Sunday, December 30, 2007

I think Frank Costanza was really on to something with Festivus. I've pretty much had it with the whole Christmas thing.

Hope everyone else's holiday was more enjoyable than mine.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


So I visit to check the latest bad news about the writers strike (today's update: WGA refused to give a waiver to the Golden Globes and will probably be picketing it) and what is one of the top stories?

This, sadly, is not a reference to A-Rod's sexuality, but an article about the manager he just signed with. He didn't drop Boras, but he's definitely marginalizing him, and man, does he ever hate Boras now or what?

But yeah, just what the always-disheartening news about the WGA strike needs: More A-Rod...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ricky Gervais, Comedy Genius

Firstly, The Extras Christmas Special = amazing. I'm about five seconds from busting out the Office Christmas special since (a) it's the appropriate season and (b) the Extras special reminded me of how freaking good it was. I didn't think there was any way it could compare to the Office special, but it was definitely up there.

Secondly, what is up with selling concert tickets seven months in advance of the event? First Bruce, now Ricky Gervais doing standup at MSG on July 14-15, with tickets going on sale on Tuesday. After Saturday's debacle, I don't know if I have the mettle to do battle with Ticketmaster again so soon, but man oh man do I want to see his standup show.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Well it's not exactly the triumph I was hoping for but, I'll take it:

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Giants Stadium East Rutherford, NJ
Mon, Jul 28, 07:30 PM




Price Level 1

It's the back of the floor, but it's the floor nonetheless. And don't think that's the only show we're going to see. One way or another, I think we'll be getting some GA's. But for my parents, who haven't been spoiled by being up close, I think this will do just fine.

Oh, and thanks a lot, Ticketmaster, for the $55 in convenience fees. It's like you don't even have to try to be more hated than you already are.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The American Public Doesn't Know Shit

What the fuck is wrong with this country? The top ten albums of the year?
  1. Daughtry Daughtry
  2. Konvicted Akon
  3. The Dutchess Fergie
  4. Hannah Montana Soundtrack
  5. Some Hearts Carrie Underwood
  6. All the Right Reasons Nickelback
  7. Futuresex/Lovesounds Justin Timberlake
  8. High School Musical 2 Soundtrack
  9. Now 23 Various Artists
  10. Minutes to Midnight Linkin Park
I don't know what's worse, the list being topped by an American Idol also-ran, or the fact that people actually like the musical equivalent of syrup of Ipecac known as Nickelback. Ew ew ew. God, it's all so bad.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Celebrities Should Keep Their Mouths Shut

Dear Katherine Heigl,

If you're going to complain that Knocked Up is sexist, how about picking something other than a shitty, cliche-ridden romantic comedy for your follow-up, to, you know, actually make a point or something?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

You Spin Me Round

I used to have a subscription to Spin Magazine. After a few years, I cancelled my subscription because I came to the conclusion that the magazine thought it was much cooler than it actually was, and also because they put a picture of a shirtless, greased-up Scott Stapp and his band Creed on the cover once and I swear it almost made me lose my lunch. 

But for the first time since I cancelled my subscription, I bought an issue of Spin. Win Butler of Arcade Fire and Bruce Springsteen. On the same cover. Each talking about how awesome the other is. I think this is the music journalism equivalent of putting Chunky Monkey and the other Ben & Jerry's that tastes like Bailey's Irish Cream and Guiness in the same container. Anyway, it's supremely interesting and hearing that Bruce enjoys Rihanna's "Umbrella" makes me feel way less guilty about singing along with it while stuck in traffic on the freeway in LA. The article - which is less of an article and more of a transcript - is heads and shoulders above the rest of the issue and generally above what my general opinion is of Spin.

Bruce has only recently come into vogue in the hipster set - I spent much time in college trying to convince others of his awesomeness to no avail - and while he owns the hearts of 40-year-old single men such as the ones we chatted with while waiting for the concert, I don't think he's quite captured the hearts of 20-somethings as much as the editors of Spin might like to think (I'll be the first to admit that my tastes run slightly outside the mainstream). But it's a good read if you like either artist, and an even better read if you like 'em both.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Analogy time:

The Mob is to Michael Corleone as baseball is to Andy Pettitte. (As in, every time he thinks he's out, it pulls him back in.) And this is a good thing.

