If you love stand-up comedians and situation comedy check out Louie Season 1 an FX production now on DVD/Blu-ray.  The down to earth divorced comic puts on a great show and each episode gets funnier as the series plays out.


Louie travels the comedy circuit and includes his life trials in his monologue.  After giving a few minutes parody on a smidgen of a funny incident that occurred we are treated to a sitcom involving the subject.  Some of the topics include after divorce dating, high school bullies, indecent proposals, a weird doctor visit, and many more subjects cleverly performed by the very funny man.


I find Louie to be hilarious and I am a big Seinfeld fan.  It’s like getting a whole new look at stand-up sitcom that was originally introduced by Jerry Seinfeld in 1985 but a lot more provocative.  Louis CK puts together some great stand-up comics with most of them performing prior to the sitcom including the very funny Nick DiPaolo.


Later episodes get even more provoking than Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm with subjects that deal with religion, politics and sex.  Episodes include a challenging argument on gay sex, a visit to the doctors office where Ricky Gervais happens to be the physician who does some very gross things to Louie, and a parody on Christ that’s over the top.  Louis CK hopefully leaves some stones unturned for his new season starting June 23 on FX.


Louis CK is not new to the film and televison scene in 2008, Louis was seen in Diminished Capacity with Matthew Broderick, Virginia Madsen and Alan Alda and Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins with Martin Lawrence, Mike Epps and Cedric the Entertainer.  He also starred in the film, The Invention of Lying, alongside Ricky Gervais and Jennifer Garner, and had a recurring role on the NBC series, Parks & Recreation, playing Pawnee police officer ‘Dave Sanderson,’ a love interest of Amy Poehler’s ‘Leslie Knope.’


In July 2010, Louis was nominated for an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special for his second one-hour special, Louis C.K.: Chewed Up.  Louis has also starred in two HBO One Night Stand stand-up specials, a Comedy Central Presents special and HBO’s 25th Anniversary Young Comedians Special.


The 13 episodes show comes on in a 2-disc combo pack with Blu-ray on the front and DVD format on the back of each disc. The bonus features include deleted and extended scenes, audio commentary on selected episodes and more.


FINAL ANALYSIS: A very funny show for the extremely mature. (A)


Special effects drive this film directed right to the heart of the comic book age audience.  Although Green Lantern has good action, it’s not quite the brilliance of Thor or Iron Man.  More with a Superman image, Green Lantern starts its quest for sequel domination. Early teens and preteens should eat this up, but it’s not for the older crowd.


The movie starts by introducing the two main characters Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) and Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) two test pilots working for an aviation company.  One night a space ship crashes into Earth and the dieing alien sends out a searcher to find the best representative to take his position as a Green Lantern.  Jordan gets chosen to wear the super powers ring and become a member of the Galactic team that protects the Universe from fear.  When the ferocious Parallax threatens Earth, Jordan has to defend the planet single-handed.

Tomar-Re (Geoffrey Rush), Kilowog (Michael Clark Duncan) and Green Lantern (Ryan Reynolds)

The acting here by Reynolds, Lively, Peter Sarsgaard and Mark Strong is less than expected, but the age group going to the see the film shouldn’t mind that a bit.  To me however, there’s no energy from the cast and the script reads like a comic book rather than a screenplay designed to excite.  There are many slow moving romance interludes, Star Wars fashion aliens, and flashbacks that just don’t cut it in today’s advanced filmmaking world.

Thousands of Green Lanterns rally around Sinestro

And the story gets silly when the most powerful Green Lantern Sinestro (Mark Srong) pleads to the Intergalactic Council to let him bring down the evil Parallax.  With a whole army of thousands of Green Lanterns from throughout the universe Sinestro only sends a meager number to face Parallax, and when they are thwarted Sinestro becomes a wimp and turns tail and runs.  When Parallax threatens the Earth Sinestro even refuses to help Hal Jordan with his defense.


The computer graphics are awesome with a bevy of fantasy scenes that are eye-popping. Shots of the universe and especially the spacecraft, aliens and powers that Green Lantern’s ring can project are tops.  Although I think Ryan Reynolds ts a poor choice for Green Lantern, his costume’s awesome.


