Where For Art Thou Guardian Angel

Drop Dead Dive Season 5 Premiers

Spoilers

Who am I and why am I in this body? The fairy tale comedy Drop Dead Diva returned with a new twist and a change of cast.

Where Season 4 Left Off

Last season, Grayson began putting some the pieces together about Jane and Deb, and ultimately fell for Jan. Jane, on the other hand, fell for Owen the judge who proposed but then quickly disappeared. Seems he had a heart attack and had to have surgery. Jane forgives him for lying about where he was foxing and not even notify her of the surgery. The two are on the brink of marriage when Jane’s life hits a roadblock: before the wedding Grayson professes his love to Jane. Owen catches those kisses and falls down possibly dead.

Upstairs, the original Jane is ticked off at Deb and the way Deb is running her life. She tricks Fred into letting her hit the return button. It seems she may be inhabiting Owen’s body.

What Happened in the Season 5 Premier

drop-dead-divaSunday’s premier expanded on last season’s cliff hanger getting deeper into Jane’s predicament.

Rushing to the hospital in her wedding gown, Jane finds that Owen has checked himself out of the hospital and is now missing. He’s not returning Jane’s phone calls and is not in his office.  Luke finds her before she can find Owen. He has the misfortune of telling her that “old Jane” is free and that he might be in Owen’s body. Jane does not deal with the idea of Owen’s death well. When Grayson comes to her, she can do nothing but turn away from him because of her guilt.

When not balancing her current case (trying to restore a clinical trial for a dying boy), Jane has to deal with a confrontation with Owen. Though it doesn’t go well, she is overjoyed to find that he is himself and has not died. She’s less excited to learn that she has a new guardian angel.  Paul is the only one who would take her on. His goal is finding “old Jane” but is sidetracked by the world and his own looks.

Before she can even handle these new curve balls, Jane comes face to face with “old Jane.” In a stroke of irony, “old Jane” is in the body of a hot, young Stacy and Deb wannabe.

Let’s talk Changes

This season bring plenty of changes to the veteran series. It had been officially cancelled only to be, like Deb, resurrected with major differences. The first is the absence of Josh Stamberg’s Jay Parker. The character was removed when the budget for the show was decrease-the only way to keep it on the air. The good news about the changes is that Luke is gone. He has been summarily fired after the “old Jane” debacle. I hated Luke; he was smug and annoying. And how could Lifetime loose Fred? Money and recurring role drew Ben Feldman to Mad Men and Fred was lost to us. But now we have Paul who seems like a lot of fun.

season-5-drop-dead-diva-photos-april-bowlby-and-jackson-hurstIt is disjointing to see the changes in the characters when the events of the two episodes are on the same timeline. Some are small like Jane’s hair is lighter or Grayson got a haircut. Then there are the more noticeable changes. Kate Levering is noticeably pregnant, and I’m glad they had already written it into the story line. But what the hell happened to Stacy? I barely recognized her. Not only did her long straight hair gets body and volume it’s now more of a caramel blonde. Even her make up changed to match her new look. I didn’t even recognize her! Hopefully, the character will get some development to go with this new look.

The biggest surprise is the direction the creative team chose to go with “old Jane.” They had set up at the finale for “old Jane” to become Owen. But was that always their into or purposely trying to psych us out. I was thrilled at the deliciousness of the conflict if she had been Owen. Not sure why we need yet another petite, vapid character even if she is embodying “old Jane.”

I just want Jane to get with Grayson and for “old Jane” to transform like “New Deb” did. Not sure where the tension is leading us but the exec better wrap this story up before it gets canceled again.

Superman Caused Global Warming

How Man of Steel Convinced Me I Was a Socialist Hippie

I am socially liberal but I would never consider myself a hippie. So I was really surprised to my reaction to Man of Steel. It looked good, but there was too much melodrama and destruction.

untitledThis reboot stands on its own legs making Clark/Kal/Superman even more human than before. Henry Cavil’s Clark Kent is bent on what is right and wrong. He passionately argues with his father that his powers must be used for good. He saves children on buses and on men on oil rigs while trying to keep a low profile. But he can’t hide from hard hitting reporter Lois Lane. Clark finds the truth about his origins when a ship is found in Alaska. This ship acts as a homing beacon to the last of his kind. The thug Zod is hell bent on resurrecting Krypton while destroying Earth in the process.
Man of Steel has two positive aspects. First off, the movie looks great. The CG is not overdone and you can believe Krypton is a real place instead not a habitat in a computer. As Clark flies, it’s beautiful and natural. The only times the graphics get fuzzy are the endless scenes where Superman and his many enemies are throwing each other around.

The second is high point is the fact that this most human, moral Superman I have ever come across. Cavil plays him like a real person who is a superhero not a super hero who is a person. He is fiercely loyal to his home and the people who raised him. But this also brings this down to one of the movie’s biggest downfalls. The movie spends too much time on melodrama specially when focusing on his past. We see a tortured Clark dealing with his powers. But the plots deal too much with his relationship with his human father. His father believes he should let people die so the world doesn’t know Clark’s secret. He lets him son watch him die instead of helping him (I told them to get the dog out of the car when they first saw the damn tornado). This Man-of-Steel-EW-2-Zodcharacter filled with me anger. While the point was that he didn’t want people mistreating Clark because he was different, it came across more as Clark shouldn’t do the right thing because of what society might think. He’s Superman. Who cares?

