Monday, February 28, 2011
1. The Fashion - First things first - right? I can't really say there were any huge misses on the red carpet last night - unless you include Mark Ruffalo's wife. Seriously, wtf was that gold peak--boo boob with the black draped should pad? It was really awful. I give the best dress honor to Mila Kunis (yet again) - the dress was beautiful, sexy and a little bit of a risk (it also reminded me of something Halle Berry would wear). I also thought Mandy Moore looked fantastic - her dress was a perfect illusion of body sparkle and she looked like a princess but she also looked too similar to Hailee Steinfeld. Cate Blanchett's dress was just weird - a little too weird for the Oscars, yet I appreciate the fashion risk and Cate is just one of those lucky women who can literally make anything look fantastic. I would say the worst dressed weren't even that bad - just all off in a way. Jennifer Hudson was too sexy, Gwyneth Paltrow was too futuristic (and I don't dig the pointy boob look), Reese Witherspoon was too Oscar Barbie (I'm pretty sure I had that Barbie with that exact dress and high ponytail. And yes, she also was too reminiscent of Julia's dress), Marissa Tomei was too unflattering and too much tulle and Nicole Kidman was too overwhelmed with details.
2. The Hosts - This is the first year since I can remember that I was not excited for the Oscars for 3 reasons: Anne Hathaway & James Franco as hosts, 2010 was a crappy year for film and the winners seemed predictable (more on that next). Soo, Anne and James....really? I need my awards shows to be funny and move quickly. I had a huge feeling they would fail and in all honesty they did, however they both gave it 100% so I don't think they can be blamed. They should have never been put in this position to begin with. The big opening was cute - but to be blunt - completely forgettable. They have this awkward chemistry that works (she is peppy and full of energy while he looks like he is falling asleep) but got old pretty quickly. James Franco is a very talented actor (he always works the perfect amount of cheese on GH) but in real life he always reminds me of his Freaks and Geeks character - he has this I don't give a f*** because I have something better to do presence. I actually find this to be hilarious but not for the Oscars. The weird thing was that I think he actually appreciated what he was doing and tried his absolute best (he constantly tweeted pics from the night - which proves that he actually cared). I will say that I appreciate only 1 Charlie Sheen joke made a presence (and it was mildly entertaining - if only to see James in a Marilyn Monroe dress). Franco's best moment was calling out the kids film How to Train Your Dragon for being inappropriately titled. I remember watching the trailer last year and thinking it was a joke - I am glad James and I both have dirty minds. Anne Hathaway is also very talented - but I can see why people find her "grating". She seemed to try a bit too hard and desperately seek approval from the audience. She kept holding her stomach -which is a sure sign that she was letting her nerves get the best of her. Her best moment was singing "On My Own" and changing the lyrics to "a Hugh jack-ass". She sounded fantastic and made me anticipate her appearance on Glee.
3. The Winners - This was the most predictable Oscars ever!! Which is why I was not excited about it. Seriously, did anyone bet against Christian Bale? Or Colin Firth? I predicted 17 out of 24 of the awards which is my best since 1998 when I pretty much just guessed that Titanic would win everything (speaking of - I loved the reference to Titanic in the beginning...I might have to watch that again. Soon.). The ones that I got wrong were actually surprising to me - I thought for sure that Fincher would win, Exit Through the Gift Shop and Biutiful would win Documentary and Foreign language respectively. I also got both Live Action Short and Animated Short wrong (but I literally just guessed - I usually find a way to see these films but since my interest in films this past year has diminished I completely forgot). So, needless to say the show was so boring because the winners were already pre-determined. It was also boring because the winners had nothing interesting to say. Melissa Leo's speech actually made me hate her - she seemed disingenuous and just plain annoying. Dropping the f-bomb doesn't make you cool it makes you disrespectful - this isn't the MTV movie awards! Other winners were mildly amusing - I liked the guy who won for Live Action Short commenting that "I should have gotten a hair cut" along with the guy who won for Art Direction saying " Why didn't I lose those 20 pounds?". It's good to know that the guys were just as insecure on that stage as I would be. The best speech belonged to the ever lovable Colin Firth who opened his speech with "I have a feeling my career just peaked". However, I would have died if he actually busted a move like he was teasing us with. That would have just made the entire show worth watching.
4. The Presenters - Based on some of the presenters I give the Academy a few choices for next years hosting challenge: 1. Justin Timberlake. His "I'm Banksy" was hilarious as was his impromptu mimicking of Kirk Douglas - proving that he can improvise just as good as any comedian (and why oh why can he not be with someone as hot and talented as Mila Kunis in real life?). 2. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law - Their playful banter was actually pretty funny as was their chemistry together. Plus- I love Jude Law. Let me repeat that...I love Jude Law. 3. Sandra Bullock - Actress. Comedian. Greatest human being on the planet. She has grace, humility and every one's hearts. She would make a perfect host.
5. The Show - The only other aspect of the show to talk about were the performances - which were pretty bland. It was weird seeing Chuck sing at the Oscars (as well as Mandy Moore). They sounded o.k - but the song was kinda boring. Gwyneth is becoming a bit over played - she has been EVERYWHERE this year. Again - she sounded o.k but nothing special. The best performance was Celine Dion singing "Smile" which was a perfect song for the In Memoriam, but I would have preferred for her to belt out "My Heart Will Go On" just to deepen my nostalgia for Titanic. I also enjoyed a few other things - During the pre-show I was happy to see Gulianna forced in the sky box - far away from the action. Smart thinking E!. I smiled when Michelle Williams showed up hand in hand with Busy Phillips (I would totally show up at the Oscars with my BFF). I find Jesse Eisenberg's awkwardness completely fascinating - he is like the male Kristen Stewart. And finally speaking of Kristen - the best Twilight reference ever was the auto-tuned montage that ended with the "he doesn't own a shirt" song. That was hilarious.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Here are the reasons I needed to see it -
1. I loved 'Disturbia' - I give most of the credit to it's director - D.J Caruso. It was a mediocre, predictable neighbor-is-a-serial-killer plot featuring a typical sarcastic, tech savy, fast-talking high school kid who crushes on the super hot girl next door. Yet, combined with the charismatic charm of Shia LaBeouf, Caruso created a film that was so engaging, fun and watchable. Over and over again (I can probably recite every word). I saw 'Eagle Eye' with much anticipation and was slightly disappointed but I shrugged it off as one of those films that was just too complicated for its own good. I thought with this film - Caruso would be back in his element...making high school kids interesting.
