Saturday, February 28, 2009

Eh Eh [Nothing Else I Can Say]

My Jakey + Baseball (i.e., the hottest sport, in my opinion) - Shirt - Gross Long Hair = Perfection

YOU'RE BACK, BABY!



Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have a Lily Van der Woodsen


The
reports are coming in and it looks like the lovely and talented Brittany Snow is making her return to television, after her breakthrough in NBC's American Dreams a few years ago, in the upcoming Gossip Girl spin-off. The shows follows Rufus and Lily, the adults on Gossip Girl, during their teenage years and is set to premiere on May 11th as a special Gossip Girl episode. I can't even begin to put into words how excited I am at the prospect of seeing Brittany every week. And did I mention that the show is set during the 80's? Can you imagine how glammed out Brittany is going to look with teased hair, ill-fitting jackets, too much makeup and leg warmers? Oh my God, she is going to be fabulous.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kathy Griffin is a Mad Genius


With her hilarious cameo on last night's season finale of Privileged, Kathy Griffin has pretty much secured herself an Emmy nomination for Best Guest Star (Comedy). This just proves that she's always thinking of ways to get awards. Way to go, diva!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Things We Learned at This Year's Oscars


At 45, Robert Downey, Jr. is still smoking hot. Whenever he came on screen during the red carpet stuff, I literally had to stop what I was doing because he had me swooning that much. Oh dear, the things I would do to that man.




Zac Efron has a crush on Dev Patel (Come on, don't give me that look! Of all the big names at the Oscars, why would you be most excited to meet Dev Patel unless you had the hots for him- and you can't really blame Zac because Dev sure knows how to wear a tuxedo). Can you imagine what a power couple they would be?



Clever musical sequences work just as well as an opening monologue, especially when you have Hugh Jackman performing them.


Anne Hathaway really knows how to work a musical number (I absolutely loved her big dramatic pause on the Nixon peace sign).


Tina Fey and Steve Martin should present every award ever.


Dustin Lance Black is a total hottie. Way to represent our people!


The old folks can put away their pitchforks and relax because the supposed "Disney-fying" of the Oscars didn't happen. All you had to endure was Robert Pattinson presenting one award and a five second close-up of Troy and Gabriella Zac and Vanessa during the second musical sequence. The rest was filled with pure movie star mojo. (We can all be thankful, however, that neither Miley or the Brothers Jonas had the opportunity to take the stage).


Speaking of that batshit, cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs crazy number:



Baz Luhrmann may be totally insane.


BEYONCE is a true diva. Were there any other performers on that stage? If there were, I sure didn't notice because BEYONCE completely dominated those five minutes. Her vocals, stage presence and diva moves (her hands on her hip during "Lady Marmalade", her "coy" smile during "At Last", the very end with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow") all combined for one hell of a performance.


The phrase "Academy Award-winner Penélope Cruz" has quite a lovely ring to it.


As does "Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet" (never mind that it's for the wrong performance).


Change can be good. At first I thought I would hate the fact that they weren't showing clips of the nominated performance, but by the time Best Actress came around and Shirley MacLaine, Halle Berry, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman and SOPHIA LOREN (nearly tying BEYONCE in terms of true diva-ness) came out on stage, I realized this radical change may be for the better.


The fact that seeing one of the shittiest films nominated for Best Picture in the past decade sweeping the awards didn't ruin the whole show for me.

So, to sum it up: Great fucking show! It went three and a half hours but I wasn't bored for a minute. Bill Condon deserves a retroactive Best Director nomination for Dreamgirls for turning around the ceremony this year. Bravo!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Worst Films and Performances of 2008

With the Oscars less than ten minutes away, I thought it was appropriate to honor the worst of the year before we spend all night talking about the best. Of the 86 films I've seen so far in 2008, here are the stinkiest films and performances.

