Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Movie Review: Hit and Run

Welcome to Ashley’s Kristen Bell Fangirl Blog! It’s been a little while since there’s been any Kbell worthy news to report and Ashley’s been itching to get her Kbell fix, so thankfully this past weekend Hit and Run opened in theatres and she had the chance to fulfill her monthly Kbell quota.

Written and co-directed by Kbell’s real-life partner, Dax Shepard, Hit and Run is a romantic action comedy flick about a former getaway driver Charlie Bronson (Shepard) who leaves the safety of his witness protection identity behind in order to drive his girlfriend Annie (Bell) to Los Angeles for her dream job interview. The road trip, of course, turns into a chaotic car chase as they are tailed by his vengeful former gang (Bradley Cooper, Ryan Hansen and Joy Bryant), her over protective ex-lover (Michael Rosenbaum) and the inept United States Marshal assigned to protect him (Tom Arnold).

For a film that is basically one long car chase, most scenes rely on the interaction between one or two people isolated in a car, putting a lot of weight on character development and clever writing. Shepard and Bell carry the bulk of that weight, showcasing what seems like a look into their own real-life relationship with quirky conversations that try to break through the stereotypical rom-com expectations.

Kbell, of course, makes it all look natural; taking us along on an emotional rollercoaster as she slowly begins to see Shepard’s former life come together. The chemistry between them is evident and a lot of effort has gone into trying to create an authentic, non-Hollywood connection between two characters. It’s easy to watch the two of them in the front seat for most of the movie. (It’s easy to watch Kbell in any movie.) 

But it’s Tom Arnold as the bumbling US Marshall who can’t seem to get a handle on his weapon that breaks up the movie with a little bit of comic relief. His frenzied lack of professionalism and profuse sweating is borderline uncomfortable.

The most uncomfortable part of the movie, however, wasn’t Arnold’s sweat glands or the shock of a room full of naked seniors or a graphic account of what happened to a gang member in prison. The most uncomfortable part of the movie was Bradley Cooper’s hair. What was happening there, I have no idea, but it was almost more ridiculous than anything else that was thrown at us.

As an independent film with no real studio supervision, it’s easy to see that this was Shepard’s baby and he really wears his heart on his sleeve throughout it. A number of real life friends make small appearances as well (Kristin Chenoweth, Sean Hayes, Jason Bateman), showing their support and adding to the communal dream that this movie seemed to grow from.

Sure, sometimes it feels like it was just an excuse to show off Shepard’s stunt driving and his own car collection (the hot rod Lincoln Continental and the off-road race car are both his), and it may have been more fitting to call it Hit and Miss, but when it does hit, it makes for one exciting ride.

images from google images

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Stargazing Part 2

Crashing the Set of TMI!

Wow. Today started off great already. Veronica got to meet Colin Egglesfield and then after a search on Twitter, quickly figured out that City of Bones was filming close by at Knox College in the UofT campus and knew she had to grab a friend and head to the scene!

We weren’t sure exactly where they were filming or whether they would be outside the college, but as we walked down St. George Street, we saw the trucks and all the lighting equipment and knew we had arrived! At this point we were fairly certain that Knox College will be where the Institute is. And it is a very good choice, as it looks what we imagined it to look like.

From there, we snuck around the side and saw that they were setting up for an outdoor scene which looked like it might be the Greenhouse. They had set up several green screens which would indicate some sort of action sequence. Our first pass through we were stealthy and made it.

Unfortunately, we also arrived at lunch so cast and crew was on break and lunching inside the Howard Ferguson Hall. When we approached, we saw one woman leave but it wasn’t anyone we recognized.

But we weren’t done with our covert affair as we decided to make another pass through the side of the college. We headed back onto St. George Street and we heard one of the production staff full out yelling on her cell phone. It went something like this “I’m on a street in BLEEPING Toronto!! I need you to get off the BLEEPING writer’s laptop!!”. We sure wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that phone call!

Our second pass through behind the scene wasn’t as covert. We were caught back there and quickly escorted (not so kindly) out of the area. But we got what we came there for, another behind the scene picture! 

The only thing that would’ve made this day better is if we got to stick around to see a scene filmed or one of the stars. You can rest assured that as long as City of Bones continues to film around here, we will be on scene to report!