2. I needed to prove to myself that Dianna Agron can't act - I sometimes feel bad for ripping the poor girl to shreds on her seemingly phoned in performance on Glee ever week. I often cite her as the weakest link on the show. She never shows any real emotion, she very rarely can carry a note and compared to every other girl on the show her character is just plain blah. If you don't believe me just re-watch her performance of 'It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World' from season 1. This was a perfect song for her to shine in - it was meant to be angry and powerful yet she failed miserably and the song was luke warm - tepid even. I always like to give people the benefit of the doubt - so sometimes I tell myself that perhaps that is the way she is directed to portray Quinn and maybe I shouldn't be so harsh. I needed to see her in something else so that I can keep bashing her acting.
3. Alex who? - There is much hype surrounding the hot, young star of the film - Alex Pettyfer. With the help of Caruso - I was hoping for the next Shia LaBeouf (who has been such a disappointment lately - I am over the Transformers films and he seems like a complete dick in real life).
And here is why it ended up being a huge disappointment -
1. It is nothing like 'Disturbia' - obviously, seeing as the plot is not even close - Yet I think the film was trying to replicate the same tone and it failed miserably. I actually think the plot was probably the only thing it had going for it. I love sci-fi, I love action and I love teen angst so the film had it been done well would have been a hit in my mind. Plus it has the potential for sequels and not the usual let's put something together quickly so we stay relevant sequels this one could potentially be about a completely different character like the super hot #6 that we were introduced to in this film - they could be films that form a series but stand on their own. How did it go so wrong? It wasn't amusing (I think I laughed once), I didn't invest in any relationship with any of the characters (who were all extremely boring with cliched personality traits) and don't even get me started on the dialogue (cheese central). Plus, while Disturbia had a modern take on Rear Window by focusing on how new technology was effecting our world - creating voyeurs, building relationships etc - this film was basically just one big ad for the iphone.
2. I was right - I wouldn't say Dianna's performance is awful....she certainly isn't the worst actress I've seen in this type of film. However, she isn't good either. She didn't exactly stray from her comfort zone (small town girl who goes from popular cheerleader and the QB's girlfriend to a girl turning to art in order to "find herself"). I have high standards for acting - mostly because I have a lot of respect for acting - I actually think it is something that is extremely hard to do well. I don't think acting is just showing up and memorizing your lines - you actually have to embody a different person. For Dianna to play 2 characters so similarly that they are practically inter-changeable is proof that she is not a great actress. I honestly think I could do what she did (maybe even better) and I would consider myself to be a horrible actress. So now I feel better about bashing her on Glee and will continue to do it unless I see some actual effort from her. She doesn't deserve to be a part of such a phenomenon when every other actor on that show deserves accolades for their talent (although only a few are actual triple threats - I feel that they all bring something incredible to the table).
3. Alex who? - I don't see it. The thing that made Shia so great is - (to be blunt)...he is not exactly hot. Not in any traditional sense. Yet, his on-screen personality (in every film he has been in) is just so lovable and real. You can't help but fall in love with him or at the very least relate to him. Alex doesn't have even 10% of Shia's charm - he may have more of the "traditional" hot guy appearance and the sexy accent...but that is only going to get you so far. He just didn't sell his character - I could care less about his past, future or even his present and if they didn't explain to us that his "kind" falls in love with one woman and it is for eternity then his relationship with Dianna's character would have been a complete disaster. He had more chemistry with #6 than with the love of his life, mostly because Teresa Palmer was the only actor in the film with any stage presence - which I am not convinced this chemistry was supposed to happen (unless he is becoming more human - i.e flawed and polygamous). Teresa rocked the screen and made the last 1/2 hour of the film actually enjoyable. Alex however, will disappear from my memory faster than the trailer for his next venture Beastly.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
1. Silly Little Love Songs -
The Couples -
- Finn/Quinn– so, I thought I could be on board with them as a couple – but so far, not so good. I don’t think Finn should be the one pursuing – instead Quinn should be and she should be begging for forgiveness. When they are in the auditorium, Quinn refers to her past cheating ways (and current cheating ways…) which should be a big sign for Finn to run the other way. However, the fact that she cheated never bothered me (it’s a t.v show about high school kids – everyone is going to cheat) – it bothered me that she told him he was her baby daddy (although that can also be blamed on his own stupidity…), forced him to get a job to pay for doctor bills, had his mother take her in when her parents kicked her out AND the whole time she treated him like garbage. That is what she needs to make amends for. Otherwise, their relationship does not work for me.
- Kurt/Blaine- oh how adorable can you guys be? Really? I can’t stand it anymore. Not officially a couple yet – but that is the way they are headed and I approve. It was obvious that Kurt was not the object of Blaine's crush from the beginning, but I liked how they handled it. Now they can get together, then both transfer to McKinley. ASAP.
- Puck/Lauren – I looove it! Puck is the biggest douche and I think it is about time someone put him in his place. It is also about time that Puck learns that treating women like garbage is only going to get you trash (like Santana). They actually have great chemistry together (romantic and comedic). I loved every scene with them – especially the 7 minutes in heaven scene where Lauren tells him “you’re really not good at this – and you’re kinda scrawny”. I love that Lauren stood him up (although he just proves his douchiness by making out with a married woman while he waits for her). Puck serenading her with "Fat Bottom Girls" was perfect (slightly offensive? Maybe – but let’s be real, Lauren is a big girl). Can someone please tell me what Finn was doing in this scene? He was hilarious in the background – waving his arms in the air (and totally not in sync with the music as usual...).