Now let's get this Santana situation locked down. 

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Mmmmm, tuna

A public service announcement to say that the Ahi Tuna Chopped Salad at Outback Steakhouse is one of the best things I've had at a chain restaurant in quite some time.

That is all.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Oh dear, it's December now. 

In the immortal words of my dad, "When the hell did this happen?"


Friday, November 30, 2007


I got all excited this morning because I was convinced that I had beaten the system - the system being Ticketmaster. But when you think about it, logging on and buying a ticket to a concert during a fan pre-sale is not beating the system. It's doing exactly what the system is supposed to do.

Oh, whatever. I am in possession of a general admission ticket to see the Foo Fighters play Madison Square Garden on February 19th. I'm psyched. Beyond psyched, really. And a bit impressed, as I told the world to stop sucking, and it did, at least a little bit.

But Ticketmaster can still suck it for being such a bitch during the Bruce Springsteen ticket frenzy - the tickets for the Philly show weren't sold through Ticketmaster so I've still got some Bruce-related demons to resolve there (hopefully this summer at Giants Stadium).

A more substantial rant on Ticketmaster to follow.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Stop sucking, everything.

I wish I had some happy, funny pop-culture-y rant to write about but frankly, I haven't really been in the mood to write anything other than a super angry rant against the world. So I'll just say this:

Stop sucking, life. 

Stop sucking, humanity.

Stop sucking, world.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Yeah, I'm not so much a fan of the holiday season.

Also, I'm having a bit of trouble dealing with yet another snub. I thought I stopped caring, but apparently I've been thinking too highly of myself lately.

But that's neither here nor there. In continuing the theme of sharing my injuries, it should be mentioned that I managed to burn a perfect isosceles triangle into the flesh on the inside of my arm just below my wrist while removing a pumpkin pie from the oven.  

Thursday, November 22, 2007

With dinner in about an hour, I can already feel the food coma coming on, even though I haven't started stuffing my face yet. No matter, it'll be good. Food will be eaten, naps will be taken, and inevitably, we'll all end up back downstairs on the couch to watch "Elf."
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

I woke up this morning, saw the snow coming down, and turned over and went back to sleep. I'm not ready for winter.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

They call it a flight cause it takes you up to heaven...

Ok, let's review:

Sexy accents - check.
Guitar playing skills - check.
Ability to make me laugh - check.
It's official. Bret and Jemaine of Flight of the Conchords are the ideal mate for me (either one of them... or both, actually, that could work).

Jemaine gets bonus points for the sweet sideburns he sported during the show. Ah, the return of the great muttonchop debate....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

God, I want to kiss you on the mouth to stop you from saying such ridiculous things.

Last year, when I was taking a comedy writing class, I had a discussion with my professor about 30 Rock, which had just premiered. "It's a good concept," he said, "and Alec Baldwin is really brilliant, but I just don't know if it will work out. But it almost seems like they're letting her develop the show on the air. We'll have to see how it turns out." He was right to be skeptical - the show had a bit of a rough start. But it found its footing, and I have to say, I think it may have surpassed The Office for my favorite sitcom on television right now.

In a way, it's like 30 Rock has become the spiritual heir to the throne of wonderful absurdity upon which Arrested Development sat. Is it a coincidence that both shows won an Emmy for Best Comedy Series after premiering to low ratings but high critical praise? Like Arrested, 30 Rock manages to combine political commentary, dirty jokes, physical comedy and sharp satire all while telling a coherent story and throwing in callbacks to the most wonderfully silly parts of episodes past (Werewolf Bar Mitzvah, I'm talking about you). And it doesn't hurt that Arrested cast member Will Arnett has already put in two guest appearances on the show.

