Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I know you've come to rely on my impeccable taste to lead you to all things cool and wonderful, but it can't always be Mad Men and Shia LaBeouf here at The Watchword. Here are 5 things currently working my nerves (as the awesome ladies of Sassy used to say. Oh, Sassy. How I miss you so):
1. Crappy Radio - Once an ardent ipod listener, I've recently returned to the radio, only to learn San Diego radio is really shitty. How many times must we hear the new Gavin Rossdale song before we can all agree it blows? Once was enough for me.
2. Brett Farvre - I love Brett (no one looks better in a pair of Wranglers), but I'm seriously disappointed in this whole coming-out-of-retirement thing. What's the deal with millionaires overstaying their welcome? Go enjoy life on the gulf and stay there, crazy.
3. Boredom - This may go down as one of the least interesting summers in the history of my wonderful and exciting life (with one or two notably interesting exceptions). I actually said to someone the other day, "I'm tired of TV." Maybe I should try going outside? *shudder*
4. Work - I have a pretty sweet gig, but work in general, like, as a concept, really sucks. Tony Bourdain was in Uruguay this week and visited a little beach commune where people still barter for goods and live without traditional modern conveniences. It looked very tempting. I could hang out on the beach and do nothing for the rest of my life. Especially if Tony would come visit every once in awhile.
5. This Post.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
I hate to post anything, because Liz's ComicCon post was pretty much the height of competence here at The Watchword, but I realized it's been, like, an entire month(!) since I wrote something boy crazy, and that's just unacceptable. Here are my top 5 current celebrity crushes:
1. Evan Longoria: Tampa Bay Rays - The potential AL Rookie of the Year is so adorable I can hardly stand it. I'm rooting for the Rays to make it to the series so I can spend October with Longoria (and Scott Kazmir). Ladies, this is why I really love baseball.
2. Jon Hamm: Mad Men - With the second season premiering last night, the delicious Don Draper is back to show us how gorgeous men look in suits, smoking and drinking like it's going out of style. I even got a little excited when I saw him in the trailer for the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still (which looks decent until Keanu Reeves appears and Neo's all over the place). It's so nice to see men look like men again.
3. Joba Chamberlain: New York Yankees - Honestly, this list could be full of baseball players. This one kind of pains me, because the Yankees are evil, but Joba is so cute and, based on his appearance at the ESPYs, has a lovely singing voice. Sigh.
4. Shia LeBeouf: Leading Man of the Future - My love for the scrappy 22-year-old is semi-well documented. Sadly, he was arrested for a DUI over the weekend. Let's try and keep it together, love.
5. James Ransone: Generation Kill - I'm so completely obsessed with this HBO miniseries. I've recommended it to everyone. James Ransone is hands down the funniest character on any TV show not called 30 Rock (he also played my second favorite character on The Wire (Omar being character #1, obvs)). Gah! He's so effing fantastic, there are no words.
Feel free, as always, to make fun of me with your comments.
Friday, July 25, 2008
As one of the few perks of my job, I got to go Comic Con this week. It was festive as always, with people dressed in costumes, giant statues of Jabba the Hut and the occasional star sighting. It was also crowded as always, even more so this year since its the first time ever that they've completely sold out in advance. That part was annoying, but overall it was still well worth the time. Here are a few particularly interesting tidbits that I picked up:
Joss Whedon is very popular - Being the big Buffy nerd that I am, I desperately wanted to see Joss Whedon speak about his new programs. He was in the biggest ballroom at the convention center, but still the line was - I sh*t you not - at least a quarter of a mile long. I didn't have time to wait. It was a low point.
In certain circles, Stan Lee is like Jesus and bunny rabbits all rolled into one - I guess it shouldn't be surprising that Stan Lee, who created The Hulk, Iron Man, and many, many others is a real hit with the Comic Con crowd, but still. Everywhere the man went, there were lines out doors and crowds so reverential you'd think Barack Obama was giving a speech at a Starbucks. Just crazy.
This weekend, two beloved gingers return to our lives to be worshiped as the goddesses they are (That sentence is just ridiculous. Someone needs to start editing this crap).
First, Gillian Anderson is back in the new X-Files movie. I'm not an X-Files freak (which I'm sure is pretty shocking, considering all the nerdy sci-fi crap I'm into), but I love Gillian, mostly for creating a generation of men who love redheads (sure, these men are uber-nerdy and still probably live at home, but I'm getting a little old to be so picky).
