Wednesday, April 29, 2009

American Idol Recap: Top 5 Edition

Theme: Rat Pack style music with Jamie Foxx as the super secret mentor. Yeah, I've got nothing.

Really ecstatic

Kris Allen "The Way You Look Tonight" Didn't he look gorgeous tonight? Yum. He should be in a suit every week. Oh, and the performance was excellent as well. But do you really expect anything less from Mr. Allen? I didn't think so.

Allison Iraheta "Someone to Watch Over Me" Another brilliant performance from Ms. Iraheta that was pretty much fucked over by Simon and his stupid comments. Of course she wants to win this or why else would she be here? What a fucking stupid question to ask.

Paula Claps
Quite good

Dancing in My Seat
No one ever said it took much to get Paula on her feet

Matt Giraud "My Funny Valentine" The beginning was awful and the whole thing was nowhere near as good as Melinda Doolittle's superb rendition on season 6. Sad to say, but I think this may have been his final performance (even though Simon loved it for whatever reason).

"Well, You Look Beautiful..."
It's never good when she starts with this

Danny Gokey "Come Rain or Come Shine" Awful, awful, awful. The beginning was boring as hell which lead up to the inevitable shouting fest that is included, no charge, in any Danny Gokey number. I still do not see how the judges think that he is marketable in any way possible. Who the Christ is going to buy his Christian, feel good, soul music shit?

Adam Lambert "Feeling Good" This was terrible even by Adam Lambert's awful standards. Way too over-the-top and that maddening shrieking returned as well. Blurg. When he sang that glory note towards the end, I said to my friend sitting next to me, "The judges are going to eat that shit up." And they did. Gah, this douche's inevitable road to the season 8 crown gets me angrier by the minute.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

RIP Bea Arthur

So, so sad :(

Everyone go eat a piece of cheesecake in her honor.

8 Things I Love About Susan Hayward in I'll Cry Tomorrow

A couple of weeks ago, I re-screened I'll Cry Tomorrow, Susan Hayward's 1955 Academy Award-nominated vehicle. My first viewing of this film a couple of years ago was a bit wonky (the tape stopped recording 40 minutes in and I missed probably 15 minutes in the middle) and I've grown to appreciate Susan Hayward so much more in that time so I decided this film was in need of another look. And boy am I ever glad I did that. On the surface, I'll Cry Tomorrow may not seem like anything more than your typical Oscar-bait biopic, but it's actually one of the few films about alcoholism that shows the dark, gritty and positively disgusting underbelly of the disease. Sure, the film does this in the most glamorous way possible, but it's positively riveting to watch.

The film is a solid A, but the woman who gets the most credit for that is Susan Hayward. Her performance and acting style is not for every one, but if you're lucky enough to love it, I'll Cry Tomorrow is a sight to behold. Because it left such an impression on me and I want as many people as possible to seek out this movie, here are eight reasons why Susan Hayward is utterly fantastic in I'll Cry Tomorrow.

Susan Hayward-isms If you've seen a Susan Hayward musical number before, then you know that she has certain, um, characteristics that pop up over and over again in them. Mainly, she uses her arms and makes the same five poses, or a variation of them, throughout the entire number. I know the word "genius" is thrown around a lot (especially by me) and it's meaning has been diluted a bit, but that is the only word in the English language that is applicable to Susan Hayward's ability to turn these ridiculously hammy hand gestures into something that works even half as well as it does in her first musical number, "Sing You Sinners." And that's not even talking about the way she occasionally tosses her head back with that big ole cheesy grin plastered on her face. If you're unprepared, these signature bits may throw you off and automatically write off Susan Hayward's acting ability, but once it clicks, you won't be able to get them out of your head. Genius, indeed.

Subtle Comic Timing I was HOWLING at the 20 second mark of this clip.

Knows the Importance of Being Fabulous At All Times I'm not going to reveal what event is the trigger of Hayward's character's alcoholism, but I think it's important to note that even after this traumatic event, Hayward still finds it's necessary to lie around in her bed with her hair all done and makeup applied perfectly. She's Susan Hayward, damnit; there's no way she's looking like a commoner!

