Sunday, October 27, 2013

Walking Dead - Infected Recap

This weeks episode opens on someone treating the walkers to a little midnight snack.  An anonymous person dangles an enormous rat up to the chain link fence, and the walkers scramble to gobble it up. 

Meanwhile, Karen and Tyreese are engaging in a nauseating make out sesh in the library.  Tyreese starts to sing, “I’ve got you under my skin”.  Please someone make it stop.  All I can think is, “please let Patrick stumble in and bite them both right in the face, ending this misery.” Zombie Patrick doesn’t heed my wishes, but he does indeed stir as Karen makes her way back to her bunk in D Block.  He follows her sound, stumbling past Karen’s cell and into some random guys cell, going straight for the jugular.  Do these zombies ever actually eat brains?

The next morning, Patrick is still noshing on what looks like a human drumstick as the gang starts to wake up and face the day.

Maggie and Glen are camped out in the tower, keeping watch. There’s that team spirit kids!  Glenn gets the Polaroid out and snaps a pic of Maggie sleeping.  She looks at it and tells him to throw it away.  Chicks still got vanity despite the apocalypse.  She doesn’t put up too much of a fuss though when Glenn says he’s going to keep it.  They’re sweet.

Michonne is leaving.  Any requests?  Stale M&M’s?  (Side note - How quickly do M&M’s go stale?  How long has the world been wacky?  I guess at this point we can kind of go by how old Judith is, and she appears to be somewhere around 7 – 9 months old, so about 1.5 - 2 years total?  I don’t think M&M’s go stale that fast.  Mmmm now I want M&M’s.  Sorry.  End side note.) She asks why Carl doesn’t wear his hat anymore.  He replies by saying it’s not a farming hat, and he is correct.  Carl asks - see you soon?  She says pretty soon.

The fence bends against the weight of the walkers as Carl and Rick go collect some wormy feed for the pigs.  Carl apologizes, and then asks for his gun back.  Rick doesn’t have a chance to respond, because shots ring out from inside the prison.  Michonne impulsively returns on her horse, and walkers start to stumble inside as Carl goes to let her in.  Carl shoots one in the head, as Michonne twists her ankle while tussling with a few walkers.  Maggie and Carl help Michonne inside and close the gate. 

Inside the prison it’s total pandemonium.  Wow.  Lots of people dead and turned.  Somehow Patrick is still alive.  How on earth have so many people been turned into zombies?  And why are all these people screaming and doing absolutely nothing?  The new people are all totally worthless and deserve to be zombie breakfast.  D block is a nightmare. (This episode brought to you by the letter D – Dumb, Dismembered and Dead.)

In the midst of the melee, Carol goes to help a newbie who’s arm has been bitten.  She readies him for an emergency amputation, but sees that his neck has been bitten.  And we all know you can’t amputate a neck. 

Daryl, Glenn and Rick continue to clear the area, and Daryl finally puts an arrow in Patrick’s head.  (Side note - Seriously, how did the people in D Block survive before the prison?  I’m thinking that they’re possibly all the Woodbury transfers, but that doesn’t explain the guy with the arm and neck bites, because as an able bodied male he would’ve certainly been a casualty of the Governor’s army.  Maybe our gang just put all the stupid people in one block.) 

The three men survey the damage.  A blonde is on the ground, dead but not turned.  Daryl swiftly shoots her in the head.  With a nod, Rick steps into another cell and readies his knife. 

What an evening has wrought.  The gang discovers that Patrick has no bites on him.  With the help of a new doctor guy and Hershel, they ascertain that he choked to dead on his own blood.  New doc explains that it’s the flu saying, “Bugs like to run through close quarters”.  Everyone’s been exposed. 

(Side note – Well this blows.  This situation reminds me of a chapter in Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’.  In the first third of King’s novel, a virus runs rampant and kills off the majority of the population, leaving a small percentage of people alive.  Sound familiar?  It’s the situation our gang is in, but no zombies.  If you haven’t read it do yourself a favor and go get it immediately.  The chapter I remember so vividly details that calamity could befall even those ‘lucky’ enough to have immunity to the virus.  King lists casualty after casualty from falls, heart attacks, fires, drug overdoses, electrocution, etc.  This year the gang needs to learn how to survive the world, because nature – both human and Mother will not let up just because a virus wiped out the majority of humanity.)

