Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Top 10 Best Cold Openings in The Office

Now here's the deal, I am a huge fan of the American version of The Office. Oftentimes the best part of a specific episode is the cold opening. some of them are so classic there is a lot of merchandise devoted to them. So, I am here to give you my top 10 best cold openings in The Office.

 #10. Jim connects Dwight's phones to his Bluetooth

What happens: Dwight hears his phone ringing and he answers it but still hears it ringing. Jim tuns on his Bluetooth and answers as Dwight. Then Jim explains in a talking head interview that Dwight left his phone at the office so Jim paired it to his headset. Then Pam calls and Jim answers but Dwight says to Pam that the person answering is not him and Pam pretends to be confused. Dwight then reprograms his phone to go to his Office phone. Jim explains in another talking head interview that Jim did the same thing with his Desk Phone. When the phone rings it is Dwight's mother and he answers by saying "Hello Muter I have married tell Vater." He hangs up and says to Dwight "Such a Nice woman." Dwight then smashes his phone.

Episode: Season 4 episode 18: Goodbye Toby

#9. Jim faxes Dwight letters from "Future Dwight"

What happens: Jim, who is now working in Stamford, explains that he sends Dwight faxes "from Future Dwight" He reads the fax that he sends Dwight (cutting to Dwight receiving the fax with Jim still reading in a voiceover) "Dwight, at 8 AM someone poisons the coffee. Do not drink the coffee, more instructions will follow. Cordially, Future Dwight." Dwight then sees Stanley with coffee about to drink it and he smashes it out of his hands saying "You'll thank me later"

What episode: Season 3 Episode 7: Branch Closing

#8. Parkour

What happens: Michael, Dwight, and Andy come into the office jumping on everything and yelling "Parkour" It then cuts to Jim showing a video of the real Parkour and explains that the idea behind it is that you have to get from point A to point B as creatively as possible. "So technically they are doing Parkour if point A is delusion and point B is the hospital." It shows more footage of them jumping around yelling "parkour" Then it shows them on a roof trying to get to the ground by jumping on various objects. Andy jumps and lands in an empty fridge box and weakly says "Parkour"

What Episode: Season 6 Episode 1: Gossip

#7. Jim does a Pavlov experiment with Dwight.

What Happens: Jim pretends to have computer problems and constantly shuts down his computer. Every time he does, he gives Dwight an Altoid. He explains that he is trying out a Pavlov experiment with Dwight. At the end, he shuts off his computer and Dwight holds out his hand for an Altoid and Jim looks at him pretending to be confused and Dwight says that his mouth tastes bad.

What episode: Season 3 episode 16: Phyllis's wedding

#6. Jim wrapping Dwight's desk.

What Happens: Dwight walks in to find all of his stuff (including his desk and chair)
wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper. Jim tells Dwight that he cannot open it until Christmas. Dwight boasts that he will be able to take it apart in about 5 minutes while Jim says it will take him longer. Dwight brags that he can skin a Mule Deer in 10 minutes and as he sits down, his desk collapses as does his chair.

What Episode: Season 5 episode 11: Moroccan Christmas

#5. Jim pops Dwight's exercise ball.

What happens: It opens showing Dwight bouncing on a yoga ball )or as he calls it, a Fitness Orb) which irritates Jim as Dwight is knocking things over and making noises. He explains the benefits to Jim who asks Dwight "How much does one of those cost?" Dwight answers that it is 25 dollars. Jim nods, takes a pair of scissors and pops the 'fitness orb'

What Episode: Season 2 episode 8: Performance review

#4. Dwight's stuff in the vending machine.

What happens: Dwight goes to the vending machine and notices all of his stuff in there. Pam comes along and pretends that all of the stuff is available to buy and she buys Dwight's pencil cup. Dwight gives in and goes to find his wallet and Jim points that it is in the vending machine as well. Jim then gives Dwight a bag of nickels to buy his stuff back.

What Episode: Season 2 episode 11: Booze Cruise

#3. Jim hides Dwight's desk in the bathroom.
What Happens: Dwight walks in to the office and sees that his desk is missing. Jim feigns ignorance as to where the desk is located and tells Dwight things like "Calm down where was the last place you saw it?" "I think you should retrace your steps". Dwight goes in to tell Michael but Jim starts playing 'hot and cold' with Dwight and he finds it in the bathroom with the phone ringing. It is Jim calling and he asks Dwight questions about work and Kevin comes out of the stall and Dwight tells him to wash his hands.