"When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob Bobbin' Along" Another example of why Susan Hayward's musical numbers at the shit, yo. She is completely rocking those twirls at the end.

Monologue at 1:16 “He’s alright…he’s fine. He’s a real doll. Our maid left this morning because I’m such a drunk. Everybody feels sorry for him. Nobody feels sorry for me. Yup, there’s drunks and there’s drunks. You see, I’m what you call an ‘adorable drunk.’ He…he’s mean! Maybe you can tell me, mister. Why is it when some men get drunk, they get mean, real mean? And then, and then, they next day, they’re sorry. So sorry. He’s great, he’s, he’s my husband….he’s a doll. Got the scars to prove it. Oh well! That’s okay with me. I’m no good. I’m no good. That’s the way it’s gotta be. I’m just nothin’ but a hopeless drunk. Getting just what I deserve. Oh well. That’s life.”

Camp When describing a performance, the word "camp" often gets a bad connotation. But, when it's done right and the film's structure is loose enough to allow it, the results can be astounding. Just think of Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? or Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest and you'll see that camp does not always equal bad. This same principle can applied to Hayward's performance in I'll Cry Tomorrow. She's loud and larger than life, but she can get away with it since director Daniel Mann makes sure to scale back the entire film at certain points so she can just let loose with reckless abandon. It could have been a complete disaster, but Hayward knows how to camp it up like a true pro.

Voice over at 0:40 “Every night after that, I drank myself to sleep. I felt I no longer needed Katie’s reassurance- I was getting it out of the bottle! For the first time, I was completely secure on the stage. I was sure at last that they liked me and I deserved it. I was something! I was GLAMOROUS! I was the BEST singer IN THE WORLD!”

An Acting Style That is Both Misunderstood and Forgotten Today Going through Susan Hayward's Oscar-nominated work, it quickly becomes apparent that her acting style will be divisive, especially to modern-day viewers not familiar with the pre-Method Era style of acting she embodies. I know that when I first saw her films, I found it odd that this ham of an actress was a widely respected thespian. Over time, I've come to respect her audacity and sheer balls to be so batshit crazy over-the-top with any of her performances. With her big booming theatrical voice, sweeping gestures and go-for-broke desperation, Susan Hayward's performance in I'll Cry Tomorrow pierces through the doldrums of mid-50's American cinema like the a loud, menacing rocket launched into the atmosphere. When she's drunk, she's drunk, slurring her words and stumbling out of nightclubs with all the subtlety of a foghorn. And when she's desperately searching for a drink, not knowing where the hell she is, Hayward is fighting and scratching her way through dirt and grime and the most awful places imaginable to get some booze. It's not pretty and it's certainly not the most comfortable thing to sit through, but that's precisely why it works so well. With a method actress like Julie Harris in the role, I don't think the performance or I'll Cry Tomorrow as a whole would have worked so well. No doubt Harris would have been great, but I think there would have been too much internalization on her part, and the film completely relies on the showy, "surface" effects of alcoholism. With Harris (or any other Method actress), the film's depiction of alcoholism wouldn't have been as dirty or gruesome. Thank goodness Hayward was there with her unusual acting style to lead the way.

Friday, April 24, 2009

"They used to call me anal girl"


As if I wasn't excited enough for (500) Days of Summer, last night I saw the official trailer before Sunshine Cleaning and I cannot fucking wait anymore. I need to see this movie immediately or I will explode. Quite literally. I'm trying not to get my hopes up so I'm not completely let-down when I do see it, but you guys have no idea how hard this is.

In other words, July 17th, please get here soon!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

American Idol Recap: Top 7 (Again) Edition

Theme: Disco Night. And it wasn't as atrocious as you would think.