Carol brings the girls come to say goodbye to their dad.  They hold his hand and he tells them to take care of each other.  The oldest one, Lizzie, says that they should be the ones to let their dad go.  Lizzie tries to do it, but she has a panic attack.  Her younger sister, Mika, tries to talk her through it, telling her to count and breathe.  Lizzie can’t bring herself to do it, so Carol does the deed and ends up with two naïve girls in her charge.

Carl, Michonne and Maggie see Rick coming out of C block, and Carl tells Rick that he had to use the gun.  Michonne corroborates the story.  Rick ignores the gun issue and explains to them what happened with Patrick.  Rick lets them know that as a result, everyone who was directly exposed needs to be quarantined.  Including himself.

The council meets to discuss the situation.  Glenn, Hershel, Carol, Sasha and Daryl.  They decide to move into Cell Block A, otherwise known as death row.  This doesn’t bode well.  Karen walks by, hacking. She wants to go snuggle with Tyreese, death outbreak be damned. The council tells her in no uncertain terms that she is to be quarantined, and especially to avoid contact with Judith.  Karen agrees, but not before tattling on some guy named David who is coughing too.  At this point I cannot wait to see Zombie Karen.  Maybe she’ll off Tyreese too, and this whole annoying plotline can be done with. 

Later, at the fence, Carol talks to the girls, and yells at the older one for being weak and losing her nerve.  Lizzie stares out and starts babbling about how her dad was special and now he’s dead.  At some point it becomes unclear whom she is talking about, and she asks, “What if they kill Nick?” Nick is a zombie, honey.  He’s already dead.  Lizzie’s younger sister yells at her, and tells Carol that Lizzie is, “messed up, not weak.”

Out in the yard, Daryl’s digging graves with a mask on.  Rick comes up to help, and Daryl says that he’s glad Rick is back.  He says that Rick earned the time off, but they need him back.  Daryl’s noticed that every time things get bad, Rick’s, “standing there with a shovel.”  They have a lovely bro-moment.  A’broment’ if you will.

The broment is shattered as Maggie runs up and screams for their help.  The fence is about to give under the weight of the walker horde.  (Side note – For some reason I wondered here:  What happened to the big groups of walkers from season two?  If one of those encountered the fence, wouldn’t it definitely take the entire fence down?) Rick and Daryl pitch in and start to skewer the heads of the walkers. 

Back inside, Beth proves that she’s actually good for something as she wraps Michonne’s foot.  Cutie Judith plays in the corner with some red Solo cups.  They chat, and Michonne tells Beth that they should’ve left her out there.  Beth says that they care about her, and when you care about people, “hurt is part of the package”.  Beth asks if any children were killed.  She wonders if there’s a term for someone who’s lost a child, and Michonne grimaces.  Judith starts to scream, and Michonne asks if she always cries like that.  Beth says that she senses people’s moods. 

Back at the fence, the gang tries to stem the tide of walkers by skewering head after head.  Sasha sees the rats on the ground, and takes the time to wonder if, “someone is feeding these things?”  The fence starts to give, and the team starts to push it back.  Rick seems to be having an epiphany.  He looks over at the pigs and says he knows what to do.  Daryl’s eyes light up.

Carl and Carol chat while Carl makes crosses out of scrap wood.  Carol says that she has to keep teaching the kids to survive.  Carl asks if Carol is going to tell the parents, and she says no.  She says she’s just asking him to not say anything.  Carol: Leader of Children.

Beth sings to Judith as Michonne works her abs.  Judith spits up carrots on Beth, and Michonne is reluctant to take the baby.  Michonne becomes emotional as she looks at Judith’s face, and cuddles the lil one to her forehead.  Michonne begins to cry and instantly becomes my new favorite.  This is the first time she is vulnerable and open on the show, and I truly hope we learn more about her past as the season progresses.  Once again, I wish for LOST-like flashbacks.

Rick and Daryl go on a mission to get the walkers away from the fence.  They drive out and distract the walkers by using the piglets as bait.  It’s pretty graphic stuff as Rick digs a knife into each piglet, drawing blood from each one before letting the walkers devour it.  Ugh.  Blood sprays in Rick’s face.  If he’s not infected by now, he’s got some sort of diesel immune system. 

