Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Four Things Meme

I saw this over at Stale Popcorn and I thought it would be a quick and fun meme to complete.

FOUR JOBS YOU'VE HAD IN YOUR LIFE

I'm not going to lie...I've only had two different jobs in my life: Sales Floor Team Member and Teacher Assistant

FOUR MOVIES YOU COULD WATCH OVER AND OVER AGAIN

Gone With the Wind, Singin' in the Rain, Mommie Dearest and Spice World

FOUR PLACES YOU'VE LIVED

Chesterfield (up through elementary school), Yale (through junior high and high school), Kalamazoo (college) and that's it.

FOUR TV SHOWS YOU LOVE TO WATCH

I really could expand this to 10 easily, but I'll stick with The Golden Girls, 30 Rock, American Idol, Desperate Housewives

FOUR PLACES YOU'VE BEEN ON VACATION

Minneapolis (for the Mall of America), Atlanta (for the Gone With the Wind tourist attractions), Mackinac Island (for the fudge), Six Flags in Ohio somewhere (for the rides and such)

FOUR WEBSITES YOU VISIT DAILY

Facebook (add me as a friend if we aren't already!), The Superficial, Stale Popcorn, Valley Dreamin'

FOUR OF YOUR FAVORITE FOODS

Chinese Food (I can't narrow it down more than that), Donuts, Chocolate, Bagels with Cream Cheese

FOUR PLACES YOU'D RATHER BE RIGHT NOW

1. In bed with Zac Efron
2. At the 2008 Oscars, witnessing La Tisdale winning a much deserved Oscar for High School Musical 3: Senior Year
3. On a deserted tropical island, far away from responsibilities and annoying people
4. At a screening of a film such as Rachel Getting Married, Happy-Go-Lucky or I've Loved You So Long, that, despite having been in release for as long as two months in some cases, still haven't come anywhere close to a movie theater in my area.

FOUR BLOGGERS YOU'RE TAGGING

J.D. at Valley Dreamin', mB at A Blog Next Door, Vance at Tapeworthy, Michael at My Stuff and Cr*p

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanks for Dropping By!

David Archuleta really likes you!


And Nick Jonas sure is excited to see you as well!

Thanks for sticking around everyone! I know posting has been light over here all week, but I'm a little burnt out from school and family obligations (it is Thanksgiving break, after all) and I just needed a little time to catch my breath. I'm a little more refreshed now and ready to get going again, maybe not 100%, but enough until I can get through the next two weeks trapped in exam hell. Pray to Oprah for me (or whichever deity you worship, whether Laura Linney, Jane Fonda or Tina Fey) and I'll be back to full strength.

(Pictures via Just Jared)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rants on Twilight Based on the Overheard Comments of the Random Teenage Girl Sitting Next to Me

Like I mentioned before, I went to the midnight screening of Twilight on Thursday night and, being my first, I really had no idea what to expect. Would people dress up like vampires to commemorate Edward and the rest of the Cullen clan? Would the audience break out into random applause at the stupidest points in the movie like in my screening of Sex and the City: The Movie? Would the teenage girls, which composed up to 97% of the audience, freak the fuck out when "heartthrob" Robert Pattinson appeared on screen? To answer the questions: No (although there were these weird girls who put on fake blood and somehow got plastic vampire teeth to stick their neck), Kinda (instead of applauding, they laughed...more on that later) and Hell to the Yes (but this shouldn't surprise you). The experience was a bit disorienting and might have taken away from the film (I think I'm going to see it again in a couple of weeks once the hysteria has died down) so instead of a regular review, here's what I over heard the random girl sitting next to me muttering to her friend all throughout the movie, followed by my commentary.

"That's not Bella's voice." This was uttered right at the get go during Bella's (Kristen Stewart) opening monologue. I realize that this girl probably read the book 10 times before a film version was announced- I knew Stewart was in it by the time I read it so I simply imagined her in the role right away- and that she had her own idea of what Bella looked and sounded like, but give Kristen Stewart a chance before you tear her down! You have to let go of all of your broad preconceived notions about what the characters should "sound" like when you're going into a film like Twilight.

"She's so awkward!" Once again, this was directed at Kristen Stewart during one of her scenes with her father (Billy Burke, who's actually quite impressive- his scenes with Stewart actually felt more genuine than 90% of the ones between Stewart and Pattinson). At this point, I wanted to shake the girl and tell her, "Haven't you read the book? That's the point!" Bella is a shy, detached loner who doesn't feel the need to talk a lot- not exactly the most comfortable person to be around. You have to chalk it up to Stewart's immense talent that Bella is realized on-screen this uncompromisingly. With her quivering voice, nervous tics and emotions bubbling up ever so delicately on her silent movie star face, Stewart's intensely introverted performance is a sight to behold, a thing of true and relentless beauty. When she finally discovers what Edward really is and they are finally able to admit their feelings toward each other, there's a moment where the pair lie on the ground, just staring into each others eyes: the look Stewart emits from her eyes and face is absolutely mesmerizing and something I can't get out of my head a couple of days later. It's easy to understand why the teens don't like her- she way too subtle for them- but whenever she's on screen, it doesn't matter this film is a complete mess at times, her performance totally transfixes you in ways that no drama aimed at the teen demographic ever has.