Really ecstatic


Paula Clap
Quite good

Allison Iraheta "Hot Stuff" Only Allison could make a rock-ified version of the Donna Summer classic work as well as it did, but I really wish next week she would pick a song that didn't seem so "obvious." I want her to dig and dig through the songs she can choose from and pick one that will allow her to stretch a bit and not just rock out to a super obvious and already covered song. Other than that, fantastic work from Miss Iraheta as usual.

Dancing in My Seat
No one ever said it took much to get Paula on her feet

Matt Giraud "Staying Alive" I liked this number at first, but after a couple of listens it's starting to completely annoy me. As with the original Bee Gee's version, the opening is epic and Matt completely nails it. But after the first chorus, the song just drags and poor Matt is just going down with a sinking ship. It wasn't bad enough to get him voted off, but you never know with America. They're complete fucktards some most of the time.

Adam Lambert "If I Can't Have You"
Mr. Shrieky slows it down and "emotes," pounding every note and word into our brain with the subtlety of a sledgehammer and draining every ounce of emotion he can out of the lyrics like the complete ham that he is. I think Mr. Shrieky would make a fine Broadway musical actor, tucked away in some theatre where I never have to hear from him again, but I would never EVER want to hear him on the radio. And I doubt many others will either.

"Well, You Look Beautiful..."
It's never good when she starts with this

Anoop "Dim All the Lights" He got the pimp slot and I'm still having trouble remembering anything about his performance except that botched last note. Oops.

Lil Rounds "I'm Every Woman"
Girlfriend, it's time to pack it up and head on home. Karaoke at it's worst and it's not all about having fun on the stage; you need to sing, girl!

Danny Gokey "September"
I love my Paula, but the woman is delusional if she honestly believes that Dead Wife Guy deserves to be in the finals (even Adam is leagues above him). The judges constantly yell at Lil (and rightly so) for doing karaoke versions of every song she does, but why does Danny never get yelled at for doing the exact same thing week after week? Is it because they think that the shouting he adds to every song equals emotion or something revelatory? I have no clue and am at a complete loss for words why this douchebag keeps on getting praised when he has not even come close to having a "moment" on that stage.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

American Idol Disco Night Predictions

Because I'm desperately avoiding studying for my exams at the moment, here is what I think the Idols will sing tonight during Disco Night.

  • Kris Allen "I Will Survive" (Acoustic) (Because he will want to embrace the gay audience who so obviously adores him)
  • Allison Iraheta "Heart of Glass" (Because I'm having a really hard time coming up with a song for her. Possibly something by Donna Summer, but not something as obvious as "Hot Stuff" or "Last Dance")
  • Matt Giraud "Everlasting Love" (Because it seems perfect for him)
  • Anoop "Can't Get Enough of Your Love Babe" (Because he obviously can't do a ballad this week and he thinks he's a sex symbol)
  • Adam Lambert "Staying Alive" (Because this is kinda obvious, right? If not this one, than probably some other Bee Gees song or Gloria Gaynor's "I Am What I Am")
  • Danny Gokey "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty" (Because he'll want "to have fun" this week and the judges have constantly reassured him that he could sing the phone book, so why the hell not?)
  • Lil Rounds "Don't Leave Me This Way" (Because she thinks she can belt like the big divas and, obviously, she will fail. Another possible choice: "It's Raining Men")

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This Picture Makes Me Happy and Sad at the Same Time

I found this picture of the Brokeback crew at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005 while rummaging through I Heart Jake yesterday and I felt compelled to share it for some reason. I love the way it almost feels like a random snapshot from a weekend barbeque or something, a few friends just getting together and having a few laughs. This picture also makes me happy because of the whole "four young actors who have finally 'arrived'" vibe going on; you can practically feel that these four people are ready to take over Hollywood and show us what they can do. It's also kinda sad for the obvious reason: the passing of Heath Ledger. He really was taken way too soon. I hope you guys find this photo as fascinating as I did.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What's Wrong With this Picture? Part Deux

Every time Zac Efron and the Jonas Brothers take a picture together, something bothers me about it. Let's see if we can fix it this time.