The 10 Worst Films:

10. Tell No One (Guillaume Canet)

This so-called "Hitchcockian" thriller has none of the humor, interesting plot twists or thrilling, ambiguous villains that comprised some of Hitch's best work. Instead, all we get are some dumb clichés, an annoying lead and a 10 minute explanation of the whole film that is entirely false.
9. Frost/Nixon (Ron Howard)
What a complete waste of time. Ron, just because you have a good play and actors who have done these roles 100 times before doesn't mean you can just sit back and let the cameras roll for two hours.
8. 21 (Robert Luketic)
I knew the exact trajectory of the main character (played her by Jim Sturgess) from the first five minutes. The rest of the film didn't make me want to stick around.
7. Changeling (Clint Eastwood)
On the plus side, Changeling gives you more for your dollar (always a good thing during this recession) since there are six separate stories packed into one film. On the negative side, none of them are any good.
6. Mamma Mia! (Phyllida Lloyd)
I believe I've already said enough on this movie in the above review, so I'll leave you with a thought from my friend Christi, "ABBA should sue them for ruining their songs." She is so right.
5. Untraceable (Gregory Hoblit)
Diane Lane, you deserve much better than this lame "thriller" that was nothing more than a complete waste of time. I seriously can't remember a thing about this movie besides Lane and Joseph Cross.
4. Jumper (Doug Liman)
Jamie Bell and Rachel Bilson, you both deserve much better than this lame "action" movie and playing second fiddle to the incomparably bad Hayden Christensen.
3. Camp Rock (Matthew Diamond)
I honestly wasn't expecting much from Disney's latest made-for-TV movie, but this was so bad it made High School Musical look like Chicago. As I mentioned in the review, Vanessa Hudgens could have showed up and I would have been grateful for it.
2. Prom Night (Nelson McCormick)
One of the funniest movies of the year. Too bad it was supposed to be a horror movie.
1. The Wackness (Jonathan Levine)
I've racked my brain for awhile and I honestly can not think of one even slightly redeeming factor in this movie. Of the other movies I gave an F to, Camp Rock at least had those slightly amusing bickering scenes between Nick and Kevin and Prom Night had Brittany Snow and a couple of good laughs, but The Wackness has absolutely nothing. The overly quirky and "street" dialogue assaulted my ears like the Blitzkrieg, Ben Kingsley's overacting made me want to die everytime he tried to be hip and funny and the film's depiction of a teenager's sexual awakening was both overly pretentious and boorish.

The Worst Performances:

Worst Actor

Hayden Christensen, Jumper
---How do you make me hate you from the opening monologue?
Joe Jonas, Camp Rock
---You would think that as soon as they filmed that first scene in the limosine, where Joe can't even put the right emphasis on any of the lines, that the producers would have realized they picked the wrong Jonas Brother to star in this film.
Robert Pattinson, Twilight
---I will give him the benefit of the doubt on some of the dialogue because he was given some truly awful, but some of those facial expressions (especially during the scene where he first meets Bella in the science classroom) were hilarious when they should have been serious and/or scary.

The Loser:
Hayden Christensen

Worst Actress
Vanessa Hudgens, High School Musical 3: Senior Year
---You would think that after three films with the same character, she would finally learn how to not embarrass herself; you thought wrong. This is just as atrocious as anything in the first two films.
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
---An Oscar nomination for this phoned-in performance?! That is, if you call repeating the same three lines (all containing the phrase "MY son" in them) over and over again and smashing a plate against the wall.
Meryl Streep, Mamma Mia!
---The worst performance I've ever seen from the great Meryl. I've never seen her overact that much.

The Loser:
Meryl Streep

Worst Supporting Actor
Pierce Brosnan, Mamma Mia!
---Normally, when you cast a musical, you cast someone who can sing. Apparently someone missed this memo.
Colin Firth, Then She Found Me
---Not necessarily bad, but he's in a completely different film from Helen, Bette and Matthew.
Ben Kingsley, The Wackness
---This guy has an Oscar? What the hell?
Diego Luna, Milk
---He stands out among the cast. Unfortunately, it's not in a good way.
T.J. Miller, Cloverfield
---Shut the fuck up already and get eaten by that monster.