Green Lantern is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action; nothing that preteens haven’t already experienced playing their video games. The film is also available in 3D.


FINAL ANALYSIS:  Unless you are a preteen male you may want to skip this superhero and wait for Captain America. (C)




Take your time with The Art Of Getting By although the story has a simple plot Director Gavin Weisen spools his movie out slowly providing an abundance of character development.  Although this may be a good thing for film buffs, it’s not the kind of entertainment for those who like their romance with a lot less buildup.


The plot centers on George (Freddie Highmore), a conflicted teen that believes life has little meaning, especially when it comes to schoolwork.  Having reached his final high school year doing very little homework he still seems to eke through.  But, with finals coming just weeks away his teachers are demanding he turn in a year’s worth of reports and a passing grade on his finals or there will be no diploma.  Lost in a world of his grotesque drawings and contemplating giving up any future endeavors, he meets Sally (Emma Roberts) a defeatist person like himself.  This bonding takes the two on a course of apprehension then exploration and optimism.

Sally (Emma Roberts) and George (Freddie Highmore)


I personally did not care much for the film finding it repetitive and overwhelmingly dark.  Wiesen’s direction spends way too much time on character build up, divorce guilt and school conflicts leaving little time for the coming of age relationship for both Sally and George.

Emma Roberts in a scene from THE ART OF GETTING BY

The acting however shines with Highmore and Roberts making credible emotional teens that deal with age-old problems. And I’m impressed with Michael Angarano as the starving artist Dustin who takes George under his wing only to screw up his relationship with Sally.


The Art of Getting By is rated PG-13 for sexual content, language, teen drinking, partying.  The film, however, does depict an over abundance of teen drinking without penalty so be cautious when approving pre-teens to early teens attending the film.


FINAL ANALYSIS: A little less would be more in The Art of Getting By. (C-)



Written by Guest Writer Marisa Ings


“Yapsolutely a Family Film!”


Mix Jim Carey’s insane comedy style with the on screen chemistry between he and Carla Gugino then throw in the cutest Gentoo Penguins and Mr. Popper’s Penguins  is loaded for fun.  It’s a family friendly film sure to cool the kiddies down on a hot summer’s day.


Tom Popper, played by Jim Carey, is a successful real estate businessman, a shark in a sea full of guppies. Yet, even though he’s in tune with his work world his family life falls flat. Years of putting business matters before family have caused a split with wife Amanda (Gugino) and his two children. To top it all off Popper is on the verge of becoming partner of his firm but before they carve his name in the company stone he has to complete one last challenge; obtain the exclusive property of Mrs. Van Gundy (Angela Lansbury). In the midst of wooing Mrs. Van Gundy however, Popper gets word that his adventurous father has died and left him one last souvenir from his travels… a real live PENGUIN.


Jim Carey plays Mr. Poppers


When Popper tries to return the peculiar gift he gets more than he bargains for, a house full of penguins. Now in a pickle, Popper finds himself juggling his job, the penguins and a chance to get his family back.


A cut and paste version of Richard & Florence Atwater’s novel this film is not. Some may even suggest that releasing a winter wonderland film far from the holiday season is whacky, but Director Mark Waters quiets his critics by providing an apropos comedy.  In fact it’s just perfect for the summer heat, just watching this film set during the winter in New York will surely cool you down. Or maybe its just the air-contioned theatre :o). Either way it puts the summer heat at bay.


Were the penguins real or CGI?


I must admit I was a bit fooled by the hearsay that real penguins were used throughout the film. After seeing the movie I began to wonder if the human-like attributes portrayed by these flightless birds was real. So I conducted a little research, and found an interview with Sean O’ Connell on filmcritic.com where Carla Gugino reveals, “The sequence in the Guggenheim Museum… where the penguins are doing crazy stunts, is CGI.” To my disappointment these were no super genius penguin actors. However, even though CGI is showcased during certain scenes to imitate live penguins, the transition from computer to real is seamless.


All in All, Mr. Popper’s pleasant penguin parable is perfect for progeny people.