*Gasp* This sound, of course, was uttered when Robert Pattinson first appears on-screen. I wasn't too surprised, considering all of the stories I had been hearing for the past week concerning girls asking Pattinson to bite them at public appearances. Let me just mention that I wasn't one of the many gasping at Pattinson- he still had a lot more to prove to me than just show up looking pretty do-able. Unfortunately, he never proved that he was the least bit competent in this role. The scene after we first see him is when Edward and Bella are sitting next to each other in Biology class for the first time. Edward is supposed to be greatly uncomfortable and totally freak the fuck out of Bella, prompting her to think that something is wrong with her. In Pattinson's hands, however, Edward practically has a seizure while dry heaving into his hands and then staring at Bella like the creepiest stalker imaginable. The audience was laughing all throughout this scene, but I don't think that this was Hardwicke's intention; we're generally supposed to be slightly creeped out by Edward at this point, not laughing at him like a silly clown. Throughout the rest of the film, Pattinson never gets any better, matching Kristen Stewart's fantastic facial expressions with dumb gazes worthy of Chace Crawford and often butchering simple lines to the point of madness. He's so bad at times it makes you wonder what exactly Catherine Hardwicke was thinking by hiring him for this film and how much better this film could have been with a much better Edward. I know I've already pimped out Gaspard Ulliel, and he would be absolutely perfect, but also imagine what Penn Badgley, Ed Westwick, Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (although he may be a tad old) or Elijah Kelley might have done with Edward and then tell me you don't mourn what this film could have been.

"That's not even funny." The audience I was with was completely retarded and laughed every two minutes, often at the stupidest parts. Anytime a line of dialogue that was supposed to play on the fact that "Haha, Edward's a vampire, get it?" was uttered, the audience roared with laughter like it was the funniest thing ever said in the history of comedy.

"'Hold on, my spider monkey'? Who says that?" A-greed. That was a horrible line. And I don't remember it in the book, so you can't even blame Stephenie Meyer.

"This sucks, I'm about ready to leave." I don't remember at what point she said this, but it was getting towards the point where I was just as frustrated at this film. The book was so perfect for a film adaptation (overlong and repetitive, therefore capable of handling a large number of cuts) but it got messed up in the translation somewhere. At times, I wish there was more of the Edward/Bella relationship going on but at others I just want them to stop staring at each other and do something. I don't know, the whole experience left me very conflicted; I know there are problems with the film but I'm at a loss as to what needed to be fixed. The film is shot a lot in either close up or extreme close up, creating an intensely intimate atmosphere that mirrors the relationship between Edward and Bella, and I applaud Hardwicke for taking such an unneccessary stylistic chance in such a crowd-pleasing film, but it really gets in the way some of the time. First of all, it does Robert Pattinson no favors and secondly, it provokes unintentional laughter in some of the scenes. When the band of bad vampires show up to the Cullen family baseball game, the constant cutting between extreme close ups of Edward's and James' (Cam Gigandet) eyes and the members of each group ready to pounce on each other like that cafeteria scene in Mean Girls where the kids turn into wild animals was hilarious, but for all of the wrong reasons.

"This movie was great!" Yes, by the time everyone was filing out of the theatre, the girl next to me literally said this to one of her friends (At this point, I was telling my friend something to the effect of, "Let's get out of here and away from these crazy superfans before we discuss what the hell went wrong"). I'm not exactly sure what provoked such a drastic change- I know by the end everything had found a good groove and even Pattinson wasn't getting on my nerves as much, but it was by no means a "film-saving" ending. Twilight is not a great film by any means- hell, it's hardly a good film- but it's certainly not the disaster it could have been with a less competent director and more generic, less specific leading lady. At the very least, I guess we can be thankful that it wasn't turned into something drastically different from the book and rendered totally unrecognizable. That would have been an even great tragedy. C

Many thanks to the random teenage girl sitting next to me for providing the inspiration needed to write this review!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Random Top 10: Best Quotes from Steel Magnolias

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that up until that point I had never witnessed the actressexual treat that was The First Wives Club. Now that I've seen it (and loved it), it's time to check off another female-heavy ensemble film that I haven't seen yet: Steel Magnolias. Technically, the film's not very good- Herbert Ross films scenes from the oddest angles that don't make the least bit of sense, often obscuring actors completely when they are integral to a scene- but the delightful cast makes up for it tenfold. Everyone is perfectly in sync with each other and that makes the snappy dialogue flow so much more delightfully. Not surprisingly, my favorite performances came from the supporting divas: Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine and Dolly Parton. Nearly every line they uttered was pure comedic gold and had me cracking up with laughter. Why weren't any of them nominated for an Oscar? Oh, that's right, they didn't have any big dramatic moments like Julia Roberts did (not a bad performance, per se, but seriously?). So, in honor of these three fierce performances, here are my ten favorite quotes from Steel Magnolias involving these women.

10. "And I can also report that a mysterious car is parked in her driveway at least once a week..."
"There. My secrets out. I'm having an affair with a Mercedes Benz!"
Oh, Shirley MacLaine, you're so ridiculous.

