Heartfelt, emotional and real. I loved it. He did Rascal Flatts and I think I will buy that song on iTunes. Hey it's working Fox and Apple.
Allison - I thought she sounded good and I even liked her quirky outfit. She sang "Don't Speak" by No Doubt. It wasn't her best I don't think, but I thought she did good.
Scott - I hate to keep picking on Scott, but c'mon he doesn't sound contemporary. Taylor Hicks sounded more contemporary than he does. He did Billy Joel tonight. I thought it was a good performance, but I just can't help thinking that he's out of his depth. How did Alexis leave and Scott & Megan are still performing? He might make it another week, but just because Megan was sooo bad.
Matt G - I love this guy. But he may need help picking songs. Whenever he can pick whatever he wants, he picks the totally wrong song. Is there anything wrong with The Fray? No. He did good, but he didn't show us a heartfelt deep in my gut Matt G performance. I thought Apologize by One Republic, Cry Me A River by Timberlake or even an updated version of a soulful Careless Whisper or Father Figure would've been much better choices for Matt G. Email me Matt, I've got some ideas for you, because you are too good to go home yet.
Lil Rounds - She sounded great. Don't get me wrong. I love Lil. Here's my problem with Lil. She is trying too hard. She suffers from what Matt G suffers from. They are cracking under the pressure and picking songs that don't suit them. Celine Dion? She tried to sound like Celine. Not a good choice for me. Why isn't this girl doing Mary J Blige, Lauren Hill, Mariah Carey or at least early Janet Jackson? She can do it. I think Lil needs a producer and she'll do fine. She just might not last in the competition.
Adam - I don't like Adam. I'm not gonna lie. But I think for the 2nd consecutive week, he's pulled off fantastic performances. Last week was much better. But he still made Play that Funky Music sound current and that's pretty good.
Kris - Tonight he had a moment. Very shocked and surprised by his stunning heartfelt raw performance tonight. Ain't No Sunshine. Definitely downloading that track.

Finally, was Paula reading from a music dictionary tonight? I think she was trying hard to sound like she knows what she's talking about. I love Paula, but quit talking so much. I really like Kara too, but she is starting to talk way too much too. Simon should be the only judge that is allowed to go on and on, because I respect his opinions so much. Randy is good, but he's usually to the point mostly. These ladies are just talking way too much and not saying that much. I love you girls, but keep it a little shorter if you can. At least give it a try. What can it hurt?

Let's see what tomorrow brings.