Also, the delicious Christina Hendricks returns Sunday in the new season of Mad Men (which stars the equally gorgeous John Hamm). For those of you who aren't caught up with the first season happenings at Sterling/Cooper, well, you really only have yourself to blame. It's time to hop on the bus with the cool kids, dummy.
Enjoy a ginger-rific weekend, friends! (okay. seriously. Anyone want to volunteer to edit my posts so I stop writing like a complete retard? Anyone?)
These rackalicious pictures are for the fellas. Don't say I never gave you anything.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Last night, Liz, her gentleman sidekick, and I went to see The Dark Knight. I'm sure you've heard all the rave reviews and your friends have mentioned the awesomeness of Heath Ledger, and they are all totally right. I am a big fan of the Tim Burton Batman movies and an even bigger fan of Batman Begins, but The Dark Knight takes Batman to a whole new level. It's like a realistic comic book movie. You understand why the Joker is so crazy and wears the make-up. You get the science behind all the cool Batman gizmos. You see the relationships which later bring about serious turmoil. Take indie movie realism and mix with huge action sequences and the result is just brilliant. It's even already become the greatest movie ever (according to IMDB users).
I realize you don't need me to tell you to go see this, but I'm telling you anyway. Christian Bale is the best Batman ever (sorry Michael Keaton. I still love you), Michael Kane and Morgan Freeman provide ample comic relief and advice as Alfred and Lucius Fox, respectively, Maggie Gyllenhaal is a welcome replacement for Katie Cruise as the love interest, Aaron Eckhart is gloriously handsome as Harvey Dent, and Heath Ledger is phenomenal as the Joker. There's already Oscar buzz around his performance and it's totally warranted. The man had a gift. Such a terrible waste.
If I had to take a critical eye, I'd say it was a bit long (I know the exact sequence I would cut. Chris Nolan, give me a call when you make the next Batman movie and I'll help you out, okay?) and there was a tad too much monologuing (which, I realize, is par for the course in a big action, comic book movie, but it always reminds me of Syndrome in The Incredibles saying, "You sly fox, you. You got me monologuing!" and it makes me giggle), but overall, while The Dark Knight may not be the greatest movie ever, I think it's safe to say it's the greatest comic book movie ever. It definitely raises the bar.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Today, in the Oakland City Center, there was a Police cover band playing called "Stung" (get it?). I went, and after an hour long set, the lead singer yelled "Thank you, Oakland, you've been Stung!"
So fuck, I got stung. But the Police are pretty awesome, check out this King of Pain live version:
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Awww, Sophia died.
Anglophiles, rejoice! The hilarious British sitcom, Spaced, is finally available on DVD in the US. The show stars the adorable Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes as Tim and Daisy, roommates who pretend they are dating to land their ideal flat. It's totally not as Friends-y as it sounds. The lovely Edgar Wright (director of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) helms the series, so you know that means some crazy business (like a drunken landlady and a zombie episode). Apparently, the DVD includes commentaries from Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Diablo Cody (further proving my suspicions she and Edgar are dating. Lucky bitch) and Matt Stone, among others. The Spaced team is also on a 4 city US tour to promote the DVD release. They will be at Comic-Con in San Diego this week and I will be stuck at work. Sometimes, life is really unfair.
And, hey look. I found the first episode on YouTube:
Monday, July 21, 2008
The Most Interesting Man in the World is looking for an assistant (apparently, his old assistant died on the job. Exciting, no?). You can apply for the job here, but first you'll need to arm wrestle a deceased head of state (Mao, Churchill or Stalin. I could totally take Stalin), send a courier pigeon, and develop a mantra (a la "Stay thirsty, my friends"). Is it just me or is this the greatest ad campaign since "Where's the Beef?" It is just me, isn't it? Well, considering all the Dos Equis I consumed this weekend, it's totally working.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
On a small Greek island, a young girl named Sophie is set to be married. She invites three men to her wedding, one of which, according to her mother's teenage diary, is her father. Problem is, no on knows which one. Throw in a musical soundtrack full of ABBA songs, a literal Greek Chorus, and a cast which includes Miranda Priestly, Lily Kane, Mr. Darcy, a former James Bond and Mrs. Weasley, and you have Mamma Mia!
