Friday, June 25, 2010

Mrs. Amanda Reviews KNIGHT AND DAY

I had forgotten how much I liked Tom Cruise.  Like Mission: Impossible, Knight and Day is Tom at his best: confident, charming, and funny.  The story is tight, Cameron Diaz is entertaining (and not as ditzy as I expected her to play, thank goodness), and the action sequences are short and full of explosions.  To get to the point immediately in this review, I really dug this movie and I would see it again.

If, for some reason you haven't clicked away because you already have the gist of what I thought, here's my slightly-more extended version:

Monday, June 21, 2010

KK Reviews the A-Team

Also available for bar mitzvahs!

"...if no one else can help you, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire The A-Team".

So began one of the greatest shows of my childhood. Half shoot 'em up and half buddy comedy, the tv show brought together George Peppard with Mr. T and threw in Dirk Benedict and Dwight Shultz to form a quartet of slightly crazy ass-kickers who never really hurt anyone. Explosions, gun fights, Mr. T and Face, plus the irascible Howlin' Mad Murdoch. How could you go wrong?
Bradley Cooper looks tired after a long day on-set.

With fond memories in my heart, I was pretty, pretty, pretty excited to see the movie incarnation of the beloved series, and figured the casting looked pretty strong. I have been a big fan of Sharlto Copley since District 9, and Liam Neeson is always quite good. Its not difficult to get AK to anything showing Bradley Cooper, and I was interested to see how Rampage Jackson would do.

So, you ask, how the heck was the movie? Much better than you would expect, actually. The previews for this film were cringe-inducing and I was considering skipping the movie altogether just based on that. However, given that there are relatively few decent pictures available, I went anyways and was pleasantly surprised.

The movie provides a little bit of back-story on how the four main characters all meet, and nicely ties in the current war on terror to the plot line. It has the now somewhat typical tendency to make the CIA the bad guys, and to showcase a thinly veiled version of Blackwater as the badder guys, but the film is mercifully light on any political messages.

Now say it after me, "I pity the fool"

Acting wise, I felt Copley really stole the show as Murdoch. The character, being insane and all, obviously has a lot more comedic opportunities, but Copley managed to put his own stamp on the role and provided a good dose of humour when needed. Neeson is obviously a very good actor. He inhabited the role made famous by George Peppard and gave just enough homage to make the transition seamless, and did it all without looking like he was slumming. Cooper is a star on the rise, and was the right choice for the role. Able to look believable as a charming ladies man or military ass-kicker, Cooper did the role justice and then some. Jackson, being a little light on the experience, did a decent job with what he was given, but the writers seemed to have him repeating lines (either Hell No or Hell Yeah) every other sentence.

Acting aside, The A-Team had all the elements of a good shoot-em-up. Several explosions, some good chases, high-tech gadgets and some rowdy boy humour. The final scene was a little too reminiscent of a scene in The Losers, but all in all you couldn't really ask for more in a PG-13 movie.

Jessica Biel stops to ponder why she is even in the movie.

The plot is a little thin, Jessica Biel is completely unnecessary and the movie has perhaps a few too many over-the-top action sequences (using the main gun on a tank to slow the descent of said tank?). That said, A-Team was a better-than-average summer popcorn flick that can and will keep you entertained, provide a few laughs and makes sure the good guys prevail in the end. They were faithful enough to the original (Hannibal uses a Mini-14!) to keep me happy, and they dispensed with the poor shooting (Storm trooper bad) that made the tv show look bad and in doing so came out with a movie you should see!

3 out of 4 Handies.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Get Him to the Greek, the new-ish Russell Brand-Jonah Hill vehicle, is ostensibly a sequel to 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall. That film featured Brand and Hill in supporting roles that were quite funny, and in Brand's case, star-making.

Greek stars the aforementioned Hill as Aaron Green, a lowly record company executive who is given his big chance by producer Sergio Roma (P.Diddy). The problem is that his chance involves getting notoriously rowdy (and down on his luck) rock star Aldous Snow to Los Angeles from London in 72 hours. Oh, and PS, Snow has been on a multi-year drugs and booze bender since the breakup of his union with girlfriend Jackie (Rose Byrne) and the demise of his career after a poorly thought out tribute to African children.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Much to the chagrin of its fans (present company included), Legend of the Seeker was canceled last month after the conclusion of its second season.  Not able to imagine a world without a Mord-Sith or a Confessor, the LoTS fans have kicked their show-saving efforts into high gear, firing off thousands of letters, purchasing a number of advertisements, and collecting DVDs for local libraries.  You can read more about it here.