The Loser:
Ben Kingsley

Worst Supporting Actress

Malin Akerman, 27 Dresses
---Akerman was given a prime role (bitchy, whiny younger sister) in this slightly above average rom com and she completely ruins it. Over the top and just plain annoying.
Monique Coleman, High School Musical 3: Senior Year
---I never noticed before HSM3, but Coleman is quite an awful actress, isn't she? She only has a couple of lines and yet she completely butchers all of them.
Meghan Jette Martin, Camp Rock
---Also given a prime role (the "Regina George" of Camp Rock) and completely ruins. Makes all the wrong choices comedically and her "crying" scene is atrocious.
Thandie Newton, W.
---It's so out there and different from the rest of the ensemble that I'm not sure if it's the worst performance I've ever seen or a whole new way of acting being born.
Dame Julie Walters, Mamma Mia!
---Oh my God, the Wicked Witch of the West has come back to life! Run for your life! Argh, that cackle will haunt my dreams forever!

The Loser:
Dame Julie Walters

The 2008 Supporting Actress Smackdown

It's here, people! StinkyLulu has once again rounded up some of the finest writers on the blogosphere (plus moi) for the annual Smackdown on the morning of the Oscars. As always, I had a ton of fun offering my opinions and reading what the other participants had to say (even when we completely disagreed). The overall winner should come as no surprise, given how popular she has remained throughout the entire Oscar season, but I was pleasantly surprised to see all the love for Marisa Tomei, who was quite excellent in The Wrestler.

She's a hooker with a heart of gold AND she gives an excellent performance. How often does this happen?

So head over there to read the panel's opinions and send lots of towards Lulu for tirelessly keeping up with this project.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Anarchy Archuleta in the U.K.

Back on Monday, Popjustice, the final word on all things pop music, picked "Crush" for their coveted Song of the Day (the song doesn't get released until next week in the U.K., hence it being "brand new" and in need of discovery to the primarily British readership). And, as if that wasn't exciting enough, Popjustice wrote a whole blog post about little Davie! A whole blog post! That's something usually reserved for the biggies: Girls Aloud, Sugababes and the Pet Shop Boys. Not only does Popjustice call "Crush" an "undeniably clever, complex song" but they also call his debut album "surprisingly good."

Oh my God, I can't believe it I just read that. POPJUSTICE JUST CALLED DAVID ARCHULETA'S ALBUM SURPRISINGLY GOOD! Suck on that, David Cook.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Popjustice's scale of goodness, "surprisingly good" is just one or two notches below "quite good" which is just below "brilliant," usually reserved for masterpieces like Girls Aloud's Out of Control. So, basically, this is a ringing endorsement from people who really know their pop music (Maybe I need to re-listen to this album because I generally thought that, "Crush" aside, it was pretty stinky?).

Congratulations Davie! Getting an endoresement from Popjustice means you're already on your way to conquering the U.K.!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dame James' Final Oscar Predictions

Wow, what a rollercoaster ride this Oscar season has been. I've gone from being giddy with anticipation to bored out of my mind so many times this year, I can't even keep track. Right now, I'm sort of in the middle- disappointed, but excited for the ceremony on Sunday (especially with that rumored, batshit crazy musical sequence produced by Baz Luhrmann and including Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper) even if it ends up being a complete trainwreck. In all honesty, I'm ready to move on from 2008's disappointing crop of nominees and get going with 2009 (which I started yesterday). So, in order to get going with that, here are my final Oscar predictions.

Best Picture
Will Win:
Sadly, it seems that it is written that Slumdog Millionaire will pick up this award.
Should Win: Since it's the only nominee that didn't prove a meh response from me or made me throw my hands in the air in exasperation, I'm going to go with Milk. Not a perfect film, but there's no way I can poo-poo on the nomination (especially in comparison with these others nominees).

Best Actor
Will Win:
It's going to be a nailbiter between Rourke and Penn, but I'm going with Mickey Rourke because he has the comeback factor and he's been on his best behavior on the awards circuit, providing heartfelt speeches at every main precursor he's won at (Penn would have a better chance but he just won and I don't his competition is weak enough to warrant a second win this year)
Should Win: Mickey Rourke, although both Richard Jenkins and Penn are worthy in their own right.

Best Actress
Will Win:
I hate to jinx her, but it seems like the stars have finally aligned for Kate Winslet.
Should Win: As of this point, Anne Hathaway, without a doubt, but I still need to catch up with Melissa Leo.