9. "Truvy, you know what you need in here? You need a radio, takes the pressure off of everyone feeling they have to talk so much."
"I had one once, but I threw it up against the wall when I couldn't figure out where the batteries went. I know now I was suffering from pre-menstrual syndrome."
I, for one, would have loved to have seen Dolly Parton throw a radio against the wall. Alas, this line reading will have to do, and it's nearly as good as the real thing.

8. "I'm pleasant, damn it! I saw Drum Eatenton at the Piggly Wiggly this morning, and I smiled at the son of a bitch 'fore I could help myself."
It's frightening how much Ouiser and I have in common. I'm 99% sure I'm going to end up like her when I'm in my old age.

7. "Janice Van Meter got hit with a baseball. It was fabulous."
What an introduction to Olympia Dukakis' Clairee! I don't know what I expected from Dukakis, but I never would have guessed she could be this mean-spirited and fun at the same time.

6. "There's so much static electricity in this room, I pick up everything but boys and money."
You and me both, Dolly. You and me both.

5. "Louie brought his new girlfriend over, and the nicest thing I can say about her is all her tattoos are spelled correctly."
What snark! Why doesn't Dolly Parton act more? She is absolutely brilliant here.

4. "I'm not crazy, I've just been in a very bad mood for the last 40 years!"
...And the similarities continue with Ouiser continue (substitute 40 years with 10 in my case, though).

3. "Well, you know what they say: if you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!"
This is my philosophy. I'm a total gossip, what can I say? I'd love to have a chat with Olympia Dukakis.

2. "Ouiser, you sound almost chipper. What happened today - you run over a small child or something?"
Besides myself, Ouiser also reminds me a lot of my friend's grandmother (the same one I want to be played by Dame Julie Andrews) and just imagining her push a child out of the way- which I've seen her do once- makes me giggle everytime.

1. "A lot she cares. Ousier's never done a religious thing in her life."
"Now that is not true. When I was in school, a bunch of my friends and I would dress up as nuns and go bar-hoppin'."
The funniest line in the whole movie. It came out of nowhere and on paper doesn't sparkle as much as some of these others, but Shirley MacLaine delivers the hell out of it like the pro she is. I was laughing for about a minute straight.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Five Words to Strike Fear in Even the Bravest of Moviegoing Souls

Travolta. Cyrus. Together at Last.

Just one of many reasons why I will never willingly go see Bolt. Anyone out there who is braver than me?

My Immediate Reaction After Twilight

Is it too late to swap out Robert Pattinson for Gaspard Ulliel? Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight needs an actor and not just another pretty face.

I just got back from the midnight showing (my first ever!) and I'm exhausted, so I'll post more thoughts later on.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why Don't I Shop at the Gap More?


If Cam Gigandet is doing it, then I should too!

(Too bad I'm a poor, college student and can't afford it!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

No Dolly, I Think Your Hair Could Be a Tad Bit Taller

You know what they say: The higher the hair, the closer you are to God.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's Still a Felony!

I don't think it's wrong for me to say that I find Nick Jonas sexy, right? I'm a complete sucker for his squinty eyes, that curly mess of hair on his head and his shy, sweet demeanor. He's 16 now and legal in most states (including Michigan!) and I'm only 20. Some people may find it completely inapprorpiate, but who cares, they can suck it. No matter how much I try to rationalize it, however, this voice (at the 0:28 mark) keeps running through my head...



Ah, Joel McHale, why do you have to make me feel so bad? I don't think I'm as bad as Justin Gaston, since Nick and I aren't practically dry humping each other in the church pews or blowing kisses to each other on the runway. Or, you know, we haven't met.

The only thing that has me slightly confused is the fact that Nick seems like the nicest guy on the planet and yet he not one, but two songs written by ex-girlfriends about how much they hate him. So, he's either that amazing to be with that they were driven Fatal Attraction crazy (without the attempted murder or rabbit stew) or he's just a douche. I'm leaning more towards amazing (I'm mean, we're talking about Miley Cyrus here) but, either way, I'd still bone him.

Just for fun, here are a couple of extra pictures of the lovely Nick.


Doesn't this one look like Cate Blanchett doing Nick Jonas doing Cate Blanchett doing Bob Dylan? Very meta, I must say.




And while we're on the subject of the Brothers Jonas, can someone please explain to me what the hell is happening in this music video for "Lovebug"? It goes from talking about some couple during the war á la "God Must Have Spent A Little More Time on You" and then, all of a sudden, Nick and Joe are on a boat in glasses and it ends up with everyone at some dance "rocking" out to the Brothers Jonas. Say what? Is it too much to ask for a little coherence? This video is so bad it actually makes the corny and trite "Burnin' Up" video look 100 times better. It also doesn't help that "Lovebug" is probably the worst, most boring song on A Little Bit Longer. If they wanted to go on the ballad route, why not the title track which is actually a half-way decent song (even if Nick's voice is a tad whiny) or, going in a completely different direction, "One Man Show," which I'm 95% sure is about masturbation ("I'm a one man show/I don't need no one/I'll be fine alone").

