Category Archives: Movies

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

When I first hear that I book I love is being adapted to the silver screen, I usually fill with joy that I get to experience a beloved story through another medium. Then as I sit in the theatre and am surrounded by countless people who probably didn’t even know it was a book, I start to panic.

I wonder: How will they ruin the story this time? Will they leave out key factors in order to please the general public? Will the storyline be jagged or not do justice to the author’s work? Will the casting be true to the character I envisioned in my mind?

Yet last night, as I sat front row for The Hunger Games and was taken to the world of Panem, my qualms were completely quelled. The movie was superb and as true to the book as it possibly could be, even though the violence was certainly tamed down and distorted to maintain a PG-13 rating. They managed to enhance the story with visuals I didn’t even think of when reading- such as the masterminds at the Capitol using technology to create the destruction during the Games, and the colorful personalities of Effie Trinket and Caesar Flickerman. I was left feeling like I finally understand the fantastical nature of Panem like Suzanne Collins wanted.

The cinematography and the incredible story- especially the clever use of ringing to show that Katniss had suffered damage to her ear drum- was a real treat, but the biggest gem was the leading lady. Jennifer Lawrence was the perfect Katniss Everdeen as she exemplified strength, independence, and most importantly, cunning skills. Even though she’s already an Oscar nominee, this film series is going to launch her young career into another galaxy and I can’t wait to be on the ride. The odds are certainly in her favor.

The only thing I’m left pondering is:  where can I get a black catsuit with flames shooting out the back for my Halloween costume?

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Oscars 2012: Silently Inspiring

Life feels a bit empty now that the Oscars are over. No more award shows to look forward to, no more dresses to gawk over, no more hope for so-and-so to win. Now begins another full year of cinema- the good and the bad- until we’re back discussing nominees yet again.

People are always saying how award shows are boring but I don’t know what they honestly expect to see. The fact that you’re witnessing all that talent in one room is exciting enough! This year’s show was extremely straight to the point. Billy Crystal did a good job of maintaining the pace of the show and the films being honored spoke for themselves.

The lone shocking moment of the night was that Meryl Streep won- if you can even consider that a shocker. And thankfully, the Academy didn’t break the 11th Commandment and play music over her acceptance speech. Meryl deserves all the awards in the world, but as a 17 time nominee who hasn’t won since 1982 and momentum going for Viola Davis, it was surprising to see her walk up there and collect her 3rd Oscar. As she joked, “When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going ‘Oh no! Oh c’mon, why? Her? Again? But whatever.” Meryl, you can win every award and I’d still applaud. Unless you’re up against Kate Winslet, then we have a problem.

The Artist and Hugo were the biggest winners of the night, with the silent film racking in the top honors of Best Picture and Best Director while Scorsese’s flick dominated the technical awards. While I have yet to see The Artist, I think it’s incredibly inspirational for such a drastically unique film to  be such a presence at the Academy Awards.  A silent film hasn’t won an Oscar since 1929 and in this world of so much noise and extravagance, The Artist proves that sticking to your ideas of art can go a very long way.

Sure, I would have liked The Help to win, but Octavia Spencer’s emotional victory was enough to represent the essence of the entire film. Christopher Plummer’s win for Beginners was just as heartwarming because at 82 years old, he became the oldest actor to ever win an Oscar. For it to be his first Oscar is an inspirational reminder that anything is possible at any age.

What really needed more recognition was Bridesmaids, which managed to be nominated at every major award show, and not win. Where are the awards for Kristen Wiig for original screenplay? They must be lost. Or hidden with Angelina Jolie’s left leg, because the right one was front and center last night to the point that it got its own Twitter account!

Angelina looked amazing as usual, on a carpet full of great dresses and looks. One shoulder gowns seemed to be all the rage, which makes me sad that my one shoulder dress was just sitting in my closet last night instead of making its appearance in front of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Oh well. Maybe next year.

Best Dressed

Milla Jovovich, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Octavia Spencer

 

Worst Dressed

Berenice Bejo, Anna Faris, J-Lo, Sascha Baron Cohen

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Best of 2011

Best Song:

Lady Gaga – Born This Way

This song is on the right track to be the anthem of the year.

