American Idol: best reaction ever?

If you saw “American Idol” last night, you know what I mean by that subject line. But let me just say, this was one of the best episodes on the show, ever, for a few reasons. It was almost like a lite version of the season finale. Anyway, the show began with host Ryan Seacrest talking about how J-Lo’s husband, singer Marc Anthony, helped the contestants this past week by supplying in-ear monitors…and hey, they seemed to really work. Then came the group number, and with this being Motown week, they did Diana Ross’ classica “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and it wasn’t bad….but then came the best part….Stevie Wonder doing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” with the Idols singing backup….and then Stevie wishing Steven Tyler a happy birthday and singing to him, while a cake was brought out. Way, way cool.

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American Idol: how do you choose?

I told Mrs. Mike last night that the episode of “American Idol” that ended as she arrived home was the best episode of the show I’ve ever seen. And I mean the talent was all good…so good that trying to figure out who might go home was a major chore. Like J-Lo said, the voters are going to have to just pick their favorite and see where the chips fall. And I guess I can throw a few names out there but it’s going to be difficult. Here is how it all went down….

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The “Buried” teaser trailer — don’t expect an eyeful

When I was in UCLA’s film school, sometime in the antediluvian celluloid era, the most grueling and rewarding class was “Project 1” in which all students were forced to become the auteurs of their own Super-8 epic. Just to make things a little extra tough, we were also forced to use 16mm sound in combination with the 8mm picture, which, trust me, created nightmarish problems regarding syncing sound to picture that essentially turned post-production into a cinematic hazing ritual. As we students expressed our frustration, inevitably someone would come up with same silly/sick joke about doing a film “from the point of view of Helen Keller” — i.e., complete silence and no visuals — or, a bit less minimalistically, “from the point of view of Stevie Wonder.”

Well, eventually, one of my friends did make a film that was close to the latter, with some clever dialogue which I won’t try to reconstruct here. Ever since then, I don’t remember anyone trying to make anything quite so minimal, that is until now….

This comes via Pete Sciretta at /Film who really seems to think that this film, which takes place entirely in the coffin and is most definitely not for the seriously claustrophobic, is terrific. Now, I’m definitely a fan of moves that take place in relatively confined spaces. “Rear Window” is one of my all-time favorite films, but I imagine there have to be limits. However, if I actually enjoy watching “Buried,” rather than merely enduring it, that will be an achievement that will force me to take director writer Chris Sparling, director Rodrigo Cortés and star Ryan Reynolds very seriously.

  

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American Idol: to cha ching or not to cha ching

Last night before the 11 hopefuls took the stage on American Idol,” judge Simon Cowell told Ryan Seacrest and all of us who cared to listen that he thought it was a critical night for the singers. That’s because the one that goes home this week will miss out on the American Idol summer tour. Only the Top 10 go (I’ve never quite figured out why the 12 finalists don’t all go), which means the 11th place finisher may miss out on all that tour dough. Seriously, that’s huge…and I’m glad Simon pointed it out. However, not too many of the contestants sounded like they were singing for their lives last night. Again. Oh yeah, and Miley Cyrus was the “mentor” this week, and I think we have to use “mentor” in very loose terms here. Here is the recap….

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American Idol: Do you see what I see?

Last night began the rounds of “American Idol” in which we as Americans have our turn to vote on the talent, and specifically which twelve contestants go home over the next three weeks, and which twelve make up the finalists. And what I saw last night was a case of the judges having done a bad job of delivering us talent. Because there weren’t many women who stood out from the twelve that performed on Tuesday, and yet the judges kept going on and on about how loaded this year’s crop is. Um, not really. At least not where the female contingent is concerned. Let’s recap what we saw, and let’s say that I agreed with almost everything Simon Cowell had to say….

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