Confession Sundays

For the lapsed Catholic in all of us- a new series in which I confess my deepest, darkest secrets before Oprah and The Madonna and wait for my atonement.

I have never seen Rosemary's Baby

Yes, I've seen Step Up three times, but I've somehow never stumbled upon Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby. In all honesty, I'm actually quite embarrassed about it. It's not like Rosemary's Baby is some obscure foreign film from Kazakhstan- it's really quite known, even among non-cinema buffs. Plus, it has Mia Farrow and a batshit crazy Ruth Gordon (Maude!)...why am I not watching this right now?!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Campaign for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar Nomination for Ashley Tisdale in HSM3: Senior Year: Disney Gets Their Head in the (FYC) Game

Ryan: "Sold out shows"
Sharpay: "Think bigger!"
Ryan: "And the Oscar goes to..."
Sharpay: "That's better!"
~Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Gabreel, "I Want It All"


As J.D. mentioned earlier today on his blog, Disney has set up their FYC website, officially announcing who they are supporting during the upcoming Oscar season. While I could go on and on about easy targets like HSM3 for Best Picture (ain't gonna happen), Kenny Ortega for Best Director (can you imagine him getting in over someone David Fincher?) and Vanessa Hudgens for Best Actress (*rofl*), what caught my attention- or, I should say, had my attention drawn to- was the fact that Disney was actually campaigning for La Tisdale in the Best Supporting Actress category. Say what...Disney's actually making a good campaign choice? This is the same company that failed to notice that La Tisdale gave the best performance in HSM2 and didn't even put her up for consideration at this year's Emmy's, right? I know I should let this go, and I still haven't completely, but now's the perfect time since they've finally realized that they should be FYC the shit out of her and her performance. Pay no attention to the fact that they sort of lumped her together with Monique Coleman (ugh, the second worst actor of the cast)- La Tisdale has more support behind her than a couple of young bloggers with glowing reviews and big dreams. And, as I always say, the more the merrier! Please Disney, let's not screw up this perfect opportunity for Oscar glory. Let's work together and we'll each be happy with the (inevitable) outcome....Academy Award-Winner Ashley Tisdale.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sam Sparro, You Have My ♥

This is amazing.


Weekend Rental Picks

Miss Julie (Alf Sjöberg, 1951)
The film is based on a world-famous play, but unlike most stage adaptations, Miss Julie is actually quite cinematic. The real beauty of Sjöberg's film is the deep focus photography, which makes it probably the closest (and best) descendant of Citizen Kane. Anita Bjöork is absolutely magnetic as the lead character, a wealthy young woman in love with one of the family's servants.

Suddenly, Last Summer (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1959)
I was watching the fascinating documentary The Celluloid Closet, about gay and lesbian representation in films, and they amusingly mentioned this bonkers Tennessee Williams drama. The film was censored so much because of the Production Code that they couldn't even directly mention the main plot point of the film (how Elizabeth Taylor and Katharine Hepburn were getting men for their gay cousin/son Sebastian). The film makes little sense, and is hardly the best film adaptation of Tennessee Williams, but it gives Mommie Dearest a run for its money in terms of batshit craziness. My favorite part has to be the final moments when Elizabeth Taylor gives the horrifying/campy scream when she recalls what happens to Sebastian.

Everyone Says I Love You (Woody Allen, 1996)
If you haven't seen Annie Hall, Woody Allen's masterpiece, go out and see that right now. But since I'm assuming that anyone reading this has already seen it or knows they should see it, I'm going to recommend the Woodman's 1996 musical/comedy. The music is kind of forgettable and no one in the cast really has that great of a singing voice, but that is Allen's intent- to make an "ordinary" musical. What I love most about Everyone Says I Love You is the wonderful ensemble (which includes Woody, Goldie Hawn, Drew Barrymore, Edward Norton, Alan Alda and Julia Roberts!) and the hilarious script, probably his last great comedy. In what other movie can you think of in which all of the characters are dressed and act like Groucho Marx at a New Year's party?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Robert Pattinson is a Heartthrob?

I'm so confused. Why exactly is Robert Pattinson all of a sudden considered the hottest thing around? Don't get me wrong, he ain't half bad to look at when he's clean shaven and styled decently.


But when he's not and having a bad day? Oh boy, I'd rather hide under my covers than look at his face.


Seriously? This is someone you want to have sex with? I've seen drug dealers seem more pleasant to be around. I'd rather bang Amy Winehouse after a long night of hitting the pipe and stumbling out of taxis. Gross. You people can have him. Call me when he invests in a toothbrush and razor.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Qu'est-ce que les français ont été jusqu'à?: Short Rants on Les Chanson d'Amour [Love Songs] and Tell No One

Les Chansons d'Amour [Love Songs] (Christophe Honoré, 2008): Well, at least it was a major improvement over Ma Mère. There's something about Honoré's erratic, actor-unfriendly direction that doesn't work for me. What takes place in individual scenes is usually very interesting, but the way Honoré connects (or, shall I say, doesn't connect) eliminates any chance for dramatic effect. Just like I complained about in Ma Mère, the characters do complete 180's between consecutive scenes (Garrel's character literally went from "Get away, stalker" to "I think I'm in love" with Leprince-Ringuet's character in a matter of two scenes) and erases any chance for proper character development. How can we get to know these characters and relate to them when their reaction to anything and everything happening is chopped away and we are left to guess how they bridged the gap between two very different emotional states? Some may think I'm just lazy for not connecting the dots, but I think Honoré is lazy for not providing a few more dots. I pity the poor actors, which include Honoré fave Louis Garrel, Ludvine Sagnier and talented newcomer Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet, who are forced to act here without much to go on or really do. They try their damndest, but it is freaking hard trying to make characters from ideas and vignettes of people.

