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September 2009

HippoJuice News Archives from September 2009:

Extract| The Informant! | FlashForward

9/28/09: FlashForward: All the Potential in the World

Marie

Article by
Marie "Charlie's Back!" Sarkisian

FlashForward is like a nicotine patch for LOST addicts.

As all of us PATIENTLY (well, no, impatiently) await the final season of Lost in 2010, we now have something else to completely occupy our time. Not only did ABC pick up Sonya Walger (Penelope in Lost, Olivia in FlashForward) and Dominic Monaghan (Charlie in Lost, Simon in FlashForward), but in the season premiere, they already had a billboard of Oceanic in the background of one of the shots.

FlashForward Oceanic Billboard

I'd even go so far as to say that the lead character, Mark (Joseph Fiennes) looks a bit like Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell).

And I will also be so bold to say that FlashForward has ALL the potential in the world to be a great show. I'd be mindblown by the premiere if I hadn't already seen 6 seasons of Lost. The shots are beautiful, the story has already hooked me in 1 hour, and they already know how to throw a great cliff hanger (though I'd have continued watching without it!).

What's better is that FlashForward seems to be progressing at a much faster rate than Lost ever did. In the 1-hour season premiere, we already saw everyone flash foward, and they all agreed it was a flashforward and not a blackout, and they all recoginzed it being the same date, etc. etc. (I don't want to give too much away!) If this were Lost, that kind of plot crucial information would have taken us to season 2! This is probably do to ABC knowing that without this information, people might not continue to watch to episode 2, concidering how fickle we are these days.

All I can say is I look forward to getting into all the trivia, websites, wikis, blogs, and other materials that both ABC and fans will be producing in the coming weeks.

If you enjoy Lost, FlashForward is DEFINITELY for you.

9/19/09: The Informant! Damon does it Again

Marie

Article by
Marie "So we are agreed" Sarkisian

The Informant! was as good as I expected it to be. It met 100% of my expectations. And I'm not saying that is bad - I had very high expectations. It's actually a challenge to meet all my expectations. So good job Steven Soderbergh and everyone who helped make this movie. Good job.

Oh right, there is supposed to be a review here.

Matt Damon does a great job as seemingly simple-minded genius Mark Whitacre. The best part, of course, is is mustache. But there is more to his role than growing bristly lip hair. He has, what could be, one of the best inner monologues of all time. You really believe he is a dummy who managed to work his way up the corporate ladder for some corn company (ADM) in Iowa. But you start to question everything as the movie takes a very surprising spin later on (the movie is based on a true story, but I won't spoil it if you don't remember and haven't seen the movie yet.)

There were also some sup rise gem actors that showed up throughout the movie: Joel McHaleTony Hale, and Patton Oswalt to name a few. But Matt Damon really stole the show.

I mean really, he was a BIG part of the movie (he gained a few pounds for the role too. And did you know that his nose is fake? I didn't notice!). Damon delivers comedy through situations, not through jokes. He plays an antihero, but you don't know it at first. He claims multiple times that he's "wearing the white hat."

The movie was a bit long, but maybe I only felt it because I saw the 11 pm showing. But it did leave me wanting to know more about Mark Whitacre. And it did leave me amused.

If you're not looking for a good scifi (District 9) or killin' Nazis movie (Inglourious Basterds), you might really enjoy this one. It's been a while, but I think I might actually look forward to the next Oscars Ceremony.

9/08/09: Extract: A Mike Judge Hit?

Marie

Article by
Marie "Tastes like Rootbeer" Sarkisian
hippojuice.com

Office Space is one of my all time favorite movies.

Which is why I had to see the next Mike Judge project, Extract, this past weekend. I didn't see a lot of advertising for the movie, so my expectations weren't enormously high, but still - he did make Office Space AND Idiocracy.

Also, just looking at the cast will get you excited: Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Mila Kunis (The 70's Show, Family Guy), Kristen Wiig (SNL),Ben Affleck (gay), J.K. Simmons (Spiderman), and David Koechner(Anchorman) - sounds like the movie would be a laugh riot, right?

Yes, there were funny moments. But many didn't have me lol-ing. Now, before you say I'm ragging on the movie, I'm not. I did enjoy it, the ending especially. I was just a bit disappointed that it didn't have me rolling like I was with Office Space or Idiocracy. Maybe I just need to see it 10 more times like the others before I truly appreciate this movie.

The best character in my mind was David Koechner's role as the annoying neighbor. He does the cringe humor so very well - you just want to punch him in the face for Jason Bateman. It's hilarious how he continued to pester Joel every time he comes home.

However, the most disappointing character was Suzie, played by Kristen Wiig. Kristen could be my current favorite female comedian actress right now, and they gave her such a drab role. I'm starting to get tired of movies advertising that they got Kristen to play a part, and then you get to the theater and she has a very minor role with only 1 or 2 jokes (cough*Adventureland*cough). It seems like the only person who got her talent right was Judd Apatow in Knocked Up.

The storyline was only unpredictable because it was so predictable. We kept guessing that there would be some twist that never happened. "Oh, just wait, it'll turn out he went to the wrong house." Nope. "Just watch, I bet she'll call the cops on him." She didn't. The ending throws some random twist in for a joke, but overall, everyone is happy by the end of the movie.

Even the characters were predictable. Jason Bateman played the usual character he always plays: the awkward, mildly successful normal guy who has crazy people all around him that he has to deal with. Kristen Wiig was the wife who doesn't put out for her husband (that's original!). The neighbor is annoying, the office employees want more money, etc. etc.

Still, even with all the predictability, it was still a decent movie. I hope I don't deter you from seeing it, these are just my minor complaints. Everyone has to be a critic.

 

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