There we go! C'est belle!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

American Idol Recap: Top 7 Edition

Theme: It was supposed to be Songs from the Movies, but somewhere along the way, 5 of the 7 contestants interpreted this "Sing a Cheesy Powerballad from a Film from the 80's or 90's." Seriously, what the fuck? You could sing any song from any movie- that's over 80 years of music to choose from- and the best you can come up with is not one, but TWO Bryan Adams songs, "Endless Love" and that horribly overplayed song from Armageddon? Jesus Christ.

Really ecstatic

Kris Allen "Falling Slowly" Far and away the best performance of the night, if not the season. Not only was the song choice audacious but it was also perfect for his whole musical persona. Needless to say, I've already listened to it 20 times in a row this morning on the way to and from class. A classic in every sense of the word.

Paula Clap
Quite good

Allison Iraheta "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" Terrible, terrible song choice and for that reason alone, I almost knocked her down a level. But, it's Allison, so she actually did quite well with what she chose. I would really love for her to take a chance next week and pick a song that hasn't been done on the show a million times before.

Matt Giraud "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman" Another terrible, terrible song choice but it didn't turn out too badly. I really don't understand the trashing he gets every other week, because I think he's consistently good every week and does know to do the rock songs (or, in this case, lite pop songs).

Dancing in My Seat
No one ever said it took much to get Paula on her feet

Adam Lambert "Born to Be Wild" After such dreary and lame song choices, I'm glad that Adam thought outside the box and picked something that pre-dated the Reagan Era. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean it was any good. While I've definitely heard worse from him, this was still a steaming pile of crap.

Anoop "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" Zzzzzzz. I'm beginning to wonder if Randy is confusing "soulful" with "coma-inducing."

"Well, You Look Beautiful..."
It's never good when she starts with this

Danny Gokey "Endless Love" Boring even by the eternally dull Danny Gokey's standards. Of course, when he finally gets a negative critique from the judges, they have to bring up his dead wife to ensure that he won't get in the bottom three. Seriously judges, how low can you go?

Lil Rounds "The Rose" Every week, Lil takes on a song by a big diva and every week she gets told that it was a mistake. So what does she do this week? Pick a song by Bette motherfucking Midler. Was she high when she thought that work? Not only did her version not even come with in the same galaxy as Bette's classic version, but it was a messy, overworked, shrieking nightmare. And what the fuck was up with that wig. As I commented to my friend during her performance, "I've seen hookers with better wigs." Please, America, put us out of our misery.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

2008 Diva Cup Awards: Best Supporting Actor

Josh Brolin
With a character that could have gone wrong in so many ways in the hands of the wrong actor, Josh Brolin gets nearly everything right (I shudder to think of what Tom Cruise, one of Van Sant's original choices, would have done here). The role has a multitude of different dimensions to it--the fun-loving frat guy, the political "good ole boy," the seemingly secure guy who's not completely comfortable in his skin and, finally, the cold, chilly psychopath--and Brolin seamlessly synthesizes all of these components into one complex character. Brolin's winning performance here is proof that he has the capacity to be one of the most versitile actors working today.

Robert Downey, Jr.
Tropic Thunder
A dude playing a dude disguised as another dude. This description of Robert Downey, Jr.'s performance in Tropic Thunder was, besides Heath Ledger winning, the most consistent thing we saw at this year's awards circuit. It's obvious that the writers of these shows were at a loss for words on how to describe such an out-there nomination as this one and were forced to recycle this same line over and over again. This might have been a problem if this weren't the most perfect way to describe Robert Downey, Jr.'s creation here. The performance is so layered with different types of comedic and acting styles that only an actor with RDJ's varied filmography could have pulled it off nearly as well as this.

Emile Hirsch
When Emile Hirsch's name rolled around on the opening credits of Milk, I involuntarily sighed in exasperation. For some reason, after Into the Wild, the young actor's almost desperate desire to be taken seriously as an actor had gotten on my nerves. And from what I had heard about the role- a gay rights activist fighting for his basic human rights- it looked like it was going to be more of the same crap. Then, something unexpected happened: Emile opened up and showed us a side of him we've never seen before (or at least I haven't). He was funny, engaging, bitchy, touching, endearing and a whole mess of emotions I've never associated with him before. In fact, any preconceived notion I had of Hirsch was promptly forgotten after this thoughtfully handled performance and now I am actually looking forward to see what he is offering up next.