The brilliant thing about Les Chansons d'Amour, however, is the use of musical numbers in the narrative. They aren't used like the musical numbers in HSM3, which are mainly for entertainment purposes only; in Les Chansons d'Amour, the songs allow the characters to express themselves and their unusual relationships in ways that they can't in the "real" world of speaking and communicating with each other. When Julie and Ismael, in another one of their numerous and ongoing fights, suddenly break out into song with Alice trying to unite them, it is not merely to entertain us for a few minutes. With her constant interruptions into their fighting and literally stepping between them, trying to unite them together through her, we finally understand her role in the threesome relationship that they have developed. While the lyrics don't translate so well in English sometimes, the music is often times beautiful and completely captures the emotions they are trying to portray. Dramatically, the film is kind of a bust, but with an interesting use of musical numbers and game cast members, Les Chansons d'Amour sort of redeems itself by the end. Sort of. B-

Tell No One (Guillaume Canet, 2008): Whoever described this film as "Hitchcockian" was entirely accurate; the fact that it's more Saboteur than The 39 Steps or North By Northwest seems to have been left out, unfortunately. For a two hour, edge-of-your-seat thriller, this film felt like it dragged on for at least 4 and a half (Gone With the Wind feels infinitely shorter in comparison). I kept waiting for something in the first twenty minutes to grab my attention and make me care in the slightest about any of the main character, but, alas, the wait was in vain. By the time Francois Cluzet's character is about to be taken in by the police for the murder of his dead wife's friend and he decides to run away from the police because he's innocent (my least favorite cliché in the history of film, FYI), all I kept hoping was that someone would catch him, put him in jail and give him the electric chair. With a main character you can't root for, plot twists that lead to incessant and annoying dead ends and scenes that just go nowhere and somehow feel boring, Tell No One is quite possibly one of the biggest duds of the year. And was anyone else annoyed as hell by the ending? Why are you bothering to tell me one 10 minute explanation when most of it's a lie and then you are forced to spend another 5 minuted telling me what really happened? Blurg, this movie was awful and another entry into my future book, This Film is Good?!: Films Beloved by Critics of All Sorts that Suck Major Ass. D+

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This Trailer Makes Me Sad



I think that Reese Witherspoon is one of the funniest, most talented comediennes in Hollywood today. Her performances in Election and Legally Blonde just didn't come out of nowhere; they needed someone with a funny bone to make them work. Well, you wouldn't know it from the Four Christmases trailer that's been around for awhile. I have nothing against Vince Vaughn- I think he's a hilarious- but it just makes me sad that Reese couldn't get one. Hopefully this is just a case of a misleading trailer funny thing to do or say in the trailer. She spends most of the time playing the straight guy to Vaughn and even when she's given the chance to be funny (when the baby pukes on her), of course, all the attention is once again moved back to Vaughn. It's like the writers couldn't believe that a woman could be funny or that people wouldn't see this movie unless Vince Vaughn got to make all the jokes.and Reese actually gets to do something interesting in this film. I can't imagine why someone as big of a control freak as Reese would bother doing a film where her co-star gets all the funny bits while she just sits back and goes with the flow.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Confession Sundays

For the lapsed Catholic in all of us- a new series in which I confess my deepest, darkest secrets before Oprah and The Madonna and wait for my atonement.

I've just seen my first episode of The Girls Next Door and, although it was predictably awful, I'm still embarrassed I actually watched it the whole way through.

I usually don't claim to be a beacon of classiness when it comes to my TV viewing habits because Lord knows I watch some crappy, completely trashy shows (Flavor of Love, I Love New York, Charm School, I Love Money, America's Most Smartest Model, Real Chance of Love, A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila...I've watched them all) but I always avoid any of the reality shows on E!. Why waste hours of my life watching them we I can see all of them boiled down into a 10 second clip on The Soup every week? Well, this weekend, I was over my friends' apartment and nothing else was on after The Soup, so we just left E! on and watched The Girls Next Door. Holy shit! Bad idea, to say the least. I swear to God I permanently lost some brain function watching that garbage. The episode revolved around Holly redecorating the Bunny House across the street when a couple of new playmates move in. Holly decides it would be fun to have a painting party and, inevitably, it turns stupid rather quickly. They start drawing boobs on the wall and, bored with all of the "hard work," Kendra (the one with the annoying laugh) decided to paint her breasts and leave a breast print on the wall. But Miss Smart One fails to realize that paint will stain and has a hard a time getting all the paint off, eventually turning her nipples a Pepto Bismol pink for awhile. The interviews these ladies give were also enlightening, to say the very least. At one point, one of them- I think it was either Holly or the one who's not Kendra- describes one of the new girls as, "fun and funny and totally fun to be around" (which, of course, prompted me to be an asshole to my friends and say, "You're so fun and funny and hilarious!"). Seriously, I've heard Paula Abdul give a more coherent and intelligent interview. To sum it up, this show is shit and I hope I never have to watch it again.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Something about this picture is bothering me. I think I need to make a couple of alterations.