So that's pretty much it. I thought I had some more insight, but really, no. Just watch the show. It will blow your mind grapes away.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A-Rod: The Sequel

Oh A-Rod. Although the mental picture of you crawling back to the Yankees and begging for your job amuses me to no end, I must say I'm a bit surprised at how this all played out. And a bit disappointed, as I was ready to put an end to the A-Rod in pinstripes era. If this alleged humility - which caused said crawling - shows up during the season, I'll be pleasantly surprised, but I'm not holding my breath. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Law & Order: Shark Jumping Unit

I have made no secret of my love of all things Law & Order. There is something very reassuring about always being able to find it in reruns, and I was a bit bummed that I wasn't able to see the French version during the short time I spent in France two summers ago (although that could be because I spent 95% of my time there seeing movies and getting hammered).

Even though I love L&O so, every now and then, the show does something so incredibly stupid that I can't possibly fathom why I love the show so. Take the last episode of of SVU, for example. I know the show wouldn't be the same without our beloved detectives and attorneys taking everything personally, but there reaches a certain point where it gets a bit ridiculous. I'm speaking, of course, of the fact that the seemingly countless schizophrenic perps that have passed through the system have had no effect on Casey Novak but suddenly this one caused her to throw the case. Um, okay. Despite the ridiculous "Elliott is blind - well, only for ten minutes" subplot, it had the makings of two-thirds of a decent episode. And then it got ridiculous.

Ok writers, you want to give Casey a backstory? Fine. But why make it about something that even the most casual SVU viewer could remember the show dealing with in the recent past without reaction from her? Unrelated, stop pushing the "Elliott and Olivia want to fuck" agenda. And for the love of god, give Richard Belzer more than just one scene an episode!

On the plus side, tonight's episode had Jack McCoy! His first official appearance as District Attorney! As much as I am saddened that we will no longer get the classic McCoy courtroom speeches, Although the casting director seemed to be trying hard to not let people forget about Fred Thompson, as the perp's attorney had an accent nearly identical to that of DA Arthur Branch...

Monday, November 12, 2007

I don't rap about bitches and hos I rap about witches and trolls

Last week, the Gods of Entertainment bestowed upon us the gift of the Flight of the Conchords DVDs. I fell hard for the Conchords this summer, and quite appreciated HBO's policy of rerunning episodes until I could practically recite them from memory.

The downfall to this, of course, was that they eventually stopped showing Conchords episodes, and like nicotine and alcohol, zany New Zealanders were a hard substance to give up cold turkey. But now the DVD is here, and yay. Twelve wonderfully absurd episodes of singing, band meetings, angry dancing, and crazy fans fan.

Unfortunately, that's it. Not a single bonus feature is on the disc, which is disappointing for a number of reasons. First, HBO sent around a survey about Flight of the Conchords around the time that they announced they had picked it up for a second season which included a question about what kind of bonus features you wanted to see on the DVD. That seems to imply that they would include some sort of bonus features on the disc, right? Second, there were a number of behind-the-scenes clips available on OnDemand/as part of the Flight of the Conchords podcast, and even if they were just recycled for the DVD, that at least would have been something. The same for Mel's video diaries, featured on the HBO site.

I was really keeping my fingers crossed for the inclusion of the Conchords' HBO "standup" special, but alas, no go. I'm hopeful that a future Conchords DVD release will feature some of these extra goodies, but with season two threatened by the writers' strike, who knows what will happen.

All that bitching aside, the episodes are amazing and really don't need any extra bells and whistles. If you're not hooked by "Mugged," you probably don't have a sense of humor. Or you like According to Jim. Now if only HBO would wise up and find a lead-in for the Conchords that is more appropriate than the frat boy "humor" of Entourage.