Best Album:

Adele – 21

If she doesn’t sweep the Grammy Awards in February, I will lose my faith in the music industry completely.

Best Music Video:

Katy Perry – Last Friday Night

Can’t help but love the homage to 80’s movies and the random celebrity appearances.

Best TV Show:

Glee

Okay, so I may get frustrated with storylines and the writers’ general lack of knowledge about their own show, but it’s still the best show on TV with a ridiculously talented cast. It doesn’t hurt that basically everyone is so attractive it hurts.

Best Movie:

Bridesmaids

Thank you Kristin Wiig for showing the world just how funny women can be funny. And Melissa McCarthy, you are a scene stealer. Please go to the bathroom in sinks more often

Best Book:

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Dear Tina: Do you know how much I love you? Let me count the ways… oh wait, there aren’t enough numbers to express that

Best Actor/Actress:

Ryan Gosling

Even though I still haven’t seen Crazy Stupid Love, Ides of March, or Drive (I know, I suck), I can tell that Ryan Gosling is clearly the biggest actor of the year. His face (/”Photoshopped” body) and name seem to be everywhere. There’s even a Tumblr page of a collection of Gosling Tumblr pages. That’s when you know you’ve made it.

Biggest Break-up

Kim Kardashian & Kris Humphries

I’m still crying over Kim and Kris’ breakup. I’ve lost all faith in love now! NOT! Their breakup was big because it was disgusting. Who divorces after 72 days? Oh right, spoiled rotten brats like Kim Kardashian who abuse the right to marry while pocketing millions of dollars and ratings in the progress. It’s really sad that people are afraid that gay marriage will ruin the sanctity of marriage, yet being allowed to do this is okay. What a world we live in.

Biggest Loser:

Ashton Kutcher

Sure, he got a record-breaking contract on a highly publicized show, but he’s a loser. Who cheats on Demi Moore?! Also, what’s happened to his adorable face? All that scruff just makes him look even more like, well, the Biggest Loser of 2011

Person of the Year:

Steve Jobs

There’s really not much left to say about the late genius. He has changed the way we listen to music, talk to our friends, and how we interact on a daily basis. His contributions to technology will be remembered forever and we thank him for sharing his creativity with the world. May he Rest In Peace

Who to Watch in 2012

Lana Del Rey

She became an internet sensation recently and sold out shows without even having released an album, trust me, I was one of those who wasn’t able to get tickets but don’t take my word for it, have a listen to her brilliance.

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The Globes Are All Right!

Last night’s 68th annual Golden Globe Awards were star studded with great wins and even more frustrating losses. The big winners of the night were The Social Network (4 wins), Glee (3 wins),  and The Kids Are All Right (2 wins). Ricky Gervais as host hovered over inappropriate and mean-spirited. Only some jokes garnered real laughs; yet most were cringe-worthy. Let’s take a look at some of the other highlights…

Fashion First

Best Dressed: Green Glam by Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis, and Catherine Zeta Jones plus Glee Gorgeous with Lea Michele, Naya Rivera, and Dianna Agron

 

Worst Dressed: Justin Bieber in sneakers, Scarlett Johanson as The Bride of Frankenstein, Tilda Swinton wearing I don’t even know what, Julianne Moore missing the mark with this one sleeved gown, too pixie Michelle Williams, and January Jones doing tacky.

 

Best Wins

Chris Colfer

Given his storyline this past season, no TV character is more important than Kurt Hummel. Colfer’s speech was heartwarming as he encouraged viewers to ignore bullies and embrace who you are. Way to go Chris!

Jane Lynch

So deserved it’s not even funny, unlike the actress herself who is hilarious.

Annette Bening and Natalie Portman

While they won Best Actress in varying categories, both actresses gave perfect performances that truly demonstrate acting at its finest. It’s going to be upsetting when the Oscars role around and only one will ultimately be unable to walk away with the gold, but they’re both winners in our eyes.

 

Biggest Upset:

David Fincher for Best Director and The Social Network for Best Film

UGH! Sure, The Social Network was a good film in its own right considering that it handled a topic that is so important to this generation. But this is also the problem with the win. How can a movie about Facebook win an award over a piece of art by Aronofsky? This is enough to make me want to deactivate my account because everything about the Black Swan was so much better than The Social Network.

