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(This is NOT an official poster. It's just a place holder that I made for the review.)

“Frankie Go Boom”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Last week I got to attend a cast and crew screening of the upcoming indie film, Frankie Go Boom, and are you all in for a treat! This is a Secret Stash exclusive! After checking with writer/director Jordan Roberts and the producers, I’m pleased to announce that this is officially the first review of Frankie Go Boom anywhere! Remember you read it here first! I’ve always wanted to say that, and now it’s actually true! Okay, let’s get this show on the road. Now, when I went into this movie I had absolutely zero expectations. I had no idea what it was about, and having not seen a trailer… There isn’t one yet, by the way. Yeah, I told you, you were the first to know! I really didn’t know what to expect, and I’ve got to say I was pleasantly surprised. The one thing I did know going in, was the cast. I’ve always enjoyed Lizzy Caplan on the big and small screen, but I became a huge fan of Chris O’Dowd’s a few years ago after seeing The Boat That Rocked/Pirate Radio. That alone got me into the theatre, and I’m guessing that’s why I didn’t even bother to ask what the movie was about before seeing it that night. But lucky for you, your old friend Darby took some notes, and is ready to give you the 4-1-1.

Frankie Go Boom is about two brothers, the youngest Frankie (Charlie Hunnam) who is continuously being tortured and humiliated throughout his life by his older brother, Bruce (Chris O’Dowd), all the while being caught on tape as the subject matter of Bruce’s “movies.” I use the air quotes because Bruce’s movies are nothing more than glorified home videos of his constant mistreatment and torment of poor Frankie. From Super 8 cameras to HD cellphones, the advancements of modern home video equipment over the years don’t really seem to be helping Frank deter Bruce from making anymore of his movies anytime soon. And as I’m sure you can all guess by now, it was only a matter of time before one of Bruce’s “movies” found its way to the internet. Fortunately for Frankie, only a few million people got to see Bruce’s latest little opus which captured one of the worst days of Frank’s adult life, his wedding day. After that, Frank decides to do the only logical thing, he gets himself a trailer and moves out to the middle of Death Valley, miles away from society, and more importantly his family. Of course he realizes that it’s only a matter of time before they pull him back in, which is why he leaves notes to himself reminding him just how awful they can be. What’s that they say about all best laid plans? Sure enough, Frank gets lured back home, and it’s while he’s attending Bruce’s AA graduation that he runs into… Well actually she runs into him. Never the less, Frankie meets Lassie (Lizzy Caplin), who is not a dog by the way. Lassie just happens to be her name. It’s not clear if it’s in reference to the Scottish term for young lady, or the famous Border Collie, but I kind of love the fact that they don’t even address it. I think it’s hilarious that there’s not even one attempt to explain why her name is Lassie.

I think this is where I’m going to stop the play-by-play story breakdown. I don’t really want to give too much more away, and trust me this is only the tip of the iceberg, but I will however give you just one last little nugget. Mostly because I know it’s already floating around out there on the old interwebs, but also because it has to be said, Ron Perlman gives a show-stopping performance in this movie! He plays Bruce’s former prison roommate Phil, or as he/she is now known, Phyllis. I’ve gotta tell ya, seeing Ron Perlman in drag is not something you can actually prepare yourself for, especially when Mr. Perlman is sitting right next to you! I’m not kidding! Sitting right to my right, Hellboy himself, Mr. Ron Perlman! Trust me, after you see the movie you’ll understand just how weird of a life experience that was for me.
Let’s just say that someone finally makes Scott Bakula look like an attractive woman. Oh, boy.


I’ve got to say, I really enjoyed this movie! I’ve been trying to think of a movie I could compare it to, that might help you get a better idea of the film’s overall tone, but it’s really hard because the movie is unique unto itself. It’s very much an independent movie, but it has this underlying mainstream appeal that I think will ultimately help it find a bigger audience once it comes out. But, if I had to compare it to something, I would have to say Clay Pigeons, which was one of my favorite movies from the late 90’s indie film movement. It stars Vince Vaughn, Joaquin Phoenix, and Janeane Garofalo. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend NetFlixing it. As for Frankie Go Boom, the humor and pace of the movie is dead-on, and there’s a nice grittiness to it that seems to really set it apart from other movies being released these days. If you’re planning on attending this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival, I highly recommend seeking this one out! I have a feeling it’s going to be the talk of the festival. I for one will gladly be seeing it again, and I think it’s safe to say that I already have a favorite movie on my list for 2012. I’m really hoping that when Frankie Go Boom comes out, that it will go BOOM in a really big way!

