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Austin & Ally (2011)
A very adorable, fun show!
I started watching Austin & Ally and got caught up to the show in about a week and a half. It is an adorable show--the characters, the relationships, etc. are very cute and well-done.
One thing separates Austin & Ally from other Disney Channel shows is that there is an intentional arc for the season. The first season includes Austin making it big with his viral video and getting a record deal with Ally's help. The second season thus far includes Ally getting over her stage fright and learning why it's better for Team Austin to stick together. Of course, many of the episodes are stand-alones full of physical comedy and random jokes, but the show has a lot of heart.
Much of that heart comes from Ally played wonderfully by Laura Marano. She is unabashedly nerdy and geeky and makes a good foil to Ross Lynch's Austin, the more mainstream pop musician. Their chemistry on the show is what keeps me coming back because the show also deals with the idea that girls and guys can just be friends. Even if Austin and Ally do or don't get together, this theme is also present with their respective best friends Dez and Trish.
Dez is the token "dumb" character, but Calum Worthy gives him a sweetness and...cuteness that is lacking in many of those types of characters. Raini Rodriguez's Trish is Ally's job-hopping, lazy, not-afraid-to-be-herself best friend. These two characters seemingly hate each other, but as the episodes have progressed, so has their friendship.
Austin & Ally is a rather typical Disney Channel show with singing and dancing done awesomely by Ross Lynch, but the show has a lot of heart. The people cast bring many layers perhaps not present on the page which is really awesome. While the show is not perfect (with many forced lines), it has found its groove in the second season and is currently a relate-able show about growing up, facing your fears, and doing what you love.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
So much fun!
So I'm the type of person who rates movies based on their enjoyability and how much I personally enjoyed them. Like, I would give Sherlock Holmes a 9.5/10 while I'd give Avatar a 8/10 just due to expectations and enjoyability.
Anyway, Iron Man 2 was A LOT OF FUN. I loved it. I went to the midnight premiere and was laughing during the entire movie. Of course, I had read the reviews anticipating a kick-butt beginning and ending with a slow middle, but that's not how the movie was for me. IM2 was one fun ride that rarely let up on its humor. Compared to IM, I don't know. I think it's just as good--if not better (WHAT?! Yes, I don't agree with the majority of IMDBers)--but it's different so I don't know how to compare.
The cast did a spectacular job. RDJ was top-notch, him and Gwyneth had delightful chemistry, Rourke was crazy intimidating, Rockwell was good over-the-top funny, Scarlett was kick-butt, and special shout-out to Favreau who was funny. Cheadle was fine...I wasn't particularly amazed by his performance, but then again, I wasn't by Howard's either.
One slight blip in the movie was that there were a lot of characters added so the movie had a bunch of plot lines. I didn't notice while watching the movie, but after watching it, I wish they had just stuck to one or two characters and elaborated on their story lines.
Anyway, IM2 was a great movie. I loved it.