Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Random New Years Eve posting

I don't think I've ever been ashamed to actually enjoy a show like I've been enjoying Whatever, Martha. I'll admit that I love the movies, Encino Man & Valley Girl ... Malibu's Most Wanted ... Pam, Girl on the Loose ... but Whatever, Martha is my shame. Alexis is a spoiled rotten I hate mommy 16 year old in a 45 year old's body and her partner in crime is just fluff and I LOVE IT!

It's getting to be awards season and here are the phrases that I absolutely hate to hear coming out of Hollywood mouths this time of year:

Referring to watching a movie, or making a movie as "a ride" or "a wild ride" or "enjoying the ride". For freaks sake ride in a car, a train, a plane ... you don't ride a movie. Just stupid.

When actors refer to themselves or others as "being comfortable in their skin" ... ugh!!!! I hate that phrase. Well, dear, who are you going to switch skins with. Idiots.

When the SAG awards come out ... constantly hearing these twerps referring to each other as "peers". Come on! Peers? I'm probably nit picking on this one, but the word "peer" is probably the most intelligent word that most of these dorks know.

OK, got that off my chest.

Watched the movie, In Bruges. I loved it! Colin Farrell is great. He plays emotionally hurt in this movie and I completely fell for it. I think he lives in the end though. Ralph Fiennes is magnificent. I haven't seen him in a movie for awhile. Played psycho very well. Colin Farrell really got swept up into the whole Hollywood scene early on in his career. Glad to see that he can actually act, Miami Vice be damned.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What in God's name was that???

I was idly flipping channels last night ... Where is the cast of 90210 now ... Living With Ed, House Hunters ... la dee dah. Then I stopped on a show that I have no idea what in heaven's name it is. It's called Whatever, Martha. Whatever? Yea, what the heck??? It's Martha's overtly bitter daughter Alexis and her plump friend sitting on couches and chairs Mystery Science Theatr-ing Martha's old shows. I was completely sucked in and I'm not proud of it. Alexis Stewart, again, is a very bitter, sarcastic, well, insert any word .. geez! I'm no fan of Martha Stewart by any means, I like Ina Garten though, and she's almost like Martha Stewart, but for some reason, she doesn't incite the same derision as Martha Stewart does. I think Martha Stewart is uppity and arrogant and I find absolutely nothing she cooks or crafts appealing to me whatsoever. I will say, though, that I thought she was thoroughly railroaded when she was sent to jail and shouldn't have had to go and I will give her major kudos for coming back like gangbusters to reclaim her empire.

Anyway, Alexis Stewart and her plump friend Jennifer Hutt sit there and make fun of Martha's shows like teenagers trying to get away with snooping in their parents underwear drawers. They act like complete mean girls who would make fun of someone for not wearing the right clothes. Jennifer isn't as mean and sarcastic as Alexis, she just goes along for the ride, agreeing with anything Alexis deems right.

Did I enjoy it? Well, I enjoyed it more for the shock factor than anything else. Alexis, again, is just bitter and I would HATE to be in the same room as her. Whay is she so vicious and mean? If I grew up in Westport and Easthampton, I'd be the nicest chick on earth! She acts like a spoiled 16 year old who has never gotten over the "I hate mommy" phase of her life. Seriously, there is absolutely nothing nice about her. I don't know, maybe it's an act and Alexis really is a sweetheart, but I kind of doubt it. I wonder if Alexis is a younger version of Martha. As arrogant as Martha is on camera, methinks that she's more like Alexis off camera, mean mean, mean. I can only imagine that Jennifer must have some wicked information on Alexis to keep her in line. Ultimately, the conversations always veer off into sexland, which ... yawn ... boring. I could care less about their personal lives. It's the mocking of Martha that's fun and they should stick to that, but the bottom line is that watching Whatever, Martha is like eavesdropping on popular girl's phonecalls. I'm afraid that one of these days, I'm going to get my butt chewed off by Alexis for watching the show.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Casey Affleck Should Play David Byrne