If you’re on Twitter, follow us @CityGirlScapes!!!!

images (c) CityGirlScapes

Stargazing Part 1

Who knew that a random Thursday in August could be so exciting? Veronica started off today like any other, heading into the office. Except, today was the day she got to meet Colin Egglesfield (Melrose Place) and Rebecca Field (American Reunion) from the new LifeTime show, The Client List!

It’s days like these that Veronica is ever so thankful to be lucky enough to work in the television industry. Colin and Rebecca were trotted out and put on display for all us lucky fans to have our pictures taken with them and to get autographed photos of them!

It’s always refreshing to see two stars that are down to earth and genuinely happy to be here meeting people. Colin was very warm (ok, hot) to the touch and was such a sweetheart. He even complimented Veronica on her choice of a hot pink rubber case for her iPhone!

Morning mission was complete!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monday Night TV Guide

              The Carrie Diaries (Premieres TBD Mid-season @ 9 pm – CW)
Starring: AnnaSophia RobbAustin ButlerBrendan Dooling and Chloe Bridges

As a SATC fan, this is a must see. Even if it flops, we will tune in to see what Carrie Bradshaw was like as a teen. Since this is being given the “CW” treatment, we’re sure we won’t see the more risqué scenes that made SATC what it was. It’s going to be interesting to see Carrie fall in love for the first time with Manhattan and start a running count of how many times they mention “New York City” or “Manhattan”.

Why we’re going to watch: It's Carrie effin Bradshaw before Big.

Revolution (Premieres September 17 @ 10pm – NBC)
Starring: Shane Callahan, Ken Arnold, Billy Burke

Another post-apocalyptic sci-fi show. After an unknown phenomenon fifteen years ago permanently disabled all advanced technology on the planet – computers, electronics, car engines, jet engines, batteries etc – people have adapted to a world without technology. Revolution focuses on the Matheson family and their journey to uncover what happened to cause this phenomenon and their struggle to find a way to reverse its effects while eluding various enemy groups, warlords and militias.

Why we’re going to watch: This was created by Eric Kripke (who created Supernatural), J.J. Abrams (co-creator of Lost and Fringe) and the pilot was directed by Iron Man director Jon Favreau. What more could you ask for?

Castle (Premieres Sept 24 @ 10pm - CTV/ABC)
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic

So it finally happened. The highly anticipated coming together of Beckett and Castle actually happened! We weren’t exactly surprised that this came about now, after 4 seasons. We’re just apprehensive as to what this means for the dynamic duo. The reason Castle works so well as a show was the undeniable sexual tension between Castle and Beckett.

Luckily, this show has so much more to give and with a strong studio backing, we can rest assured that Beckett and Castle will live on to many, many more encounters.

Why you should watch: Not to be a broken record but, Richard Castle really is ruggedly handsome.

Honourable Mentions

How I Met Your Mother Premieres September 24 @ 8pm – CBS
2 Broke Girls Premieres September 24 @ 9pm – CBS

images from google

Monday, August 20, 2012

Murtzfest 2012

We’re nearing the end of August and while it’s always sad to see summer on its way out, you can’t help but love all the end-of-summer festivals, parties and events. Some people mark the end of summer with the opening of the CNE, but we have another annual summer event that is almost as iconic – Murtzfest.

Arguably the biggest party of the year, Murtzfest is the annual birthday celebration of celebrity journalist Murtz Jaffer. Held in a swanky night club, Murtzfest has a renowned reputation for surprise celebrity guests, a strict purple dress code, lots of booze and a VIP guest list ready to party. You can start to piece together the theatrics that take place year after year.

Continuing the 13-year legacy, Murtzfest 2012 took place on Friday, August 17 at Cheval (606 King Street West) in celebration of Murtz’s 32nd birthday and we made an appearance to check out the scene. We arrived just after 11pm in purple dresses with a few Frescarias in our system. The place was just waking up, but there was the birthday boy looking sharp in his pinstripe shirt and trademark purple fedora.

In a strange but welcomed turn of the tables, he offered to buy us our first drinks of the night. With easy access to the bar we were able to keep those drinks coming, ensuring our social tolerance was in suitable shape.