Completely unrelated to New Zealand's fourth most popular folk-parody duo, I have to say that I'm absolutely in love with Chuck, both the show and the character. Kudos to whoever put Britney Spears' "Toxic" in tonight's episode (so oddly inappropriate and therefore, perfect). And is it me, or does Zachary Levi look like a cross between Paul Rudd and John Krasinski?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veronica Mars is my Girlcrush

I know, I know, I really missed the boat on this one. But Veronica Mars is kind of awesome. Like my beloved Arrested Development, it was a fiercely loved cult show that only made it three seasons. And I'll admit, even though I read glowing reviews of the show, I didn't really give it a chance because I was sick of getting really into shows that were likely to end up cancelled. And now I'm sad that I never gave the show a chance because it's really, really good.

I've only finished season 1, so I can't yet speak to the quality of seasons 2 or 3 except to say that I did see part of the episode from season 2 with Michael Cera (George Michael from the aforementioned Arrested Development) but didn't understand any of the reoccurring storylines. But season 1 was awesome. It was written way better than a show about a high school girl cum detective had any right to be. Just awesome.

I think what elevated Veronica Mars above your typical high school TV show is that it wasn't a teen soap, nor did it try to solve the problems facing American youth (Beverly Hills, 90210, I'm talking about you). It took a completely absurd idea - high school junior as hardened gumshoe - but kept the rest of the show grounded in reality. The protagonist was Sam Spade bitching about algebra homework. Theoretically, this shouldn't work, which means that it was totally awesome. 

I know a lot of people thought it was highly influenced by Buffy, and I can't really speak to that as I never could get on that train. But I can definitely see the influence of Twin Peaks, and in a much better way than the train wreck (that hopefully will no longer be a train wreck this season although thanks to the writers' strike, who knows what we'll see) that currently is Lost.

And seriously people, Kristen Bell is all kinds of awesome. Love her!

In the revisionist history of my mind, I like to pretend that I was as cool as Veronica in high school, above all the bullshit and pretentiousness that came with having to deal with the assholes that were my classmates.  I wasn't. But I'm glad that Rob Thomas created Veronica Mars and gave me the opportunity to pretend. 

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My ears! Ahhh!

Sometime last year... actually, just about a year ago now, the lovely and talented Matt Nathanson came to BU to play a show. He put on a great show, including reading excerpts from a soft-core porn novel, posing for pictures and signing autographs after the show, and was an all-around awesome guy. 

But the band he had opening for him - did. not. like. There weren't a huge amount of people at the show and frankly, I felt pretty awkward standing there watching this band that I thought sucked. It was a school event, so there was no bar to which I could steal away, and at one point, I freaked out, leaned over to my friend and whispered "I think the lead singer just made eye contact with me and that kind of weirds me out." Ah memories.

Anyway, I hadn't thought much about Carbon Leaf lately, as I really had no reason to have them on my mind. Until the other night. I was searching the Bruce Springsteen MP3 Bootleg Index (an excellent resource for any and all unreleased Bruce ephemera) for an MP3 of "Fire," a song that never made it onto any of his albums, when I came across a cover version of "I'm On Fire" by none other than.... Carbon Leaf.

At first I just laughed, but my morbid curiosity got the best of me and I had to give it a listen, which I knew was a mistake. I mean, Carbon Leaf doesn't really deserve all this wrath from me, but they're like Dave Matthews Band-lite, and that's just a vibe I can't get behind. Anyway, Carbon Leaf's version lacks the slow burning (burning... fire... get it) sensuality of Bruce's original. I mean, why cover a song like that if you're going to sing it like a robot?

Sigh. Some days, I really worry that I might end up a real-life female version of Rob, Dick, and/or Barry from High Fidelity, wasting my life away working retail, trying to feel better about myself by putting down others' taste in music. 

Friday, November 09, 2007

Oh man.

Sexiest. Mugshot. Ever.
Thank you Smoking Gun, for bringing this to my attention.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Cannot stop listening to Mike Doughty's "I Hear the Bells."

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Signs of the Apocalypse: Music Edition

In the latest music news, Britney Spears was denied the number one spot on the charts this week because Billboard suddenly decided to start counting albums sold at a single retailer. This means that The Eagles, who are selling their new album only at Wal-Mart, snatched the top spot away from her.