The Rise of Rachel – I miss season 1 Rachel. I am hoping that her current single status will stay for a little while so she can focus on being “a star”. Ultimately, I think Finn and Rachel are endgame – but I think some time apart will likely do them both some good. When she is with Finn, I see a different person – someone who is insecure and clingy. Alone, she is confident and ambitious. I love that no matter how dumb Finn is, he sees this. As he tells her “lets face it Rachel – you’re better than everyone at this school. You don’t need me or any other guy anchoring you to Lima. You’re a real star and you need to shine.” Preach it Finn. I am always bothered by the fact that Quinn is supposed to be more beautiful (more popular, I understand) – she is rather plain looking in my opinion (still beautiful compared to like normal people…but just overall not that interesting looking). Rachel saying how great it felt when Finn “chose her over Quinn” proves how delusional Rachel is about their relationship – because it never happened. Finn actually always chose Quinn until Quinn hurt and embarrassed him. Then he was free to see Rachel. Finn has admitted that he will always love Quinn, so I don’t know why people are so shocked he would consider getting back with her. The best thing Rachel can do right now is focus on herself and her talent, become that girl again that Finn fell for in the beginning.
The fall of Santana – Hilarious. I love Santana – always will. She does “keep it real” and she is often a genius. The Glee club calling her out for being a bitch was a hilarious scene – and I love that Rachel actually got to defend herself. After she is broken by the Glee kids, Santana buys herself a necklace “I went to Jarrod” – and told Puck she was ready to change- which was hilariously interrupted by a beat down of gigantic proportions by Lauren. I was dying watching Santana getting whipped into the lockers and dragged across the floor. I am not usually a promoter of violence – but Santana kinda had it coming. People like her, the kind that constantly tear others down, are usually really insecure – so it was nice to see Santana break down. Luckily, that didn’t last long – she decides revenge is her best option. She rocks a candy stripper uniform (yes I purposely spelled it "stripper") and purposely gets mono (of course she is immune to it from having it so many times) – then kisses Finn, who kisses Quinn and both end up in the nurses office (totally realistic….). Now she has her eyes on Sam – RUN SAM! RUN AWAY!! Actually run so far that we never see you again – your character sucks.
The Highlights – The voice over is back!!!! We got an inner monologue from Puck, Santana and Finn – It was all amazing. Finn’s new found confidence is hilarious (loving the finger guns). Yes, he is a bit of a douche but let’s remember he is a teenage boy who just became the “hero” of the school – of course he would be a bit cocky. His kissing booth was a bit ridiculous – but also super adorable as was Becky calling him “Finny bear” (although I prefer Santana's coined term “Finnocence”). I enjoy Santana, Quinn and Brittany in real clothes. Perhaps now they can become more relatable? I loved the "PYT" performed by Artie (with Mike dancing beside him – but isn’t it weird that they are suddenly friends?). Rachel singing "Firework" was a surprising highlight, I hate the song (as I hate most Katy Perry songs) but Rachel killed it (and sounded sooo much better than Katy). Kurt, Rachel & Mercedes sleep-over was super cute – I enjoy the 3 of them being friends. There were also plenty of outstanding quotes:
I’m walking taller, carrying a bigger stick and using it to fight off the ladies – Finn
Maybe you’re right – maybe I am destined to play the title role in the Broadway musical version of ‘Willow’ – but the only job you’re going to have is working on a pole. – Rachel to Santana (oh snap!)
That’s my man and his legs don’t work – Brittany.
Can I be honest? Just with the hair…I think they do. – Kurt to Gap kid after the Gap kid says that no one at his work knows he is gay.
Whatever – I’ll just marry an NFL player. They’re super reliable. - Santana
The Lowlights – Tina singing "My Funny Valentine" – or should I say sobbing through it? I didn’t really understand it – it was just weird, awkward and uncomfortable (and more importantly – not funny). The two songs by the Warblers were kinda boring (although I loved them taking over The Gap). The lack of adults (no Sue, no Emma and very little Will and Beiste, although her flinging Santana over her shoulder was a highlight). Dianna Agron – I thought it was funny when she had mono because she didn’t sound any different – she ALWAYS sounds like she has a cold and her acting is always the worst on the show but this episode was definitely her weakest. She seemed like she was reading off of cue cards.
2. Comeback –
The Blond Bieber– I think this episode’s goal was to gain an audience for the ever boring Sam, but I think it failed miserably. I never actually thought he cared for Quinn so I could care less that she cheated on him (my theory is proven by the fact he is with Santana so quickly). Him singing “Baby” was slightly adorable – but not very impressive (and is anyone really convinced that this song qualifies as an anthem or that it is “hugely emotional and sums up a generation”??!!) . However, his dance moves are definitely lacking as is his charisma. In the end he is still boring and dumb and pointless. Finn’s look of disgust was pretty much the highlight of the whole Bieber shtick. The other three joining in on Sam’s “band” ‘The Bieber experience’ was only funny because of Pucks hair. The second Bieber performance(I have no idea what that song was called and I don’t care) was painful to watch – especially with the girls all giggling and screaming like psycho fan girls. And for the record the boy band “Acafella’s” totally kicks "The Justin Bieber Experience’s" ass. I did love all of the digs about Sam’s huge mouth (“your mouth to face ratio is way off”). Sue saying “Let her speak” referring to Sam was also priceless.
Sue-icidal Sue – It makes sense that Sue falls into a crippling depression after her turn into loser-ville. I love that sue is totally psychotic, but I always hate when they show her physically shoving kids into their lockers. It always makes me cringe. Will states that she might be dangerous – um duh, so she joins the Glee club to cheer herself up. The whole bit was completely contrived but it did gives us some funny stuff. The few times that I actually laughed were scenes involving Sue – like how she can stop her own heart from her CIA training. I enjoyed her belting out “Sing” and jumping around with the Glee club (but why were they all in those red plaid flannel outfits? I didn’t get it- they looked ridiculous it was just distracting but I actually really liked their performance).
The Highlights – Was there any? Um….oh yah – the cast in their underwear. Finn’s Power Rangers T-shirt made me giggle as did Sue’s dominatrix outfit. I enjoy Finn as a douche bag only because Cory is so good at it – that expression he gives Sam after he says “she saved my life” was perfectly evil. And woohoo Emma’s pamphlets made an appearance “I’m too depressed to even open this pamphlet” - oh how I missed those! I am a huuuugee "Rent" fan so I was happy that they finally did a number from my favorite musical. "Take Me or Leave Me" was a perfect song for a diva-off and both Lea & Amber nailed the song. The promo for next week was also a highlight (not sure that counts but whatevs) – I can’t wait for the kids to get wasted.