Watched Gone Baby Gone ... ok, it's not a bad movie, per se. Not at all. All performances were fantastic and I won't be happy until Ed Harris finally wins an Oscar (deserved one for Pollack). Casey Affleck is a good actor, Jesse James wasn't a fluke and he was better in this one, probably because he was playing where he came from ... brother Ben is a capable director and I think he was going more for the feel of Dorchester and getting the accents right, but I hated the movie for the subject matter. I just don't like movies where children die or suffer and the ending of the movie made me angry. I know, it was based on a book and it had to remain true to the subject at hand, but still. It just wasn't my kind of movie. I wanted that little girl to stay with Morgan Freeman, not end up alone on a couch with Casey Affleck becoming the accidental babysitter and poof, fade to black.

I was so upset after watching Gone Baby Gone, I had to diffuse it by watching Twelve Monkeys. Watched it years ago and remember liking it and I still like it. Brad Pitt's character was like a psychotic version of the character Leonardo DeCaprio played in What's Eating Gilbert Grape. And I caught an accidental ironic line spoken by Bruce Willis when he shouted "all I see are dead people" ... HA!!!! Sixth Sense!!!!! Anyway, 12 Monkeys is my second favorite Gilliam film, Fisher King being my favorite.

Started re-watching Thin Red Line. I didn't like it the first time I saw it. It came out at the same time as Saving Private Ryan and I think that was the problem. Private Ryan wasn't hard to watch ... storyline flowed, not a thinking movie. This one is more thinky ... is that a word? I'm about 20 minutes in ... long way to go. Good thing it's Christmas break.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I watched the second Truman Capote/In Cold Blood movie this afternoon, called Infamous. It was a completely different film. On the one hand, I like it better because it focused on Capote as a person and what a terrible manipulative twirp he was. I think this one embellished his relastionship with Perry way too much. Sorry,but I just don't see the make out session really happening. Truman was much too prissy for such foolishness. I like the first half of Infamous a lot. The second half, not so much. Again, this had more to do with the society people that were featured and the people who played them, Siguourney Weaver, Gwenyth Paltrow, Hope Davis and Sandra Bullock, I thought, was a better Harper Lee than Katherine Keener. As for Capote ... I don't know, Phillip Seymour Hoffman made Capote too artistic, which I don't think is quite accurate. The guy who played him in Infamous was over the top ... he looked like Elmer Fudd with the voice of porky pig. But I think that the Infamous Capote probably captured Capote's true nature moreso than PSH in Capote. PSH still deserved that Oscar though. Daniel Craig was great as Perry Smith, the killer who supposedly fell in love with Capote. The guy who played him in Capote was very childlike .. I don't know, the movies are very different from each other. As far as character for character, I liked Infamous better, but as for the story itself, I liked Capote.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas break viewing!

With all my shows on break, I can catch up with my movie viewing. Saw 2 somewhat quality films last night. By somewhat quality, I mean that Jesse James is still fresh in my noggin.

I watched Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and I almost stopped 30 seconds in ... yuck! I'm sorry, and I'm no big prude either, but seeing Phillip Seymour Hoffman's plump posterior going at it with Marisa Tomei almost made me hurl. I felt the same way about the Cooler too, only I didn't have to see William H. Macy's rump right at the beginning of the film. These 2 are great actors who don't need to drop trou in order to make the film good. So, I fast forwarded ... which was even scarier, should have fast forwarded with my eyes shut, oh well. So then I had to watch the entire film with PSH's nekid scene going through my head, which really made it difficult. What's funny is that they didn't show Ethan Hawke nekid, which wouldn't have been as traumatic ... why why why??? So, this film was like Memento, jumps back and forth, back some more ... forward some more, yawn. The story was good and PSH's performace was great, but he's great in everything, especially when I don't have to see his naked pasty white can of Crisco 30 seconds into the film. I don't know, it was ok, but ... THE BUTT!!!

