What a long, strange trip it's been, Internet. We've all grown so close, learned so much about each other, and really explored our feelings. Together. And now, finally, a chance to reminisce about things you forgot you remembered. For the low-attention span-havers in our midsts, a quick breakdown: The judges complained, old randos performed, and now there are four. But! Let's not get ahead of ourselves in recapping this week's most bloated results show. Instead, let us wistfully waltz together down the path of least persistence. Bring your fancy hat!
The judges forgot to put on their big kid pants today (well, everyone except Cee Lo, natch) and were somehow either a.) surprised, or b.) not happy that they had to numerically grade their performers this evening. Regardless, Carson kept our Petulant Baby Choir on task, but not without a few "this sucks," "everything is crappy," "I don't want to choose"-type rants thrown in for good measure. The judges know what America wants, and that is the slow, painful regurgitation of grievances while getting paid many pennies to make a few choices. “I'm very uncomfortable and it is very awkward,” says Cee Lo, and we have to agree.
Contractually obligated relevancy night has arrived! At long last! Because when you're waiting for the fate of these singers to be announced, a lot of song and dance featuring last year's top four is way more interesting. Who are these people again?
Even our darling, figurative Clarence St. Clair is fed up. When it came time to design the set for Dia Frampton's “Don't Kick the Chair” segment, he is enraged by the sheer inanity of it all and throws every chair in the studio onto the stage. “Brilliant!” the producers shouted. And it stayed. It's so subversive and counterintuitive, you see, because the song is about chairs. Oh yeah, Kid Cudi was there, too. Woo.
NEXT: Team Christina turns into an army of oneI know you guys don't know this about me, but my favorite part of this show is definitely when we talk to President of the World nominee Christina Milian, for sure. She really knows how to talk social media in her role of social media correspondent. Look at her interviewing the yearbook photos of old The Voice contestants and not once mentioning social media! She is nothing if not consistent.
We've entered the thunderdome, or at least Christina has, because girlfriend is channeling some serious Aunty Entity business right now. (I hope that means Carson is Mad Max.) Poor, dear, sweet, too-nice-for-her-own-good Lindsey let the blind woman do her make-up again and now she has purple eyebrows and streaks of pastel in her hairline. It looks like she got crayon'd by a four year old. We don't need another hero — we just need a real make-up artist, you guys! Christina doles out her points with an even 50/50 split for Chris and Lindsey, and let's just say it together, America: WHAT A COP OUT.
Chris Mann wins out with America's votes! Sorry, Lindsey. Moms: can't beat 'em!
NEXT: Cee Lo Green as Al CaponeAmerica: Cee Lo looks like a 1920s Chicago mobster hiding a family of four (kittens) in that suit. Talk about a zoo suit riot. As for the performance with Vicci Martinez: I think I just experienced a three-minute coma. Where am I? Who am I? What just happened on that stage that bored me into a coma? Why do I care about this again?
Up next is the complete nail-biter elimination: Team Adam. At this point I go get a snack because, duh, America. You are so easy to read, you are like a book. A picture book with one page, and the only image on that page is a giant sparkly heart with Tony Lucca's face in the middle. “It's not so much about winning The Voice,” explains Adam Levine, millionaire rock star who doesn't have to worry about heading back to a life of red staplers and obscurity. Right, because no one actually comes on these shows to win. Winning is for losers! Har har har. Adam's point split is 60/40 for Tony, explaining that while Blake is wearing is letterman's jacket, Tony is the bro he wouldn't mind copping a feel with out behind the bleachers at the middle school. Tee-hee! Adam is already consoling Katrina for her loss that hasn't been announced yet. You can't prevent the future; sorry Katrina.
...And then in the biggest upset in The Voice history... Katrina actually takes the crowd vote! Ha ha ha, sorry! Just kidding guys. You didn't believe that line did you? You didn't, and if Carson had said it, she wouldn't have believed it either. As shocking as when the sun comes up in the morning, Tony Lucca takes the rose America has grown, gilded in gold, and thrown at him to become Adam's finalist.
NEXT: A bunch of performances nobody cares aboutIn between leading UN discussions regarding malaria and world hunger, Christina Milian checks in to wish Erin Willett a birthday. And oh look! A cupcake.
Cyndi Lauper & Beverly McClellan are up next and this show is only halfway through. Cyndi Lauper is such a head queen goddess boss lady that Beverly doesn't even get the option of performing a song of her own. Burn, Bev. It's Cyndi's way or the highway, y'all. Too bad they both sounded like children trying to sing a song whilst jumping on a trampoline.
Not to be outdone, Javier Colon mediocritizes us to sleep with “A Drop in the Ocean,” which sounds like every single song the sensitive dudes in college used to sing out on the quad. They're actually forming a class-action lawsuit for stealing their collective identity. This guy won the show last year?
In another act of logistical wienerdom, Blake splits his votes 50/50 between Erin and Jermaine, which is probably the most pointless thing to do on this show. Happy birthday to you, Erin Willett, now get off the stage! Let's blame Christina Milian. It was probably her idea.
NEXT: The wondertwins severedNow it's time for Cee Lo's team. See, if Cee Lo was ever the one laying down all those whines about it being the worst to have to eliminate someone, I would believe him, because it is a scientific fact that his team is far superior to anyone else on this show. Cee Lo keeps it real, though, and gives America a serious dose of the Real Talk: He has the two strongest contestants on the show. (Also the cryingest.) Cee Lo, always the consummate professional, split his votes 60/40 to Juliet. He throws some light shade at Christina and Blake for their 50/50 business, and I suddenly feel overcome with an urge to act as if I'm in a Baptist church on Sunday. Preach it, Cee Lo!
Thankfully, my future BFF Juliet Simms is in the finals, which is perfect timing because our “Best Friends Forever” necklaces are nearly finished. She can wear it during the finale on Monday!
What do you think about America's decisions? Are you happy with the final four? Would you do anything different if you were a judge? Do you think Juliet Simms and my BFF necklaces should be chartreuse or cerulean? Internet, we need your opinions, and we need them now! Comment away below, my dudes.
Follow Alicia on Twitter: @alicialutes
[Image Credit: NBC]
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The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.