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Lost 4.1 – The Beginning of the End

After eight long months off the air, “Lost” is finally back… well, for eight weeks anyways. With the writer’s strike rearing its ugly head midway through production, it looks like fans will have to endure yet another lengthy wait for the remainder of season four. Still, it’s nice to have one of my favorite shows back in rotation. Sure, I probably complain more than anyone when it comes to the chronic inconsistencies of J.J. Abrams’ island drama, but when it comes down to it, there’s no denying that “Lost” has continued to captivate me, through good times and bad.

For the time being, it appears the flash-forward is the new flashback, and this is probably the best news of the season. There weren’t many memorable flashbacks last year, so the integration of this new parallel storytelling device is tantalizing at the very least. I don’t expect the flashbacks to be completely discontinued (then again, maybe they will be), but I wouldn’t expect one to crop up for quite some time.

Speaking of which, tonight’s episode opened with yet another flash-forward – this time starring Hurley. As Jack goes about his daily morning routine (i.e. drinking a glass of OJ spiked with a little vodka), he turns on the local news station to see Hurley in a high-speed pursuit with the police. After crashing into a convenience store and being arrested (all while shouting “Don’t you know who I am? I’m one of the Oceanic Six!”), it’s more or less confirmed that Hurley has gone a bit insane. When the detective in charge of the arrest mentions that he knew Ana Lucia, Hurley denies ever meeting her, and instead pleads for a transfer to the nut house. It’s there that he’s visited by Matthew Abaddon (Lance Reddick, from HBO’s “The Wire”), a man Hurley doesn’t seem to know, but who seems to know everything about him. In fact, when he asks Hurley if “they’re still alive,” the dude totally freaks out.

Read more after the break.

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The last “Best of 2007″ lists you’re getting from us

Yes, I know, it’s cutting it pretty darned close to wait until the last couple of days of January 2008 to run a Best of 2007 list, but that’s the problem with these TV DVD sets: there’s a whole lot of viewing involved to get through them, and you don’t want to give anyone the short end of the stick just because your schedule didn’t allow you to give their set a look. With the confidence that I’ve had a chance to check out the majority of the cool stuff that came out in ’07, however, I hereby present my personal picks for the Top 20 TV DVDs of last year. And when you’ve read through my list, check out Bullz-Eye’s Best of the Best staff picks for 2007! (Oh, and don’t forget to pop back by to tell us if we missed anything!)

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American Idol: Latin Load of Blah

If you’re like me, you are getting weary of the initial round of “American Idol” auditions, and ready to kick this thing into Hollywood gear. After a while, it’s really just the same thing over and over again.
You can sing, or you’re a freak. Last night, they took us to Miami, where the producers predictably shoved Gloria Estefan references down our collective throat. And the auditions, pretty much, were not that good. Let’s start with the freaks…

Shannon McGough was one of the oddest contestants ever…she was an 18-year-old girl with an Irish last name and fair skin, but with what looked like Latino parents. And those parents owned a meat shop that Shannon also worked in. What’s more, she was adept at belching. Yes, belching. It was pretty funny, really. Shannon tried to sing Janis Joplin, and as Simon eloquently put it, it sounded like “Hungarian Janis.” I can’t put it any other way…it was just weird.

Some dude sang Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” but inserted Paula Abdul’s name into it instead of “Rock.” Next.

Simon told this dude named Grant that he should come back in a dress, and it would make his audition better. Then this kid named Richard sang a Rascal Flatts song completely through his nose. The best part was when Randy Jackson attempted to imitate poor Richard.

Then there was Julie, Read the rest of this entry »

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A Brief Chat with Shirley Jones

She’s been doing television since the 1950s, but believe it or not, Shirley Jones has never done a soap opera…’til now, that is. Jones, best known to TV geeks as the matriarch of the Partridge family, will be popping up on NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” as Colleen Brady, starting January 31st and sticking around ’til February 7th. (Not only that, but she’ll be sporting an Irish brogue!) I had a chance to sit in on a teleconference with Ms. Jones recently, where I asked her a bit about her current gig, her most famous gig, and her favorite unheralded performances.

Bullz-Eye: Hi, Shirley, how are you doing?

Shirley Jones: Good, thank you.

BE: So…are you now or have you ever been a soap opera addict yourself?

SJ: No. (Laughs) In a word, no. You know, I intermittently have watched, I guess, all of them maybe once or twice. But, no, I’m not a soap opera person, mostly because I…you know, I work myself during the day. So I’ve never had time really to get involved. But I loved doing this. I ended up loving doing it. I was terrified in the beginning and, you know, took on a challenge which I wasn’t sure I could meet. But I feel that I did, and now I’m very happy about it.

