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Battlestar Galactica: Someone to Watch Over Me

When this episode started, and Kara got into a conversation with some random dude in the bar, I was thinking — why are they introducing a new character at this point in the series?

My “twist-dar” went off when they failed to show her dad’s face in her flashbacks, and it really went off when he lit up a cigarette (after she reminisced about the “smell of tobacco” earlier in the episode). Then the meaning of Hera’s drawing was revealed and suddenly Kara and her “dad” were playing the “Battlestar Galactica” version of “All Along the Watchtower.”

Kara’s trip plodded along, but it was still quite intense, because the nature of her existence is still one of the big questions yet to be answered. This mellowness provided a nice balance to what was going on elsewhere on the ship, as the Chief made a bad, bad decision by trusting Boomer again. Roslin’s demeanor towards Tyrol was unnecessarily harsh, and she bears some responsibility for his actions. Boomer is (mostly) evil, a fact confirmed by her sexual encounter with Helo right in front of Athena. That has to be a tough pill for the Chief to swallow — he breaks her out of the brig and the first guy she screws is Helo? Ouch.

The scene where Boomer made her escape was one of the most nail-biting of the entire series. It was clear that the Chief didn’t know Hera was in the trunk because Boomer had to tell him to “be careful” with it. Still, he’s a dope for falling for her act again. Way to go, Chief.

So now Galactica has a hole in the side of the ship, and after weeks of intimating that the old girl was on her last legs, the ship is truly falling apart. Cavil has (or will have) Hera, and there are only three episodes left. We still need to find out the truth about Kara and the fleet needs to find some sort of home. They wouldn’t end the series with the fleet just drifting aimlessly in space…would they?

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Sneak Peek: “Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince”

When Warner Bros. announced that they would be pushing the release of “Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince” from Fall 2008 to Summer 2009, many fans were understandably angry. After all, it’s not cool to hold back a finished film just because you hope to make more money – especially one as highly-anticipated as this. For some reason, though, that hasn’t stopped the “Harry Potter” marketing team from unleashing a constant stream of new clips and trailers, and their latest web featurette should definitely appease the masses until the first official trailer hits in a few months.

Though featurette is essentially just a series of interviews with the cast and crew discussing how unbelievably awesome the new movie is going to be, there are actually quite a lot of never-before-seen clips including a first look at Ron in Quidditch gear (a welcome sight considering that particular subplot that was axed from “Order of the Phoenix”), the Weasley Twins in their joke shop, and the infamous Love Potion hard at work. Put on your wizard’s hats, pull out your wands, and check out the video below.


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EW answers 8 lingering questions about the Oscars

EW.com asks and answers eight lingering (and burning) questions about the 2009 Oscars, including why Phillip Seymour Hoffman was wearing a stocking cap on a 75-degree, Southern California day.

Other interesting questions…

What was the motivation behind having five former winners introduce this year’s nominees in each of the acting categories?

Where was Jack Nicholson?

Was Beyoncé lip-synching during the musicals medley?

Who is Sato Masuzawa, the woman Sean Penn called his ”best friend” in his acceptance speech?

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“Gossip Girl” prequel finds its star

It looks like Brittany Snow, best known for her role as Meg Pryor in “American Dreams,” will star as Lily van der Woodsen in the “Gossip Girl” spinoff/prequel, which will focus on the future Ms. van der Woodsen as she grows up in the 1980′s.

The spinoff centers on then-Lily Rhodes (Snow), who, after a falling-out with her parents, is forced to move in with her sister, Carol (Krysten Ritter), the black sheep of the family.

Overnight, Lily has to transition from a life of luxury and education at a wealthy Montecito boarding school to living deep in the San Fernando Valley she once made fun of and going to public school. Caught between two worlds, Lily dives into the fast-paced Sunset Strip and the Hollywood lifestyle of the ’80s, journeying over the hill to a world of wealth and excess that used to be her own.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m looking forward to the prequel to “Gossip Girl,” but here I sit, looking forward to the prequel to “Gossip Girl.”

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Protégé

Hong Kong has one of the most prolific movie industries in the world, but while they have no problem cranking out films by the hundreds, a vast majority of them are rarely ever good. Consider “Protégé” an exception to the rule, because even though it’s just another undercover cop thriller, stars Daniel Wu and Andy Lau help elevate the material beyond the typical fare. Wu stars as Nick, a young cop who, after spending seven years undercover as part of a drug ring, is finally seeing results. When his boss (Lau) names him as the next in line to take over the business, however, Nick is forced to choose between bringing down the empire and running it. A subplot involving a drug-addicted neighbor (Jingchu Zhang) and her deadbeat husband (an underused Louis Koo) would usually feel like dead weight in a movie like this, but director Tung-Shing Yee does a great job of making it feel relevant to the bigger picture. And though there’s not as much action as you’d expect (save for a particularly memorable sequence involving a drug bust), “Protégé” is still one of the best titles that Dragon Dynasty has released. Then again, that’s to be expected from any movie featuring a star like Andy Lau. The veteran actor’s award-winning performance is the best part about “Protégé,” and though it doesn’t hold a candle to some of his other films, it’s worth seeing for that alone.