The Lowlights – Pretty much most of the episode. I think this could possibly be my least favorite episode of Glee ever (it is definitely my least favorite of the season). I could totally deal with the whole “bieber” crap if the episode was solid, but instead it was pretty boring. Lauren ruined one of my favorite songs. I always appreciate when they cover a completely inappropriate song (complete with dance moves) but Lauren sounded awful and her dancing was not sexy (I did enjoy her flinging Brittany and Tina to the ground). The sub-plot of Rachel trying for a comeback was lame (and arm warmers were around since the 80’s so I am not really sure how Brittany started a trend with that one). Quinn is getting more annoying by the second. Make a decision and stick with it at least for one episode – it was very much similar to last season’s episode where she was going back and forth between Puck and Finn and literally changed her mind like 6 times in one episode. In the end it becomes so annoying that I stop caring who she chooses. I also, really, really miss Kurt.
3. Blame It On the Alcohol -
The Rachel Berry House Party Train Wreck Extravaganza – Finally a house party! In high school I pretty much lived for them – so while I am sure people are upset that the episode highlights underage drinking, it is totally realistic and a valid topic for Glee to address. Sure the episode was a little contrived – having it be “alcohol awareness week” at school the same week the Glee kids decide to get wasted is obviously conveniently timed. But honestly who cares? The house party was one big awesome spectacle of ridiculousness. First things first – Rachel’s dress. Probably the greatest outfit she has ever worn - It is seriously a highlight of my life. Her explaining the rules and giving out wine cooler tickets was hilarious (and sooo Rachel – I am glad she is officially back in my life). When Puck convinces her to break in to her dad’s alcohol cabinet things get hilarious. There was so much going on – I don’t know where to begin so I will start with Finn (who will forever be my favorite character even when he is a douche). I usually don’t like when the lines between actor & character get blurred (like when they suddenly made Rachel a vegan – like Lea. I am still to this day aggravated by it – she made Will VEAL for pete’s sake. A vegan would never do that), however I like that Finn didn’t drink in this episode (FYI - Cory doesn’t drink anymore – the reasoning behind this drives my curiosity bone crazy. He admittedly used to be somewhat of a delinquent as a teenager plus his former co-star cited Cory as an inspiration for not drinking and claims that Cory has really important reasons. So obvi something bad happened). It could be a complete coincidence that his character was picked as the DD but I highly doubt it (the other sober character was Kurt – which also makes sense because Chris Colfer in real life is the only actor who is not 21 yet). A room where Finn is the most lucid character is obviously a fun room to be in. I loved his pointing out the “drunk girl” stereo-types. The party continued with body shots, lots of making out, dancing, spin the bottle and karaoke. The best part was watching Rachel Berry drunk – Lea really did a great job of portraying exactly what I would expect from a drunk Berry – complete with slurring, burping and laughing louder than is appropriate.
Blaine & Rachel (& Kurt) – I am all for Blaine exploring his sexuality, but not with Rachel. First, Rachel is a really shitty friend for going after Blaine. Second, Blaine is a really shitty friend for going after Rachel. The conclusion is that Kurt has really shitty friends. So, after Finn calls Rachel out for being the stereotypical "needy" drunk girl – Rachel decides to start a game of spin the bottle. The kiss between Blaine & Rachel was actually kind of funny – I love how Kurt’s reaction went from “this is outstanding” to “okay we’ve had enough of that” within seconds. Topped with Rachel saying “you’re face taste’s awesome”. I looooved it. I also enjoyed their rendition of “Don’t you want me” – finally we see Blaine sing without the Warblers and it was awesome! But then they go out for reals and rudely rub it in Kurt’s face. I question that her “relationship” with a gay man finally brings Rachel the emotion she needs to write a song. I am pretty sure she has a lot more to sing about (like being abandoned by your mother, feeling betrayed by the love of your life, getting made fun of every single day, etc..). Speaking of writing a song….the headband song was freakin epic! So was Finn’s facial expressions as he realized what the song was about. “When school girl pig tails won’t do. And I need to control my do” I was dying.
The Highlights – I really enjoyed this episode as a whole – it felt like a nice break from the usual. I was nervous it would become a little too preachy with a “kids don’t drink” message but it never really went there – instead it was more like a “kids have fun, but don’t drink on school grounds” message. I think the biggest highlight of the episode for me was Brittany. First, she gets hotter with every episode. Second, she would totally be the stereotypical drunk "stripper" girl. Third, her performance of Ke$ha (or as Figgens calls her Ke-dollarsighn-ha - a totally old joke but somehow still funny coming from Figgens) was incredible (until the end obviously). I wouldn't exactly call myself a Ke$ha fan, yet I have downloaded all of her singles and dance my ass off to them while driving to work...sooo I guess technically I am a fan. I guess it just disturbs me that my 9 year old niece says "and the party don't start til I walk in" every time she enters a room. Anyway, Brittany sounded fantastic (thanks to the auto-tuning, which is in the original as well) and her dancing was off the charts (she did a freaking split!) “Everyone drink responsibly” was perfectly delivered. I love that Figgens was dancing along and thought they were acting drunk. I love that we get to see the Glee kids outside of school and also Will as well. The friendship between Beiste and Will is growing on me (please tell me everyone else noticed her pull out an entire roll of paper towels with her lunch?) – although their visit to that honky tonk bar wasn’t my favorite (and that song….yuck. I contemplated fast-forwarding). Will drunkenly grading papers was hilarious - “I don’t even know who you are”. We finally get some honest Will and Emma interaction (it has been way too long). Did anyone else notice Emma fiddling with her wedding ring? It seemed like she wanted to take it off. Sue throwing the Aural Intensity coach down the stairs not once, but twice was funny (although I hate to admit that). We also finally get some Finn and Kurt scenes! We haven’t seen them interact since the wedding. I love that Kurt is blackmailing Finn (after seeing Finn’s browser history) – hilarious. I hate that awful song “Blame it on the Alcohol" – but I love Artie’s voice so he made it awesome – then the whole club scene dancing was super awesome as well. I am also happy that Quinn was put back in the background where she belongs – did anyone miss her? Didn’t think so.