Final Rating: B-













Starring: James Coburn, Michael Sarrazin, Walter Pidgeon and Trish Van Devere

Directed by: Bruce Geller


Talk about blast from the past seeing these great actors in a movie together really top the charts.  The story is a little trite but the acting and directing makes up for it. Seeing the old cars, gas prices and mini skirts shouts for a return of the 70’s.


Ray (Sarrazin) meets Sandy (Van Devere) in a bus station during an amateur session of pick pocketing.  The bungling thief fascinates Sandy and when they bump into each other she doesn’t resist his offer of getting together.  After an adventurous few days they get a tip that a pro is looking for workers.  They meet with Casey (Pidgeon) who introduces them to Harry (Coburn) a master of pick pocketing.  When Harry starts to take a different kind of interest in Sandy, things start to get sloppy.


It is great seeing some of the best actors ever to work on the big screen.  Starting with James Coburn (172 titles) who made the jump from 1950’s TV to movie theatres with the likes of The Great Escape along side Steve McQueen, Charade with Cary Grant and the spy comedy Our Man Flint. In 1999 he won an Oscar for Best Actor in the movie Affliction.


Walter Pidgeon with 134 titles and two Oscar nominations played along side Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl, Michael Sarrazin 68 titles including The Reincarnation of Peter Proud and Trish Van Devere 28 titles nominated for a Golden Globe for Two is a Happy Number have had stellar careers and show it in Harry In Your Pocket.


Harry In Your Pocket is a one time fun watch and a nostalgic view of lifestyles during a great decade. (B-)






Starring: Peter Greene, Adam Trese, Paul Schulze and Edie Falco

Directed by: Nick Gomez


Raw, crazy and out of control Laws of Gravity takes you into the lives of lowlifes.  It’s the kind of film that fascinates while entertaining with a gut-wrenching story that digs deep down in the lives of street-smart crooks.  I like the film very much and highly recommend it for crime film lovers.


The film centers on a couple of petty thieves Jimmy (Greene) and Jon (Trese) who live off the streets shoplifting, selling stolen goods and drinking at their favorite bar. Ex-con and old friend Frankie (Schulze) shows up in town after a long absence offering Jimmy a chance to make some big money selling his hot handguns.  Frankie gets into a fix and needs a place to live so Jimmy takes him to his place that he shares with Denise.  When Jon gets thrown in Jail over a domestic dispute, Jimmy ‘borrows’ Frankie’s guns to score bail.


I like the way Gomez directs this film choosing backstreet locations and a seedy bar where a lot of the action takes place.  It’s Brooklyn in the time of Italian dominance and laws of the street.  His camera catches the grit and mayhem between friends and foes as Jimmy deals with the problems that get more violent as the story progresses.


The coolness in this film is seeing a great performance by a young Edie Falco who has won two golden globes for the Sopranos.  You can see the value of this film in her transition to the HBO Italian crime show. She’s had a long and successful career with memorable films like; Random Hearts, Freedomland and Showtime’s Nurse Jackie.


This film goes straight into my nostalgia collection. (B+)



If you missed the first season or any part of The Glades, it’s now out on DVD.  The weekly cop show has a whole lot of entertainment built around a fine cast that keeps you coming back week after week.  And with it being on DVD you can watch each episode without those pesky commercials.  I like The Glades and find the series to be suspenseful with a good mix of romance and humor.


The back-story involves Jim Longworth (Matt Passmore) a Chicago cop who leaves his job due to differences of crime solving techniques and moves to Florida where he takes a detective position for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.  His beat includes most of the state but during this first season we find Jim in South Florida and the Everglades investigating murders in his own creative way.

Longworth and Sanchez kneel over body

Passmore makes the show a winner with his nonchalant ‘cool’ way of solving crime.  His ability to make Jim likable and screen worthy saves the series from any monotony found in other cop shows. Coupled with his love interest Callie Cargil (Kiele Sqanchez), with whom there’s a nice amount of chemistry between the two, there’s also a challenging romance that keeps spiraling in and out of control. Adding a good balance to the cast Carlos Gomez as Carlos Sanchez does a fine job as the coroner turned sidekick who aids in solving the mysteries.