Once the walker threat his been diffused, Rick starts to disassemble the pig pen.  Carl walks up to him, and lets Rick know what Carol has been doing.  But Carl puts in his two cents, and says he thinks that they should let her continue teaching the kids how to use weapons. Rick agrees, and gives Carl his gun back.  He peels off his bloodied shirt and throws it onto the burning remains of the pigpen.  With a dramatic flair, he secures his holster on his hip and surveys the landscape.

The sheriff is back in town.

As thrilling as the sight of shirtless Sheriff Rick is, the episode has one more surprise in store for us.  Tyreese goes to bring a lovely bunch of wild flowers to Karen in her confinement, and sees a trail of blood leading to two bodies burnt to a crisp.  He notices a metal ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ bracelet on the wrist of one of the corpses, identifying it as Karen.  Tyreese howls in agony and drops to the ground. 

A few notes – Thank goodness Karen is dead.  I couldn’t stand that Karen/Tyreese storyline for one minute longer.  Also, since Tyreese was playing tonsil hockey with Karen while she was infected, does that mean that he’s not too far behind?  Is that little weirdo twerp Lizzie feeding the walkers?  If not, who is?  Lastly, does Rick get a spot on the council just because he decided to strap his gun back on?  Will Carl start wearing his hat again?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Doctor Sleep - 5 Reasons Why

The works of Stephen King followed me around for the majority of my early adolescence.  Literally.  Throughout middle school, in addition to all my heavy textbooks I almost always carried a Stephen King tome in my already leaden backpack.  Why?  Because he’s amazing, and his stories are worth the weight.  I’m here to tell you that if you’re a huge fan of The Shining, and always wondered what happened to little Danny Torrance after the Overlook exploded, Doctor Sleep was worth the wait.  (See what I did there?  I’m super punny today.)

Now books are on Kindles, and there’s no need to carry around a doorstop of a paperback novel which will in all likelihood get soaked in Pantene Pro-V shampoo that you need to lug around for gym class, effectively pairing the scent to the novel ‘The Stand’, and making you forevermore violently nauseous at the scent of anything Pantene….. 

Mmmmm notes of lilac and lotus flower, mixed with just a soupçon of death and rotting flesh! 
Op!  Sorry.  Semi-traumatic childhood tangent over.  Without further digression, the following are 5 reasons why you should read King’s Doctor Sleep:

One – It serves as a nice companion piece to The Shining.  If you’re looking for a Shining Redux, this isn’t it.  Then again, nothing is like the original.  A book that horrified generations of readers into leaving their lights on at night, and tiptoeing with trepidation down deserted hotel hallways, and in the case of Joey from Friends, stashing the book in the freezer for protection.  Doctor Sleep isn’t terrifying like its predecessor, but it does follow Danny (now ‘Dan’) through adulthood as he copes with his unique childhood trauma.  Readers get a glimpse of flashbacks through Dan’s eyes, with his now adult perspective on many of the events that occurred at the Overlook.  Old characters are also re-introduced.  

Two – The book is very heartfelt.  Remember those sweet parts in the original book where Dick Halloran helped guide mentor Danny as he learned about the ‘shine’?  For Danny and the reader those experiences were so fraught with peril, but Halloran helped us all through and made us feel a little glow of care and compassion inside despite the horrors that lie around every corner in the Overlook.

Readers of the original will also find comfort in the manner in which the novel is written.  Like in ‘The Shining’, parentheses denote telepathic conversations between two people with the shine.  These conversations happen frequently in Doctor Sleep, as Dan encounters many people with the shine throughout the book.  And, akin to Halloran helping him in the original book, Dan even helps a young child make sense of it all. ‘Doctor Sleep’ showcases a kinder, gentler King.

Three – There’s a little more backstory to the Shining here.  In the original, most of the information was provided through the perspective of a six-year old boy who had a very limited understanding of his abilities.  Here, through the lens of a more learned Dan Torrance, readers are given a bit more insight into what the shine can do.  It seems like King thought of the shine as a conglomerate of abilities from several of his novels ('Carrie' and 'Firestarter' definitely come to mind) and it’s a delight to see what he reveals in 'Doctor Sleep'.

Four – It’s Stephen Effing King.  If you were a Constant Reader of King, like I had been in high school, his voice is as clear as ever.  Reading his words again after a long hiatus was like having an engaging and wonderful chat with a long lost friend.  If you were a fan of King once upon a time, but haven’t been back in awhile, I would highly recommend you use 'Doctor Sleep' as a jumping off point.