Bill Irwin
Rachel Getting Married
Bill Irwin's big-hearted father doesn't get as many big, look-at-me moments as his daughters do over the course of Rachel Getting Married, so he is forced to do most of his acting quietly and from the sidelines. This suits Irwin because it allows him to do some of the most vivid supporting work of the year without distracting from the "main attractions." Who can forget the eternally optimistic spin he can put on any moment, his absolutely unbridled joy at Rachel's announcement after the rehearsal dinner or his scrunched up face during his crying jag after Kym's return from the hair salon? He's the adoring father with abundant unconditional love to give out that every body would love to have.

Brad Pitt
Burn After Reading
Brad Pitt, for me anyways, is an actor who's always a pleasing screen presence, but I'd be hard-pressed (Fight Club aside) to think of a performance of his that's truly proved he has much acting talent. At first glance, Burn After Reading appeared to be yet another role that relied more on Pitt's natural movie star charisma than any real talent. Then, he appeared in his first scene and he made me laugh. Second scene, same result. Third time, here we go again. By the time we get to the moment where Pitt's Chad Feldheimer is sitting in the car, just staring at John Malkovich's character with a full minute of idiotic/hilarious facial expressions, I knew this was Brad's shining moment as an actor.

If Only There Were Six: Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Rest of the Top 10: Aaron Eckhart, The Dark Knight...Gael Garcia Bernal, Blindness...Richard Dreyfuss, W....Ben Foster, Birds of America

And the Diva Cup Goes to: Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder

Monday, April 13, 2009

At Least It Wasn't a Disaster

I am, of course, referring to Zac Efron's guest hosting gig on Saturday Night Live this past weekend. Sketch comedy is notoriously difficult to get right and many, many talented actors have failed miserably on SNL. Knowing this, I was immensely worried for Zac as soon as I heard he signed up to do it. Could he handle the pressure? Would he have the comedic timing necessary to make the sketches work? Or would they just fall flat with a couple of nervous laughs throughout? Well, ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to report that Zac did not fail and actually made me chuckle in parts (Whether or not this is because he's actually funny or he's so pretty that anything he says makes me laugh is a question for another time). Granted, he wasn't as great as Jon Hamm, Anne Hathaway or NPH were earlier this year, but Zac was definitely passable. I was going to post the Kathie Lee/Hoda sketch where Zac played Kathie Lee's son Cody but stupid Hulu doesn't have that clip available, so, instead, I'll post the second best sketch of the evening: Troy Bolton returning to East High and addressing the new Senior class about the real world. Enjoy.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Can Leighton Meester Do It All? I Think So

Leighton Meester, best known as the manipulative, scheming and all-around fabulous Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl, is hoping to become a pop star. What separates her from other actors-turned-singers, other than the fact that she's the most consistently amazing actress on TV right now, is that she has legitimate musical talent. She's no belter like Mariah or Leona, but she has an indescribably modern edge to her sound and is definitely avoiding the tendency to go "bubblegum" pop on us. I first heard her sing a cover of "Bette Davis Eyes" a few months ago and was completely blown away. I was not expecting that voice to come out of my Leighton at all. Now, another cover has made it's way onto the internet, this time indie band Awesome New Republic's "Birthday." I've never heard the original, but Leighton's version is absoultely EPIC. God, I really hope she gets the chance to make a CD because, based on the strength of these songs, it could be an amazing pop record.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

American Idol Recap: Top 8 Edition

Theme: Songs from the year you were born in...another Idol classic

Really ecstatic

Allison Iraheta "I Can't Make You Love Me" Okay, I will admit that I audibly groaned when I heard this song choice (Ugh, haven't we heard this song- good and bad- a million times before?) but Allison completely rocked it in her usual way. Why oh why does America keep voting her in the bottom after performances as strong as this one? They can't honestly believe she's worse than half of the other paltry contestants.