The film version of the hit Broadway play is supremely cheesy with horrific choreography and some truly painful singing (mostly by Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth, as two of Sophie's possible fathers). The direction sucks. Moments are overacted, overly long and overly stylized. In short, it's pretty much a hot tranny mess. Yet, I found myself smiling and having fun by about the 1 hour mark. Amanda Seyfried is lovely as Sophie and has a really terrific pop voice. Julie Walters is hilarious as an old friend of the family. And watching Meryl Streep (one of my living heroes) sing Winner Takes it All (my favorite ABBA song) was the highlight of the movie.
Mamma Mia! is not great and, unless you really love ABBA or musicals, I'd say skip it. However, if you're looking for a fun movie to see with your mom, you could do a lot worse.
P.S. I realize the cool points I've lost seeing Mamma Mia! instead of The Dark Knight this weekend will never be recovered, but I swear on everything holy, I'd have preferred to see The Dark Knight. I'm just waiting for the crowds to die down.
Friday, July 18, 2008
You remember the band Garbage? "Only Happy when it Rains," "Stupid Girl," "I think I’m Paranoid"? Yeah, you remember. I know for most people they weren't much more than a blip on the pop culture radar in the mid-90s, but from roughly 8th to 11th grade, Garbage was second only to Pearl Jam in my Pantheon of Bands. And, since I spent approximately 84 percent of my teenage time listening to/trying to figure out how to join the bands in my pantheon, Garbage played an inordinately large role in my youth.
So, when I was visiting my parents last weekend and swore I saw Garbage's saucy, Scottish, ginger lead singer Shirley Manson in a commercial for the Sarah Connor Chronicles, I thought that sleeping in my old bedroom was giving me delusions or something.
But no! I was not delusional! I still know the people I wanted to be when I grew up (God, did that not turn out how I’d expected) when I see them! Apparently, the only good Manson is reinventing herself as an actress. A further investigation into this matter tells me she also has a solo album coming out, and she's getting some help on it from some pretty famous people. (I found an article that said her record company didn't like the first songs they heard because it was "too noir," which Shirley at first thought was a compliment. That's my girl!)
But anyway, good for her. I don’t think this is enough to make me watch the Sarah Connor Chronicles, and after the disappointments that were Garbage’s last two albums, I probably won’t buy her solo disc, but it's nice to see she’s still out there getting down with her bad self. Now if we could just get Gavin Rossdale’s career back on track, it’d be like I was never forced to grow up.
Off to the Races - The Del Mar Races began Wednesday (here's a post I wrote about the races last year. It's full of whimsy and nostalgia, so basically, it sucks). It's really too bad you don't all live in San Diego. I'd buy you a drink at the races after I win thousands of dollars this summer. Sucks to be you. (Those of you who do live in San Diego: Offer of drinks is in no way redeemable).
Show Your Pride - Another reason to live in San Diego: One of the best Gay Pride festivals in the country invades Hillcrest this weekend. Kathy Griffin is the main entertainment. You know how the gays love that sassy ginger. (btw, there's no link for this one because work is blocking access to sandiegopride.org. This is discrimination, people, and will not stand!)
Barenaked Coke Problem - If Steve Page, lead singer of my favorite Canadian band, Barenaked Ladies, had a million dollars, he'd apparently use it to buy some coke. He's fighting the charges, natch. LiLo is giving him pointers.
The Office Spin-off is a Bust...Probably - EW.com has a new blogger called Michael Ausiello. Apparently, he's very well known the the pop-culture blogging community and used to write for tvguide.com (I don't like him. Mainly because I should have his job). Ausiello reports The Office spin-off is a no go. I am mildly bummed, but really, not so much.
Life on Mars Completely Retooled - I know how much you all love your weekly dose of info about a show not even on the air yet, and I live to give you what you love.
* Pros: Original re-creator David E. Kelly is out and 2 dudes who worked on Alias are in to helm the show. Now we can avoid creepy dancing babies. Hooray!
* Cons: Colm Meany (casting perfection as Gene Hunt) is out as well. They better find someone just as good to fill the role...or better yet, bring Phillip Glenister over to reprise his role from the BBC version.
Man Spends $1,000 a Week on Beer - Reuters reports this like that's excessive or something.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The Emmy nominations were released this morning, and everyone’s (read: the gals who write for this site) favorite gritty Baltimore drug saga got only one nomination, for writing, in its final season. This means one of the best dramas ever never got nominated for Best Drama in the Oscars of television.