Rating:


****I WILL POST A TRAILER AS SOON AS ONE IS MADE AVAILABLE****

“Dollhouse” Season 1
a review by Darby O’Gill

What if you could do anything, be anyone, and nothing you did ever had any consequence? Take one part Quantum Leap, one part Charlie’s Angels, add a truck load of Joss Whedon’s imagination, and you’ve got one hell of a show. If you missed the first season of Dollhouse, you’re in luck because the DVD is out now, and it’s time for you to play catch up. A few of my friends tuned out after episode three, but as I told them, you really need to hang in there till episode six. Episodes one through five are basically stand-alone episodes, to please the network I would imagine, but episode six is a real game changer and is truly where the series shows it’s full potential.

In Dollhouse we follow Echo, played by Eliza Dushku, a seemingly unwilling Active in the Dollhouse, an underground organization that for the right price will program human beings to fit your every need or desire. Actives have had their brains wiped, and are imprinted with new personalities, and abilities, that allow them to become anyone or anything to achieve their objective. What illegal underground organization would be complete, with out an obsessed F.B.I. agent determined to bring them down? Agent Paul Ballard, played by Tahmoh Penikett, finds himself filling that role, and the deeper he digs the more entwined he seems to get. When we first get to the Dollhouse, an Active, codename Alpha, has gone rogue, and in the process has left a trail of bodies in his wake. For some unknown reason Echo was spared. But, that’s not the only unique thing about Echo. She also seems to be retaining, or recalling memories while in her wiped doll state, raising the question, can you ever truly clean a slate?

This show is a dream on so many different levels. For one, it’s an actor’s dream, because they can be a doctor, a lover, a spy, an assassin, or maybe just someone there to help someone that can’t help them self. In episode four, Eliza Dushku and Dichen Lachman play the same character, when Echo and Sierra get imprinted with the same imprint.  Two actors playing the same character, with the same traits and speech pattern at the same time! This is what truly makes this show unique. The cast is amazing! The amount of talent on this show, in front of and behind the camera, truly boggles the mind. The other thing about this show is that it raises smart and intelligent questions dealing with morality. Whether it be slavery, human trafficking, or just basic human rights, Dollhouse once again enforces the belief that mankind will always exploit and abuse any and all technologies they discover. I think the part I liked the most about re-watching season one, was knowing all the twists and turns, and being able to see things I might have missed the first time around. I’ll say it once again; Dollhouse is an amazing television series! Don’t believe me? Well, why don’t you get the DVD, and tune-in to Dollhouse season two this year, and see for yourself? Feel free to thank me later.

Rating:

5 Little People

DVD Special Features:

  • 3 Audio Commentaries on Selected Episodes

Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku do a commentary track for “Ghost,” where they talk about the show’s shoe budget, and while Eliza’s strawberries maybe loud, Joss’ tummy commentary is louder.

Joss Whedon does a commentary track for “Man on the Street,” and talks about the importance of the turning point in this episode.

Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen do a commentary track for the infamous unaired 13th episode “Epitaph One.”

I would have liked a few more commentaries on some more key episodes, but three is better than none.

  • “Epitaph One” Never-Before-Seen 13th Episode

The infamous unaired 13th episode stars Felecia Day and Zack Ward, and takes place in 2019. I would suggest not watching this episode if you want to be surprised by the upcoming relationships and events of the Dollhouse series. It doesn’t tell you the hows and whys, but it does show you things they hope to do with the series. Could be a spoiler for some; you’ve been warned.

  • Original Unaired Pilot “Echo”

This is the pilot episode that Joss pulled the plug on and thus decided to take a three week hiatus to rethink the show opener. I for one am glad he did. The episode moves too fast and gives away way too much. But, it wasn’t a complete loss, because they ended up cutting it up and sprinkling bits and pieces here and there throughout the season.

  • Deleted Scences

  • Making Dollhouse Featurette

A behind the scenes look at the making of Dollhouse

  • Coming Home Featurette

The Cast & Crew share their stories and memories of working on other Joss Whedon shows, Buffy the Vampire SlayerAngelFirefly, and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

  • Finding Echo Featurette

A look at Eliza Dushku’s important role as producer and star, and how she and Joss developed the idea for the show.

  • Designing the Perfect Dollhouse Featurette

Joss Whedon takes us on a tour of the soundstage that houses the Dollhouse.

  • A Private Engagement Featurette

The Cast & Crew talk about what their ideal doll would be.

DVD Special Features Rating:

4 Little People