 

Biggest Loser:

Ted Casablanca from E!

For years he’s been trying to hurt people’s careers with his “Blind Items” and last night he tried to attack the cast of Glee backstage after their win and this time went after Jane Lynch. This video shows that the cast is onto his shitshow. At the 2:10 mark, begins his probing on Jane as the show diva; which is not a joke, but Jane handles it gracefully. You can see Lea’s disgust as she whispers about who he is because  he’s been having blind items attacking her, Naya, and Mark lately and they are just so outrageous that he needs to be slushied!

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The Best of 2010

Best Song:

Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream

It was the song that got stuck in your head over and over and over again.

 

Best Music Video:

Lady Gaga and Beyoncé for Telephone. Epic!

Best TV Show:

GLEE!

Best Movie:

Black Swan

It might have only come out on December 3, but it blew everything else out of the water.

Best Actor/Actress:

Betty White

No one was hotter than Betty and here’s hoping that she shines even brighter in 2011

Biggest Break-Up:


Sandra Bullock and Jesse James

Three words were never said more during this despicable turn of events… HOW COULD HE?!

Hottest Hookup:

None. Sorry but 2010 was a bit lackluster in celebrity romances.

Wackiest Wacko:


Chelsea Handler

Between dating 50 Cent and showing her lack of class while insulting Angelina Jolie, she definitely qualifies as even wackier than Lindsay Lohan.

Person of the Year:

Going for a two-way tie here: Amber Heard and Naya Rivera.

Amber’s human rights work and personal accomplishments show that she’s going to be the future of Hollywood and it’s about time someone like her came along. With a string of movies set to be released in 2011, everyone will get to know Amber; but I don’t necessarily want to share.

Naya brings so much flare to Glee and the fact that Ryan Murphy finally wised up and made her a series regular with amazing solos leaves her with many Gold Stars; although in true Santana form, she’d reject Rachel’s rewards. Hopefully in 2011, her storyline will get even better and she’ll roll Artie off a cliff.

Most Looking Forward To in 2011?

New music from Britney Spears and Lady Gaga!

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Nowhere Boy Goes Places

Last night I had the privilege of attending the U.S premiere of Nowhere Boy. Director Sam Taylor-Wood, brings us into the life of John Lennon in his teens during his quest for his mother and a fulfilled family life, all while making music. The story is painful, the shots are beautiful, and the acting was superb. Now that’s a good movie.

Harvey Weinstein first took the stage to introduce the film in honor of Lennon’s legacy as we approach what would have been his 70th birthday. He was then followed by Sam Taylor-Wood and the entire cast of the film, including Aaron Johnson, who played Lennon and also happens to be Wood’s fiancé and baby daddy. I  previously wrote about their slightly bizarre relationship here.

Yoko Ono also graced the stage to say she knows John would have loved the film. Lennon’s first band, The Quarrymen took the stage after the film to perform 3 songs. Even without Lennon and Paul McCartney (who did send a letter to be read) and being in their 70s, they rocked.

Also on hand for the Amnesty International affiliated premiere was the lovely Amber Heard, Ethan Hawke, and Courtney Love.

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The $@^*!&% MTV Movie Awards

In what felt like a rap performance on BET, the MTV Movie Awards aired Sunday night. The biggest winner was expletives that had to be bleeped out every 5 minutes. Between Tom Cruise reprising his Tropic Thunder role of Les Grossman to people cursing on stage just because they could, the awards turned out to be an even bigger joke than they already were.

The fact that the Jersey Shore cast were working the red carpet and “interviewing” people already dumbed down the show to an elementary level. Add on the 10 minute preview of the second season of their fake tanned show and your mind was back at the same capacity as when you were a fetus.

Blowouts and fist pumping aside, the awards themselves were low-brow, as expected. New Moon won everything- Best Kiss, Best Female and Male Actress/Actor, Best Movie etc.. Amanda Seyfried won best “WTF Moment” (yes, that’s really a category) for when Megan Fox puked on her in Jennifer’s Body. She was happy to win, even though she knew barely anyone saw the film. Am I the only person that actually liked it on the simple fact that it was entertaining? And that Adam Brody was killed. Yay!