Of this past season of The Glades I liked the episode The Perfect Storm best in which Jim has to solve a crime in the middle of a hurricane.  Having lived through many hurricanes in Florida I have to admit the special effects guys really brought on the realism that makes this episode thrilling.


In addition to the 13 episodes the 5 discs feature behind the scenes footage, deleted scenes, casting and filming of the show featurettes, gag reel, and some limited director and cast commentaries.


The new season of The Glades has already begun on A&E with an exciting first show.


FINAL ANALYSIS:  One of the better cop shows that plays well on television. (B)









This 50’s film is one of the forerunners of the teen click films that developed into movies like Mean Girls and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.  But in this case we are transported to a time when girls wore sweaters buttoned to the neck and dresses down to the ankles.  It was a time when you had to dial a telephone and dance to a jukebox. Ponytails were in style and classrooms used chalkboards instead of projected computer screens.


The film centers on Joyce a new girl in town who gets conned into joining the Hellcats, a gang of girls that control the classrooms and party scene.  Wanting to be accepted into the “In” crowd, Joyce goes along with the group even if it includes petty theft.  When an incident happens at a private party, Joyce finds herself at a dead end.


Edward L. Bernds best know for his writing than his directing won an Oscar for the film High Society before tackling High School Hellcats.  Here he does a good job with the limited budget and acting pool.  He uses the black and white film stock immeasurably well keeping his camera still.


I like what Bernds does with the subject matter and in addition to a blast from the past provides an interesting story.  (C+)





Take a step back in time and a chance to see an amazing display of talent under the award winning direction of Fons Rademakers.  Here we see some amazing acting, maybe even better than most accomplished actors of today.  Reconnect with Liv Ullmann (Gaby: A True Story) and Maximilian Schell (A Bridge Too Far) in breathtaking and touching performances.


The movie takes place in 80’s Germany where Aaron (Schell) an elderly Jewish man attacks Mr. Kern (Kurt Hubner) a former Nazi officer of the Third Reich at an airport terminal.  Arrested for the act the man does not have enough money to hire a lawyer to defend himself.  The court appoints Gabriele (Ullman) a German attorney to handle the case.  When she starts to uncover a deep darkness that surrounds a relationship between Kern and Aaron, Gabriele finds herself fighting, not only Kern but the court itself.


Director Fons Rademaker keeps the drama moving at a fast clip feeding small doses of the relationship between his two adversaries without giving too much away.  He uses the talent of Schell to show the strong will of the Jews, the ever-present pain and suffering and finally a forbidden truth.  Ullman makes her character obsessed with getting the information needed to help her client.  When she gets too close to the subjects however, the prosecutor tries some tactics that slow her down.


I like the film very much and recommend it for drama lovers who like stories that are moving and fact based.  (B)


MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, A Sly Romantic Comedy

Nicely written, Midnight in Paris does entertain with a romantic interlude in beautiful Paris.  The characters are pleasing and Woody Allen’s direction impeccable.  The movie is perfect for a dinner and a date.


To tell you a lot about the film would give away important plot points that surprise as the script spins out, but here is the basic version.  Gill (Owen Wilson), a film writer on the verge of completing his first novel, and his fiancé Inez (Rachel McAdams) travel to Paris with her parents who are attending a convention.  The two find it an opportunity to see the city of lights and enjoy a trip as a pre-honeymoon of sorts while Gill works on his manuscript.  While there, Inez runs into some old friends and for Gill it becomes a distraction.  One night while walking alone strange things happen that threaten to change Gill’s life.

Woody Allen on set of MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

I am not a huge fan of Woody Allen films but with Midnight in Paris he redeems himself.  He takes a huge 180 from what he has done in the recent past and unravels a tale of astonishment and romance that’s unique and unparalleled to what he has directed before. Working with a strong cast playing literary and art characters, Allen builds up a fantasy tale that’s unique and enjoyable.


But even with a great story, Allen still can’t say out of the movie inserting Owen Wilson to play ‘him’ and for me making the film irritating at times.  Most people like Allen’s acting and his fast talking whirly dervish style of negative communication between characters.  In his early films it was fun to watch, but it has become increasingly annoying to me over the years.  With Wilson in the lead role Allen carries on his legacy of the ‘mench’ in the show.