Personally, I’m OK with it. Mostly for two reasons: (A) I learned long ago that awards shows don’t necessarily honor “the best.” Plenty of great movies, shows and performances go unheralded by the statue set. And (B) The Wire is all about how effed up the system is, and how no good deed goes unpunished, so its kind of fitting that it never got love from the establishment. (Plus – to be a total snob - this keeps the bandwagon to a minimum, and its always fun to be part of a secret club).
Aside from the Wire snub, however, there were a few bright spots in this year’s Emmy nods:
- Michael Emerson was nominated for his amazing work as Ben on Lost
- Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and the show 30 Rock itself all got well-deserved nods
- And Red’s favorite, Mad Men was nominated for Best Drama.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I took a last minute trip to Chicago this weekend. It was cursed from the moment I arrived at the airport Saturday and discovered my flight was 2.5 hours delayed until I missed my flight yesterday morning and had to join the still drunk kids on the train to O'Hare this morning. I was staying at my cousin's place...she has no cable (can you believe I went 4 days without television?!?!)...and I basically have no idea what's going on in pop culture at the moment (are A-Rod and Madonna still, maybe an item? Is Suri Cruise, like, 12 yet? I feel so out of it!). So instead, you will get the observations I collected while on a layover at the Denver Airport:
* Fat Tire tastes amazing in Denver...kinda like they say Guinness is so much better in Ireland. I need to go to Ireland.
* Airport eateries/bars are the loneliest places on earth.
* Pour La France in the Food Court claims to have "the greatest carrot cake in the world." Somehow, I highly doubt this.
* Some kids are really effing weird and seem supremely disappointed when no one notices.
* I'm not the hater of people I pretend to be.
* The title of my memoir no one will read will be Loneliness at the Top of the World (okay, I had that observation while drinking a martini, by myself, at the bar at the top of the Hancock building, but I still say it counts).
That's it. This post is kinda depressing. Apologies.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
* Get it? Delay. DeLay. You know what? I don't have time to explain my advanced sense of humor to you people.
Friday, July 11, 2008
I think about this a lot...if someone made a movie of my life (and wouldn't watching someone watch TV for 2 hours just be fascinating?), I'd ask to create the soundtrack. Here's the track list:
1. Thunder Road - Springsteen: As the Boss himself would say, it's the ultimate invitation song...come along and listen to the story.
2. Express Yourself - Madonna: Madonna taught me many valuable life lessons early in my little life. How to rock a cone shaped bra, maybe the most important?
3. Holding Out for a Hero - Bonnie Tyler: For the part in the movie when I still believe in heroes and holding out.
4. Still Fighting It - Ben Folds: Because everybody knows it sucks to grow up.
5. Better Man - Pearl Jam: For the one I lied to when I said I was in love with him.
6. July, July - The Decemberists: This is the fun, summer-on-the-beach montage required in every movie set in SoCal.
7. The Old Apartment - BNL: Mainly, because any story about me would be a lie without a Barenaked Ladies song. Is that sad?
8. More Adventurous- Rilo Kiley: Jenny Lewis represents many things, but primarily how awesome it is to be ginger. This is an overarching theme in the film, obvs.
9. Don't Think Twice - Bob Dylan: For the one who just kinda wasted my precious time.
10. Long Way Round - Dixie Chicks: Lord knows, I never seem to do it like anybody else. Life lessons must be learned the hard way.
11. Holiday in Spain - Counting Crows: For the end of the film where I ride a plane to Europe to spend the rest of my days abroad as an ex-pat.
12. Don't Stop Believin' - Journey: For the message...for it's karaoke perfection...for it's kickassedness...it plays over the credits.
Embarrassingly, there really should be a Robbie Williams song in here somewhere, but this will have to do. Is it just me, or does this have the potential to be the greatest movie/soundtrack combo since Elizabethtown?!
P.S. As I've said before, I'm not computer savvy enough to give you the mp3s of all these wonderful tunes. Deal with it, people!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Generation Kill Premieres Sunday - Wire fans, rejoice! David Simon and Ed Burns return to HBO with this 7 part miniseries about American soldiers in Iraq. Garney says the book is pretty great. I haven't been this excited about a war movie since Stop Loss promised copious shots of a shirtless Ryan Phillippe (which it failed to produce. Bastards). P.S. If you live in SD and want to check it out, we can have viewing parties (this means you, Liz).