What Episode: Season 2 episode 6: The Fight

#2. TV Screensaver at the meeting

What happens: The office is at a meeting and Michael is talking about ideas. No one is listening. Instead, they are looking at the DVD screensaver behind him waiting for the logo to hit the corner. Jim explains this and he also says Pam claims that she saw it. It switches to Pam and she swears that she saw it. The office is frustrated that it never goes into the corner but Kevin tells Oscar "Dude, you gotta believe"It finally does and The office cheers and leaves the room with Michael thinking it is because of his good ideas.

What episode: Season 4 episode 5: Launch party

#1. Jim dressed as Dwight.

This is really the only option for the top spot. Basically Jim comes in dressed as Dwight which frustrates Dwight. Jim mentions to the camera that he saw glasses like Dwight's at a store and he bought them along with a few other things Dwight has. Dwight gets mad at Jim so Jim imitates Dwight going to Michael. Dwight insists that he doesn't do that but he immediately does it.

What episode: season 3 episode 21: Product Recall

Monday, May 23, 2011

My review of Carrie.

Watching this film made me realize one thing: Carrie White is one of the greatest tragic figures in film. She endures so much and deserves none of it. I feel that she has an incredibly kind nature but the cruel life she lives crushes it. There is a scene where a teacher compliments her on her looks and you can tell that it made Carrie's day even if she didn't outwardly show it. I'll say it again: Carrie White is one of the greatest tragic figures in film.

I did an essay on bullying for my English final for my Freshman year of college (I can post it on my blog and send it to you if you want) and I reference this film in it. I think that this film perfectly exemplifies how teens (and even kids younger than that) can be social cannibals.

Acting/characters: To start off, Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie did absolutely stunning jobs in this film. From the first time you see each character you know exactly what they are like. You immediately relate to Carrie because all of us have been bullied at some point. Spacek did an amazing job exemplifying the torment that her character constantly had to endure and how she is forced to react. Right off the bat we see what she endures. Not even the school principal bothers to remember her name after it is told to him multiple times. Later we see that her teachers treat her as poorly as her peers do.

As for Margaret White (Piper Laurie) the minute she opens her mouth the first time you see her you know she is bad news (even without the fact that the media generally, not always mind you, sees religious people as hypocritical "fire and brimstone you will go to hell" type people. As a non-religious Christian I am inclined to agree with that every so often. Aside from that, you just sense she is bad news just in the way she talks and how she interacts with different people, particularly Carrie (for a reference, see the "And the raven was called sin" scene). This woman is just evil and you see that quite clearly very early on. Would I say that she loves Carrie? Well, maybe. As much as she can love anything really. Overall I don't think so. To me their relationship is like an owner that beats his dog when he gets drunk and a loving and loyal dog. No matter how much the owner beats the dog, the dog still is loyal and loves his master. But eventually it'll go too far and I'm sure most of you know what that entailed in the film.

The rest of the cast does an excellent job as well, but it is really their show. (although, I didn't like Travolta too much in this one) The acting was pretty solid all around. 10/10

Plot: Based off of a Stephen King book, among the main themes of this film are teen angst and High School experiences (negative ones) along with a supernatural King twist to it. The plot starts off like a lot of teen angst movies: it establishes the social order by showing us who the wolves are and who is at the bottom of the social ladder. You also see that Carrie is considered unimportant by her teachers and principals as well (with one exception). Then you see that Carrie is abused by people just walking home from school. Then she gets it from her mother. The whole feel of the film, to me, reflects Carrie's feelings at the time. At the beginning it's quieter and more subdued and by the end, when Carrie is out of control the feel of the film is out of control too. It is a plot that is extremely well done. 9.5/10

Screenplay: Pretty good screenplay here. They did a good job with Margret's lines in particular. They gave her a lot of good fire and brimstone lines for Piper Laurie to work with. See, one of the main keys to stellar acting is a screenplay that is easy to work with. I enjoyed the screenplay very much. It added to the quality of the film unlike many other horror films where the screenplay detracts from it. 9/10