Paula Clap

Quite good

Matt Giraud "Part-Time Lover" Once I heard he was doing a Stevie Wonder song, I immediately figured that Randy would wildly exclaim, as he's prone to do in situations like this, that you should never, ever mess with a song done by someone as idiosyncratic as Stevie Wonder. I guess we were all surprised because Matt nailed it, making me forget that Stevie had ever done the original, and Randy actually liked it.

Kris Allen "All She Wants to Do is Dance" Okay, so it obviously wasn't his strongest performance to date, but the judges were way too harsh on him. "Indulgent"? Really, Mr. Cowell? What was indulgent about this performance that wasn't about more than half of Adam Lambert's? Or Danny Gokey's?

Dancing in My Seat

No one ever said it took much to get Paula on her feet

Adam Lambert "Mad World" Well, at least it wasn't the Godawful shrieking mess that we've come to expect from Adam. Unfortunately, this week's performance was boring to the point of tedium. Sigh. The fact that all of the judges- even Simon!- went completely apeshit for it is further proof that Adam could literally bring out the phonebook, sing it and still win this damn thing.

"Well, You Look Beautiful..."

It's never good when she starts with this

Anoop "True Colors" Paula's totally loopy and slightly expected comment about Anoop being "beautiful like all the colors of the rainbow" (or something like that) was a million times better than this yawn of a performance. Why do the judges keep complimenting him on these dreadful ballads?

Danny Gokey "Stand By Me" Given the chance to sing any song from 1980 that he wanted, it would figure that Danny "I'm a complete square" Gokey would pick one that was made popular 25 years before. There was absolutely nothing noteworthy about this performance; it's exactly what you would expect from Danny every single week. Lame. Give me some excitement please.

Lil Rounds "What's Love Got to Do With It?" Absolutely dreadful. This woman obviously
doesn't have what it takes and I'm actually glad that the judges are admitting it and not covering it up with stupid compliments (*cough*Blind guy*cough*).

Scott MacIntyre "The Search is Over" At one point during this painful experience Scott called a performance, I touched my ear and blood literally came out. Please, America, make it end.

Who Should Go Home: For the love of God, please send Scott home.
Who Will Go Home: I'm guessing Lil since America really hates the girls this season.

You Better Love Me

Sad news, Same Difference fans! According to Popjustice, the eternally cheerful brother and sister act has been dumped by their label after their single "We R One" and album (one of the ten best of 2008) both apparently didn't meet their expectations. First of all, on a personal front, this is very upsetting. I know they weren't meant for everyone, but their limitless amount of energy and optimism and insanely catchy/cheesy pop tunes were a much needed outlet during these past few months of recession talk and family medical problems. Secondly, I'm upset that their record label gave them such a small amount of time to really prove their worth. We all hear about artists like Britney Spears and Lady GaGa hitting it big with their first singles, but for every one of them, there are 30 artists who need time to grow and catch on with the public before they can get their first big hit. Sadly, Same Difference wasn't given that chance. Hopefully, this will give our beloved Sean and Sarah a new opportunity to find a label that trusts them and will take the time to grow with them. I have faith that once they find the perfect behind their kid-friendly, bubble gum persona and epic, Xenomania-style pop music that is burning the charts in the UK, Same Difference will be unstoppable.

On the plus side of this news, this now means that they are totally available for High School Musical 4. Can someone please get on this now, especially since the producers have decided to ditch The Rocketman and Tiara?

And, finally, what is a Same Difference post without a picture of Sarah looking absolutely psychotic.

You're welcome.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

10 Favorite Movie Characters

A couple of days ago, I whined and manipulated until I got was graciously given a tag to do the Top 10 Favorite Movie Characters meme that's been burning up the interweb of late. The resulting list wasn't as hard to come up with as I originally feared but, to be honest, all I did was go through my DVD collection and just picked 25 characters that jumped out at me and narrowed it down from there. Not much agonizing over here. What I was most fascinated about by my final list was how it was a fairly nice round-up of my two favorite characters: the larger-than-life female and the damaged boy. Hmm....

