Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Love is Love"


I had a lot to say after this week's episode of United States of Tara, namely the locker room showdown between eternally lovable Marshall and the douchey, extremely radical gay Lionel. Unfortunately, the post I had started was going nowhere and ended up sounding a little hypocritical, so I stopped and gave up on the whole thing. Thankfully, Kameron pointed out this article from AfterElton that sums up perfectly what I wanted to say in that post. I normally can't stand AfterElton--I find they believe that unless you support every gay artist (even at the expense of a better straight one) or every gay cause, you are a bad, self-hating gay--but for once I think they hit the nail on the head with this one. Marshall is not the enemy here. His position may be a tad worrisome, but I think his greater point that not every gay can be (or should be) as "out there" as Lionel, looking for biases and hatred everywhere they go, is one worth repeating.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

More Male Models!

I'm working on a host of other projects--both blog and school-related--so to tide you over until I can get some writing done, here are some pretty male models to stare at.

(My apologies to the three straight guys who read this blog. This post is admittedly very, very gay).

Dylan Forsberg
I've talked about this young man
before, but I found some more pictures that were too yummy to ignore. And I have 50 more on my computer where these came from.







Simon Nessman







Sam Way







Nicolas Ripoll





"I have to tell you how I old fashioned I was."


"I married before I lost my virginity.
What's more, I was 26 years old and it almost killed me to wait."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Why the Bombing of the Sugababes 4.0's Sweet 7 is Perhaps the Greatest News Ever

Listen, I love the Sugababes. They weren't as easy to get into as Girls Aloud, but I'm glad I finally "got" them. 'Push the Button' and 'Freak Like Me' are two of the past decade's greatest singles. 'Ace Reject,' the best song they have ever recorded, exemplifies everything I love about pop music. Hell, I even love Catfights & Spotlights, an album that most Suga fans are rather meh about. But, ever since listening to Sweet 7 a month or so ago, I have been secretly hoping for it to bomb big time and hasten the demise of this Frankenstein version of the 'Babes. Why, you ask? One reason and one reason only:


I love Jade Ewen. A lot.

Let's ignore for a second Sweet 7's general shitness, especially in comparison with the leaked Keisha versions that appeared online back in October or November. Instead, I want to talk about how being in Sugababes 4.0 is holding Jade back from a potentially amazing solo career. The Sugababes always worked because the women all had good voices but no voice overshadowed anyone else. Jade's voice, on the other hand, is much stronger than Heidi and Amelle's so, to compensate, she has to hold back. Besides, her voice isn't suited to the group's recent adoption of middling American-sounding pop; she does her best work letting her voice explode all over a song, not constraining it to a throaty, talky growl.

Right before Sweet 7 leaked online, a couple of Jade's unreleased tracks from prior to her jail sentence with joining the 'Babes found their way online. Originally, I didn't think anything would come of them, but, lo and behold, they are magnificent pop gems, way better than anything on Sweet 7. My favorites from this batch were 'My Man' and 'I Had Him First,' two surprisingly fierce uptempo tracks that recall Toni Braxton's 'He Wasn't Man Enough' and Whitney tracks like 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody.' Needless to say, I was really digging Jade's sound, but then came another unreleased track, 'Punching Out,' and my love for her grew exponentially. It became clear that the biggest crime regarding this latest incarnation of the Sugababes wasn't the fact that they were still using that name despite not having any original 'Babes left; rather, it was the fact that Jade was forced to slum it in this dying group instead of promoting her solo career.