Likableness: This is an outstanding film that I would highly suggest to anyone. Horror fan or not. The outstanding performances (which resulted in Oscar nominations for Spacek and Laurie who both lost out to people in Network) alone make this a great film but it has more to it than that. It was highly enjoyable. If you haven't seen it, go watch it! 10/10

Final Score: 38.5/40 96% (N)

TRIVIA TIME: 1. Sissy Spacek wasn't considered for the role of Carrie until her husband, art director Jack Fisk, convinced director Brian De Palma to allow her to audition. For her screen test, Sissy Spacek rubbed Vaseline into her hair and didn't bother to wash her face. She also wore a sailor dress (which her mother had made for her when she was in the seventh grade) with the hem cut off.Until that, De Palma was wedded to the idea of Amy Irving playing Carrie; when Spacek got the part instead, De Palma gave Irving the smaller role of Sue.

2. The name of the high school is Bates High, a reference to Norman Bates from Psycho. In addition, the four note violin theme from Psycho is used over and over in the film.

3. Initially, P.J. Soles was only cast for two weeks, but after she hit Sissy Spacek over the head with her red baseball hat during the volleyball scene, Brian De Palma decided to keep her around longer.

4. The pig's blood dumped on Sissy Spacek was karo syrup and food coloring, although she was willing to have real blood dumped on her. The fake blood dropped on Sissy Spacek kept drying and adhering to her skin because of the hot lights. The only solution was to hose her down when the substance got gluey.

5. George Lucas and Brian De Palma held a joint audition for Carrie and Star Wars). There is a long-standing rumor that originally, Sissy Spacek was cast as Princess Leia, and Carrie Fisher as Carrie, but when Fisher refused to appear in nude scenes and Spacek was willing to do them, they switched parts. However, Fisher refuted this story in a Premiere magazine article called "The Force Wasn't With Them," about actors who auditioned unsuccessfully for Star Wars. That article quoted Fisher as saying, "Not only do I love being nude, I would've been nude then... But anyway, it's total bullshit that Fisher refused to play Carrie." Also, Amy Irving, who played Sue Snell, originally read for the part of Princess Leia, and William Katt, who played Tommy Ross, originally read for the part of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.

6. Nancy Allen claims that she never realized that her character was going to be so evil until she saw the finished film, she thought that she and John Travolta were playing such self-centered, bickering morons that they were there for comic relief. Piper Laurie also thought that the character of Margaret White was so over the top that the film had to be a comedy.

7. In Carrie's house, the statue of a religious figure shot with arrows represents St. Sebastian. It is not a crucifix and does not represent Jesus Christ.

8. Stephen King based Carrie White on two girls he knew while at school, both were social outcasts from deeply religious families and both died while still in their twenties though only one of them was a classmate of his. Prior to the publication of Carrie King had been an English teacher. The second girl who inspired Carrie was one of his students.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I am team Freddy...

So, you know the utterly ridiculous terms that floated around during the worldwide phenomenon known as the "Twilight craze" a ridiculous obsession with sparkling vampires and perpetually shirtless werewolves. It's different from the Harry Potter craze in that twilight doesn't have bad-asses like Neville Longbottm or complex characters like Snape. No, the twilight phase is one that has spawned two highly hated-by-rational-people dual word combinations:


Horrid isn't it? Now, I went through a slasher film phase last September-January. I saw a boatload of them. For more info on that, go here:

Now, there are a few horror icons that one may prefer over another. The big three of course being Freddy, Michael, and Jason. One may say that they are Team Michael or Team Jason. If a label must be applied to liking one over the other two,  I would say that I am Team Freddy.

No, not this one

Or this one

No I'm talking about this one. No puns, nothing like that, just pure evil.

I have this ready-made response available for whenever I go to the next Twilight movie to get in the middle of it to destroy it from within. If anyone asks me if I am Team Edward or Team Jacob (a fate I would not wish upon my worst enemy) I would just tell them "I'm Team Freddy. He could wipe the floor with both of them."So, My advice is, if you are ever asked that question, pick someone like "Team Jason Bourne" or "Team Chuck Norris" or "Team Morgan Freeman" and then promptly respond by saying that your team figurehead could crush both Edward and Jacob without even breaking a sweat. If you want to be really creative, carefully explain why.
That's my advice if you're ever asked that question.