There are so many things wrong/weird/confusing about this. Where do I even start?

1. Britney Spears would have had the number one album in the country despite the only thing she has done in the way of promotion is flash her ladyparts to a few cameras. I've heard that if Britney's music is your thing, this album is actually pretty good, and that's not my thing, so I can't really argue that. But seriously people, aren't we over the whole Britney thing yet? I actually almost feel sorry for her and her complete inability to function as a normal human being. Almost.

2. The Eagles have the number 1 album in the country. Really? The Eagles? And to my surprise...

3. ...The Eagles have the best-selling album in America in history. Their Greatest Hits: 1971-1975 has sold more copies than Thriller, Led Zeppelin IV, The Wall, Born In The USA, Jagged Little Pill, Appetite For Destruction, etc. Yet I could name you more people who purchased all of those albums than have purchased that Eagles greatest hits compilation. I was going to say that I don't know a single person that owns this album, but that would actually be incorrect, as I looked it up on Amazon and realized that my dad definitely had a tape of it that got tossed around the back seat of the car for a while until sun damage ultimately rendered it unplayable. That being said, I love my dad dearly, but a love of great music has never been his strong suit.

4. And finally, the most offensive part of this whole ordeal: the fact that The Eagles are selling this new album at Wal-Mart exclusively. I'm pretty sure that Wal-Mart is the earthly incarnation of hell and its executive board is comprised of Satan's minions (see the excellent documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices for more info - also, it gets bonus points for using a live version of Bruce singing "This Land Is Your Land"), and I can't possibly think of anything good that a Wal-Mart exclusive says about your band. So why?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More Funny eBay Finds

The previous entry and all its bilingual Bon Jovi fun was brought to you by the wonder that is eBay, as is this gem:

In case you can't read that, it's an auction for the 1978 album "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" by everyone's favorite 80's heartthrob "Rick Springsteen."


Friday, November 02, 2007

Viviendo en una Oracion

Trying to explain why certain things are funny is like trying to explain why human beings are put on this planet. It involves a lot of philosophy and theory and depends on your worldview and is ultimately best left up to "just because."

The song titles from Bon Jovi's "Slippery When Wet," listed in Spanish on a Mexican edition of their 1986 album are one such thing. Why? Who knows. Will you find it funny? Maybe, maybe not. But I did. So I'm sharing.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you my pride and joy this Halloween:

the Conan O'Brien O'Lantern! (Pattern here) Enjoy all your candy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fuck You, A-Rod: Part Deux

I suppose I should elaborate on that last post a bit, now that my anger has died down a bit. As you likely have heard, A-Rod has decided to opt out of his contract and become a free agent. The Yankees said that if he were to opt out, they would not pursue him as a free agent and so Alex is a Yankee no more.

I should be celebrating this. I loathe the ego, douchebaggery, and general asshattery Rodriguez has brought to the Yankees for the past four seasons. But in typical A-Rod fashion, he managed to make his departure even more loathsome than anyone could have imagined. He announced his decision (or, rather, Scott Boras did) just as the World Series was drawing to a close.* He neglected to tell any of his teammates of his plans, nor did he even have the courtesy to return calls from team brass regarding his status. He used the uncertain status of other team members as his excuse for bailing even though he had ten more days for their status to be resolved before he made his move. Baseball might be a team sport to most players, but to A-Rod, his only concern is his own stats and his own huge-ass contract.  

So, to clarify, after finally having an amazing season in pinstripes, overcoming the fact that you got booed at BY YOUR OWN FANS last season, and giving us a heartfelt speech about how you really belong in New York as you sprayed champagne on your teammates (yeah, remember those guys?), now you say (to, frankly, the only team that can afford your overpriced ass), "Eh, thanks but no thanks, I'll take my chances on the open market."


You know what, Alex? I don't give a fuck what you decide to do. All I know is that you better fuckin' be prepared to get one hell of a round of boos when you show up in New York next year. And I hope I'm there contributing to the sound and the fury. And I really hope that with you gone, the boys can go all the way while your money-grubbing ass is sitting at home in October thinking how it could've been you.