Also watched American Gangster. Denzel & Russell! Apparently at one point it was supposed to be Denzel & Benicio Del Toro. It's based on a true story about one of my favorite times in history, 1970's NYC. Great performances all the way around and the scene where Denzel and Russell are passing a coffee cup back and forth during interrogation was cool as heck. Ridley Scott makes films in his sleep, not that there's anything wrong with it. No pasty white butts in this movie, just some naked women cutting heroin. I'm not a huge fan of big budget productions, but this one was good.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I am Stunned

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is almost 3 hours long, so it took me about 3 days to get through (thank you Tivo!). All I have to say is that I am stunned by this film, stunned by the beauty of it, stunned by the performances, just stunned by the story.

I'm no fan of Casey Affleck either. I think he'd be perfect in a David Byrne biopic than any other film. Watched him in Lonesome Jim and found his acting style as rather stoned than effective. Same with Jesse James ... I just wasn't entirely buying his role. There had to have been someone better. I guess Shia LeBoef was up for it, but anyway, in spite of Affleck, the film is a masterpiece. Each and every scene is a work of art. I don't think it won the Oscar for cinematography but it sure as heck should have. I wasn't a bit surprised to see that the cinematographer that does most of the Coen Brothers movies was the cinematogrpaher for this film It had a very Fargo/No Country For Old Men feel to it. The editing was magnificent ... boy, this film has brought out the film geek in me.

Brad Pitt, who continues to be the most unappreciated actor in Hollywood (along with Val Kilmer, but that's another blahg entry for another day) gave a career performance as Jesse James. He set the uncomfortable tone of the entire film. Seriously, you feel uncomfortable watching this movie, the stress is palatable from the beginning. I'll even give Casey Affleck some credit, his stoney performance lended to the general feel of the entire film.

There's so much to discuss ... was Robert Ford a coward? Or was he just getting Jesse before Jesse could get him? Was Jesse James really a bad guy? Dang, this film is going to marinate with me for WEEKS!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Playlist is so cool!

I can put up to 200 songs on my playlist now ... word of warning, I've put some songs on there that may cause blushing, fair warning.

Watched Capote last night. I think that Phillip Seymour Hoffman is one of the best, if not THE best actor out there right now. As I was watching, I found myself getting really annoyed with Hoffman's imitation of Truman Capote. I'm generally opposed to biographical films as most actors tend to do imitations rather than a portaysl (did I spell that right?) .. I think that Val Kilmer is a great actor and his Jim Morrison (the Doors .. the only Ollie Stone film I really like) and John Holmes (Wonderland) were spot on .. not imitations. I will say that I adored Cate Blanchett's imitation of Kate Hepburn, but that's what she was going for and it worked. Her portrayal of Veronica Guerin was amazing and she probably deserved an Oscar for that role moreso than her role in the Aviator. Anyway, as I'm watching Hoffman imitate Capote and getting yawny while doing it, everything changed when he saw Perry Smith for the last time in the room before he was hung. His imitation changed and went to pure portrayal and for the last 15 minutes of the film, the scene in the holding room, the scene in the gallows and his phone call telling whoever he was speaking to that his life will never be the same ... for THAT, Philip Seymour Hoffman EARNED that Oscar.

There's another Capote movie out there called Infamous. I'll have to check that one out sometime. Sandra Bullock plays Harper Lee. Catherine Keener was magnificent as Harper Lee in Capote ... we'll see how Bullock does. I see Sandra Bullock are a pure fluff actress. She's good in the weepy love stories like the Lake House, but heck, I liked her in Demolition Man! If I have to sit through Hope Floats again ... someone better keep me from hurting myself or the tv.

Watching the HBO flim, House of Saddam. No big surprises. Guy was a psychopath, killed everyone around him, blah blah blah. The acting is great so far. Not quite sure what the point is, but I'm watching, so maybe that's the point.

Daily Show is on hiatus until the new year .. I bet Stewart is regretting that now, especially considering what is going on in Blago-Bleep gate and the shoe flinging incident in Iraq. Oh well, I'm sure Olbermann and SNL will have a field day.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Some more of my favorites

Is it wrong that my kids know the words???? There's an ad at the end, but I love the animation ... good job!