The Lowlights – I get that Kurt was obviously hurt in this episode, but he was also super annoying and judgemental. . I was also annoyed by the fact that Kurt didn’t bring up the fact that his dad was ok when he walked in on him and Brittany making out (in an episode last season). In fact I am pretty sure he told them to use protection and then left them alone again. Soooo why is it not ok now? He did claim that Finn would not be allowed to have girls sleep over – so it wasn’t necessarily a homophobic thing, but I just hate when the writers forget past plots. Other than that - I found nothing else wrong with this episode.
Monday, February 14, 2011
1. The Fashion - We really can't discuss "best/worst" dressed at an event like this - it's really about who pulled off the best fashion risk (Florence Welch - weird but still looked pretty) and who failed miserably (Nicki Minaj - head to toe leopard print. Literally.). We saw a lot of gold (Selena Gomez - boring), a lot of sparkles (Katy Perry - complete with angel wings), a lot of black (Dianna Agron - I'm not feeling this dark look on her, Lea Michele - once again showing off her flat-chestedness. It's getting a little repetitive.) and a lot of animal print (Miley Cyrus - just ew., Amber Riley - atrocious). None of it was good fashion.
2. The Performances - Let's be honest, no one really watches the Grammy's for the handing out of awards. It is all about the performances - it is like watching one big concert. This year, most performances played it low key (no big shocks to talk about the next day). My favorite performance was probably a tie between the Aretha Franklin tribute (Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Hudson predictably killed it, while Florence was surprisingly great at a song completely out of her norm) and Eminem/Rihanna & Dr. Dre (I think it was more about the nostalgia. My entire senior year in high school was practically devoted to Slim Shady. I loved seeing him back with his mentor - Dr. Dre. I also loved Adam Levine singing along with Rihanna in the beginning - I am a sucker for an unexpected collaboration and I also love Skylar Grey's voice - she sounded amazing). Other performance highlights - Lady Gaga sounded fantastic (although her performance was surprisingly lacking), Muse definitely knows how to put on a rock show - I loved the use of the screens and the whole "revolt" was mesmerizing. Mick Jagger had a ridiculous amount of energy and I loved watching him work the crowd. The performances that I didn't care for were Miranda Lambert ( I don't know who she is and this song did not make me want to find out), Justin Bieber and Usher (I looooved when Jaden came out, but other than that the performance fell flat. Justin can't really sing and that I can deal with if he put on some awesome dance spectacular, but he didn't. He did have some awesome back up dancers though. Plus, Usher hasn't done anything out amazing for about 10 years), Katy Perry was definitely trying to prove that she deserved her Grammy nominations but the only thing she proved was that she can't sing. I would've been impressed if she successfully pulled off a performance of "Firework" - that song is hella hard to sing...trust me I try all the time. All of the other performances fell somewhere in the middle. I would just like to say what the hell was that Cee-lo performance? That was freakin' weird. And The Arcade Fire's performance was seizure inducing.
3. The Winners - Speaking of The Arcade Fire.....seriously 'Album of the Year'??!!. I am a fan, but I think that was a bit of a stretch. I would say Eminem had the best album or even Lady Gaga. Even more shocking than that was Esperanza's winning 'Best New Artist'. I honestly thought it would go to anyone else but her (I am not familiar with her work so I can't judge fairly, but I would have loved for Florence and the Machines to take that one home). I was also shocked that Lady Antebellum won so many awards (5 out of their 6 nominations). I am not a fan of country music, but sometimes I like some songs....this one I am not a fan of. It is really cheesy, twangy and not very creative. It is not the best song of the year by far.
4. The Other Stuff - um...there is really not much else to say. The performances were really the only thing the Grammy's had going for it. I enjoyed Seth Rogan taking a dig at Miley Cyrus. I laughed. Once. I also realized that I Matthew Morrison is kind of a douche. During the pre-show he talked about how the other Glee cast-mates are "jealous" of him because he is working on a solo album, while they are forced to go on tour together (he claims he has "good people" behind him). A world-wide, sure to be sold out tour - don't you feel bad for them? I'm pretty sure your album is going to be about as successful as co-star Mark Salling (sorry Mark...) - I bet they are real jealous. Ass.
5. The Egg - Of course, I can't talk about this year's Grammy's without mentioning Lady Gaga's extreme entrance. I get the whole theme of her entrance being Born this Way...but arriving in a womb was just a little ridiculous. You can call it creative, interesting etc...but don't call it genius. You know what would be genius? If she showed up with a beautiful dress, walked the red carpet and blended in with the rest of the artists. Her spectacle of an entrance just set the bar extremely high for her performance (which by most critics is seen as underwhelming) . Her performance was actually great (the vocals were outstanding, the song is....well, yes it does sound exactly like Express Yourself, but it is still fun nonetheless). She needs to strip away some of the craziness so people can see that she actually does have talent - she would get a lot more respect.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
1. It wasn't amazing - I should have known that, while most critics said great things the people that I know seemed unsure as to whether I would like it. I was told that I would probably think it was too long and boring. I didn't actually think either of these things, however I would say that the only reason that I was fully invested in the film was because of the pace of the sharp dialogue. It seemed to move really quickly and you definitely had to pay attention to every word that was said. But, if I really analyze the film - it was uneventful and lacking in character depth. Pretty much every male character can be described as a sarcastic douche bag, while the 2 important female characters can be described as bitches. I don't really see it as award worthy (aside from a screenplay nod). Black Swan was a far superior achievement in film making this year.
2. Apparently Mark Zuckerberg is one hilarious dude - I think they were attempting to make him look like a self-absorbed asshole, but I thought he was fantastically sarcastic. I loved when he stopped to double check that $18,000 & $1,000 add up to $19,000. Him and I would totally be BFF.
3. I have a new crush named Andrew Garfield - He is undeniably adorable. I have never seen him in anything before and was quite speechless when he landed the role of the Spider-man in the reboot of the films (why this reboot is even being made is still beyond me). Luckily, I sort of fell in love with him in this film - so now I am anticipating this unnecessary reboot. He was really good in this film - even though I can understand why his character was forcibly pushed out of the company (he wasn't really that productive was he?) but I still felt bad for him. I thought I would be impressed with Jesse Eisenberg or Justin Timberlake but really Andrew was the stand-out performance for me.