Much better.

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's Supposed to Be Oscar Season, Right?

Then where exactly are all of the Oscar contenders? How can it be November 7th and I'm deciding between seeing Role Models or High School Musical 3: Senior Year (for the third time!) this weekend? I don't live in a huge city so I'm not expecting to get something like I've Loved You So Long or Rachel Getting Married (although that would be nice) but come on, Hollywood. I know you're not exactly predictable or especially kind to people like me (you know, people who like serious films) but I'm dying here. Last year at this time, I was going to see Michael Clayton, Eastern Promises, Into the Wild and American Gangster and while none of them completely knocked me out, they were serious films made for grown-ups. Do you want to know the best grown-up film in my area? Changeling, and I'm really dreading seeing that since I'm not particularly fond of Clint Eastwood or Angelina Jolie (and I've heard it's not even that good anyways). On the plus side, I guess this means more time for playing catch up with movies from earlier this year that I missed. Yay?

The Campaign for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar Nomination for Ashley Tisdale in High School Musical 3: Senior Year: Review Headquarters

Ryan: "Sold out shows"
Sharpay: "Think bigger"
Ryan: "And the Oscar goes to..."
Sharpay: "That's better!"
~Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Gabreel, "I Want It All"

The reviews are pouring in for High School Musical 3: Senior Year (out tomorrow, in case you haven't heard) and they're predictably all over the place. It currently sits at surprisingly fresh 63% at Rotten Tomatoes, although that hardly matters because this juggernaut will make an assload of money no matter what. My primary concern, however, with these reviews is good press for my beloved La Tisdale and a strong start for her campaign for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. We all know that an Oscar campaign needs to start with some positive feedback from the critics, so I've decided to gather all the raves I could find and put them together on one page. And, bloggers of the world, when you write your review of HSM3 (and I know you'll have something to say one way or another) and you mention just how fabulous La Tisdale is in this film, either email me or I'll come find you and I'll link you here. We need all the support we can get for our glorious cause!

Thursday, 10/23: Okay, so we only have 4 mentions so far, but it's early yet and I know that we'll get more once the "regular" folk see the film (starting tomorrow, yay!).
Friday, 10/24: We have one more from a lovely reviewer in the UK!
Sunday, 10/26: While I'm heading out to finally see the damn thing in a couple of hours (yay!), here are three more mentions, plus a very complimentary one from Marcy in her review of HSM3. Thanks!
Wednesday, 10/29: I've seen two more La Tisdale mentions in the past couple of days, plus my own, so I've added the accordingly. Remember, it's never too late to spread the love for our beloved La Tisdale. I'll be updating this constantly!
Friday, 11/7: I can't believe I forgot to add Nick's ecstatic mention of La Tisdale! Sorry about that! Now it's up for everyone to enjoy.


"And the Oscar goes to…the star of this show, born and bred, La Tisdale, she knows it and she owns it. It takes a whole lot of skill to make what is essentially a villainous biatch into someone who you can’t help but root for no matter what. She brings her character to life without even opening her mouth, but when she does, you are seduced by her relentless enchantment, her bold and brassy effervescence and her epic brilliance."
~Nick Plowman, Fataculture

"There is no arguing that Sharpay is a stereotypical villain, but Tisdale constantly makes Sharpay something more. Sharpay's grand entrance into a typical East High morning contains as much unspoken drama as the character herself. But Tisdale's moment of glory is in the face of defeat. The audience wants to see Sharpay get back up again and when she does, we cheer for her--thanks to Tisdale--because she is every bit as vulnerable and human as the rest of us."
~Marcy, Because I Saw the Film

"
So while we get more of Zac's pretty eyes, it prevents more time for the fabulous Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay Evans...Hey, now that this is one the big screen, does this mean Ashley Tisdale is eligible for an Oscar?"
~Vance, Tapeworthy

"
...but seriously... not enough of La Tisdale! As HSM2 proved, she can hold the entire movie together. In HSM3 she has great scene-stealing moments (her entrance with her FABULUS car, her "single spotlight" moment and of course her crashing down on Brit-clone's Sharpay's number at the end) and what she doesn't get in script she makes up for in facial expressions and overall attitude. Oh to be Sharpay: never to be outdone, outwitted or outdressed!"
~mB, A Blog Next Door

"I could go on for days about how much I loved La Tisdale here. She proves, without a doubt, that she is infinitely worthy of that Oscar nomination that I keep pushing for her...she sparkles the entire film--from her divalicious entrance to her final curtain call--even when HSM3 keeps pushing for Troy and Gabriella to be the main focus. Relegated to the background, La Tisdale does her best work, rolling her eyes like she's been taking lessons from Michelle Pfeiffer and turning such minor quips as "Genius" when Ms. Darbus announces the name of the spring musical or her sarcastic "Yipee!" when the Wildcats decide to join the musical into perfect bon mots worthy of Margo Channing...we realize that La Tisdale's Sharpay is sort of like Scarlett O'Hara in that nothing will ever keep her down and we want to see her succeed, no matter how wicked her ways are. It's due to La Tisdale's epic performance that Sharpay stands out as more than just an annoying bitch stereotype and always comes out looking like the high priestess of the theatre that we've all seen in real life but that we can still, against all odds, still root for in the end."
~Dame James Henry, Rants of a Diva

"...the breakout star is Ashley Tisdale, whose Sharpay makes narcissism a goofy, bedazzled pleasure."

~Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

"...Ashley Tisdale, a lone standout as the mildly mean girl Sharpay..."
~Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly

"Tisdale makes a meal of her spoiled-fashionista role..."
~Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"...Ashley Tisdale, having fun as always."
~Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News

"...it's up to Ashley Tisdale as the uber-bitch Sharpay to provide light comic relief, which she does with good humour and great timing."
~Wendy Idle, Times

"In terms of pure razzle dazzle, though, it's Tisdale and Gabreel who stand out."
~Carla Meyer, Sacramento Bee

"Tisdale is the better singer [than Hudgens], but she gets fewer songs."
~Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle

"The comedy standouts are Tisdale and Gabreel..."
~Betty Jo Tucker, ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Weekend Rental Picks

A weekly series in which I try to help emerging cinephiles reduce their anxiety by pointing them in the right direction at their local Blockbuster.

Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975)
With the election still on everyone's mind, Altman's multi-character drama set in the country music capital is a great film to keep you in the political mood. Don't worry, the film's not overtly, jam-it-down-your-throat political; it merely uses the presidential campaign of a third party nominee named Hal Phillip Walker merely as a starting point to get the characters involved with each other and, eventually, unites them all. No matter who you are, you will find a character (or two) you can relate with and/or find really fascinating (My favortites? Ronee Blakely's damaged country Queen, Barbara Jean and Henry Gibson's paternal King of Nashville, Haven Hamilton).

The Gold Diggers of 1933 (Mervyn LeRoy, 1933)
And while the economy is going to shit, enjoy this gem of a Warner Brothers musical which tackles the Great Depression head on with fabulous costumes, bitchy actresses, fantastic songs and breathtaking Busby Berkley choreography. A lot of people prefer 42nd Street, but I don't think that film can begin compare with The Gold Diggers of 1933, which hides a tough interior underneath all of the frivolities of a 30's musical.

The Cranes Are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1957)
Didn't think the Soviets could make a moving romance? I didn't, well, at least until I saw The Cranes Are Flying a few months ago. I was absolutely transfixed by everything concerning this film: the deep focus photography is to die for, the acting is fantastic and the romance actually moves and doesn't just feel like an after thought. Now, if only Hollywood would take lessons from this film on how to make a proper romance and not stick us with crap like The Notebook.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Have I Ever Mentioned How Much I Love the British?

About a week ago, I was rummaging around Vera's Big Gay Blog (a great source for hunky boys and models, by the way) and I found a link to photographer Kai Z. Feng's website. I had vaguely heard of him before, but I wasn't at all familiar with his portfolio. Needless to say, I was very impressed. I'm not an expert or anything, but I know what I like, and Feng is absolutely wonderful. I was particularly taken with his work on a few young up-and-coming British actors. The actors may not be that well known in America, but Feng certainly knows how to make them look good. Simply beautiful.

Edward Speleers
Apparently, he was in that completely awful-looking Eragon movie from a couple of years ago. I'd still bone him, though.



Nicholas Hoult
He played the young boy in About a Boy and stars in the controversial BBC teen drama Skins, which supposedly makes Gossip Girl look tame, now airing on BBC America (damn, I wish I had this channel right now).

This last one is currently the background on my computer. Love it!

Mitch Hewer
He also stars on Skins, apparently as Nicholas Hoult's boyfriend (correct me if I'm wrong).


Alex Pettyfer
He's done a couple of British movies and some movie with Emma Roberts, Julia's niece, but he's still really good looking.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Alphabet Meme

I was tagged by J.D. to do this meme created by Fletch of Blog Cabins. How incredibly lovely! This one looks like fun. Let's get to the rules:

1. Pick one film to represent each letter of the alphabet.

2. The letter "A" and the word "The" do not count as the beginning of a film's title, unless the film is simply titled A or The, and I don't know of any films with those titles.

3. Return of the Jedi belongs under "R," not "S" as in Star Wars Episode IV: Return of the Jedi. This rule applies to all films in the original Star Wars trilogy; all that followed start with "S." Similarly, Raiders of the Lost Ark belongs under "R," not "I" as in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Conversely, all films in the LOTR series belong under "L" and all films in the Chronicles of Narnia series belong under "C," as that's what those filmmakers called their films from the start. In other words, movies are stuck with the titles their owners gave them at the time of their theatrical release. Use your better judgement to apply the above rule to any series/films not mentioned.

4. Films that start with a number are filed under the first letter of their number's word. 12 Monkeys would be filed under "T."