Best Supporting Actor
Will Win:
Even Helen Keller would have predicted Heath Ledger.
Should Win: Obviously, Heath Ledger, but I wouldn't mind Josh Brolin, Robert Downey, Jr. or Michael Shannon picking this up in a major upset. This is quite literally the best Best Supporting Actor line up in a decade, at least.

Best Supporting Actress
Will Win:
I keep hearing these rumors about a Viola Davis win here, yet I don't quite buy it. Penélope Cruz looks like a stronger bet and the one performance a lot of people can get behind.
Should Win: Penélope Cruz is the crazy, eccentric soul of Vicky Cristina Barcelona. She deserves five Oscars for giving this strong of a performance in such a weak film.

Best Director
Will Win: Danny Boyle
has this in the bag.
Should Win: I guess Gus Van Sant although the direction is hardly the most interesting thing in Milk.

Best Original Screenplay
Will Win:
My guess is that Milk has to win somewhere and this category seems the most likely since it isn't up against Slumdog Millionaire.
Should Win: In Bruges is the most original, intricate and fascinating piece of writing this year.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win:
Slumdog Millionaire, for dashing any hopes of dramatic tension and being so "uplifting"
Should Win: None of these screenplays are remotely deserving of any attention, so I'll go with the least bad: The Reader

Best Cinematography
Will Win:
Look at the pretty colors of Slumdog Millionaire!
Should Win: The Dark Knight is the best of the nominees, but there were at least three other movies with more interesting camerawork.

Best Editing
Will Win:
Are you as bored with this Slumdog Millionaire sweep as I am?
Should Win: The integration of archival footage into the narrative in Milk was absolutely seamless.

Best Art Direction
Will Win:
How can they vote against the ornate-ness of The Duchess' sets?
Should Win: The Dark Knight appropriately Gothic and dark sets were much more interesting than last year's winner Sweeney Todd.

Best Costume Design
Will Win:
The Duchess is exactly the type of movie this category loves to honor. Boy do they love their corsets and hoop skirts.
Should Win: Nicole Kidman is the perfect life-size Barbie and always brings out the best in Catherine Martin (see: Moulin Rouge!). Australia is another perfect collaboration.

Best Makeup
Will Win:
This just seems like the perfect award for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, no?
Should Win: The Dark Knight should win just for that inspired Joker makeup

Best Original Score
Will Win:
Slumdog Millionaire seems unstoppable here and, for the record, this is the one win I can live with. The music is quite lively and energetic.
Should Win: But WALL-E actually had an original score and not "Jai Ho" and "Paper Planes" repeated a few times over and over again and is literally quite brilliant.

Best Original Song
Will Win:
I really don't see a split happening here between the two Slumdog songs, so I'll go with the more popular one "Jai Ho"
Should Win: "Jai Ho", but the Pussycat Dolls version, not the original. That one is epic genius.

Best Sound
Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire
Should Win: WALL-E

Best Sound Editing
Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire
Should Win: WALL-E

Best Visual Effects
Will Win: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Should Win:
I guess Benjamin Button, although I applaud The Dark Knight for not relying on a gimmick and delivering good, old-fashioned effects.

Best Animated Film
Will Win: WALL-E
Should Win: WALL-E
, but I wouldn't be too upset with a Kung Fu Panda win.

Best Foreign Language Film
Will Win:
Some think it's too obvious to win here since this category likes to throw surprises, but Waltz With Bashir seems like the Slumdog of this category at every award show.
Should Win: Haven't had the opportunity to see any of these nominees.

Best Documentary (Feature)
Will Win: Man on Wire is the critical darling of the documentary world
Should Win: Sadly, I haven't seen any of the nominees.

Best Documentary (Short)
Will Win: Smile Pinki is the perfect film for the Year of the Slumdog: a poor Indian slumchild with a cleft lip meets a social worker who gets her the surgery and is a "real world fairy tale" apparently told in a "vibrant style."
Should Win: N/A

Best Short (Animated)
Will Win:
La Maison en petits cubes because they love picking random French stuff in this category
Should Win: I've only seen Presto, the short film that preceeded WALL-E, and that was quite worthy of this prize.

