American Idol Top 3 Results Show, Season 8, Wednesday May 13, 2009

I am really worried about tonight’s results show.  Everywhere I look, I see more and more Adam haters.  Please, please let him go through.

The Night At The Museum intro was one of the worst examples of unfunny cross-promotion ever to be foisted on the television medium.  So, so unnecessary.

Someone needs to introduce Alicia Keys to a wonderful new invention, the bra.  She might as well have been naked (Hmmmm.).  Her job was to introduce us to one of the strangest performances ever seen on Idol.  She explained that he, Noah, had learned the song ‘in English’ this week, and it was obvious that the producers’ strategy was to put a lot of singers around him and keep him way, way down in the mix.  He definitely exuded some sort of confidence, but you would have thought the Idol producers and choreographers might have assisted him a little with his stage performance.  Then again, I could be very conspiratorial and assume that the Idol producers and chorographers did assist him with his performance, and that was what they thought would have the most audience impact.  I truly hope that they would know better than to do that.

Danny was brought out onto the stage first, and all we got was ‘blah, blah, blah’ from Ryan.  Kris came out to more of the same.  Apparently Ryan thought that no one in the viewing audience watched the show last night.

I was sort of worried about the Jordan Sparks performance because I haven’t liked anything she has done since she was a contestant.  I did not care for this song either, but for the most part she sang it well.  I find that I spend a lot of time every season criticizing female Idol contestants for choosing songs that are too low for them.  This criticism rises to a whole new level when the song that you choose to sing is off your own album, and it is too low for you.  This, unfortunately, was the case for Jordan.  She also screamed much of the song.

We, then were treated to the same thing for Adam that we got for Danny and Kris.  “Blah, blah, blah.”  Couldn’t this have been a 30 minute show, and allowed me more time to watch Lost?  He deserves extra points for being smart enough to sing the national anthem straight up without tricking it up at all.  Greatness.

Nice production having Katie Perry’s mic turned down when she started to sing.  You would think that they would get better at this after 8 seasons.  As far as Katie Perry went, she also sang a song that was too low for her that was hers.  She looked hot, if also slutty, and her song was the equivalent of vocal nihilism.  Does anyone worry about writing a lyric at all anymore?  There may only be seven different notes in music, but there are millions of words and phrases in the English language.  This is where you can get very creative in a song.  She was also very pitchy.  At least she did not use a voice harmonizer.

Kris was named in the first spot next week, and my stomach got a knot in it.  Adam went through, and my faith in America was once again restored.  Good bye Danny.  He was really very good.

Smokin’ Aces

I was told that this movie was meant to be a little “over the top”.  If that was their desire, they got their wish.  I would say that this movie was too over the top.  However, in its defense, I did not at any point that I remember have to follow a bullet into anyone’s head.

I realize that one must suspend reality when watching certain films, but this can be pushed to the absurd.  Here we have another movie where guns never run out of bullets and characters never die no matter how many times you shoot them.

The movie is also problematic because of recurring questions involving character motivations.  The best example would be the main character, Richard Messner, played by Ryan Reynolds.  At one point his partner, played by Ray Liotta, has been shot multiple times (and I mean multiple) and is dying.  Don’t worry.  I’m not spoiling things too much for you.  There will be many other deaths for you to be surprised by.  Anyway, there is a point where Liotta’s character is obviously dying, his partner realizes this and appropriately begins to call for a medic (as if he were in the army).  Almost simultaneously, a girl with a 50 caliber sniper rifle in a neighboring hotel opens up on the open area outside the elevator where Liotta is.

You do not really have to exaggerate the effects of the 50 cal.  It makes a mess and keeps on going.  I forgot to mention that this area is full of FBI agents who begin to get in the way of the bullets with negative results for those who do.  I am not sure how many FBI agents are killed or wounded in this frantic scene, but it is a lot.  Reynolds’ character oddly only has eyes for Liotta.  He continues to scream, “Medic!” during the whole scene, and by the end it is clear that none of the other dead or injured agents are of consequence to him,… or the director.  They are just more fodder for the guns and the camera.

Later he meets Alicia Keys’ character in a stairwell.  She was present at the incident mentioned above, and was obviously materially involved to the point that she was firing at the agents outside of the elevator (she may have even killed one, I am not sure now).  They point guns at each others’ heads, but Keys’ character tells Reynolds’ Character, that she had nothing to do with his partner’s death.  What does a good FBI agent do in a situation that is totally out of control with a gun at his head?  Well of course, he accepts her at her word (without saying a thing), and they both simply move along.  This is logical, of course, because none of the dead agents was important but Liotta’s character.

On the positive side, there are several good acting performances.  Liotta was excellent, as was Martin Henderson as Hollis Elmore.  Alicia Keys was surprisingly good.  But, even though he got top billing for some reason, don’t expect a lot of Affleck.  He is in the movie for a total of about five minutes.

At the end, it seems like the director realizes that he has killed everyone that he wants to kill, and has to come up with an out.  I personally found the ending that they chose hokey and disappointing.  I loved the idea of the plot for this movie, but I was more than let down by the execution.  I would not recommend Smokin’ Aces, but I would like to see this plotline done well in another film.