The Office Webisodes are Back - After last summer's mystery of the missing money, Kevin, Oscar, Darryl and Stanley are here this summer with Kevin's Loan to fill the Office shaped hole in your heart. The first installment premieres today at 12 PST (that's 3pm for you east coasters, but I'm sure you knew that. If you didn't, you're a moron. Sorry. It needed to be said).
Robert Downey Jr. is Sherlock Holmes - Everyone's new favorite superhero will become Sherlock Holmes for Mr. Madonna, Guy Ritchie. Here's hoping it's good, unlike every other Guy Ritchie movie.
Teenager Finds Baby Bat in Bra - In news that makes my skin crawl, a UK teenager found a baby bat in the lining of her 34FF bra. 34FF! Holy Lord. How can that woman feel anything through those things?
Cristopha' joins Life on Mars - As the only person in America completely obsessed with the US remake of Life on Mars (before ever watching an episode), I'm totally jazzed Michael Imperioli will be one of the sexist 1970s coppers. I've really missed him since Tony rubbed him out.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I think its time we had a chat about Madonna.
She’s been in the news a lot lately, due to her maybe, possibly impending divorce, and her maybe, possibly unholy alliance with Lenny Kravitz to destroy A-Rod’s marriage. She’s denied both, but let’s face it: she’s Madonna. It’s probably all true.
We’ve never really discussed Madge here on the Watchword. Probably because neither me nor Red are huge fans*. I don’t exactly dislike her; I used to, but then I learned to loosen up and embrace the occasional dance song. But we reached a point in our culture long ago where your opinion on Madonna’s music, or videos or latest accent doesn’t really matter; she is part of the social fabric. Like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and fluoride in the water, you can think whatever you want, but Madonna is here to stay.
Point being, Madonna bears discussing. First of all, the recent coverage has brought it to my attention that Madonna will be 50 this August. 50!!! This person is now 50 years old. This boggles my mind. It’s fascinating not only because she’s closer in age to my Mom than me but still looks better than I ever have or will, but because after a 25odd year career, she’s still relevant. Her new single is everywhere and actually pretty good. Ringo Starr can’t say that, and he was a f&*king Beatle! MBA students should study Madonna’s career. We should all study Madonna’s career.
And then there is the social impact. You can deny it all you want, but Madonna has had a social impact and I will fight you like a TechnoViking over this point. A lot of the impact has been bad: there’s a 75 percent chance we wouldn’t have little girls wearing belly shirts that say “SLUT” if it weren’t for Madonna. However, there is also a 30 percent chance we would never have had Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a 9 percent chance we wouldn’t have had two female Secretaries of State without the Material Girl**. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Hillary Clinton and Madonna Louise Ciccone share a thread of DNA.
I’ve actually started thinking lately that lasses my age don’t quite realize the impact Madonna has had on our lives. Madonna released her first single the year I was born (I’ll let you go to wikipedia and do the math), and while she didn’t hit it big until a few years later, that means I’ve kind of never lived in a world without her. She had a hand in the fact that I couldn’t get through a frat party in college without being asked to make out with my friends or dance on a table, but she has also influenced the fact that I’m expected to make something of myself and do it on my own terms. When you think about it, Madonna doesn’t have a great singing voice, and while she’s very pretty, you’ve met people in real life who are on her level of attractiveness. That’s sort of oddly inspirational: she was able to make it big based on smarts and cunning, rather than just being hot. While she used her sexuality (almost exclusively) to get ahead, you always got the impression she was in command of it, not being used for it.
Madonna’s is a mixed legacy to be sure (sort of like the Immaculate Collection, which is still one of the best album titles ever) but I honestly don’t know where we’d be without her. Do you?
(And come on, Like a Prayer is a really good song).
* After conducting some research (i.e., reading my own comments section) I've learned Red actually IS a huge Madonna fan. Sorry, kid. Vogue with your bad self.
**Figures were achieved through a scientific method you would never understand. No, seriously, don’t even ask. You can’t handle it!
Posted by Liz at 11:46 AM
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I'm a bit concerned you all think I watch too much television and am some moron who never reads (and by "concerned" I mean "pretending to care for the sake of introduction"). In case you haven't heard, reading is very important and I do it all the time. So, here are some books to read this summer because really, friends, we all need to read something other than blogs all the time (yeah, I said it. What?):
The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard - Retired police detective Gus Landor is called to West Point Military Academy to investigate the suspicious death of a cadet. He is assisted by a young Edgar Allen Poe (who, apparently, actually attended West Point) who may or may not be a suspect in the murder. Lot's of twists and turns and a fantastic narrator make this a quick, exciting summer read.