Best Short (Live Action)
Will Win: Spielzeugland
is about the Holocaust. Game over.
Should Win: N/A

Thursday, February 19, 2009

20 Films I'm Excited for in 2009

I know this is a tad late, especially since one film that definitely would have made the top 10 (Confessions of a Shopaholic) has already opened, but I wanted to share what I'm most looking forward in the coming year. I'm sure half of these films will either be disappointing or just plain bad, but you can't deny how fantastic they look on paper.

20. Ponyo on the Cliff (Hayao Miyazaki)
I've only seen three of Hayao Miyazaki's films, but all of them (Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away) are indisputable masterpieces of animation. Normally I wouldn't be excited for any English dub of a foreign film but when your English cast includes Tina Fey and Rose f-ing Nylund, that's totally something to celebrate.

19.
Where the Wild Things Are (Spike Jonze)
I remember this book fondly from my childhood and Spike Jonze has yet to fail me as a director. The troubled production and fights with the studio have me slightly worried (just how much have they stifled Jonze's artistry in order to make money?) but I'm betting it won't matter in the long run.

18. Fighting (Dito Montiel)
Channing Tatum is back, this time as an underground street fighter in Dito Montiel's follow up to A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. I'm hoping that a lot of sweatiness and shirtlessness ensues to make this film completely worth it.

On a side note, my friend and I came up with the rule where the more Channing takes off his shirt, the better his performance is. It's the same philosophy with Anne Hathaway where the more she shows her breasts in a movie, the better her performance is (although, I will admit that Rachel Getting Married is indeed her best performance and you only see a glimpse of her breasts when she's in the bathtub).

17. Rage (Sally Potter)
I'm not going to lie: the only reason I really care about this movie is because of this fantastic publicity shot of Dame Judi Dench. Doesn't she look absolutely fierce?

16. The Brothers Bloom (Rian Johnson)
I was excited for this movie back in the fall and even though it got pushed back, I still really want to see it. Adrien Brody, Rachel Weisz, Mark Ruffalo, RINKO KIKUCHI PLAYING A CHARACTER NAMED BANG BANG...what more do you want?

15. Brothers (Jim Sheridan)
Wasn't this film supposed to come out last year? Hopefully the delay doesn't mean that this Jake Gyllenhaal/Natalie Portman starring remake of the Susanne Brier 2005 film is a complete stinker.

14. Duplicity (Tony Gilroy)
Clive Owen and Julia Roberts being sexy, charismatic and funny- who is honestly not excited for that?

13. Funny People (Judd Apatow)
Outside of Punch Drunk Love and Happy Gilmore (don't judge me!), I'm not exactly Adam Sandler's biggest fan, but under Apatow's guidance he could be relevant once again. Add in Apatow regulars Seth Rogen and Leslie Mann (along with Eric Bana!) and a completely adorable poster and this has the potential to be great.

12. Whatever Works (Woody Allen)
Woody's back in New York! Hooray!

11. Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire (Lee Daniels) Michael has been talking about this film ever since Sundance and I have to give him credit for piquing my curiosity. Now that Oprah and Tyler Perry are in talks to distribute this film, I'm even more excited at the possibility that we'll actually see this film (and hopefully get Mo'Nique an Oscar nomination!).

10. 17 Again (Burr Steers)
Can Zac Efron carry a film all by himself? I can't say for certain but he'll definitely be put to the test with this Big/Freaky Friday rip-off.

9. A Single Man (Tom Ford)
Fashion designer Tom Ford has, for one reason or another, decided to move into the film world and, for his first project, has decided to adapt the apparently fantastic novella by Christopher Isherwood and has assembled a cast including Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode and Nicholas Hoult. I guess if you're going to make a start for yourself, you might as well go all out right at the beginning.


8. The Box (Richard Kelly)
I'm not a huge fan of Kelly's Donnie Darko (I know that's practically sacrilege to admit since that's where my Jakey got his big break) so I'm really more excited by the stars here: a newly rejuvenated James Marsden and the underrated Cameron Diaz (she gets such a bad rap for all of her throwaway movies, but when she's in a good project with a good role- There's Something About Mary, Being John Malkovich, In Her Shoes- very few actresses can touch her).

7. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Edgar Wright)
Sure, the combination of plot outline, director Edgar Wright and star Michael Cera had me intrigued but I have to admit that as soon as I heard that Anna Kendrick was also in the cast, my interest in the project sky rocketed. Who knows if her role will be any good (can anyone who has read the comic tell me about her character- Stacey Pilgrim); I'm just excited to see her doing her thing.

6. Nailed (David O. Russell)
I've already obsessed about this before, so I'll spare you more swooning. Let me just say this: JAKEY! JAMES! UNITED AT LAST!

5. Jennifer's Body (Karyn Kusama)
Normally, I wouldn't be this excited about a horror movie, but this is Diablo Cody's first film after winning her Oscar for Juno and I would watch anything she writes. The fact that Adam Brody- an actor who is perfectly suited for Cody's quirky dialogue- has a supporting role as a Soviet rock star (!) is merely the rich chocolate frosting on a triple layer chocolate cake.

4. Broken Embraces (Pedro Almódovar)
It's hard to remember, but there was a time when Penélope Cruz was thought of as one of the least interesting actresses in Hollywood. Then came the sublime Volver and, overnight, she became a respected actress, earning an Oscar nomination in the process. One additional Oscar nom later and now Cruz has reunited with Almódovar on his latest film. The plot has been kept hush hush, but any film that brings Cruz and Lola Duenas together has my attention.

3. Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese)
Emily Mortimer as an escaped murderer?! Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo tracking her down? With additional appearances by Patricia Clarkson, Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow, Jackie Earle Haley and Ben Kingsley and all directed by Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese? How can you not be excited for this?


2.
Nine (Rob Marshall)
This film is a wet dream for both the musical lover (Rob Marshall will always get a free pass from me for his perfect execution of Chicago) and actressexual (Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Dame Judi Dench, Sophia Loren and Penélope Cruz are headliners in this movie!) in me. Will this movie just get here so I don't die from anticipation?

1. 500 Days of Summer (Marc Webb)
Thank you mB for pointing this movie out to me! As soon as I saw the delightful teaser trailer, I was completely hooked on this movie. In what other love story (oops, "story about love") do you have an adorable Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the cutest preppy clothes ever crushing on the entrancing Zooey Deschanel and a big choreographed number with JGL and an animated bird? I hate to get ahead of myself, but if this film is done right, it could mean a whole new era of romantic comedies and I think that that is one genre that could use a good tune up. Thank God I don't have to wait 500 days for this film...I don't know what I'd do with myself!

Here's the trailer to get you in the spirit:



What films are you excited for this year?

My Fair Lady Gets a Fair Makeover (Now If Only They Would Cast Hugh)

I have no problems with the remake of My Fair Lady that's currently in the works. I know that some of the purists will be at the point of throwing blood at new Eliza Doolittle Keira Knightley at the premiere, but I'm not one of those people who thinks that George Cukor's 1964 version is untouchable. Because, in all honesty, the film is a bit of a bore. To be fair, it's been quite a few years since I've seen it, but I barely remember any musical numbers besides the one where Audrey Hepburn/Marni Nixon sings something about "Ole' 'enry 'iggins should die" and apparently there were supporting players who were nominated for Oscars that I can't remember for the life of me (you mean it wasn't the Rex & Audrey show?).

When they first announced Keira sometime ago, I was pretty meh about the whole thing because I'm not a huge fan of her or the source material. Then I found out Emma Thompson is set to write the screenplay and my curiosity was piqued. I haven't seen Sense & Sensibility yet (the screenplay that won her an Oscar) but Emma rarely makes a wrong move, right? Now that Stephen Daldry is set to direct the film, I'm feeling a tad better about the whole thing. Billy Elliot, sucky ending aside, was quite a good film and The Hours grew on me with a second viewing (let's not get into the solid yet underachieving The Reader, shall we). Now they have got one big casting hump to overcome: who's going to play Henry Higgins? There's a rumor going around that they're trying to get Daniel Craig for the role but I think he's completely wrong for it- he's way too sexy to play the irascible professor. And I don't think he can sing. I actually quite like Emma's suggestion of her friend Hugh Laurie for the role. I really don't think I would have thought of him on my own, but once I heard his name, everything clicked. He can sing, he has the comedic chops and he can play cranky absolutely effortlessly. If they decide to go with someone else (and they probably will, this being the movie business and everything) no one will ever seem as good as Hugh does in my mind.