4. Joseph Mazzello is still acting!!??- The kid from Jurassic Park is still acting and he's all grown up? That's freakin' crazy! Did this blow anyone else's mind?
5. The origin of 'Facebook' is actually interesting - Like I said before - I don't really get it. I think it just causes people to be detached from reality, self-absorbed and socially inept. I did enjoy learning about how it all began....The whole 'facemash' thing, the connection with Harvard and the 'Winklevi' (best quote of the whole film - "I'm 6'5," 220 pounds and there are 2 of me"), the relationship with Sean Parker & Napster and that it all basically started because the guy got dumped. Completely fascinating.
Friday, February 11, 2011
1. It's Complicated - so, in short - it's not very complicated. It's rather dull, lacking any unexpected twists or memorable moments. It also has a lot of old people sex (ew - haha). I usually am a fan of Meryl Streep, but I just think she should focus on more intelligent films than this. The best part of the cast, John Krasinski and Hunter Parrish, were severely underused. John has proven that he is a movie star with films like Away We Go and Leatherheads, so this film was a step backwards in his career. I'm not sure why he would choose such a small role (perhaps he was enticed by the other actors involved) but at least his role was a significant one - as opposed to Hunter who could have easily been replaced by a card board cut-out. I think he may have had like 3 lines in the whole film. Usually playing Meryl Streeps son is a step in the right direction (think Leonardo DiCaprio in Marvin's Room. Anyone?) but this was a misstep for Hunter. Also, I never realized how annoying Alec Baldwin is - don't get me wrong I enjoy him on 30 Rock and a few essential SNL skits but I realized with this film I don't like him as a film actor.
2. The Unborn - This film was a horror movie disaster - but it did have 3 redeeming qualities that made it watchable: 1. Kids are always creepy - no matter what the circumstance - just throw in a creepy looking kid and some jolting music and you have yourself a horror film. I jumped a few times in the beginning, even when I anticipated the scary moments - so in that way the film was a success. 2. Odette Yustman & Cam Gigandet - not really household names yet (although Cam might be recognized from the first Twilight film), but they have both been on my "it" list for up and coming actors for a little while now. I first noticed Yustman in Cloverfield. Not only is she gorgeous, she also bears and uncanny resemblance to Megan Fox. I think Yustman has more of that "girl next door" thing going for her, especially since the short lived television drama October Road. I am pretty sure she will be around for a while. Cam Gigandet will always be Ryan Atwoods arch nemesis Volchok from The O.C. - and therefore my arch nemesis as well!! Unfortunately, he is also undeniably hot (both physically and career-wise) so I will have to try to forgive him for being a douche to one of my favorite t.v characters ever.
3. The fear of losing your mind - I pretty much lost interest in the film after 45 minutes (something about a twin and the holocaust??), but I did find it super unsettling when Yustman's character starts losing her marbles as she hallucinates creepy children and even creepier bugs. That would be just about the worst feeling in the world.
3. Against the Current - I was really excited about this film because I worked at Ambush Entertainment while this film was being made. I was in love with the script – it was probably my favorite project of theirs (aside from a film that was just released in limited theaters called Everyday - such a great screenplay - but it is not getting very good reviews). I saw a rough cut of Against the Current while I was there– but it was very choppy editing and I can't say that I was impressed. I did think they did a great job at casting - Joseph Fiennes, Justin Kirk and Elizabeth Reaser (aka "Jane Doe" on Grey's Anatomy). I was disappointed that the final version seems just as choppy. I don’t really feel like you understand the pain that he is in – until the graveyard scene, but that is not the case in the screenplay. It is actually a really amazing story about a man who experienced something really tragic - something that he just can't live with so he decides to swim the Hudson river (GROOOSSS) and comes to a decision about his life that his friends have a hard time dealing with. It was written really well, in that it is incredibly depressing yet it is light and entertaining with lively and complicated characters. It is a shame that they weren't able to pull that off on-screen.
4. Mammoth - I love Gael Garcia Bernal and I sometimes love Michelle Williams – I liked the synopsis of the film – it was compared to Babel about three intersecting stories. However, whoever wrote that synopsis must have been watching a different film. Absolutely nothing happened the first hour of the film. I had no idea where the film was going, what the point was and why I was wasting my time. The story was about a wealthy and successful couple (a doctor and a website creator) who don't have a lot of time for each other. They have a daughter who is basically raised by their nanny. The nanny starts teaching her daughter her own culture (Filipino) and language and is longing for her own son that still lives in the Philippines. I felt a little sorry for William's character - having her daughter grow closer to the nanny than to her while her husband is off on some "business" getaway where he bonds with a prostitute. I get the whole appreciate what you have aspect but it just wasn’t done well – nothing bad happens to the rich couple. It was almost offensive in how pointless it was if you think about it.
5. Zombieland - Emma Stone? Love. Woody Harrelson? Love. Zombie flicks? Love. So, explain to me why I didn't love this film? My theory is that it tried too hard to be ironic and self-reflexive - something that Shaun of the Dead excels at but this filmed seemed to fail miserably. It just didn't strike me as clever or memorable in any way. I enjoyed the whole "rules" on how to survive a zombie attack - like "always shoot twice". It also had some comedic moments - none that are actually memorable but I do remember laughing. I really have nothing else to say about this film - other than it was an incredible disappointment.
6. The Boys are Back - I really liked the story (although depressing), the strongly developed characters and the acting - Clive Owen is usually fantastic. However, I can't say that I enjoyed the film as a whole. It was slightly boring and forgettable when it should have some sort of impact and an emotionally stirring experience. The story was of a man whose wife passed away and now he is struggling as a single father. Even though it is obviously sad - the story had a lot of uplifting father and son moments that provided some lightness to the film. I can't quite put my finger on what went wrong, but I know that I should have felt something - anything but I didn't. I would still recommend it to anyone that likes quieter films with strong acting.