Owen Wilson as Gil and Marion Cotillard as Adriana

A tip of the hat to some of his amazing characters played by Adrien Brody, Yves Heck, Alison Pill and Corey Stoll who make the film work with their flamboyance and personifications of some very famous artists, writers and composers.  But the stand-out performance by Marion Cotillard as Adriana a courtesan who plays with the heartstrings of the elite tops the bill and makes this film a winner.


Midnight in Paris is rated PG-13 for some sexual references and smoking.  The cinematography of Paris and the costumes provide a tableau that gives added reason to see the film.


FINAL ANALYSIS: A very good film in spite of my personal dislikes. (B)



Brooklyn Ski Club Presents the Kings County Cookout Series


Brooklyn Ski Club’s Matt Kerestesy and the Smell The Glove crew are switching gears this summer, putting on a barbecue and a show in Brooklyn on select Sundays throughout the coming months. In cahoots with Nickels & Dimes (not the penny savers, but these dudes) of Smell The Glove and FORlokals fame, Brooklyn Ski Club have just announced the Kings County Cookout event series, set to kick-off this Sunday June 12th at Lady Jay’s in Brooklyn, NY. Read on for more deets ….

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The Wow factor tops ten in this sci-fi thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat till it’s mind-blowing ending.  The cunning direction and writing by J.J. Abrams of Super 8 confirms the director’s ability to keep an audience wanting more.  If you like suspenseful, well-acted movies that surprise at most every turn then hurry to see Super 8.

School’s out in a small town and Charles (Riley Griffiths) hasn’t finished his movie, being filmed with his super 8 camera, that he started this past year in middle school.  He pushes his friends to help him complete the task over the summer so he can get it into a film competition and they agree.  One night they are filming a scene at an old railroad station and they witness a disastrous train wreck that nearly kills the film group.  Narrowly escaping death the five friends are determined to keep going with their masterpiece in spite of the catastrophic incident.  When strange things start happening in their town, including the disappearance of many people, the film crew starts to investigate.

Director Abrams (Star Trek, 2009) does a terrific job keeping his audience in suspense as he maneuvers his players through the story.  It doesn’t take him 15 minutes to flesh out his interesting characters before pulling the trigger on the action.

Gabriel Bosso, Ryan Lee, Joel Courtney and Riley Griffiths in SUPER 8

And his actors are amazingly good, choosing bright new faces to play the young pre-teens that are the brave inquisitive group.  I especially liked Riley Griffiths as Charles the tough director who will go at lengths to get his movie made, even in the face of impending doom. The young Elle Fanning (sister of Dakota) puts her talent to the test creating a troubled girl who has to deal with family problems and puberty while accommodating her friends to be the star of their movie. Super 8 is not her first film, but this time the role’s a more pronounced support star.

Joel Courtney and Kyle Chandler in SUPER 8

But the best performance comes from Joel Courteny as Joe Lamb a youngster who has to deal with the recent death of his mother by diving head first into Charles’s film project in an attempt to connect with reality.  When Joe does however, he becomes the thread that holds the group together.


Super 8 tops my list for originality, creativity and entertainment value over any film released thus far.  Special effects, make-up and computer generated graphics add to the amazing story that continues to play out in my brain long after seeing this sci-fi thriller.  It’s that good! I can get an argument that you can see some of Executive Director Stephen Spielberg’s body of work laced throughout, but I have a strong feeling that writer Abrams inserted the quips with tongue-in-cheek.


The film is rated PG 13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and some drug use.  Super 8 is also available in IMAX in select theatres. Make sure you watch the film credits for a special treat.


FINAL ANALYSIS: Super 8 gets a 10 in my book. (A)



INCENDIES, A Captivating drama

Stunned can be the only word to describe my reaction to Incendies an incredible story that shocks with disbelief.  Extremely well acted and directed the foreign language film was nominated for an Oscar and in my opinion should have taken home the gold.  If you are up for a drama that’s passionate, interesting and revealing then this movie should be at the top of your list.