So, I'm sure any Twi-hards *Shudder* are asking HOW COULD FREDDY POSSIBLY DO THAT!?
It's quite simple really. See, no one can do any real damage to Freddy while asleep so here's how Freddy would do it:

1. Kill Jacob in his sleep by turning him into a chihuahua and ripping him to shreds (he does have the power to turn his victims into other things. Roach Motel anyone?)
2. He kills Bella in her sleep by pretending to be Edward and when she hugs him Freddy reveals his true form and slashers her in the back and impales her on a tree branch.
3. With Bella dead, Edward has the Volturi kill him.

That is how Freddy would kill the leads of Twilight. I am Team Freddy

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

5 things to do and not do when critisizing a film that a lot of critics tend to do

1. Don't go against the norm for the sake of going against the norm.

I know this happens. There isn't a film critic who would admit to doing it but I know that they do. Now, this is not the same as liking a film that got bad reviews, for example, I happen to have a soft spot for Scream 3, or disliking a film that got good reviews, I hate Born on the 4th of July. I'm talking about when someone sees that a film got a 98% and just to be a dick, he gives it a bad review.


I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this. A critic will review a sequel to a film with a huge following, such as Scream 4, and they will say "fans will be disappointed with this one." Well, how do you know? If you had said "I was a huge fan of the original but I disliked this one" that is something else entirely. But saying that you will know what an entire group will feel is just ridiculous.

3. Don't oversimplify or overthink the film.

If a critic goes into a mindless action film (such as the recent film Fast Five) expecting something on the level of The Terminator, he will be disappointed. look at a film for what it was made to be.

4. No big self-congratulatory words.

The purpose of a movie review is to tell the audience what you thought of the film. If you use very complicated words to get your point across, it isn't a movie review now it's the critic saying "ooh look how smart I am I can use big words." By using big words, the critic generally comes across as high and mighty and smug.

5. Go into detail.

Just writing "I didn't like the acting" isn't going to cut it. Go into detail. say something like "The acting came across to me as flat. I got a sense that the actors didn't care about the roles and it showed in their performances. The acting generally went from underacting to extreme overacting during the 'serious' moments of the film." With the second one, I fully understand why the critic didn't like the acting. Wit the first one, I have no clue why the critic disliked the acting.

My review of Trick r Treat

I saw this one just last night. I had always heard that it was decently entertaining and it turns out that it really is. It's one I would re-watch.

Acting/characters: Pretty solid overall. The best actor in the film was Brian Cox. One thing that always blows my mind when I see Anna Paquin is that she is an Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actress. Nothing against her or anything it's just odd to think that someone that young has an Oscar. She's not someone you look at and think "oh Oscar winner." I still have to see The Piano, to be frank. I'm rambling, but her and Brian Cox were the best people in this film (and they receive top billing for it). There weren't any boring characters in the film or any horrid acting. I mean, it's a comic book film so they aren't looking for outstanding performances. They are meant to be a little cheesy. It was overall pretty solid. And then you have Sam...anyone who has seen the movie knows all about Sam... 8/10

Plot: Like the movie Creepshow (which is the same basic idea) this film has a bunch of different anecdotes that make up the plot. In this instance they are all intertwined. Viewers will find characters or events from other stories in all of the anecdotes even if they don't know it yet. It can get pretty confusing what with one plot starting and then the movie goes off on another plot and then they might finish the first one. However, id generally doesn't get so convoluted that you can't follow along. It is a movie that is one that would get better with a second viewing just because you would pick up a lot more. It's also a plot that is played for laughs just as much as it is for scares but it is a little more subtle about it. If you wanted to ignore the laughs that would be very easy. But it just does little things to make you laugh. It was a solid plot overall. 9/10

Screenplay: Like the rest of the film, the dialogue is pretty much all comic book style. It's cheesy and not the best I've heard but for a film like this I think it really works out great. I also feel that in a film like this, what the characters are doing and what you see going on around them is more important than what they are actually saying. But, it works out for this. 8/10

Likableness: I highly enjoyed this film. I would suggest it to any true horror fan that likes a horror film that they can just shut down and watch but still has its fair share of intelligence. It has a few decent scares and as many good laughs too. I enjoyed it very much. It isn't perfect, but it is a darn fine little film. 9/10

Final score: 34/40 85% (N)

TRIVIA TIME: 1. Little people were used to fill in for kids trick or treating, since this film was shot mainly at night and real kids could not work these hours.