And some others that I love:

This one was originally done by the Waitresses, but the Donnas do it justice.

And if I have to listen to the stupid Bing Crosby/David Bowie Christmas song again, I may have to punch a wall. Ugh!

ok ok ok ... this is wrong on so many levels, but being a fan of Rankin and Bass AND Goodfellas ... well ...

Not for the faint of heart, you've been warned.

But I'll temper it with my favorite Christmas song:

All better now? I can't believe this was released in 1984 ... 1984!!!!!!! Look at George Michael! Holy cow, this was before we had a men's bathroom fetish ... or maybe it was before he was so brazen about his men's bathroom fetish! I bought this .45 (that's a record for all you young-uns) and I was so proud that on the cover, it stated that the purchase of this record fed one hungy Ethiopian child. Did it really? I don't know, but it was my first do gooder act of my 17 year old life at that point. Look at George Michael!!! Look at Boy George!!!! Wonder if he had handcuffs in all that hair. Hats off Sir Bob!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Charlie Wilson's War

Wow ...

I always knew we bankrolled the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan against the Soviets and this movie just ... as George Tenet said ... slam dunked it. People forget that Osama Bin Laden was our buddy back then and, for that matter, so was Sadaam Hussein, oh fooey, Manuel Noriega was a pal too at one time ... sigh.

Charlie Wilson is quite a character and I think that the Tom Hanks version was mild compared to the real thing. What was so stupid (not the movie, the motive), is that some rich evangelical socialite in Texas was the spearhead of getting money/weapon to the Mujahadeen fighters in the name of defeating "godless" communists, when in fact, we were arming the very people we are now fighting ...

When I went to the Soviet Union in 1990 ... still godless communists .. ha ... I've never seen people so religious in my life. They were literally crawling over each other to say prayers in their Churches, I felt like an intruder.

What we did over there was fight the Soviets so we wouldn't have to fight them here, kind of like what we are doing now ... outsourcing war so we don't have to fight on our soil all in the "name" of spreading democracy ...oh man, I could go on a complete rant, but I won't.

Anyway, the movie was great. Phillip Seymour Hoffman has yet to do poorly in a film. For Tom Hanks, it was a walk in the park, Julia Roberts, who I think is the most overrated actress in Hollywood conveyed what a misguided do-gooder this Texas socialite really was. But the best part of the film was the end quote from Charlie Wilson ... sums everything up:

"These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world...
...and then we fucked up the end game." - Charlie Wilson

Yep, we sure did.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Turkey Day tv viewing

Watched a movie that I thought was incredibly well done, considering the subject matter. It's called The Killing of John Lennon. The title says it all. It follows the weeks prior to John Lennon getting killed by Mark David Chapman. I guess there's another Lennon assisination film out there called Chapter 27, which I haven't seen, so I don't have anything to compare it to.

I was 13 years old when John Lennon was killed. I think I was the only person in my 8th grade class that was affected by it. I remember only teachers really getting what happened. My Dad woke me up to tell me. He was watching some sporting event and they announced it. I can't believe it's been almost 30 years.

I feel like a schlub for saying that I thought it was a good movie. I'll just say it was well made. I don't think it showed compassion to Chapman, which is what I was afraid of. He came off as completely creepy and out of his mind, which is what he was/is. I can't believe he got 20 to life .. why not life, period? Not that he'll ever make parole, but still ... he can apply for it and has been turned down 4 times. What was really creepy was that the film was shot on location .. wonder how Yoko felt about that?

Frontline had a great profile of Hugo Chavez. Is it me, or does he look like a Chia Pet? I don't know if he's whacky or not. It seems to me like he's being a president by the seat of his pants ... making it up as he goes along.

I just love Total Wrecklamation. She pieced apart a house in my beloved Evanston ... Jodi, I would have bought that front door! I just love what she does, not just the environmental stuff, yea yea yea, saving stuff from the landfill. I just like the job that she does ... oh, and I'll take that Sub Zero fridge too. What are people thinking?????