The children of Nawal Marwan (Lubna Azabal), Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) and Simon (Maxim Gaudette) sit down for the reading of their mother’s last will and testament in their Canadian hometown. The final codicil requires the notary to hand over two letters, one to their father they never knew and one for a brother they don’t know exists.  The notary asks that the letters be delivered to the respective parties before the will can be consummated.  While Simon feels unmoved by the gesture, Jeanne is more inquisitive and decides to travel to the Middle East to uncover the mystery. After months of searching, Simon decides to join Jeanne.  When things get heated up over their last name, their ancestral heritage consumes both.


The movie uses flashbacks to take us through Nawal Marwan’s life during one of the most despicable times in history where people were killed for political reasons.  Caught up in fight for survival, Nawal shows the anger, distrust and reality of an awful war.


Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin as Jeanne

The acting, directing and storyline provide an excellent drama and the twists add surprises at every turn.  Adapted from a play by the Lebanese born Wajdi Mouawad, director Denis Villeneuve gives an emotional live production a Hollywood makeover adding a Middle East background that enhances the unusual storyline.  Providing a confrontational aura Villeneuve plunges his audience into a controversial world while manipulating his characters in the deeply moving story.


The acting here is superb and reminiscent to the outstanding performances in the movie The Stoning of Soraya M. in which Shohreh Aghdashloo shined as an Iranian woman falsely accused of adultery.  Here Lubna Azabal as Marwan captures her audience depicting the torture and harsh cruelty forced upon her.


Incendies is rated R for some strong violence and language. The movie nominated for an academy award in the foreign film category, is Canadian produced.  Scenes of the Middle East contain some foreign language with subtitles.


FINAL ANALYSIS: An outstanding film that captivates. (A)

JUDY MOODY, Super-cali-fragilistic-expa-thrillidocious!!!!


Written By Marisa Ings, Guest Writer



Judy Moody  definitely did not have a ‘bummer summer’ in this film! Instead she experienced one of the greatest summers anyone could imagine.


It all begins on the last day of school. As soon as the bell rings Judy (Jordana Beatty) and her friends are off to have the summer of their lives. But Judy soon finds that her friends won’t be along for the ride as they have other plans. To her disappointment Judy also discovers that her parents are going away for the summer too, leaving her with her Aunt Awful and her little brother Stink (Parris Mosteller). For Judy, the summer couldn’t get any worse until she finds that Aunt Opal is really super cool giving Judy a spectacular idea.


No wonder it’s called Judy Moody. The character is seriously an over-the-top kid. But Jordana Beatty plays her well and it just adds to the fun. Parents beware; if you take your children to see this movie they may want to see it again… and again.

Judy Moody (Beatty) and her bigfoot

From the Monster rollercoaster, stakeout, car chase, and other MEGA RARE moments this film is a feast for the imagination. Judy Moody’s NOT the Bummer Summer is Über fun and kid friendly. Parents don’t you worry; you will also be enthralled by the bold, bright and cheery costuming and set design as well as the well chosen cast. All this and more add to the allure of the films thrill-a-delic adventure.



The Ultimate Summer indeed. Judy Moody is just in time for summer vacation.


Rating: B-


Active Child Announces August Release of Debut Album


The ginger-haired former choir-boy turned falsetto electro-pop crooner Pat Grossi a.k.a Active Child just announced the August 23rd release date for his debut album You Are All I See (Vagrant Records). This comes behind the critical praise and warm reception of last year’s Curtis Lane EP. In addition to the news of a full length album, Grossi is giving audiences and eager fans a taste of what’s to come with a listen to upcoming single “Playing House” which features low-fi indie R&B pop artist and blogger How To Dress Well. Everything about all of this is just spectacular, and we’ll tell you why when you come on inside …

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Viceroy Releases New Mixtape ‘The Boardwalk’


Newly minted and apparently much Hypem(ed) DJ Viceroy is back again so soon with another treat for us all. This time in the form of an eleven track summer mixtape. We’re being told that this guy is the one we easily could have slept on. And if we had, then we probably would have missed out on the release of the Vitalic Noise exclusive summer mixtape The Boardwalk. However, there are two things about us that would make that virtually impossible: we love mixtapes and we love free. If you feel the same way, then come on inside and have a listen …

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