Five – Remember the kid who played Danny Torrance in Kubrick’s movie adaptation? It’ll make you wonder where he is now.  And my friends, I’m here to tell you that he grew up to be a member of that boy band, 98 Degrees.   You never knew that, did you?  That’s because it’s a lie.  A wonderful lie that I desperately wish was true, but a lie nonetheless.  IMDb tells me that he’s a science teacher in Missouri.  The more you know, right? 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Walking Dead - 30 Days Without An Accident Recap

The fourth season opens on a new co-oppy prison.  If there weren’t walkers outside of the fence, I could totally see a little roadside stand selling organic produce happening in the next few episodes.  Rick wakes up and goes outside, passing some gardens and farm animals to do some random digging.  He finds a gun buried outside and casually tosses it into his wheelbarrow.  Rick doesn’t seem to pay it too much mind.  He must not know what Chekov says about a gun introduced in the first act.

At breakfast, it appears that Carol has taken on the job of camp cook, and Daryl has taken on Rick’s old position as leader. Carol lays on the flirty eyes, reminding Daryl that while he’s adored by the entire camp now, she liked him first.  Poor Daryl just looks a bit overwhelmed.  A doe eyed kid in glasses named Patrick walks up and thanks “Mr. Dixon” for the deer meat dinner.  Uh oh Patrick.  Introduced with a name in his very first scene.  Sorry kid, you’re doomed.

Carol interrupts Daryl’s admiring fans and brings him to see the horde of walkers clawing at the gate like there’s a Black Friday sale inside.  

Personally I'd take my chances with the zombies...
Meanwhile, Maggie and Glen snuggle inside.  Why do they get to rest?  Is this what a post zombie honeymoon looks like?  Guess they can’t fly off to Hawaii or even vacation at the shore for a few days.  Glenn's asking Maggie to take a pass on going to search for supplies today.  More laziness from the newlyweds.  C’mon kids, everyone’s gotta pull their weight. 

Back at the horde fence, a team of prison denizens violently skewers a never ceasing tide of zombie skulls.  Tyrese and Karen have a chat about killing walkers and exchange a smooch.  Super romantic.  This episode seems to be setting up all sorts of couples for the coming season.

As the gang packs for the supply run, a new Aussie kid named Zack (oh kid…hate to break it to you but you’re probably not long for this earth…) gives Beth a kiss and tries to say goodbye.  She’s all detached and won’t do it.  She’s a brat.  What does she even do anyways?  The resident sullen teenage girl who sings creepy songs every now and again?  Larry Gillard Jr. from ‘The Wire’ fame is introduced and wheedles his way into going on the run.  Let’s all take a minute and notice how there's no overt reference to his name.  I’m pegging him for a survivor.  For a few episodes at least.

As Hershel gives Rick a basic gardening lesson, Michonne returns on a horse that she magically found alive in the woods somewhere.  Hopefully this one doesn’t go the way of Rick’s trusty steed in the premiere.  She brought back super important things like…..comic books for Carl.  She's found no trace of the Governor.  Carl wants Michonne to stay, and she says she will for a few days.  There’s an interesting dynamic going on between Carl and Michonne here.

Rick starts to leave to collect what’s been caught in the snares before the walkers get to the sweet game meat.  Hershel stops him and implores him to take a gun because the council says so.   (Side note – How the eff has Sasha already gotten herself onto the council?  Sure she’s scrappy, but we certainly haven’t seen her do anything spectacular.   Maybe she was an overachiever in her previous life.  I could definitely see her running for Class President, Tracy Flick style.)  Rick takes the gun, and thank goodness because he runs into a lady that looks strikingly like the girl from ‘The Ring’. 

Creepette looks at Rick with blank eyes and asks him to help her.  She wants to bring the boar in the snare to her camp for her husband.  Rick’s all like, “no way, but here’s a consolation sandwich”. (Side note - The practical side of me wonders where they got the bread.  Bread is super labor intensive, and I definitely didn’t see a mill or even any wheat growing….maybe it’s Wonderbread?  What’s the shelf life of a Wonderbread loaf?  But I digress….)   Creepette accepts the sandwich and tells Rick that she and her husband aren’t doing very well, and can they come with him?  Rick is cautious.  He says that once he meets her husband he will ask them three questions to see if they can cross the bridge join the camp. 