5. Link back to Blog Cabins in your post so that I can eventually type "alphabet meme" into Google and come up #1, then make a post where I declare that I am the King of Google.

6. If you're selected, you have to then select 5 more people.


Let's get started, shall we?

Annie Hall
Bringing Up Baby
City Lights
Duck Soup
Erin Brockovich
The Four-Hundred (400) Blows
Gone With the Wind
High Noon
It Happened One Night
Jaws
Kill Bill Volume 1
Libeled Lady
Mommie Dearest
Nashville
Ordinary People
Psycho
Queen Christina
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
Singin' in the Rain
Top Hat
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Vera Drake
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
The OX-Bow Incident (I don't like X-Men, so I had to cheat. Oh well.)
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Zodiac

And those who are tagged:
Michael - My Stuff and Cr*p
RJ - The Rural Juror
Slayton - PUXZKKX
Vance - Tapeworthy
Kayleigh - Shiny Happy Blog

My Cousin is an Idiot, The World Loves Obama, Jake Gyllenhaal is Hot, etc.

So I wake up this morning, log on to Facebook (like I normally do) and find this lovely status from my cousin to greet me:

Matthew is ummm....basicalllllly, Fuck America and Obama, I hope he dies in office.
Ummm, yeah. Talk about a sore loser. I can understand if you're upset at McCain's loss last night (Lord knows I was about Kerry in 2004) but, seriously, do you think wishing death on someone will make it better? I hate Bush but I would never think, "Things would be so much better if he just died." Jesus, have some respect.

In other news, I was flipping around last night trying to find the best channel to watch the election coverage (I settled on CNN when I realized that Anderson Cooper was there) and I ended up on the French channel- TV5 Monde- for a little bit. To my surprise, they were covering the U.S. presidential election hardcore. I just find it kinda funny that people are around the world are just as excited about Obama winning as we are. Can you imagine Americans tuning in- or even caring- to the next presidential election in France? I don't even think 1/4 of the country could name their current president. I know it's Nicholas Sarkozy, but that's only because I took French a couple of semesters ago. There's no way in hell I could tell you who's running the U.K. The last guy I remember is Tony Blair but I think he resigned or something. So, my point is, congratulations, world: once again you prove how much smarter than we are by pointing out our ignorance. But, hopefully in the New America under President Obama, we can change that- and I'll finally learn the Prime Minister of the U.K.

Yes We Can

The best words one could ever expect to hear from the mouth of the yummy Anderson Cooper:

"We are now projecting that Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States."

After that amazing speech tonight, I seriously want to have this man's babies. How can any one person be this amazing? (It's no wonder Oprah likes him). A couple of months ago, I was ready to move to Canada to get away from the awful country, but now I feel like we have a chance. Good call, America. After two fucked up elections, we finally got one right!

Au revoir, Bush! Bonjour, President Obama!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"Oh, No Comeback? Ya Burnt!"



"If the president is so serious about the war on terror, why doesn't he hunt down and capture Barack Obama before he strikes again? It's time for a change, America. That's why I'm voting for Osama in 2008!"

Please don't make the same mistake as our dear Jenna Maroney when you are going out to vote today!

Obama=Good

Osama=Bad
Obama does not equal Osama

And just for fun...



You're welcome!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't See This Movie!

If anyone asks, "Do you want to watch Ma Mère?" please, for God's sake, run in the other direction. I don't care if they try to entice you with the promise that the film has extremely graphic and kinky sex, don't even bother. If you want to get off, go watch some porn. This film won't do anything for you except possibly give you a headache. Nothing in this film makes the slightest bit of sense. Characters and motivations do a complete 180 scene by scene, the plot (if there is one) makes absolutely no sense to any sane person and the only thing that you will feel at the end of this film is that you need to take a shower. Ma Mère thinks it is saying something important or interesting about sex or incest or life or God know's what else, but the film is just a sloppy, self-important mess with gratutious sex thrown in just because it can. I'm almost certain that this film is one of the ten worst I have ever seen in my life. It's that bad. I stopped it about half way through and when I came back I just wanted to shut the whole damn thing off. F


In other news, Louis Garrel also has my shoes! First Zac and now Louis...I guess I really do have good taste!

I won't let you whip me with a power cord, but I'll be willing to be angsty with you...perferably naked.

"There Once Was a Girl Named Regina..."



This clip was from Saturday Night Live two weeks ago when Jon Hamm hosted and, for God knows what reason, it wasn't posted anywhere online until a couple of days ago. It's quite a head scratcher since I thought it was the funniest sketch of the night. Who knew that Jon Hamm could do such an uncanny James Mason impression? That's not exactly in everyone's repetoire. And Kristen Wiig's Gloria Swanson/Norma Desmond was genius ("I'm a pirate, AARRRRGH.") even if the accent sounded a bit like Katharine Hepburn.

In other Jon Hamm related news, The Ausiello Files is reporting that he is in final negotiations join the cast of 30 Rock for a multi-episode storyline as Tina Fey's love interest. Hell to the yes! This news is so epic it makes Lawrence of Arabia look tiny. I only have one request: can Christina Hendricks get a part, too?