Click to buy “Protégé”

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Hell’s Kitchen: No winning team

Last night on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen,” they recapped last week and Charlie getting the heave-ho. Giovanni was pissed at Seth and thought Seth should have been sent packing, but Seth argued that he was going to fight in the “game.” Yikes. Robert then did a hilarious Ramsay impersonation for his fellow chefs.

They then had a Hell’s Kitchen breakfast, where the teams had to feed a hungry group of kid football players and cheerleaders. Seth vowed that he could make great eggs Ramsay-style but he was horribly slow in the kitchen, slowing his whole team. The red team won by delivering more meals and were rewarded with a day at a posh Beverly Hills hotel pool. The guys, meanwhile, had to clean up the dining room and prep both teams’ food for the dinner service.

Ben and Danny were fighting because Danny had claimed he was the team’s best chef and the guys didn’t finish the prep work in time. That pissed off both the red team and Ramsay, but both teams performed horribly at the dinner service, especially Giovanni, Coi, Seth, and Ben. Oh, and J left a lettuce “butt” in someone’s salad..yuck. Ramsay was so pissed off he shut down the kitchen and declared no winners last night. He asked each team to nominate two chefs for elimination. The red team chose Colleen and Lacey, and Lacey was annoyed and said Coi should have been the other one on the chopping block. Seth and Ben were nominated from the men, and Ben was pissed about it.

In the end, it was Seth sent home, because Ramsay just couldn’t take his lack of experience anymore, and the guys breathed a sigh of relief. Meanwhile, Ramsay then sent Lacey to the blue team to even things out, which then made the ladies all breathe a sigh of relief as well. It should be interesting to see how that all works out. Lacey for Seth? Not a great trade-off.

See you all next week…

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American Idol: A warning shot fired to next round of semi-finalists

And that warning shot is “DON’T UNDERESTIMATE SONG CHOICE!” Last night on the results show on Fox’s “American Idol,” it was painfully clear to some contestants who chose the wrong song to sing Wednesday night, and as a result one or two made it through to the finals that may not have otherwise. The recurring theme on Wednesday was, “I hope America gives me another chance.” Well, you have to treat every chance like it’s your last, so let that be a warning to next week’s 12 semi-finalists.

So anyway, there were results last night after some banter between host Ryan Seacrest and judge Simon Cowell. Then there was a look back at the journey of the 12 that sang Wednesday as well as a ridiculous group performance. Then the first three were brought out…Allison, Jessie and Matt B. Matt was asked if he regrets disagreeing with Simon disagreeing with his song choice, and he said he didn’t. Yeah, okay. Allison made it, Jessie and Matt didn’t.

The next group was Megan, Kris, Matt G and Jeannine. Matt G and Jeannine were sent packing, and it was between Megan and Kris. Megan I thought might have a shot but she really didn’t do very welll Wednesday, while Kris did a nice job with Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” and odd choice but a good job nonetheless. Kris made it through, Megan did not.

Then there was a retrospective of the 7 previous seasons….good lord, they really can cut this to 30 minutes if they wanted to. Then last season’s finalist Brooke White sang her new single, and I have to say, it really wasn’t very good. Sorry Brooke, I like you but I didn’t like what I heard last night.

Then the remaining five came out…Mishavonna, Kai, Nick (Norman), Adam and Jasmine. Mishavonna, Kai and Jasmine all sent home, and may I add all a victim of poor song choice.
So it was down to Nick and Adam. The showman or the dude with the theater background and heavy metal voice. Adam made it and Simon breathed a sigh of relief. As they did last week, each new finalist sang their way onto the thrones set up for them and there was no Tatiana-like melting down of those who didn’t make it, some of them still hopeful they will be wild cards.

So there are now six finalists, half the field….Danny, Alexis, Michael, Adam, Allison and Kris. No real surprises last week, but you might say all of last night’s winners were borderline choices. We’ll see you all next week….and I hope you semi-finalists are studying carefully that you need to pick the absolute right song. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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The Biggest Loser: Is this about the game or not?

Now that last season of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” has set the tone for future seasons as far as gameplay, the contestants on this season’s “Biggest Loser: Couples” are clearly not in it for the game. For the most part, these are all good people with good hearts who just want to lose weight and try and support each other in the process.

This week’s episode began on Tuesday night with a challenge that would determine new teams with new trainers. It would be from here on out blue vs. black, but some contestants would have to switch trainers. The challenge was to do 100 up-downs, football training camp-style, but in mud. The first to 100 would get to choose their trainer, and the rest would deal with a flip of Alison Sweeney’s coin. As it turned out, Tara won the challenge (of course) and they were able to stay with Jillian. Filipe and Sione had to switch to Jillian and Mandi and Aubrey had to switch to Bob. In all, I think 6 or 7 of them had a different trainer. But I didn’t expect them to act like it was the end of the world, and they did. What’s worse, Bob Harper started crying. I mean, come on!