The supply squad arrives at Big Spot, which had been set up during the first few weeks of the outbreak as a safe army base. As the squad cases the superstore, Zack is trying to guess what Daryl did before the apocalypse.  Zack’s quite cavalier and chatty which makes me believe that he was definitely not someone with good sense back then or now.  Daryl humors him and says that he was a homicide cop.  Michonne laughs and calls him ‘Detective’.  (Side note – I wish that every now and then the WD writers did LOST style flashbacks for the characters, showing a bit of their lives prior to the virus outbreak.  Oh, also I’d definitely watch a show in which Norman Reedus plays a homicide detective.  But, let’s be honest, I’d watch a show where he just read entries from the phone book.)  The three go inside, and the camera pans up to a downed helicopter on the roof.  Seriously?!  How did they miss that as they drove up? 

Inside, Michonne casually rolls around a shopping cart.  She comes upon a ‘Monster Savings’ sign and swiftly slashes it with her katana, further solidifying her status as awesome.  Glenn’s peruses the electronics department and looks at a frame for a baby.  Op!  Is Mags prego?

New guy is in the liquor section.  Ominous music comes on as he selects a red wine and struggles with it.  Some demons aren’t zombies.  He’s successful in abstaining and puts it forcefully down on the shelf.  He’s rewarded by the shelf collapsing on top of him, which in turn opens up a chasm in the ceiling, the roof weakened by the helicopter and water damage.  Walkers start to fall from the sky. 

Rick’s missing out on the storm of the century because he’s still on his day hike with Creepette.  She asks if he thinks that people get to come back from bad things they’ve done while she picks at the foil on her sandwich.  She really hopes that she and her husband have the right answers to Rick’s mystery questions.

Back at Big Spot…..walkers continue to rain down from above and the riper ones explode on impact.  Things move fast, and at one point Daryl is directly under the helicopter and Glenn swoops in and saves him as it comes crashing down.  The sky is literally falling, and Zack is eaten.  Ah Zack, we hardly knew ye.  The rest of the squad races out as the ceiling caves in.

Back in the woods, Rick and Creepette finally get back to her camp. She introduces him to Eddie, a burlap sack of a walker head.  She coos at it for a minute, and then lunges violently at Rick with a knife.  He handily disarms her and she falls to the ground.  Defeated, she explains that she wanted to bring Rick there to feed Eddie, because he was “slowing”.  Wracked with guilt, she stabs herself in the stomach and collapses.  Even as she dies, she’s still curious about the three questions.  So Rick humors her dying wish and asks them.  “How many walkers have you killed?”, “How many people have you killed?” and “Why?”

Creepette says that she killed herself because she felt she couldn’t come back from horrible things that she has done.  However, it’s perplexing because unless she’s lying with her answers to the Big Three, she hasn’t really done anything too horrible.  She says her husband killed all the walkers until he turned, and that the only person she killed was herself.  Rick waits for her to pass, and appears to grant her dying wish to leave her brain in tact so she can come back and be with Eddie.  He does however take the sandwich back. 

Back at the co-op, everyone is in the library.  They must’ve transferred it from Woodbury.  Carol is reading for story time.  Carol ends the chapter in a cliffhanger and then whips out a bunch of knives to teach the kids how to be effective “how to stab and slash”.  Carl comes out and Carol asks him not to tell.   Why not?  Shouldn’t Carol have some clout by now?

Rick returns and sees that a pig that was sick at the start of the episode is now bloated and dead.  This can’t be good. 

Maggie tells Glenn that shes not pregnant.  But she doesn’t want to be afraid of being alive.  Well she’s not doing any sort of living hanging out in that jail cell all day.

Apparently neither of the farmer’s daughters are pitching in lately because Beth is lying on her bed and casually writing in her journal when Daryl comes to tell her the news.  Zack is dead and she has an underwhelming reaction.  She goes to change the ‘This Workplace Has Gone __ Days Without An Accident’ sign.  Where on earth did she get that?  I wouldn’t think she would be selected to go on supply runs, so someone must’ve gifted it to her.  She says she was just glad to get to know the kid.  Daryl says he’s tired of losing people.  Beth hugs him and lingers just a little too long, giving him a weird longing look as she finally lets him go. (Side note – I know that the lingering hug is definitely the point of focus in this scene, but I couldn’t help but notice that Beth has a light in her room?!?  Where is that coming from? And why does Beth get to be the recipient of light?)