7. The Messenger - See my above review of The Boys are Back - Quiet. Strong acting. Not a lot of impact. It's a "war" film but more about soldiers than actual war. It is about the soldiers that fight their internal demons and the impact that being a soldier has on one's life. Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster play soldiers that play a different part of war - they are not the ones fighting they are the ones that are sent to comfort the loved ones of dead soldiers. Except they are not supposed to "comfort" anyone instead they are supposed to be cold and distant. This proves impossible when Samantha Morton enters the picture. The film was predictable and slow (I actually found my thoughts drifting to other things - which is never a good sign), but again - see it for the acting. Ben Foster is fantastic.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Wooofreakinhoooo! 'Glee' is back! I was a little nervous about the super-sized post super bowl episode. From the never ending promos, "exclusive" clips and spoilers - I assumed it to be one big explosion of over-the-top performances, minimal plot developments and an abundance of Brittany & Sue one liners. Instead we were treated to a fairly solid episode from beginning to end (AND of course over-the-top performances, an absurd plot and Brittany spouting one of her greatest lines yet...). Here are my thoughts:
1. The plot - o.k. There was a plot. Pfew! I was worried. The episode revolved around 2 rivalries. The first being the Glee club versus the football team. This rivalry has existed from the very first episode of Glee, but it has finally come to blows because of Karovsky's self-hatred (I thought it was weird they didn't re-cap the fact that Karovsky is in the closet for those first time viewers, in fact the show steered clear of the whole gay issue besides referring to Karovsky as a homophobe). I love in the beginning when Karvosky messes with Finn's head - leading him to think he was going to let him get tackled (which is exactly why Finn didn't want to get involved with the whole Kurt bullying issue in the first place). Will and Coach Beiste devise a plan to force the Glee club and the football team to work together so that they can actually win a championship game - and of course hilarity ensues. The second rivalry is Sue versus...well everyone really. After her plan to "top herself" by using Brittany as a human canon is foiled - she throws the mother of all tantrums which was epic. Her decision to move the cheerleading competition to the same day as the football game/half time performance forcing Quinn, Brittany and Santana to choose between Glee and cheerleading was deliciously evil. They ultimately choose Glee which means no more uniforms (woohoo!) and that poor 'legendary' Sue is officially a 'loser'. The episode highlights Finn's constant struggle to keep the peace in order to win the football game and pull off a "thrilling" 1/2 time performance. Along the way, we are also introduced to a new romantic twist that we never saw coming - (ok...we've all read the spoilers so we all saw it coming...but we can pretend right?) Finn and Quinn!!! I liked the way the writers were hinting towards a Finn and Santana pairing but I can totally get behind Finn and Quinn for a little while- if she actually treats him right and makes amends for what she did in the past. I agree that it is a little ridiculous (and hypocritical) of him to forgive Quinn and not Rachel, however for all the 'Finchel' fans out there - think about this: The fact that he is more hurt by Rachel just proves that he cares for Rachel more...which he will likely figure out....eventually. So you guys should just take a few deep breaths and get over it.
2. The performances -
- California Girls (I refuse to spell it 'gurls') - The cheerleading performance completely fell flat. I watched it already (one of those "exclusive" clips) and I became severely concerned for the episode. It was definitely not enough to entice the coveted 'hetero male' demographic that Glee is so desperately seeking (more specifically FOX executives - I think Ryan Murphy could care less about the straight guy). It could have been better - first things first, they could have used a better song.
- Need You Now - I am not a fan of the song and would say that this is not the best way to convince the football players that glee club is cool. The song is way too country (and cheesy). Rachel and Puck were super adorable together and they sounded decent - I just wasn't impressed.
- She's Not There - LOOOVED IT. Cory's voice gets better with every episode. And it was clever that they were dressed as zombies. All the guys were so cute with their zombie moves.
- Bills, Bills, Bills - Extremely impressive, but as most critics have pointed out - completely out of place. Kurt was especially adorable and I love how smitten he is with Blaine - but I am ready for him to be back at McKinley. Now. Please?
- Thriller/Heads Will Roll - I downloaded this song about a week ago and have listened to it at least 3 times a day. I love the mash-up - it is brilliant. However, the actual performance was slightly disappointing. The choreography looked a little messy and I didn't like the editing - they kept showing close-ups and audience reactions so we never got the full effect of the dancing. It was still super fun, I just had very high expectations (which is exactly what happens when you start hyping something 3 months before it airs...). Also, can someone explain to me why they didn't use Cory's voice for the "darkness falls across the land..." part? He is on the itunes version and he sounds soooo good.
3. The highlights - Everything. I did not want the episode to end! I love that a lot of past plot points were addressed (like how Puck screwed over his BFF not once...but twice and it is never mentioned - I am glad he sort of apologized and they have agreed to move on. Completely unrealistic...but whatevs.). Here are some more of the best moments:
- Finn aggressively pushing Sam - Their "bring it" "brung" exchange was hilarious.
- Finn's expression during the Puckleberry duet.
- Finn's face palm when the girls announce they are going to join the football team.
- Finn. (Seriously, Cory Monteith had a lot to do in this episode and he KILLED every scene. An Emmy belongs in that boys hand).
- Um...where was I? Oh yah. The football game with the girls was hilarious. Rachel yelling "lets kick some ass!" made me pee. Just a little. I loved how they would just lay down on the field - except of course, Lauren. Tina's almost touchdown was sooo cute - I know a lot of people hate on her but I think she has her moments.
- Kurovsky and others getting slushied. Their reactions were priceless - "my eyes! they are...burning!" Such wimps. I hate Kurovsky, but thanks to the awesome job that the writers and Max Adler are doing - he could possibly redeem himself. I don't see that happening anytime soon...but it's a possibility.
- Kurt, Blaine, Mercedes and Rachel's coffee talk! More please! Oh and I totally want to see Kurt bring "warm milk" to Finn for some "lady talk". I think I would die.
And of course, here are my favorite quotes:
- I don’t want to die yet. At least not until ‘One Tree Hill’ gets canceled. – Brittany (one of her best lines to date)
- You not going to try and kiss me again are ya? – Coach Beiste
- If I have to stay…I am not singing no show tunes. That is the music of my oppressors – Azimio
- Who’s ‘yeah,yeah,yeah’? – Azimio
- You’re so afraid of being called geeks or losers or gay that you settle for being nothing! – Puck bringing the wisdom.
- One of those zombies bit me! – Football player from the opposing team.