BE: I know that “Days of Our Lives” is your first daytime soap, but you have done nighttime soap before: you were on an episode of “Melrose Place.”

SJ: Yes. I did “Melrose Place,” and I did a thing for Lifetime in Australia just last year (“Monarch Cove”), you know, and it was called a nighttime soap. It didn’t do much… (Laughs) …but it was fun to be in Australia for two months!

BE: Did you find the melodrama any different from daytime to nighttime?

SJ: Not much. I think maybe it was a little less melodrama at night than in the daytime, I guess. But, you know, people love this. I mean, I guess it’s some form of escape for them, just as well as going to a Disney film. I mean, it’s an escape in its own way.

Read the rest of this entry »

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GQ picks the Ten Best Guy Films You’ve Never Seen

It’s Oscar season, and most people are out catching up on nominated flicks like “No Country for Old Men” and “Michael Clayton” (both of which come highly recommended from Bullz-Eye’s own critics). The guys over at GQ, however, have decided to branch out and nominate some of the best films that any self-respecting man needs to see, but probably never have, and they’ve come up with a great list.

Don’t worry. You’re not going to find movies like “Rambo” and “Animal House” here, but more obscure (and mostly foreign) guy films that, while you may have never heard of before, are definitely worth your time. I’ve only seen four of the 10 films myself, but if the others are of the same quality, then you should definitely add these titles to your Netflix queue ASAP. I’m not going to ruin any of the picks here (though you may be able to guess one from the image to the right), so be sure to head over to and check out the list for yourself.

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Because no-one demanded it!

According to, NBC-Universal is releasing a DVD set of episodes from the new and incredibly disappointing “Bionic Woman” series, optimistically titling it “Volume 1.”

All right, I’m laying it right on the line: this stinks of NBC scrambling to create a dedicated audience for a show that doesn’t have one. And don’t tell me it does have one, because if there’s one thing that these neverending “Moonlight” and “Farscape” responses have taught me, it’s that a show’s fans are always surfing the ‘net, looking for new information or opinions about that show. If what they find is positive, they say so; if it’s negative, they say even more so. I’ve made a lot of disparaging comments about “Bionic Woman” here on Premium Hollywood, and nary a one of them have been contested by diehard fans of the show…which leads me to believe that there is no such animal.

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American Idol: All I See is Corn

Last night’s “American Idol” auditions were held in Omaha, Nebraska for the first time ever, and it seemed like every other contestant was from some farm in Iowa with a town of 200 people…seriously. Anyway, Paula Abdul’s plane was delayed, so they started with just Randy and Simon judging. And just like last week, Fox gave me an hour of my life back, for which I genuinely thank them.

With that, here were the freaks from last night….

An effeminate dude named Chris started things off, and he carried a photo album with pics of himself and Kelly Clarkson. He also said he was a huge fan of Paula, who, lucky for Paula, wasn’t there yet. Anyway, Chris sang Kelly’s “Since You’ve Been Gone, ” and it was predictably horrible. He then asked if he could audition for the “Red Carpet” for the finale, and Simon took the liberty of giving Chris the gig, saying he just needed to contact his local Fox affiliate and tell them he approved. Hilarious.

Hard to believe, but aside from a medley of freaks singing Steeler’s Wheel’s “Stuck In The Middle With You,” they only showed one other dud last night. (Well, I think they did…our power went out for five minutes). That dud was Johnny, who was dressed in a gold jacket and said he was inspired by the great James Brown. Simon said he hated everything about it, and so did I. Paula, meanwhile, is drunk again! She even hiccupped during Johnny’s audition. Classic.

On to the good Read the rest of this entry »

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The Wire 5.4 – Transitions

As the title suggests, tonight’s episode was all about transitions – from expected promotions to unexpected (ahem) demotions – and the biggest of them all was Burrell’s resignation as Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department. Yep, you heard right. After a visit from Daniels assuring Burrell he had nothing to do (or knew nothing about) Carcetti’s plans to replace him, and another visit from Council President Campbell promising a pension and comfy gig if he leaves quietly, the grizzled vet officially threw in the towel. Of course, not before he entrusted Campbell with the dirt he’s got on Daniels – which may or may not affect Carcetti in the future.

I can’t imagine it will, however, since this is the final season of the show, but if it were to go on, Campbell might just have exactly what she needs to deny Carcetti the Governor’s chair and replace him as Baltimore’s new mayor. Then again, if McNulty’s able to raise the profile on his fabricated serial killer, Carcetti will undoubtedly earn serious brownie points by claiming himself a man of the people, and by default, of the homeless population as well.