Now that Sweet 7 has bombed this past week, I hope that everyone realizes that it's time to end the 'Babes with their dignity and good name intact instead of trying to resuscitate them in hopes of milking a Top 10 single from the brand name. The Sugababes were amazing in their day--very few girl groups can touch them--but the further they dilute their original sound so they can become as manufactured as so many American pop acts, the more people will start to turn on them. Leave the Sugababes alone and let Jade have the solo career she so rightfully deserves. She already has half an album ready of great songs. Don't believe me? Give 'I Had Him First' and 'Punching Out' a listen below:





Saturday, March 20, 2010

Leighton's Ode to Sebastian


About a month ago, a new song from Leighton Meester's upcoming album, Love is a Drug, leaked online. The song, appropriately called 'Your Love's a Drug,' is utterly amazing, second only to 'Body Control' as Leighton's best. I seriously can't stop listening to it, only making me more anxious for her album (whenever the hell her record company decides to release it). While listening to it, however, a thought suddenly struck me: this song could really be Leighton's declaration of love for her partner in crime Sebastian Stan. On first listen, with its slick electropop production, you'd probably think I was crazy, but once you listen to the lyrics, 'Your Love's a Drug' is actually a very touching love song. So, turn up this jam, read the lyrics, glance at these new pictures of Leighton & Sebastian and revel in the amazingness that is Meestan, Hollywood's most adorable celebrity couple.


I like it
I want it
The way you make my body move
I think I'm addicted
I'm high off everything you do
I'm going to call you, baby
Don't you worry about a thing
'Cause you're all I need

I become a slave to my habit
Fiending for your love
Gotta have it now

You're all I need
Your love's a drug
Can't get enough
Your love's a drug
And I can't sleep
Can't get enough
Your love's a drug
Your love's a drug
Your love's a


I need it
That feeling
Rushing through my veins again
Whenever you're leaving
I feel withdraw all kicking in
I going to tell you how I feel
How I couldn't breath
When you're not with me

I become a slave to my habit
Fiending for your love
Gotta have it now

You're all I need
Your love's a drug
Can't get enough
Your love's a drug
And I can't sleep
Can't get enough
Your love's a drug
Your love's a drug
Your love's a drug


'Cause I miss you when you're gone
So right but feels so wrong
And I need to have you all the time

You're all I need
Your love's a drug
Can't get enough
Your love's a drug
And I can't sleep
Can't get enough
Your love's a drug
Your love's a drug

You're all I need
Your love's a drug
Can't get enough
Your love's a drug
And I can't sleep
Can't get enough
Your love's a drug
Your love's a drug
Your love's a drug


WHY SO SERIOUS?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ten Essential Film Performances of the 2000's

In no particular order, here are the most essential film performances of the past decade (NOT necessarily the best, just the ones that defined to decade for me).

Casey Affleck
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
For taking his in-bred awkwardness and making it work for the character. For working in a homoerotic subtext into this butch, Western biopic. For that post-Jesse epilogue, a tragic figure on the fall.


Dame Judi Dench
Notes on a Scandal
For continuing to surprise us and, even at 75, challenge herself. For playing into the film's camp aesthetic but never descending into hopeless theatrics. For scaring the shit out of me.


Anne Hathaway
Rachel Getting Married
For producing the decade's definitive "star is born" performance. For working her way up the old fashioned way and gaining valuable experience at every pit stop. For taking a stock character and performing it in such a way that it completely becomes her own.


Nicole Kidman
Dogville
For taking her auteur lust to a whole new level. For braving a role which relies solely on her face and body language. For proving time and time again that she's the bravest actress of our time.


Heath Ledger
Brokeback Mountain
For taking a mumbling, impenetrable, almost unlikable character and turning him into the unlikeliest romantic hero in ages. For his emotional breakdown after an entire film of emotional stoicism.


Julianne Moore
The Hours
For pushing her minimalistic acting to its breaking point. For her wonderfully warm and expressive face. For being the best in show with a movie featuring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Toni Collette.


Julia Roberts
Erin Brockovich
For combining her decade-in-the-making star persona and natural charisma with a new found dramatic flair. For ditching her vanity and dropping some f-bombs. For her comedic timing on lines like, "That's all you've got: two left feet and fucking ugly shoes."


Uma Thurman
Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2
For providing the decade's one true iconic character. For trusting in Tarantino and his blood hungry vision. For having fun slicing limbs off the Crazy 88's.


Ashley Tisdale
The High School Musical Trilogy
For unleashing a comedic firestorm unlike anything Disney has ever seen. For proving that "Disney" isn't always synonymous with bad acting. For creating a tween character "type." For adding humanity to a one-note character.