4. The lowlights - The show is a musical/comedy that usually balances a fine line of realistic and fantasy, but lately it is starting to cross over too much for me. I can only suspend disbelief for soo long. Would they would really allow 4 girls who have zero football knowledge or experience to join the team the day before a championship game? And it bothers me that Artie is on the football team – I am pretty sure it wouldn’t be safe (plus he has an unfair advantage – because really who is going to tackle a kid in a wheelchair?). Also, considering it took hours for that zombie makeup to be applied – are we supposed to believe that the glee kids did it themselves in the matter of minutes? Plus wouldn’t they spend the week before a big game like doing football stuff? Strategizing, practicing etc - I am pretty sure this whole Glee club thing would just be an added distraction. Anyway....I just needed to vent the obvious ridiculousness of the plot but I still loved the episode in all its absurd glory.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
1. It was quiet and unexpected - I think it was marketed wrong because I was under the impression that it was an action film about an assassin on the run. The film is far from action-packed - instead it is a quiet film. I can see how most would mistake that for boring, but I for one am always impressed when a film pulls off emotion and a strong story without a lot of action or dialogue. Plus the quietness enhances the "big" moments enough to make them memorable.
2. The Beginning and the End were fantastic - *Spoiler Alert* - I didn't expect for him to shoot the girl in the beginning. It was shocking and cold, yet the scene itself was beautiful. I did feel the middle drag a bit (absolutely nothing happened) but then the end was so strong I think it made up for the boring bits. I figured he would rig the gun so that it kills the other assassin instead of someone else (knowing that someone else was him) - yet it was still shocking to watch. The last scene where he is driving and struggling to stay alive just to see the woman he loves one last time was so fantastic and poetic and I give complete credit to George Clooney. He did a fantastic job at a very unappealing character.
3. The flaws - Ok...I admit it had some major flaws - like the fact that someone would "hide out" in a small town where he doesn't speak the language. He stands out every where he goes - it is sort of ridiculous. Plus, Clooney's character has zero charm. I think people expect him to charm the pants off of everyone in every film he is in - so I can see why Clooney fan's would hate this film. He is completely out of his usual character. I understand his "cold" and isolated personality, but as a whole I think his character just fell flat. I don't blame Clooney though - I blame the writing. Out of all of the flaws though, I still found myself thinking about the film after it was over (which is always a good sign) and I would recommend it to film enthusiasts.
1. Mark Wahlberg - I sort of have a thing for reformed 'bad boys'. Mark admits he spent much of his younger years as a delinquent not only committing crimes - but also as a racist and sexist douche bag. But, I do believe (although it is rare) - some people if they really put their mind to it can change. I have a lot of respect for him - he is not only a successful actor, he is a business man (producing some of the best shows on television - Entourage, In Treatment and the much lauded Boardwalk Empire) and a family man (father of 4 kids and husband to the gorgeous Rhea Durham). As an actor, I find Mark to be probably the most inconsistent actor in Hollywood. He can do amazing (The Departed), hilarious (I Heart Huckabees, The Other Guys), memorable (The Basketball Diaries), mediocre (The Italian Job, Three Kings), bad (Rock Star, Planet of the Apes), worse (The Lovely Bones) and absolutely painful (The Happening). Luckily, The Fighter is one of his amazing performances. I loved Christian Bale's speech after he won the Golden Globe - he talked about how he would not have been able to do what he did if Mark wasn't so great as the more grounded (and overlooked) character. I think this is really true for this film - the other characters are so big and in your face but Mark as Micky was subtle and reserved. It takes a lot of restraint to play that role, yet he was still able to portray a raw emotion. He gives us a vulnerability that you don't usually see in such a tough guy role, he slowly 'breaks' without physically having a break down. It is truly outstanding to watch.
2. Melissa Leo - I am not surprised that Melissa was fantastic in this film. I have been a fan of hers ever since she shined in my second favorite film of all time (21 Grams). I was surprised that she was ignored for her performance in that film, but am happy that she seems to be getting more recognition ever since her stand-out performance in 2008's Frozen River. In this film, she is unbelievable. It is obviously difficult for someone her age to play the mother of Mark Wahlberg (who is only 10 years younger) - it's almost insulting (or a compliment - she obviously has the talent to pull off pretty much anything). She embraced the role - it helped that the hair, makeup and costume designer did a fabulous job transforming her physically.
3. Christian Bale - So, I remember watching the trailer for The Fighter, then later reading about it - I noticed Christian Bale was listed in the cast and wondered why they didn't show him in the trailer. I watched the trailer again and was blown away - I honestly did not recognize him. He is notorious for physically changing himself for film roles - like how he lost weight for The Machinist. For this role he outdid himself, he not only lost weight he truly looked, sounded and pretty much embodied a Boston drug addict. His face was sunken in, his hair was stringy and thin, his eyes were tired and dilated and his Boston accent was better than the Dorchester born Mark. The weird thing is that Christian Bale is often cited as one of the best actors working today, yet he is often ignored by all major awards. He consistently chooses roles that are completely different - he goes from a charming serial killer to Batman to this role and makes it look easy. Even weirder - he is now finally recognized but as a "supporting" role. His role was NOT supporting - he was in the film just as much as Mark was - as the film was about the relationship between 2 brothers. I would argue that even though the film is called The Fighter - the title could refer to either of the brothers. Maybe his people assumed that his chances would be better if he enters as 'supporting' but he could easily win the Oscar as a lead role for this film. I don't know if I can properly describe his performance in The Fighter - it was so arresting, realistic and memorable. If you are and acting enthusiast, as I am, you will be in awe through the entire film.
4. Amy Adams - Finally!! Amy Adams steps out of her comfort zone and shines. It's not a 'pretty' role or even remotely 'cute' - instead it is trashy and ugly. It is a role that most actresses would likely over-act in, but Amy finds the line between a stereotyped white trash bartender and a lovable, mouthy "tough" girl. You root for her - especially when she butts heads with Micky's 20 sisters (ok...exagerating...there was like 7 I think). Those scenes added the perfect amount of humor to such a depressing story. It's almost unfair that she has to share the supporting actress role with Melissa - both are great but I think Melissa is a little more showy. Amy is more realistic and less of a cliche. She has had an amazing career (nominated for 3 Oscars in the past 5 years) but I honestly did not get it...until now.