But the show wasn’t a complete waste. Sandra Bullock was awarded the Generation Award, and that was the sole reason I tuned in to begin with. After being introduced by Bradley Cooper, the ever lovely Betty White, and Scarlett Johansson, Bullock took the stage for the night’s best moment. Not only did she look stunning but she reminded the world that she is one class act.

In a long sleeved, upper thigh length, black sparkly dress, Bullock won the hearts of everyone yet again. She addressed what the tabloids were saying about her and showed the world that she was okay after her ugly divorce from that scumbag who shall not be named.

And to really get revenge at such scumbag, Bullock kissed Johansson. Sure it was staged, but it was certainly unexpected and alleviated the awkwardness of Johansson being on the stage to begin with. Eat your heart out Jesse James!

So while the “awards” were a complete disaster, just like Christina Aguilera’s musical performance, Bullock saved the night. We love you Sandy!

The video won’t embed in the post but to watch Bullock’s speech, click here:

http://www.mtv.com/videos/misc/524450/sandra-bullock-kisses-scarlett-johansson-oh-and-accepts-mtv-generation-award.jhtml#more

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Tribeca Talks = People Begging For Help

For the second year in a row I attended a Tribeca Film Festival panel discussion. Last year it was Nia Vardalos at the Apple SoHo store. This year, Edward Burns at Barnes & Noble. While both of these events have been truly inspirational and enlightening for me, there has also been an aspect that is equally frustrating:

Wannabe somebodies begging the stars for help. Desperate much?

Last year a woman baked “yiayia’s” (Grandma’s) Greek cookies for Nia. In the bag was also a treatment for a screenplay. I kid you not! This year I heard 3 people ask Edward for his email address or contact information, and about 5 others ask for advice/help in breaking into the industry.

#1- if you need to attend an event and beg for help, you are NOT “networking,” you are being a desperate fool

#2- if you need advice on writing, on how to get ideas or break out of a writer’s block- you are NOT a writer and therefore shouldn’t be wasting everyone’s time with your silly questions.

Now that that’s off my chest I’d like to refocus back on yesterday’s Pen to Paper discussion. Edward Burns was joined by fellow screenwriters and authors David Baddiel, Carmel Winters, and Susan Orlean, which made for a fantastic discussion on everything writing. While I could sit here and praise them all for their accomplishments, I’d like to quote them instead.

EB: “At what cost do you give up your dreams?”

DB: “Writing isn’t about identifying yourself as a writer or screenwriter. If you can write, you can write.”

CW: “If you can write a novel, go ahead and do it.”

Wise words of wisdom that were greatly appreciated by this writer. I’d also like to say that Edward Burns is extremely nice.  He stayed after to talk to people, sign, and pose for pictures. I might have walked away feeling internal joy and inspiration but this will live on forever.

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Praise For Bigelow

The highlight of the Oscars for me wasn’t that ABC was returned 14 minutes into the show. It was that Kathryn Bigelow won and set a precedent for female filmmakers everywhere.

There is no denying that Hollywood is a male dominated organization, if you can call it that. Top actors are paid more than the top actresses and most executives don suits rather than skirts. It’s not often when you see a woman challenge those norms and stand out as the shining star.

For a woman to finally break the barrier and win Best Director gives all other women such pride and joy for Bigelow’s accomplishment. Even Barbara Streisand was overjoyed when presenting the award.

While I’m glad that Sandra Bullock won (another woman long deserving of praise for her work), Bigelow stole the night. After all, winning an Oscar and beating out your ex-husband at the same time is a great accomplishment.

Is Betty White God?

I love Betty White.

I like to think Betty White loves me since she always brings a smile to my face.

When I was younger I was an avid fan of the Golden Girls. Years later I still watch the show and laugh at the antics on screen. Betty has been a fixture in my life since I was a little girl and seeing her get so much more public praise lately has overjoyed for her.

Sandra Bullock was great (like she always is), but Betty was the scene stealer in The Proposal last year. She’s been appearing on late night shows cracking jokes, walking the streets of Los Angeles like she owns them, and was granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Screen Actor’s Guild last month.

Betty can do no wrong. Which is making me wonder: Is this the face of God?

After all, she was able to turn into a young man during the Super Bowl. It’s not walking on water but it’s good enough.

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