For the time being, McNulty’s still searching for more bodies, but that should get a little easier over the next few weeks now that Lester’s old partner has agreed to give them a heads up on any victims that float his way. You can also count on Alma’s next article about McNulty’s killer hitting the front page; especially when dead homeless start popping up with teeth marks (Lester’s idea) all over their bodies. Sure, it’s sick and twisted, but it’s also pretty funny.

What’s not funny, however, is the fact that no one seems to take Marlo seriously. I mean, McNulty and Co. obviously want to catch the guy (but only because he’s bad), Omar wants to kill him (but only because he drew first blood), and Prop Joe (perhaps the most clueless of the bunch) wants to domesticate him. For being such a smart gangster, Joe sure trusts a lot of the wrong people. Upon hearing that Omar believes he had something to do with Butchie’s torture/murder, Joe decides to take a leave of absence, but before he’s able to get the hell out of the city, Marlo arrives to bid farewell.

Joe’s death is probably the most surprising revelation of the fifth season thus far, but believe it or not, he was the glue that held together Baltimore’s criminal hoi polloi, and with him out of the picture, you can expect some blood to be shed over the next few weeks. Slim Charles will no doubt be gunning for Cheese after hearing of his disloyalty, and without Joe to oversee the co-op, Marlo will probably take out the rest of the major drug runners as well. The Greeks are also going to learn that agreeing to work with Marlo was a bad idea (especially if McNulty and Lester have anything to do with it), and Omar is going to do what Omar does best. Sorry, Chris and Snoop. This truly is the beginning of the end. Here’s hoping David Simon and Ed Burns can piece together an ending a little more compelling than onion rings and Journey.

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Friday Night Lights: “Humble Pie”

Critics of the sophomore season who are upset about its lack of football action have to be perturbed by the inordinate amount of screen time that Dillon’s girls’ volleyball team received this week. Even this writer, who likes the football action but doesn’t find it a weekly necessity, wondered why the show was devoting ten minutes or more to the wrong sport. However, there were two good things to come out of the storyline: 1) Tyra in bunhugger shorts, and 2) Riggins’ second best line of the episode: “Over the net.” What was Riggins doing there, anyway? Is he still on Coach Taylor’s probation?

Oh, and what was Riggins’ best line of the episode?

“Oh my God. You’re going to apply a grade nine education to the stock market?”

Speaking of #33, he had a pretty tough week. His old roommate showed up with a couple of buddies looking for his money and the trio worked Tim over pretty good. Then he tells Lyla that he loves her, only to be shot down once again by Dillon’s most beautiful Christian. She did show up with three grand to bail him out of trouble, so she does still care about him. I doubt that relationship is over for good. (And I think there’s something up with her new boyfriend.)

It was good to see Jason this week. I thought that his storyline dragged on the show a bit during the first season. After the initial shock of the injury, there wasn’t a whole lot for him to do other than get on with his life. It was cool to see him figure out how to sell Gerald a car – his speech was one of those “Yes!” moments that makes this show so great. Buddy had a great line when he was talking about how that saleswoman snowed Jason – “I can’t believe that little philly.”

I’m not sure what exactly is going on with Tyra and Landry. When last we left them, Tyra said that he made her “feel too much” and he told her to get a move on because he wasn’t going to wait around forever. Now he has a semi-cute little lab partner and Tyra is acting awfully jealous. What exactly does she want him to do? It’s not like he’s the problem. The girl is growing on Landry a little bit, so we’ll see how long Tyra waits before she makes her grand gesture.

Lastly, Smash got suspended for three games. He didn’t go about it in the right way, but that rich kid deserved what he got (and more). Hopefully his suspension will remind everyone that there’s a football season going on.

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And here I thought Sci-Fi couldn’t give “The Dresden Files” more of a shaft than it already had.

If you were a fan of Sci-Fi’s one-season wonder, “The Dresden Files,” you may know that the show’s original pilot – “Storm Front” – was dropped from air in favor of a completely different pilot. Well, it turns out that Sci-Fi picked up the rights to show that pilot.

So when can fans expect to catch it?

Try March 7th at 3 AM.

C’mon, Sci-Fi, what’s up? Do you have a personal vendetta against the show or something? I realize it wasn’t quite in line with the books that inspired it, but I still thought it was a highly enjoyable series, with just enough humor to take the edge off the macabre. Surely you could’ve found a better timeslot than the middle of the freaking night!

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