Catherine Zeta-Jones
Chicago
For turning on the charisma full throttle. For matching the film's high-kicking, electric energy. For rocking a Louise Brooks bob. For proving that she, yes, can do it alone.

This Song Describes My Life Perfectly Right Now

Emma Bunton, you know me so well.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Watching The Box With My Parents

As you may have ascertained from my last post, my parents are characters. They realize this and accept it; at one point, my mother literally asked me why I haven't written a movie about how weird they are and made a bunch of money off of it. Yeah, and you wonder why I am the way that I am. Anyways, my parents watch a lot of movies (only because my mom, an eternal cheapskate, gets free rentals from her work) and they always have strong opinions about them: "Stupid! Overrated! What the hell? I don't get it! Artsy fartsy crap!" If you think I'm a tough grader, they are incredibly hard to please. And when they do like a movie, it's always something incredibly embarrassing like Daddy Day Care. Needless to say, when I lived at home, we always disagreed on the movies we watched together, which always ended up with colorful discussions like the ones I mentioned with Children of Men and Kill Bill Volume 1.

When I went home last week, my mother mentioned that she had rented The Box and, sensing a strong opinion from them, I was immediately filled with glee. Having already seen it back in October, I knew my parents would absolutely HATE it with a passion (maybe not as much as they hate The Piano--a film they still talk about nearly 20 years later--but close) so I was excited for their imminent end-of-movie rant. As the film progressed, they sat back in their chairs, intrigued by the mystery and trying to guess the giant "twist" they knew was coming. I wish I had written the guesses down, but the craziest one I remember came courtesy of my mother: "They must be aliens!" I just sat there, laughing to myself, while my mother kept asking, "Are we even on the right track?" No, mother, not even close. So when the big "reveal" came around, just as I thought, they were pissed. A two minute tirade filled with quips like "So stupid," "Crap," and "I just wasted two hours of my life on this?!" followed but the most interesting comment/question came from my dad: "Why did you want to see this movie again?!" I agree that the ending doesn't work and, for better or worse, the film is a complete mess. But there's no denying that The Box is a fascinating failure. It's not even close to a good movie, and it's not for everyone, but, honestly, I could watch it again while never seeing The Hurt Locker ever again. The Box C+, My Parents' Reaction A++++

Another reason to want to see The Box again?

James Marsden soaking wet.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Quick Reader Survey

Hey readers! I just want to check in and see how everyone is doing out there. After my dry spell there for a week or so (to be fair, Spring Break got in the way and I was off having too much fun), I'm trying to come up with some new ideas for the blog. While I'm at it, though, I decided to put it to you to see what you wanted me to talk about. Rants of a Diva will always be my forum for talking about whatever the fuck I want, large audience be damned, but it's always nice to have input from my loyal readers (and friends in some/most circumstances). So, is there anything you would like to hear more about from me? A subject I haven't talked about in ages but you really enjoy, maybe? Any former series' you would like to see return? A topic you're just dying to see get covered? And, finally, is there anything on the blog you never want to see again? Feel free to get anything off your chest in the comments. I can take the criticism! Mama's here to listen.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Films of the 2000's: #20-1

Previous installments: #60-41 #40-21


20. Bamboozled (2000)
Director: Spike Lee
Starring: Damon Wayans, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mos Def

Some people are put off by Spike Lee going off the rails (especially during the ending) with this dead-on satire of race and American television. I can see where those people are coming from, but I have to say Bamboozled's tendency to veer towards the erratic is more interesting than something technically perfect like 25th Hour which lacks a certain something special. Lee's ballsiness to tackle the painful history of blackface and minstrel shows and then turn it into a modern day critique on the connection between racism and social fads is something we should cherish and celebrate.

19. City of God (2003)
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Starring: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino

A fascination with all things Meirelles was quickly born the day I saw City of God for the first time. His mix of realism, documentary-style aesthetics and a preference for rich, complex narratives are the perfect match for my usual taste in movies.

18. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Director: Andrew Dominik
Starring: Casey Affleck, Brad Pitt, Sam Rockwell, Mary Louise Parker

A visually stunning, nearly three hour Western about the final years of outlaw Jesse James and his relationship with eventual murderer Robert Ford doesn't sound like something I would usually enjoy. But, lo and behold, this movie cast a spell over me, entrancing me from the opening image to the final frame. Brad Pitt is, if nothing, solid and steady as a Jesse James struggling with getting older and keeping his place in the world. Casey Affleck, however, is the one who really makes the film, using his in-bred awkwardness and uneasy speaking voice as the vital starting off point for his characterization of Robert Ford as a love struck young man hoping to get in good with Jesse and eventually become him. Without a doubt, it's the best performance of the entire decade.

17. Dogville (2004)
Director: Lars von Trier
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Patricia Clarkson, Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall

Lars von Trier's uncompromising and scathing attack against everything American, complete with no sets and a bare minimum amount of props, really shouldn't be as interesting or captivating as it ultimately is. Seeing Nicole Kidman's (in what is far and away her best performance) eventual fall from charity case to town slave is a harrowing experience. Only good ole Lars, the sadistic bastard he is, would be ballsy enough to make a movie about it.

16. Hairspray (2007)
Director: Adam Shankman
Starring: Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Marsden

"Again, again!" my friend and I shouted at the projectionist during the ending credits of Adam Shankman's adaptation of the Broadway phenomenon both times we saw it in theatres together. I don't know how Shankman does it, but he has somehow crafted a film so infectious, so bubbly, so bright that you can't help but want to watch it over and over again. I still think screenwriter Leslie Dixon is the uncredited hero of the film, perfectly adapting the tricky Broadway staging to suit the needs of the film medium. With so many other musicals this decade slavishly devoted to original Broadway casts, staging and directing, Hairspray is refreshing in the respect that it has fun reveling in the fact that it's a movie rather than stuck on the stage. Bonus points for Nikki Blonsky, one of the best acting finds of the decade, and for providing me the perfect vehicle to start my lusting for both James Marsden (I could use a stiff one, Corny!) and Zac Efron (you are also the fella's choice).

15. Mysterious Skin (2005)
Director: Gregg Araki
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brady Corbett, Michelle Trachtenberg

Sexual abuse affects the lives of two Midwest teens in two drastically different yet equally destructive ways: one (Gordon-Levitt) becomes a gay hustler Gus Van Sant would lust over while the other (Corbett) becomes obsessed with UFOs. Raw and uncompromising, Araki's film makes the sexual abuse of children never less than horrifying, yet never comes close to the point of exploitation. Completely shocking and disgusting but never distasteful: now there's a combo you don't see every day.

14. Notes on a Scandal (2006)
Director: Richard Eyre
Starring: Dame Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett, Bill Nighy

One of the most intelligently made camp films ever made. Screenwriter Patrick Marber crafts an unique thriller out of the story of one lonely spinster becoming obsessed with her female co-worker. Dame Judi Dench, always a treat even in movies as middling as Chocolat and Mrs. Henderson Presents, really challenges herself here, focusing on the damaged, lonely woman underneath the twisted villain.

13. Ocean's 11 (2001)
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts

Ocean's 11, with its slick production, all-star cast and obvious intentions of being a big popcorn hit, is not normally something I would particularly enjoy. Soderbergh, however, captures something very rare in the movies: coolness. Clooney and Pitt, decked out in stylish Italian suits and radiating old-school movie star charisma, lead their rag tag collection of criminals to pull the perfect casino heist with just the right amount of wit, sexiness and suspense.

12. Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Director: Jonathan Demme
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Bill Irwin, Debra Winger

A recovering addict returns home to her dysfunctional family for her sister's upcoming wedding. Sounds familiar, right? In Rachel Getting Married, all notions of familiarity are thrown out the window. Channeling Robert Altman rather than your typical familial drama, Demme spends almost uncomfortable amounts of time on scenes like the rehearsal dinner, getting to core what makes this family tick. The acting is top notch all-around, but the revelation is truly Anne Hathaway, proving that after steadily working her way up through Havoc, and Brokeback Mountain and The Devil Wears Prada, her moment as an actor has truly arrived.

