Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Scream Queen: Diana Terranova

Diana Terranova is best known for her role as a super-powered cheerleader on the sci-fi television series "Heroes", but her resume is full of appearances in low-budget thrillers, sci-fi films and horror flicks where her presense in the cast was, to a large extent, dictated by her two most obvious talents.

Recent horror credits for Terranova include "Gacy House", "The Butcher" and the soft-core porn horror spoof "The Hills Have Thighs".

Saturday Scream Queen: Amy Acker

Born in 1976 in Dallas, Texas, Amy Acker was destined for show-business from a young age. She spent her childhood studying ballet, modern dance and jazz dance, but knee surgery in high school forced her to abandon that path and turn to acting.

While still in college, Acker landed her first television roles on the children's series "Wishbone", and soon after graduation she landed the role of Fred on the "Buffy the Vampire Splayer" spin-off series "Angel" om 2001. Acker's character that was put not though one but several wringers... and ultimately transformed into a demon.

Acker's career has thus far been mostly focused around television, with one-shot appearances on numerous seriem and recurring roles on shows such as "Alias", "Dollhouse", and "Happy Town", but she has managed to fit in a few movies along the way, some of them in the horror genre. In 2008, Acker starred in "A Near Death Experience" and she can currently be seen in movie theatres in "The Cabin in the Woods".

Friday, April 13, 2012

'Ghost Whisperer' got off to a strong start

I was gifted with Seasons 1 and 2 of "Ghost Whisperer" some time ago, and I recently got around to start watching them. So, I will be reviewing the episodes in this space. I only watched the show once in a blue moon during its five year run on CBS, but every time I did, I was impressed by Jennifer Love Hewitts two great talents. She's also quite an actress.

Ghost Whisperer (Untitled Pilot Episode) (2005)
Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, David Conrad, Aisha Tyler, and Wentworth Miller
Director: John Gray
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Her entire life, Melinda (Hewitt) has been able to see and communicate with ghosts. As she grew up, she began to pass messages from them to the living, so the restless spirits would feel relieved of their earthly duties and finally be able to move onto the afterlife. Even on her wedding night, she spends time with both the living and the dead... when for the first time one of the dead (Miller) invade her very home in search of help.

"Ghost Whisperer" got off to a strong start with its 2005 pilot episode. A deftly written script that introduces us to likable newly-weds Melinda and Jim--she sees dead people and tries to help them move onto the next life, he is a paramedic and tries to help people stay in this one, which is an interesting arrangement that I'm sure will get play as the show unfolds--and Melinda's sassy employee at the antique store she runs. I expect Melinda's doting and supportive husband will give rise to nearly as many plots as the ghosts he will help as I watch this series... and I expect her employee will come in at a close second, probably not directly but rather through antiques that she brings into the shop that Melinda owns and operates.

The pilot also presents what I know to be the show's formula from what few I've already seen: Melinda encounters a ghosts here and there, but one or two become her focus. After some initial sleuthing and plot complications, she finds the key to helping them resolve the issues that are keeping them in this world. After a tearful goodbye with family members and loved ones, the ghost moves on, and Melinda returns to the arms of her loving husband.

But the pilot also features a near-perfect mix of sappy and creepy that made the best episodes of the show that I've seen so much fun. Just when you think the schmaltz might be going on just a little too thick, scary ghost stuff starts happening.

What I found most entertaining about the pilot episode was the way it time and again made me wonder what it would be like to go through life never knowing if the person sitting across from you is alive or dead... until you realize that you're the only person who can see him. If the show keeps that aspect alive, I think this is going to be lots of fun.

Things Learned About Ghosts and The Afterlife in This Episode: Major life-changes for those the departed care about may "awaken" their slumbering, lingering spirits and draw them to the location, even if they don't know why. Ghosts somehow communicate even with the ghosts who are stuck in this world... and sometimes they tell those who are stuck to seek out Melinda for help.

I hope he doesn't call for a boycott....

The guy in charge of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, is upset because Kate Upton appears in a "nun bikini" in the "Three Stooges" remake that's just been released in U.S. movie theaters. Although the very smart lady who is my office assistant and receptionist said she thought that film would be right up my ally, this is a film I have Zero Interest in. And a film that I suspect is at a level of "Love Guru" as far as cinematic atrociousness goes.

I just hope no jackass starts calling for a boycott and thus makes me obligated to go see it for review purposes. (Although if someone DOES see it, let me know if my pre-judgement is incorrect.)

But no matter what I may think of the film, I can still post a couple of stills of Kate Upton in the offending outfit.

Personally, I don't see the problem. Upton's hair is covered, so at least she's not one of those immodest women who will cause earthquakes. The great and wise Imam of Imams Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi can masturbate with a happy heart while enjoying his bootleg copy of "The Tree Stooges."

You can read a little more here at "The Hollywood Reporter".

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturday Scream Queen: Jennifer Aniston

This week's Scream Queen is perhaps the biggest reach yet, as American actress Jennifer Aniston, best known for her role on the 1990s sit-com "Friends", has spent her career making people scream with laugher rather than terror. And she's only rarely screamed herself.

But it's Easter weekend, so I figured it was okay to put up a ham.

Jennifer Aniston's single horror outing to date was her first starring role in a feature film--1992's offbeat chiller "Leprechaun". The film was treated harshly by critics, and, even if the film was a commercial success, Aniston was seriously considering quitting acting after making it.

But then she found "Friends", and she transformed into the star of screen and television that we know today.