Let's get started with this before we analyze that to death.

Apologies to the Runners-Up (in no particular order for a solid 25): The Tramp (City Lights), William Canfield, Jr. (Steamboat Bill, Jr.), Lina Lamont (Singin' in the Rain), Effie White (Dreamgirls), Maggie "The Cat" (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Erin Brockovich (Erin Brockovich), Go-Go (Kill Bill Volume 1), Sharpay Evans (High School Musical 2), Miriam Aarons (The Women), Bonnie Parker (Bonnie and Clyde), Norman Bates (Psycho), Mr. Aoki (Shall We Dansu?), Grandma with Crazy Pink Hair (Castle in the Sky), Regina George (Mean Girls)

Susan Vance in Bringing Up Baby
Quite possibly the greatest concoction ever to emerge from a screwball comedy. And you have to admire the lengths she goes to get the man she loves; that's what I call dedication.

Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind
She's a survivor, yo. I really wish I had her determination and drive to get everything she wants out of life, even if she has to lie, steal, cheat or kill to get it.

Margo Channing in All About Eve
This is going to be me in 20 years: the grand, aging diva always ready for every party with a martini in one hand and an arsenal of bitchy one-liners for unsuspecting guests.

Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard
She is big, and that's the way I love her.

Antoine Doinel in Stolen Kisses
Most people would pick Antoine Doinel in his teenage years in The 400 Blows, but I like to imagine my Antoine as the happy-go-lucky young adult in Stolen Kisses. It probably doesn't hurt that his character in this film is roughly the same age I am now and can relate to him on a whole new level than before.

Barbara Jean in Nashville
One of the saddest characters I have ever seen in any film. After all of her scenes, I just feel so bad for her I find it hard to concentrate on any other character with the same amount of attention.

Conrad Jarret in Ordinary People
Every time I watch this movie, and it's probably more often than any sane person needs to, I just want to reach out and comfort this poor guy.

Posh Spice in Spice World
Not only do her line readings ring with hilarity, but this character is quite obviously the starting off point for the "Victoria Beckham" character we all love so dearly (or at least I do).

Velma Kelly in Chicago
Fierce, monstrously talented and, in fact, can do it alone- what's not to love?

Robert Ford in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Strangely relatable and, yet again, another character I feel infinitely sad for everytime they appear on screen and feel this uncontrollable urge to just give them a hug.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

American Idol Recap: Top 9 Edition

Theme: Songs that are popular on iTunes...or, basically, any song available for download on iTunes. What a horrible theme. Why didn't they just say "Pick any damn song you want"? It would have been much clearer.

And the crappy theme wasn't the only thing that made me angry about this week's episode of American Idol. Was it just me, or were the judges completely wrong in nearly all of their critiques? It was so bizarre. I would watch a performance, say Matt Giraud, and think, "Hmmm...I quite liked it. Not perfect, but still passable" and then listen to the judges ten seconds later completely rip to shreds. Excuse me? And what about when the exact opposite happened with Danny Gokey (Me: "Bor-ing!" Judges: "BEST PERFORMANCE EVERRRRRRRRRRRR!")? Plus, their specific critiques were so ridiculously stupid that I was this close to turning off the damn TV. For instance, how about Kara's idea that Megan should have sung Adele's beautiful "Chasing Pavements"? Yeah, that would be great if the song weren't unimprovable. God, this woman is so stupid sometimes. Megan's voice sounds too similar to Adele, Duffy and Amy Winehouse for her to pull off a cover of any of their songs. You don't want to hear any R&B diva attempting a Whitney Houston song because they're never going to match the original and it's the same problem with Megan and those singers. Also, the judges' pimping of certain performers has never been so obvious as it is this season. They are so dead set on a Danny-Adam-Lil Top 3 that they are giving a collective shurg to Kris and Allison, two of the most inspiring contestants in this- or any- seasons (and by inspiring, I mean musically, not in the Danny/Scott/Lil cheap manipulation way). Frankly, at this point, if Danny, Adam and Lil were arrested for snorting cocaine off of 12 year old child prostitutes and then came on stage and just sat there yawning, while Kris worked his magic on something as out there as "Fergalicious," the judges would still be tripping all over themselves to praise those three while Kris gets a "Quite good, but you need to work on [insert some totally ridiculous and retarded trait here]" It's all so maddening!