Oh Hugh, you'll never know the extent of my daddy issues with you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

American Idol Recap: Top 36, Part One

You know how the judges- even Simon!- keep insisting that this batch of contestants make up "the best season ever"? Well, judging by tonight's abysmal performances, nothing could be further from that statement. The whole night consisted of disappointment after disappointment stemming from poor song choices and awful (or, in some cases, non-existent) interpretations of said songs. I think I groaned more times than I ever have during a semifinal show. And did anyone else find the short conversation between Ryan and the parents of each performer after their performance completely tacky and corny? Yes, we get it, you support your kids and love them unconditionally...blah blah blah let's get on to the singing. Here's my rundown of last night's performances:

Jackie Tohn "A Little Less Conversation"
Jackie started things off with a bang with this really interesting interpretation of the Elvis song. Some people don't like her personality, and I think she has the possibility to get old really quick, but after countless colorless and dull performances tonight, she really stands out in the pack.

Ricky Braddy "A Song for You"
I just do not get this guy. Sorry to those who texted, IM'ed and commented back to me about just how amazing he is. I thought the song choice was totally wrong for this stage in the competition and the way he overdoes every note and over enunciates every syllable drove me crazy. I guess he has a nice voice and all that (and could improve in my eyes with a different song) but the praise heaped on him was a little undeserved in my opinion (in hindsight, though, he was one of the better contestants tonight).

Alexis Grace "Never Loved a Man"
This was a pleasant surprise. I wasn't sure about her at first, with that weird half-spoken/half-sung opening but it quickly swelled into quite the performance. It was simple a simple performance that showed off her range, who she is as a performer and what she can accomplish in the future. Without a doubt, the best performance of the night.

Brent Keith "Hicktown"
I think the choice of song says it all. The whole performance was nothing more than atrocious redneck karaoke. His defense for his performance after Simon critiqued him: "I personally don't think country fans will forget that." Well, that's not really a good defense because country fans are slightly retarded (Come on, they kept Bucky Covington on the show until, what, the Top 6).

Stevie Wright "You Belong With Me"
If you're on American Idol and want to prove your worth as a singer, you should really stay away from any song by Taylor Swift. Her songs don't have any range because she doesn't have any range. It looks like Stevie learned this lesson the hard way because this whiny performance was all over the place.

Anoop Desai "Angel of Mine"
Anoop is my favorite contestant so far so it was quite a disappointment seeing the nice, but altogether average rendition of Monica's "Angel of Mine." He's been better before and I hope the memory of his past glories will be enough to get him through.

Casey Carlson "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic"
Since she was ripped a new one by the judges last night, I'm going to pull a Paula and say that she looked beautiful.

Michael Sarver "I Don't Want to Be"
Wow, what an original song choice. I've never heard a country/rock singer perform this song on the show to prove how "original" they are. It wasn't atrocious, but it's nothing I'm going to remember in a couple of days.

Ann Marie Boskovich "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman"
Did this girl really think she was ever going to come close to Aretha with her weak-ass vocals? Bitch please.

Stephen Fowler "Rock With You"
Completely devoid of any personality or redeeming qualities. Karaoke through and through. It was atrocious, I wanted to throw my TV out of the window as soon as he opened his mouth.

Tatiana Del Toro "Saving All My Love for You"
I have to admit that this was quite a good performance. At first I thought the combination of outrageous song choice (why is this bitch trying Whitney Houston?) and her annoying personality would be her downfall, but, I completely agreed with Randy that "she had her moments" that were quite good. I'm now interested to see if she can really mature as an artist.