The long trough-like venue quickly filled up as more people shuffled in, providing ample entertainment for wandering, observing eyes. Spotted: a young Bret Hart, the wanna-be cast of Jersey Shore, a socially inept boy-in-a-suit who wandered aimlessly around all night not speaking to anyone, a bartender who re-served our returned already sipped drinks (he messed up the order after bragging about how well he can read lips) to two other girls beside us and of course, way too many douchebags.

Admittedly, we have not set foot in a club in years and that night was a blatant reminder why. No matter how low cut or tight our dresses were we were still wearing far more material than what was apparently acceptable. And although it is the norm in places like that, paying $10 for watered down juice with a splash of booze is insulting to our existence. We need our drinks good and stiff to survive a night in a place like that. And please don’t get me started on the music.

Needless to say, it takes a hell of a man to get us to go to a party like that, but Murtz, for you, we’ll happily give you the gift of our company year after year no matter what ridiculous place we end up in. Happy Birthday! Hope it was amurtzing.

pictures (c)murtzfest

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sunday Night TV Guide

The Fall TV season is always exciting and this year is no less so. Admittedly, the pickings for new shows is somewhat disappointing but we still have our returning shows to be excited for!

666 Park Avenue (Premieres September 30 @ 10pm – ABC)
Starring: Rachel Taylor, Dave Annable, Robert Buckley, Vanessa Williams

Everyone has needs, desires and ambition. What if anything you desired could be yours? For the residents of The Drake at the ominous 666 Park Avenue, all dreams will come true courtesy of the building’s mysterious owner. With shadowy, supernatural forces within the building that imprison and endanger the lives of the residents inside, The Drake sets the stage of an epic battle between good versus evil.

Why we’re going to watch: Dun dun dun. You had us at supernatural.

Revenge (Premieres September 30 @ 9pm – ABC)
Starring: Madeleine Stowe, Emily VanCamp, Nick Wechsler, Joshua Bowman

After a rollercoaster of a first season, Emily’s vengeful plans have come full circle and she is back where she started. It will be interesting to see if things move ahead full force without feeling like it’s repeating the same path as the first season. I fear this could start to feel a bit like Prison Break, but that lasted for a good four seasons, so who knows.

Why you should watch: Who doesn’t fantasize about releasing an epic plan of revenge on those who did them wrong? The fascinating chain of events and tangled webs are intriguing and you can’t help but cheer Emily on in her ploy to bring down the rich and untouchable Graysons.

The Walking Dead (Premieres October 14 @ 9pm - AMC)
Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus, Sarah Wayne Callies and Steve Yeun

Season two came and went. At times it dragged, other times we couldn’t get enough. Ultimately, purists of the graphic novel will not care for the show since it is vastly different. But, Veronica is still enjoying. Season three is shaping up to be the best yet. They’ve made it out of the Hershel’s farm and will find their way to the prison aaaaaaaaaaaannnd THE GOVERNOR!

Why you should watch: The highly anticipated introduction of MICHON!

Honourable Mentions:

Once Upon a Time Premieres September 30 @ 8pm – ABC

The Mentalist Premieres September 30 @ 10pm - CBS

images from google

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's our 3rd Anniversary!

We can hardly believe that a small endeavor started by us 3 years ago has morphed into this! We'd like to take this time to thank all our readers, old and new, for sticking with us.

You can be sure to see more of us in the weeks to come as a new exciting season of TV commences!

And if you're on Twitter, be sure to follow us @CityGirlScapes!

images (c) CityGirlScapes

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What to watch - Fall TV Preview

It's that time again! As the Summer movie blockbusters come to a close, we're ramping up to the premieres of our favorite returning shows and the anticipation of new shows. Over the next few weeks we will be reviewing shows that you should watch and ones that you may not have heard of.

Grimm (Premiere August 13 @ 10pm – NBC * post Olympic closing ceremony)

Starring:David Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Russell Hornsby

This one was a last minute pick by Veronica last year and we’re certainly glad we stuck to it and continued to watch week after week.

 Nick (Giuntoli) believed he was the last remaining Grimm but last season’s finale left us thinking differently. Season one really reminded us of how awesome Supernatural used to be, using legends and lore to thrill and chill us. Albeit, a 22 episode order is bound to be somewhat formulaic but each episode has just enough that you can easily forgive it.

Why you should watch: It’s escapism, fun and sometimes leaves you wondering.

** Grimm returns to its regular time slot as of September 14th

images from google