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde - Set in bizzaro 1984 England, Thursday Next is a literary agent who keeps literary characters and books in line. When the third most wanted man in the world crosses her path, Thursday must chase him around London and eventually into Jane Eyre. Insanely inventive, it's literary sci-fi...which even just sounds cool (okay, it doesn't sound cool at all, but it is. I swear).
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving - Forget the craptastic film version (Simon Birch) and meet one of Irving's finest creations in Owen Meany. No one quite captures New England like John Irving and, after The World According to Garp (another good summer read), this is his best work.
There you go. As always, I'd love any summer reading suggestions you may have...
Monday, July 7, 2008
I’m going through something of an identity crisis, and it involves my new shoes.
You see, they’re vegan. This wasn’t planned, you understand. I didn’t wake up in a cold sweat one night and scream, “No leather!” I own a leather jacket and several leather shoes that I wear and love. I eat meat on a regular basis. I AM NOT A VEGAN!
And yet … I was walking around my neighborhood the other night and noticed the vegan store was open. The vegan store is never open, which only makes me want to go inside. That, and they have goofy t-shirts in the window, and I’m a sucker for goofy t-shirts.
So I went inside, and noticed they had a lot of really cute shoes. Being in need of new shoes for work (the “temporary” American Eagle shoes I bought at Payless for $10 are going on 6 months old and aren't doing so well) I browsed a bit, and found a pair I really liked for a reasonable price. Before I knew it, I was handing the clerk my debit card. The vegan store clerk.
Once I left the store, I realized what I’d done. I'd just bought a pair of shoes that I'd tried on while a man sitting next to me freaked out over the treatment of cows. The woman who sold me the shoes offered me list of local restaurants and a DVD full of “really depressing videos.” I had crossed a line I never intended to cross.
See, I generally have no problem with vegetarians and in theory I have no problem with vegans. But in practice, the only time I do have problems with vegetarians is when they get all up in your steak-eating business, and that seems to be the vegan M.O. 99 percent of the time. These are the skinny little people with asymmetrical haircuts who make you feel guilty at a party when you show up with chicken wings. I don’t really want to support these people.
But now I have. As I write this, I’m wearing my vegan Madden Girl shoes made of, in the words of the inside heel, “all man made materials.” The inside of my shoe goes on to tell me that they’re made in Eastern China. Great. So not only have I supported vegans, I’ve heightened the energy crisis and forced some poor 12-year-old Chinese kid into cobbling. This is just great.
Tonight at 11 PM eastern will be another broadcast of The Three AMovIGOerS on BlogTalkRadio where the Oscar, Oscar! host Jason O'Brien is joined by both myself and Jamey Duvall (host of Movie Geeks United) where we will be discussing our picks for the ten best films of 2008 so far. Here's a sneak peek of my top 5:
2. In Bruges
3. The Visitor
4. Kung Fu Panda
5. Young at Heart
Hear why I pick these as the best and also find out the other five titles that make the list by tuning in tonight. Click here to listen to it live Monday at 11 pm eastern. Or you can click on the link to listen to it in the archives starting Tuesday.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
It’s been so long since I’ve seen Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles that I can’t say for sure if WALL-E is the best Pixar movie ever, but its definitely one of the better movies I’ve seen in the theatres this year. Maybe longer.
By now you probably know the basic premise: WALL-E is a little robot that collects trash. This takes place around the year 2700, and throughout the film it slowly eeks out that in about the year 2100, the earth was so full of garbage that humanity left on space ships. They scattered a bunch of these little trash compactor ‘bots behind to clean up the mess. A few centuries go by, people have yet to return, and WALL-E is the only one of his kind left, diligently going about his business. Occasionally he collects things he finds, like a video of Hello, Dolly! that he watches wistfully, wishing he had someone to hold hands and dance with.
Eventually a friend does come: a “girl” robot named EVE who’s scanning the earth for signs of life. WALL-E ends up following her into space and aboard one of the massive ships humans are living on. A madcap adventure, and even an adorable robot romance ensue. (Humans, by the way, have been sitting in hover chairs and served by robots for hundreds of years, and as a result are pretty much nothing but useless sacks of fat. Kind of the like the audience).
