Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Update To "These Will Be Kept"

I remembered another rule I made for myself and my movie going experiences. It's the last one in my last real entry. Hopefully that can hold you over for a while.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Note To Readers (aka Nick):

Just wanted to give everyone and anyone who's reading this that the posts are going to be a lot fewer in the next month or so as finals are approaching. I also got a job as a metro writer for the Daily Iowan (university paper) so the posts are going to be on hold pretty much till the summer.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"These Will Be Kept" A Declaration Of Principles

First off I urge everyone (all 2 of you) who reads this to check out Roger Eberts Rules For Film Critics and yes I do realize that I'm using the same picture that he did.

Just as Charles F. Kane did I'm going to lay out some principles that I hope to follow in my writing this blog

I Will Strive Towards Perfect Grammar-I know that blogging is a different type of journalism where most will tolerate an "LOL" and such. However, I'd be lying if I haven't had fantasies about a post from here being linked on the bottom of IMDb or an editor stumbling on to this page. Those fantasies can only come true if I do my best to be grammatically correct.

It's Only My Opinion-In Before Sunset Ethan Hawke talks about how we all see the world through our own little lense. The same is said for any type of criticism. The only reason I expect people to read this or care about what I have to say is because they are A. My Friends B. My Mom C. My girlfriend or D. They find that we share similar tastes. The main reason that my favorite critics are Adam Kempenaar and Matty Robinson of Filmspotting is because I had similar tastes as them and if they recommended a movie, I'm willing to check it out.

It's Only Entertainment, ButI Think It's Important-I know that talking about movies isn't as life shaping as the state of the economy or genocide in Darfur but I think it's important. An old boss of mine and I were discussing Aaron Sorkin shows during a lunch break when we came to Studio 60 he said that the fast paced dialogue works better when the characters are discussing foreign policy and what not. I told him that some people find the deadline of a live TV show as important, if not more so. If Sullivan's Travels and the recent rise in the box office has taught us anything, it's that there is a great value in entertaining people for a few hours.

As I said, "It's Only My Opinion."-I want to hear your thoughts. All I ask is that you keep it friendly. One of the biggest problems with the internet is that everone is anonymous and therefore feel that they can say anything they want. Also, if you notice any trends that you want me to explore.

I Will Rarely Talk About Trailers-I know Ebert says that it's crucial to stay away from trailer. I don't go that far but I do avoid all red-band trailers. One of the reasons I was underwhelmed by I Love You, Man and everyone else loved it is because the red band trailer gave away the entire "dinner speech," scene. There are plenty of other reasons why I wasn't as thrilled with the film as everyone else, but I've decided that I'm going to stay away from those R-rated trailers unless I see them in the theater (Sorry Bruno). I've also decided to stay clear of any trailer for a film I would see anyway because of the director or cast. Now will I be able to resist the trailer for the third Batman? Probably not but I'm going to do everything I can to keep my experiences spoiler-free.

Thanks for reading. If you have any other good rules, please let me know.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hi. My Name Is Tyler and I Watch My Boys

**Note-I realize the lack of timeliness in this post but I was having trouble with Blogger**

Hi, my name is Tyler and I watch My Boys. The first new episode of the season aired this past Tuesday and for some reason I can't explain, I rushed home from class to boot up the DVR and watch. As someone who's been the constant point of ridicule for religiously watching the comedy in which a Chicago Cubs sports writer tries to find love even though she gets along better with her guy friends, (Sounds awful, I know) I have always rationalized that it's a guilty pleasure. Now that slot is filled by Smart Guy reruns on BET, I've had to take an introspective look at why I never miss an episode which coincided nicely with the season premiere. I have examined the show closely and have found some of its strong and weaker points.

**Warning Spoilers Below*** (However, you'll soon find out, the plot is nothing original)

Reasons I Keep Watching:

  • Setting-It takes place on the north side of Chicago, and I'm from the suburbs, so whenever places like Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, and Naperville are mentioned on a national TV show, it's the equivalent of a band giving your hometown a big shout out.

  • The Cubs-As I said the main character, P.J., is a Cubs fan and covers the Cubs for a newspaper, which is one of my Top 5 Dream Jobs.

  • P.J.-P.J. is every guy's (especially Chicago-bred) dream girl. She's hot but not unattainable, she loves sports, and she's happiest at a bar sharing pitchers with her friends or hosting a Poker Night.

  • Jim Gaffigan-This guy is hilarious as PJ's older brother who is coming to terms with being a married, full-fledged adult. Every now and again he has a line that you can tell he came up with after reading the script and it makes a bad episode that much better.

Reasons the Show Is On Par With a Bad Rom-Com:

  • The Narration-The show follows a narration format that is very similar to Sex and The City (my masculinity is really coming out in this opening entry) and while there is a rather clever episode in which P.J.'s old college friend has become Carrie Bradshaw, the show sometimes uses this as a crutch.

  • The Cliff-Hanger Follow-Up-I love cliff hanger endings (one of my favorite shows is Lost) My Boys always ends the season with a big one. First season was that P.J. was going to Italy and brought a mystery man who was revealed the next season. Last season it was her friend/love interest knocking on her bedroom door the night before his wedding only to find out that she was sleeping with her brother. While both of these are very contrived and predictable, the latter suffered in the follow-up the next season. In Italy, P.J. realized that Bobby only thought of her as a friend, which took a good half of the episode. In the newest episode, none of the cliffhanger mattered as Bobby's fiancĂ© broke-up with him the next day, his brother had to ditch P.J. to go on a business trip and a very funny moustache contest joke was set up all a matter of five minutes.

As you may have counted, there are more good points than bad ones but the bad ones are structure and story elements which I place above funny jokes, eye candy, and Chicagoland references. Still the reason I watch the show every week is so I can laugh at the often funny guy references and anything that comes out of Jim Gaffigan. Hopefully now, after writing this I can wear my My Boys fandom without ridicule because I acknowledge the flaws and strength's equally (like my Cubbies) and hopefully any fan who reads this can too.