2. The film had many title changes before filming began. Originally titled Season's Greetings (also the name of the short film), it was changed because it sounded too much like a Christmas film. Then it was called Halloween Terrors, Jack O' Lantern Tales, October the 31st, and Trick or Treat. The final title was kept but since there was already a movie of the same name out, they changed the spelling to Trick 'r Treat.

3. Most of the Jack O' Lanterns were made out of either foam or ceramic. An on-set joke was that no pumpkins were harmed during the making of this movie.

4. The name of the character Sam is derived from Samhain, the ancient Celtic festival of the dead from which modern-day Halloween is derived. Despite having been portrayed as such in this film and several other works, Samhain is not a deity or other personage of ancient Celtic polytheism; it is only the name of the celebration. However, the idea of being either a deity or other personage dates back to at least the late first century, largely thanks to an Irish bishop named Cormac mac Cuilennàin and his book "Sanas Cormaic" (Irish Gaelic for "Cormac's Narrative"), which had identified Samhain as such.

5. The look of Brian Cox's character is based on Halloween and The Thing Director John Carpenter.

6. The bottle of booze in the old man's house which ends up being smashed and wielded as a weapon is labeled Glen MacPherson a.k.a. The director of photography.

What lies beneath the mask? If you have not seen the film ask yourself this: Do you want to know?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My review of Tangled

I had yet to see this until Sunday and now that I have seen it I am writing a review of it. I decided to start my review with "I had yet to see this until Sunday and now that I have seen it am writing a review of it. I decided to start my review with "I had yet to see this until Sunday and now that I have seen it I am writing a review of it. I decided to start my review with...

Voice Acting/Characters: By far the best character was the horse. In any other genre, that would be a high insult to the film but since it is Disney and the animals are one step away from anthropomorphic, it's all good. Still, they could have done a little more to ensure that the horse didn't steal the show. After the horse the most engaging character would have to be Flynn Ryder. The rest were okay and generally characters we have seen before. nothing outstandingly special but the all had their moments. 8/10

Plot: Well, it's pretty much par for the course with Disney. It had some new ideas with the story, but it was overall what we've come to expect from a Disney take on a popular fairy tale. Nothing new here. It was an original idea with large bits of the original story in it. Par for the course but still very well done. 8/10.

Screenplay: I found the screenplay of this film to be really clever actually. It was very well done and I suggest to Disney that they should keep whoever wrote the screenplay of this for their next one. The songs of the film are nothing new at all. One song I did not like at all was "I had a Dream" where all of the thugs are singing about their dreams and feelings. It was way too cliche and predictable. Other than that, it was very enjoyable. I found myself laughing at a lot of their lines. 8.5/10

Likableness: I would highly suggest this to anyone and I really enjoyed it. It still had cliche and stereotypical Disney elements to it. It wasn't as fresh as Pixar (to which all animated films are compared to) but it was still more original and better done than a lot of their films. It was a very fun film to watch and I would suggest it to those who have not seen it. 8.5/10

Final Score: 33/40 82% (N)

TRIVIA TIME: 1. This is the most expensive animated film and the second most expensive film ever made.

2. David Schwimmer and Burt Reynolds were cast in roles that were eventually deleted in the pre-production stage.

3. Zachary Levi auditioned for the part of Flynn Rider, and got it, with a British accent. Later this was dropped, and Levi read the role in his own American accent instead.

4. This is the first animated Disney "princess" film to get a PG rating by the MPAA. All other Disney "princess" films got a G rating.

5. An average inch of hair weighs about 50 µg - a light estimate, as blonde hair tends to be lighter than other colors. Animators have said that Rapunzel's hair is approximately 70 feet (840 inches), and consists of about 100,000 strands. That yields 4,200,000,000 µg = 4,200,000 mg = 4,200 g = 4.2 kg (approx 10.4 lbs) of hair.

You'd be surprised what you can do with a frying pan