Whew. Sorry about that. I just had to get it off my chest. Now, on to the performances.

Really ecstatic

Kris Allen "Ain't No Sunshine" Are you guys sick of hearing about Kris Allen yet? If so, too bad, because unless he stops either being (1) hot or (2) amazing (and neither of those are very likely at this point) I won't be shutting up. Kris admitted that he was attempting to have a "moment" with a song and I must say he certainly succeeded. Not only the best performance of the night, but one of the best of the entire season. And yet the judges didn't go as apeshit as they did over Dead Wife Guy's performance. I just don't get it.

Paula Clap
Quite good

Allison Iraheta "Don't Speak" I thought the song choice was a little weak and it is one of those songs that really can't be reinterpreted, but, if the comment "you could sing the phonebook" applied to anyone this season, it would be Allison. I absolutely love her no matter what she does. And I, for one, found her hair to be gloriously over-the-top and amazing. The outfit wasn't great, but certainly Lil has committed worse fashion faux pas.

Matt Giraud "You Found Me"
The more I read other people's reviews of last night's Idol (including rundowns from Vance and RJ that are obviously better than mine), the more I have come to the conclusion that I'm the only person who actually liked this performance. I thought his voice added a lot of grit and emotion to the song and it was nowhere near the disaster that was "Viva la Vida" like the judges seemed to believe.

Megan Joy "Turn Your Lights Down Low"
Can we just agree on one thing: it was better than last week's disaster, right? I thought that the first half was a little rough, but once she found her groove, it improved substantially. Once again she got massacred by the judges and I'm afraid that she's going home before the blind guy. Blurg.

Dancing in My Seat
No one ever said it took much to get Paula on her feet

Anoop "That One Usher Song That's Not Really That Famous" Meh. Not especially interesting or exciting. Pretty much a carbon copy of the original. Will Anoop ever find that groove he hit with "My Prerogative" a couple of weeks ago? It's looking like a big fat no.

Adam Lambert "That One Disco Song That No One Should Ever Touch With a Ten Foot Pole on This Show"
It's like this guy's one sole mission in life is to make me hate him even more by the week. After I give him a compliment last week for toning his shriekiness down and actually singing, what does he do? Comes back with another of his over-the-top monsterosities, this time to the disco classic "Play That Funky Music." He did change up the song a bit and it wasn't as embarrassing as it could have been, but...just don't do this song. Ever.

Lil Rounds "Another Power Ballad to Try and Prove She Can Sang"
What a complete piece of shit. Girlfriend, you will never be Celine or Whitney or Mariah, so just give it up. And why are you still getting positive criticisms from the judges?! That just blows my mind.

"Well, You Look Beautiful..."
It's never good when she starts with this

Scott MacIntyre "Another Dire Piano Ballad? Color Me Surprised" It was better than last week, but so was the Columbine massacre in comparison with the Holocaust. That still doesn't mean he's any good.

Danny Gokey "Some Song Where He Convinces People That Shouting = Emotion"
STOP SHOUTING. WE GET IT. YOU FEEL SOMETHING WHEN YOU SING THIS SONG. And, contrary to Dead Wife Guy's belief, not everyone likes Rascal Flatts. The only version of "What Hurts the Most" I would ever want to listen to is Cascada's immaculate dance hall version.

Who Should Go Home: Scott MacIntyre, please put us out of our misery.
Who Will Go Home: I'm dreading the impending Megan elimination, but it's looking quite inevitable at this point.