11. Atonement (2007)
Director: Joe Wright
Starring: James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Romola Garai, Saoirse Ronan

If I hadn't cried like a little girl during Up, Atonement would have taken the title as the film that left me the biggest emotional wreck. My friends and I literally sat in the theatre for a couple minutes after the movie ended, not saying anything, trying to compose ourselves enough to talk about the movie. I still get a little upset thinking about the horrible situation James and Keira's characters had to endure for the sake of love. And it's surprising how random shots like Keira staring off in the distance after emerging in her green dress or the shot of her spread eagle in the library getting fucked by McAvoy stick in my head a couple of years after last seeing it.


10. Mean Girls (2004)
Director: Mark Waters
Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey, Amanda Seyfried

The most quotable movie of the decade. Don't believe me? "Oh my God Karen, you can't just ask people why they're white!" "I'm sorry I called you a gap-toothed bitch. It's not your fault you're so gap-toothed." "Oh my God! Danny DeVito, I love your work!" And those are just the ones off the top of my head. Tina Fey is the auteur at work here, crafting a teen film that, instead of avoiding clichés altogether, incorporates them and openly mocks their ridiculousness. It may sound ridiculous to the non-believers, but I think that Fey's screenplay is so perfect it belongs in a Holy Trinity with All About Eve and Network as the best screenplays ever written.

9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Director: Michel Gondry
Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Kirsten Dunst

The fact that Eternal Sunshine has become one of those movies that hipsters claim as their favorite to try and prove they like edgy cinema should not distract from how amazingly original this film truly is. I can truly say I've never seen another film that discusses the journey of a relationship in such a heartbreaking yet funny and honest way. This is the one Kate Winslet performance I can get behind whole-heartedly and without any hesitation. And whenever I see Jim Carrey re-hashing his same tired schitck movie after movie, it makes me sad that he's practically given up, given how incredible he is here.

8. Children of Men (2006)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Starring: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine

I first saw Children of Men with my parents and brother. My mother was offended by all the swearing (Yeah, I don't know either. I seriously should start writing down my mother's opinions on movies) and tuned out early on. My brother was ambivalent, not really saying much either way. When I said that I really liked it, my father looked at me like I had just told him I voted for George Bush. Like most folks, the massive, intricately choreographed long takes were what sucked me in. Never before (or after) had I seen a film use a long take quite as skillfully as Cuarón and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki do here. They're the sick, twisted heart that makes this apocalyptic thriller all the more chilling and grave.

7. A Christmas Tale (2008)
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Anne Consigny, Mathieu Almaric, Chiara Mastroianni

Another familial drama, this time done by Arnaud Desplechin, the French master of complicated, complex emotions and relationships. I remember watching this movie, not expecting much and then totally being gobsmacked by A Christmas Tale. The family is so intricate, and Desplechin overstuffs the film with so much, the film feels more like a 500 page novel. But A Christmas Tale is smart because, like a good novel, it leaves you wanting more, never fully answering any question it brings up. This film was over two and a half hours long, and I felt like I could have watched them for five (and then hope and pray for a sequel of some sorts). And that cast! What a fantastic collection of the best French actors around (and what a perfect role for living legend Catherine Deneuve).

6. The Departed (2006)
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

One word, and one word only, defines The Departed: badass. Everything about this movie--from the acting, the characters, the story and the filmmaking--can be summed up using that word. I was on such an adrenaline high after watching this movie on Valentine's Day 2007 (see what a romantic I am?) I wanted to gun some motherfuckers down like Leo and Mark.

5. Chicago (2002)
Director: Rob Marshall
Starring: Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah

The musical is back! Moulin Rouge! may have kickstarted the film musical trend that punctuated the decade but it was Chicago, for me anyways, the one that defined it. Rob Marshall's recent failures may have somewhat diminished the fierce originality of this adaptation of the Kander & Ebb Broadway classic. The frantic editing may have given some people a headache, but it perfectly suited Marshall's overall vision of completely divorcing the film from any previous memories of the stage show. Catherine Zeta-Jones, aided by a sharp comedic timing and general fierceness sorely missing from any performance of hers before or since, completely stole the show in what is perhaps the best Oscar win of the decade.