So, this begs the question - is the effort worth it?  Can a canceled show be saved?  And the answer is...of course!  To name a few:

Mrs. Amanda (Super-Briefly) Talks CRIMINAL MINDS

There are going to be some casting changes on the next season of Criminal Minds - namely, AJ Cook is out and Paget Brewster is only part-time (suck-o - I love me some Paget).  Read about it here.

This is a moot point to me, though, because Kyle and I will be switching over from the original Criminal Minds to Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (the spin-off) sister has been named the Co-Casting Director on it!  YAY!  Not that we won't check back to see what Joe and Shemar and Matthew are up to, but I'm only going to recap CM:SB.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mrs. Amanda Reviews THE MTV MOVIE AWARDS

I think I'm officially too old for the MTV Movie Awards.  Truth be told, though, I'm pretty sure that 90% of the audience (excluding the Twilight cast and Zac Efron) were past viewing prime.  How did I know that I was too old?  Even with the incessant swearing, the bright, flashing lights, the hot teeny-bopper stars, I was bored.  Here's the benchmark: if you joined in when Peter Facinelli sang the now-retired MTV theme song, this year's awards show was probably not for you.
If this photo doesn't make your panties moist, you're too old for the MTV Movie Awards.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mrs. Amanda Reviews IRON MAN 2

I saw Iron Man 2 with my husband, sister and parents on its opening weekend, but I waited to blog about it until I could see if the bad reviews were agreed upon by actual audiences and not just critics. In terms of my own family, I was the only one who really dug it…which seems to be the general consensus with the masses. Fortunately for all of you, my opinion is the only one that counts ;).

Here’s the storyline: 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Guest Stars We Like - Jackie Debatin

As a couple of new Netflix customers, AK and I have been watching Season 1 of Party Down via the X-Box. While its tough to break away from MW2 (Go Team FeaR), watching the hilarious Party Down has more than made up for my loss.

In the first episode, "Willow Canyon Homeowners Annual Party", we saw the familiar face (several, actually) of Jackie Debatin. This lovely was previously known to us only as Elizabeth the Stripper from the "Ben Franklin" and "Fun Run" episodes of The Office. She plays a horny homeowner in Party Down, and does it with style! Her charms seem to work on Henry, whom she recognizes from his beer commercial, and she gives him a handy in his car at the end of the episode.

The Penny Project: Correction and New Find

The Penny Project continues to run wild with success. 31 cents worth of success, to be exact. Recent hot finds have included 15 cents in a dressing room in Winnipeg, 5 cents at a Tim Horton's and a penny at a funeral.

The correction I want to make is to note that due to a severe misuse of math, I figured we needed 1000 pennies, when we actually need 10,000! The mistake should have been fairly obvious, but I totally missed it. So, the count down will continue but it will take just a little longer! 9893 pennies to go!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


We just finished up a long weekend in the United States, which meant that I had an entire extra day to catch up on my tv watching.  I was flipping around on Sunday morning (instead of taking a nice bike ride or doing something productive) when I came across Van Wilder - specifically, the scene where the nerdy fraternity pays Van to throw them a non-nerd party.  At said party, two of the geeks are playing Ms Pac-Man instead of mingling with the ladies.  I recognized one of the fellas ("Vernon") as Simon Helberg of The Big Bang Theory fame.

However, while perusing the Internet for a screencap of the scene (didn't find one), I realized that his on-screen cohort ("Panos Patakos") was none other than Jason Winer.  Who, you might ask?  Well, let me explain:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

KK Gives You Your Opinion of MACGRUBER

We used this long Memorial Day weekend to take in Macgruber, the Saturday Night Live-inspired comedy featuring Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe and Val Kilmer. Though AK was a little less than inspired, calling it "two awesome actors surrounded by ridiculousness," I thought it met and exceeded any expectations I might have had.