Read the rest of this entry »

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American Idol: Did you have to pick that song?

Okay, before we get to the recap of last night’s performances on “American Idol,” can I just say, WHAT ARE THESE CONTESTANTS THINKING? It seems like they are choosing the wrong songs with regularity, not understanding the urgency of giving it their best shot while they have the opportunity. It just makes me crazy and I think it makes the judges crazy as well. Last night the performances were less than stellar. In fact, many of them were flat-out awful. But it wasn’t always that maybe the judges mis-calculated and sent the wrong singers through to this round. It was mostly about poor song choice. With that, here were the good, the in-between and the bad from last night, with a prediction for tonight’s results show.

THE GOOD

Alison Iraheta is only 16 and as Simon Cowell correctly pointed out, she looked out of her element when Ryan Seacrest was interviewing her, and then when she took the stage she was a completely different person. This girl has unbelievable vocal ability at such a young age, and last night she sang Heart’s “Alone.” Randy said she “blew it out of the box,” Kara said Alison doesn’t know how good she is, Paula said she was the best so far (she went fifth), and Simon said she was the best so far by a mile. Alison would not have advanced last week, but with the way last night’s semi-finalists performed, she has a great shot now.

Kris Allen is a 23 year old dude from Arkansas, so you wouldn’t expect him to sing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” would you? I was scared, but dude pulled it off nicely. It was rough at the start but he really nailed it as a whole and could be a dark horse. Kara said she thought it was the wrong song, Paula disagreed and so did Simon, saying Kris showed confidence, and Randy said he did a nice job without his guitar, as he had done before in Hollywood.

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Lost 5.7 – The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

Forget what I said at the end of my last post, because despite what Jack, Kate and Hurley may think, the plane has indeed crashed on the island, and it’s taken almost no time for Caesar (Jack’s friend from the airport) and Ilana (the U.S. Marshall escorting Sayid) to assume leadership. Caesar has already begun scouring through a nearby cabin for any information he can find, but to no avail. Luckily, they just so happen to have a surprise visitor among their ranks: John Locke, back from the dead. Though he remembers dying, Locke doesn’t exactly know what he’s doing on the island, or more importantly, how he got there.

Interestingly, while Jack, Kate and Hurley disappeared when the plane passed through the bright light (AKA The Island Time Warp), Locke and Ben remained on the plane. We still don’t know what happened to Sayid and Sun, but I think it’s safe to say that they made the jump as well. This means that because Locke and Ben left the island by an alternate means, they’re being treated as newcomers, and have to re-enter the island as such. Now, the Oceanic Six are stuck in the past with the rest of the original survivors, while Locke and Ben are in the present. Of course, this is great news for the Newbies, because while they’re probably not too happy about crashing on an island where they’ll likely be stuck for the rest of their lives, at least they’ve got Locke there to explain what the hell is going. Whether or not they believe him is another thing.

Unfortunately, that’s all we got to see of Locke’s grand return in tonight’s episode, as most of the show was spent telling his post-island story. It’s really too bad, because after the discussion between him and Ilana on the beach, I was foaming at the mouth for more. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool to finally learn what really happened to Locke between the time he left the island and the time he was brought back, but it just felt like a whole lot of exposition with very little payoff. I mean, we already knew that he was going to visit everyone to try and persuade them to come back, and we already knew that they were all going to say no. Plus, his visit with Walt was really awkward – like the writers wanted to include the meeting between the two but didn’t have anything important for either one to say. It was a nice proper send off for Malcolm David Kelley, but that’s it.

There was one interesting thing about the episode, though, and that’s Charles Widmore coming to Locke’s aid in Tunisia. Up until now, no one’s really known whether Ben Linus is a good guy or a bad guy, but Widmore has always been pegged as a villain. (After all, he did send a freighter full of mercenaries to blow up the island.) Tonight’s show placed him in a completely different light, however, and after he explained to Locke his history with the island as a leader who was exiled by Ben, it’s hard to determine what’s really going on. Could Widmore be the good guy and Ben the villain? It’s certainly possible, though I wouldn’t rule out that they’re both just evil, evil men.

As for the latter, he’s certainly not helping his chances of redemption after shooting Abaddon and strangling Locke. The latter was probably the biggest surprise of the night, and not because I thought Locke would hang himself instead. I can’t imagine anyone killing themselves if they didn’t want to (especially someone like Locke), but why did Ben have such a sudden change of heart. One minute, he’s helping untie the noose around Locke’s neck, and the next, he’s turning an attempted suicide into a homicide dressed as a suicide. It clearly had something to do with Locke’s mention of Jin and Eloise (as it wasn’t until then that Ben started acting a little strange), but why? I’m not sure it really matters. Locke’s alive and he’s staring down at his killer like he’s about to open up a can of karmic whoopass, and quite frankly, that’s good enough for me.

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