4. Erin Brockovich (2000)
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart

Every time this movie comes on, whether a friend is watching on DVD or it's on TV, no matter if I had just seen it five hours beforehand, I have to sit down and watch it again and again. Julia Roberts, in a perfect synthesis of her movie star persona and a newfound emotional depth and maturity, has never been as radiant and mesmerizing on-screen as she is here. Erin Brockovich mines new depth and even comedy from the tired "one woman fighting the system" clichés that many directors and writers would have pounded into the ground.

3. Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003)
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox

I watched this movie with my family and, of course, they all hated it. I, on the other hand, positively adored everything about it. My mother didn't understand, asking me something to the effect of, "How could you, of all people, like this? You hate violent, bloody movies!" And she was right. Up until that point, I was a big girl who cringed whenever blood came on the screen. With Kill Bill Volume 1 and its cartoonish, fake fountains of blood, I silently cheered to myself every time The Bride sliced off the arm or torso of one of the Crazy 88's. In a strange way, Kill Bill Volume 1 became a sort of milestone in my film watching, a separator between my old sensibilities about what qualified as "good" filmmaking and my newfound appreciation for films that fascinated me beyond a great story and acting. Quentin, Uma, Lucy (even Go-Go!) opened my eyes to whole new possibilities of great filmmaking and for that I'm eternally grateful.

2. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Director: Ang Lee
Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway

When Milk came out last year amid all of the Prop 8 controversy, I was happy to see many of the younger gays cheer on and become so attached to the film's ideas about equality and good ole fashioned gayness. I liked that film well enough, but I couldn't really get into it because I already had my defining movie: Brokeback Mountain. Yes, as odd as it may sound, a film about two emotionally distant cowboys in love with each other, kept apart by an oppressive society and their own repressed emotions somehow made me more accepting and confident with my own budding homosexuality. The film's incredible pop culture power--both in this country and within my group of friends ("That's so Brokeback!" became our expression of choice for gay-related moments and subjects and my friend had a cowboy looking outfit that I affectionately called her "Brokeback outfit)--was unlike anything I had ever seen and made it possible for me to experience this movie with friends and family who never would have cared in a million years if it had been stuck in the "gay ghetto." For better or worse, Ennis & Jack, their forbidden love, the shirts in the closet, Alma's crying face and Lureen's breasts have all become a part of me.

1. Bowling for Columbine (2002)
Director: Michael Moore

Any political mindedness (which, admittedly, isn't very much) I gained during the 2000's can be attributed solely to Michael Moore and the impact Bowling for Columbine had on my burgeoning 14 year old mind. I had never seen anything like it: a documentary that manages to be both hilariously entertaining and cleverly insightful, a film that connects our insanely violent culture to lax attitudes about gun control and a history of using force to get what we want, a filmmaker who takes the auteur theory to drastic lengths, inserting himself and his one-sided attack quite literally into the documentary. After the film ended, I was pissed; not at the film, but, rather, at how fucked up this country was. At 14, I had never stopped to consider any of what Bowling for Columbine was telling me to think about and take action against. When I finally did, I was shocked at what I discovered. By golly, 95% of the people in my high school were ignorant hicks who worshiped Bush like he was a fucking prophet or something. I had no idea and, at that moment, realized that the small rinky-dink town I lived in was not some place I wanted to stay in. Also, for a brief time, my adoration of Michael Moore and this film led to me seriously considering taking up film in college so I could make documentaries like him. Obviously, that didn't work out, but I still admire Moore in ways I don't with many other modern directors. He may come across as smug, overbearing and obnoxious to some, but I love the fact that he's so passionate about what he's saying in his films, he'll go to any length to get his point across in the way that makes the biggest impact. If that means pushing the very definition of a documentary to the breaking point by mixing in traditional narrative devices, then so be it. Bowling for Columbine does not apologize for the hybrid that it is. Funny, thought-provoking, rebellious, bull-headed, style-bending: this film, my favorite of the entire decade, brought that and more.