I truly got tired of all the destruction. Kill Krypton as an allegory but then destroy it all the same. The fighting wasn’t really fighting but destroying of cities and ecosystems. And a black hole over the Earth, even momentarily? Yeah, that’s not going to affect gravity or global warming or the planet’s rotation. For a film with well-done computer graphics, some of the plot points get really out there.

I did love the ending. Many people have complained about the violence of these critical scenes, but I think it was much needed. Clark had to really deal with his own morality and decided that the common good was worth more than one person’s conscience. The needs of the many out way the few, I can get with that.

The Wolf Pack Goes Out With a Whimper

What’s a Hangover movie without a hangover?

No, this isn’t a riddle. The Hangover Part III answers this question and takes the franchise in another direction. After being criticized that Part II was just a carbon copy of the first, critics are now complaining that it is too different. Be careful what you wish for boys.

Part III is really Alan’s story. Spoiled by his parents with too much money and not enough social skills, he runs rampage killing a poor giraffe and brining shame to his father. After his father’s sudden death, his brother in law brings the wolf pack to help intervene. They are going to get him to a great spa that is sooo much fun!

On the way to the mental facility, the team is run off the road by a gangster (John Goodman), Doug is kidnapped, and Chow is on the loose. If the pack doesn’t get Chow and the money that he stole, the gangster is going to kill Doug. Phil devises a plan to get Chow back into custody, and is, of course, played for fools. Chaos ensues and the boys end up back in Vegas.

Hangover-III-Poster-Ken-Jeong1Chow is the clear winner of this franchisee. Ken Jeong takes him from a secondary character from the first movie and makes him the main vein of the entire series. In this installment, he carries it.  It is Cho more than the exploits of the Wolf Pack that packs the humor especially when he tricks the wolf pack into doing his bidding.

The movie is really about Alan’s journey into adulthood albeit a weird and zany one. If Judd Apatow had done this movie, it would be have been marvelous. Because that’s what Apatow does well: combines zany humor with rich morals and character development. Todd Phillips’ insane Hangovers shouldn’t be this way. These movies’ value rides on the guys being rode hard and put up wet and not remembering it. It’s not a place for mushy adult emotions.

Alan is not the only one who has grown. Stu has finally settled down and manages not to have sex with one. Phil never takes of his shirt. And we see shots of all them with their happily wedded wives. But we don’t want to see that. We want chaos and that is where Part III fails. It’s more controlled chaos with a coming of age story tucked in instead of party time ruckus.

Many will not like The Hangover Part III, but if you can separate it from the other movies, you will enjoy it. But that  is hard to do when you were waiting for that final graduation party.

Star Trek Should Head to a New Platform

I am a girl gamer. I enjoy a great RPG with a complex story line. I love survival horrors game that you play in the dark. I enjoy simulations and making pixel people do my bidding. But I get really annoyed when games spend more time in CG or full motion movies than game play. If I wanted to watch a movie, I would watch a movie. The same can be said for movies. If I wanted sweeping CG action I would turn to a game. My point? Star Trek Into Darkness made me want to go play games instead of watching the movie.

The latest installment of J.J. Abrams version of Star Trek pits Kirk against a familiar enemy when a terrorist attacks Star Fleet buildings. Kirk is sent on a clandestine mission to kill the perpetrator on sight, instead of bringing him for trail. Influenced by Mr. Spock, Kirk does not kill the enemy on sight and, instead, learns a lot about the upcoming Klingon war.

star-trek-into-darkness-benedict-cumberbatch-chris-pine1

We all know it’s Khan. Quit lying to us!

Star Trek aims to be a soaring space saga. But it comes up short and leaves me nostalgic for the Mass Effect Trilogy. One of the biggest issues is that the movie is clearly 90 percent CG. And it is done very obviously. For me, effects should not seem like effects when they are done correctly. If I want something totally graphically created, I would play a video game. Mass Effect had more realistic graphics that were stunning and beautiful. This movie you could tell was overly green screened and computerized.

The second issue is the story itself. Had this been a 40 hour RPG, the crew would have had time to truly develop the ideas and concepts in the movie. Instead, the film drags on. Just when you think it’s over, it’s not. In fact, there is one place where the movie should have ended and I would have been compelled to see the sequel. Instead, most ideas and are left to generalizations and caricatures of our favorite characters. The movie had a lot of potential, but like many of Abrams works, it fails to live up to that potential.

I have one issue with the movie as being a classic Star Trek fan. For the first movie, I put away many of my misgiving about rewriting the story and the horrible casting of many of the characters. I was willing to put it aside because it was a new story and a new vehicle. But Abrams and crew can’t decide if that is the case. I got over Leonard Nimoy’s appearance in the first movie. But the second became more of an off shoot from the original movie plots. Spock breaks logic to tell them how they defeated the villain before. Into Darkness also take a familiar bad guy (Abrams quit lying to us! We aren’t stupid) and pits him in a parallel universe to “The Wrath of Khan”.

Had this been a RPG game, I would have loved it even with the plot holes the Enterprise could fit through. But as I a film, I grew bored, enchanted and ready for it to be over. I longed for “The Undiscovered Country” and Mass Effect. Those would have been time better spent.