Rick and Hershel chat while spending some QT with Judith. It’s nice that Rick has someone to talk to, and worries that he is capable of Crazy Town, just like Creepette.  Hershel reassures Rick and says that he couldn’t help because she was too far gone.  He says, “You get to come back, you do.” (Side note – Hershel had some ‘coming back’ of his own to do when the world was still sane.  He seems comfortable with having redeemed himself with his children and his God after a period where alcohol ruled his life, and I think he truly means what he is saying here.)

That night, Patrick is sick.  He stumbles to the bathroom, leaving a trail of bloody footprints in his wake.  He pumps the shower and then collapses.  Ooooo a mystery.  There’s barely time to wonder, “Why are people getting sick?” when…..ZOMBIE!!! Patrick ‘wakes up’ on the floor of the shower, bleeding from his eyes and nose, and grins a big jack-o-lantern grin.  Is he a sentient walker?  The other walkers don’t smile or show any emotion, so this is really odd.

Questions for next week:  Who is Patrick going to kill?  He’s going to most certainly attack someone in the next episode.  Where is the sickness coming from?  The water? The ground?  Does it have something to do with the buried gun Rick found in the opening scene?  What’s up with the new possibly alkie guy?  Will Hershel help him? Is Tyreese ever going to be interesting??

Friday, October 4, 2013

Gravity - 5 Reasons Why

Let me begin with a disclaimer: Do not see this movie if you have vertigo or a propensity for nausea.  However, if you’re generally cool with stuff that might make other people dizzy and tripped out, do yourself a favor and scoot on down to your movie theater this weekend. 

(Side note - Unless you love IMAX or 3D, I say don’t do it.  At my movie theater it was $6 extra for IMAX and 3D.  Just sit closer to the screen to make up for the IMAX, know that the stuff that’s supposed to look like 3D will probably jump out of the screen regardless of whether or not you wear those stupid glasses, and treat yourself to a popcorn with your $6 in savings.  You deserve it because obviously you’re a thrifty person who makes smart choices.)

One – This movie is a marvel of technology.  The movie takes place in space. Space has no gravity.  Obviously the film was not shot in space.  That technology has yet to be invented.  So just try to wrap your mind around that.  For the first few scenes of the film, it was all I could do to try and orient myself to the unpredictable bobbing and floating of the actors, as well as how they were positioned in each shot.  George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are upside down, sideways, and every which way including loose in the wide open void of space. 

Zero gravity equals zero predictability, and for all the scenes shot in open space, the movie kept my brain disoriented in a divinely wonderful way.

TwoGravity will make your heart beat.   At points it feels like a horror movie, but with space as the indifferent and volatile antagonist.  Space doesn’t hide around corners or attack with hatchets and chainsaws, because it’s everywhere.  It’s infinite and dark.  Which leads me to my next point….

Three – I left the theater wondering about space for the first time since I was a wee one.  Space is terrifying in actuality, but thinking about it can feel electrifying. Gravity portrays space as unknowable and unforgiving, but has reverence for it as such.  Space is the source of all life, but paradoxically at the same time is inhospitable to all human life.  Keep an eye out for a striking homage to the iconic 2001 fetus scene.

(Side note – It’s somewhat ironic that this movie comes out only days after the government shutdown, and the furlough of the majority of the NASA program.  I feel like it has the power to spur an interest in interstellar research in people of all ages.  Or maybe it’s just me.)

Four – The two actors are stellar.  Yes.  Two.  Ed Harris makes a neat cameo as the voice from ‘Houston’, but basically it’s just Clooney and Bullock adrift in space.  Clooney is like a real life Buzz Lightyear, perpetually cheery and doggedly dedicated to the mission.

When you look at it this way, Buzz Lightyear is actually pretty sexy.

Bullock is simply mesmerizing.  I have been a life long fan of the Bullock.  I unabashedly love almost everything she’s been in – Miss Congeniality, Love Potion No. 9, and even The Net.  Yep.  That’s how much I love her.  I even love The Net

Now that my love for Sandy has been well established, I’ll say it.  She was adorably feisty in The Blind Side, but I don't believe she deserved an Oscar.  For this, she does.   It would be a crime if she didn’t at least receive a nomination.  Her performance transforms all of the bang zoom special effects in the film into a tangible reality.  Without her the movie would be a beautiful but sterile depiction of space with no heart. 

Five – Fire extinguishers in space are pretty awesome.  Just trust me on this one.