Danny Gokey "Hero"
WHAT. THE. FUCK? This performance was nothing earth shattering and yet somehow Paula, Randy and Kara all jumped out of their seats, hooting and hollering like he had won the damn thing already. If I couldn't stand him before, this tragic and dreary performance is more proof that he is already the most annoying contestant on the show. If I have to sit through 12 more weeks of bloated, overrated crap like this, it's going to be a loooooooooooooooong season.

Who's Going to the Next Round: Danny, Alexis and Ricky
Runner-Ups: Anoop and Tatiana

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Who I Spent Valentine's Day With






Isn't my pretend boyfriend Dirk Bogarde just dreamy in these screencaps from Quartet? I think I prefer him more in the 60's when he was at his physical and acting peaks, but he was still completely adorable here. What is it about tall, lanky British men from the post-war years with perfectly styled hair that completely drives me crazy? I think that's one mystery that will never be resolved.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Equation of the Night

Robert Buckley, resident hottie of NBC's Lipstick Jungle, but more well known (at least to me) as that hot guy who is always shirtless in the tabloids

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Privileged, the only new show this season that I've bothered sticking with. Seriously, everyone needs to go out and see this show whenever they can. On the surface, Privileged is a delightful little comedy about spoiled rich girls, but, somewhat sneakily, the show tackles some fascinating topics (unique family relationships, class tensions) that other shows won't touch with a ten-foot pole.

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Quite a splendid way to spend an hour!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Life Got Cold

I am truly sorry that I haven't been with you in the past few days. This little thing called the real world has seriously been raping me in the ass interfering in my blogging. In the past week, I've been dealing with never ending school work, money problems, a career fair that I've been dreading for a long while, the daunting prospect of finding a summer internship, a sick grandma and a father who has just been diagnosed with diabetes while his hours have just been cut at his job. Seriously, when I called my mother on Saturday, the only good news she had was that she got a whole bunch of prescriptions for under $10. You know times are tough when that's the most exciting part of your week.

As if that wasn't tough enough, I have more bad news: I'm going to be out of commission for another couple of days. I have two exams in the next two days and I'll be spending all of my free time studying or pretending to study, so that means no new posts until Wednesday. Blurg. But, hopefully when I come back, I'll have a review of Arnaud Desplachin's mindblowingly amazing A Christmas Tale for you to read. Cross your fingers!

While I'm gone, here are a couple pictures of Gossip Girl hotties Leighton "Where is this girl's Emmy?" Meester and Penn "Give me a proper storyline, please and thank you" Badgley that I have been drooling over for the past couple of days. Enjoy!





Leighton photos from L-Meester
Penn photos from Penn Badgley Fan

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

OH NO THE BITCH DID NOT JUST SAY THAT

Last week, I reported (while nearly vomiting) that Hilary Duff was to star in a new version of the Bonnie and Clyde story and meagerly attempt to fill the legendary Faye Dunaway's shoes. True to diva form, Faye was quick to respond: "Couldn't they at least cast a real actress?" What's that, Hilary? Do you need some ointment for that BURN? This is why I love Faye Dunaway so much: she's saying whatever the fuck she likes and she doesn't give a shit what anyone thinks. And with a career as illustrious as hers, Faye has earned this right.

This should have been the end of the story, but Hilary, trying to out-do the great Faye, retaliated with this:

“I think that my fans that are going to go see the movie don’t even know who she is, so you know…. I think it was a little unnecessary but I might be mad if I looked like that now too.

WHAT.

THE.

FUCK?

Hilary, I don't care who the fuck you think you are, do NOT open your big trap and openly insult a living legend. If, by the grace of Oprah herself, you somehow are able to craft not one, not two but FOUR legendary characters that people will still be talking about 30- 40 years later- and all in the span of 14 short years- then MAYBE, just maybe, you might have the credibility to insult Faye Dunaway. But, since you've only created Lizzie Maguire, a fucking Disney character that I'll be surprised if people will remember that in 5 years, shut your mouth.

As for that whole being "mad if you looked like that now, too," Faye was always an unconventional beauty and just because she doesn't botox the fuck out of her face or get plastic surgery every two months, doesn't not mean she's ugly. If I looked like that at even half her age, I would be eternally grateful. Just because you're pretty now, Hilary, doesn't mean it will last forever. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.