This plot all sounds like it could get terribly preachy about our abuse of the earth and lethargic ways, but one of the beautiful things about WALL-E is that it never dissolves into lecture. The story too absorbing for that. The other beautiful thing is the animation itself. Holy spumoni, how does Pixar do it? There were more than a few times when I forgot I was watching animation. The robots, especially WALL-E himself, are so realistic, as are the dystopian landscapes of garbage-choked future earth.
I’m not usually a big fan of summer movies. They’re fun for the hour and a half you’re in the theatre, but fill them with all the drunk superheroes, resurrected franchises and Robert Downey, Jr.s you want - they still tend to lack the best special effect of all: heart. WALL-E may look like a rusty bucket of bolts cavorting in a kids’ movie, but he’s 100% heart, and you’ll be thinking about him long after the popcorn’s gone.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The ladies of everyone's favorite fundamentalist Mormon cult, the Yearning for Zion Ranch, proved once and for all that they do in fact belong to mainstream America when they announced this week that they're capitalizing on their new-found fame with a clothing line.
That's right. Appears the women realized that in all the news coverage about their ranch getting raided last April, in which like 400 kids were temporarily taken into state care, their 19th-century style clothing was getting nearly as much attention as their polygamist marriages and possible forcing of underage girls into such marriages. So, the sister wives revved up their weaving looms, somehow found their way onto the Internet and started selling clothes.
For some reason, I'm really excited about this. Personally I like the Teen Princess Dress, and we are halfway to Christmas, friends...
I need your help again, friends. Lately, I've been quite annoyed/puzzled by things I've read/seen/heard/felt. Perhaps you can make some sense of it all...
First, men watch The Bachelorette? Yesterday, 2 fairly respectable male bloggers spent quite a bit of time rambling on about The Bachelorette...and in a very "I love this show, mainly because the chick is hot, but also because it's damn fine entertainment" kind of way. What? I feel like everything I know about men (which, admittedly, is not much) was just destroyed.
Next, people still really like the Red Hot Chili Peppers? I swear to everything holy, I hear several RHCP songs on the radio on my may to and from work everyday. I guess they were kinda fun in the 90's when they wrote Suck My Kiss and Flea wore a sock on his junk, but c'mon. They're all old white dudes from LA at this point. I don't get it.
Along the same lines, who likes One Republic (other than BeckEye)? I didn't think they could have a worse single after the dreadful Apologize, but I was wrong. So very, very wrong.
And finally (get ready for the post derailment you all love so very much), why am I so obsessed with my redheadedness? A blog, which shall remain nameless, kinda made fun of redheads today (specifically, the ability of one redheaded pitcher to slaughter the Padres last night) and I totally almost left a ranting, crazy comment telling the author to suck it (I remembered, however, the site is run by a bunch of cute guys and I want them to think I am cool and charming and gorgeous and so I refrained from revealing my true insanity. Crisis averted). But seriously, why am I so obsessed with this one thing that makes me so special and unique less than 1% of the earth can share my awesomeness? It's a mystery.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Arrested Development: Coming Soon to a Theater Near You - Garney said he performed Gob's chicken dance when he heard this news. I, on the other had, started imagining Ron Howard narrating my life...which is awesome.
Amy Ryan: Back in The Office - Amy Ryan will return to The Office as a love interest for Michael Scott for multiple episodes next season (I'm happy to see she got McNulty out of her system (though, how anyone could get over McNulty is beyond me)). This is good news, because Amy Ryan is cool, but they have to bring Toby back at some point, right? I mean, The Office without Toby is like a night without alcohol...totally no fun.
Bill Murray: Officially Back on the Market - Don't think I wouldn't marry him in a heartbeat. So, his wife got the kids and the house in South Carolina. Bill got the house in Hemet! Let me explain it this way: People who can't afford to live in LA or SD, live in Temecula. People who can't afford to live in Temecula, live in Hemet. WTF is Bill Murray doing with a house in Hemet?!? This is the mystery of the ages.
Kansas City BBQ: Destroyed by Fire - You may be thinking, "Why do I care if some shitty restaurant in San Diego burned?" Well, my friend, you care because you love Top Gun and KC BBQ is the site where Goose plays Great Balls of Fire on the piano (I could only find a Spanish dubbed version, but truthfully, I didn't look very hard). Sad, sad day for cinematic history...
Finally, The Decemberists have a song they'd like you to hear:
Oh! And Happy Canada Day, you Canadians. You're so cute with your little holidays.