Oh, and your agent? Is the devil incarnate. But we already knew that.

So maybe the anger hasn't subsided in the last 24 hours. Oh well, it's more interesting that way.

*I'm a die hard Red Sox hater and even with that in mind, I can't say that what he did was in any way reasonable. 

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fuck you, A-Rod.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Reason # 17... go to California:

It's "cold" in NJ now. Forgot that I am not a fan of that.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Good Morning, Christina

Even though the New Pornographers' latest album came out in August and I bought it in September, I hadn't really gotten around to listening to it too much. But I've changed that and I must confess that I got waaaaaaay too excited when I heard the track "Go Places," because
  1. Well, it's a good track (the album on the whole is quite good), and
  2. My name is in it!
For someone with a fairly common first name, you'd think it would show up in more places... but it really doesn't. Not in the music I find myself listening to. Although it should be said that I often imagine substituting my name for "Theresa" in "I'll Work For Your Love" off Magic. I mean, come on, "Pour me a drink Christina, in one of those glasses you dust off..."

It just sounds so right!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

On a rare serious note, the situation in SoCal sucks right now. The fires haven't hit LA yet, but I'm glad I decided to put off heading out there for a little while. Just seeing the minor brushfire near Warner Brothers/Universal was scary enough; I can't even imagine what this is like.

My thoughts are with all my friends out there. Stay safe, guys.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


From Sars at Tomato Nation:

At times like this, I wish there were a formal designation in English to distinguish between the Yankee fans who only give a crap about winning, and the rest of us. I get the feeling it's the first group that influences some of the choices the Yankee brass make, and I like it fine when the team wins, but mostly, I just like it when the team plays. Plays baseball. Because that's the point.

So long, Joe Torre. You will be missed.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I'm doing NaNoWriMo! That's National Novel Writing Month, for the uninitiated. What it boils down to is spending the month of November driving oneself to the brink of insanity by attempting to write a 50,000 word novel. I don't know if I'll actually finish, or if I'll actually write anything that's readable, but I'd like to finally complete something for once, regardless of whether it's any good. I've got more unfinished stories and screenplays than I know what to do with. I've got a few ideas rolling around in my head, so we'll see where that takes me.

Also, at the Bruce Springsteen show last night in Ottawa, THE ARCADE FIRE came on stage with Bruce and the band and played a few songs ("State Trooper" off "Nebraska" and "Keep the Car Running" off Arcade Fire's latest album) during the encore. I am so fucking jealous of you Ottawans right now (even if I did get to hear "Incident on 57th Street")!  I love love love Arcade Fire. Off to search for that bootleg now...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Goddamn bugs...

Well, fuck.

The baseball season ended a bit earlier than I had hoped. But still, coming back from a 21-29 start to end up with 94 wins is pretty impressive in itself. I'm not really in the mood to talk about it too much other than to say, "Please come back, Jorge and Mo."

On to next season, boys...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

One great rock show can change the world.

Oh man. Oh man. Oh man.

Where does one begin to describe the sheer awesomeness of last night's Bruce Springsteen concert?

I suppose the beginning is as good as any other place.

Through some sheer dumb luck, I found tickets online on Friday night for Bruce's Saturday night show in Philadelphia. Even more incredible, the tickets were general admission floor seats. Needless to say, I was beyond excited for this. So Saturday afternoon, I made my way to Philly, linked up with my sister, and we headed over to the Wachovia Center around 4 so we could get our wristbands.

If you're unfamiliar with how Bruce Springsteen runs the floor section for his shows, there is front GA - known as the pit - and back GA. In order to prevent people from camping out at the arena to get the best spots, numbered wristbands are handed out, and then a random number is drawn. The person with this number is the first to get into the pit, and the rest of the line follows until the pit is full. The rest of the people fill in the rear section.

Anyway, to omit a lot of long, boring details that no one cares about, I was 696 and the number they pulled was 528. Not only were we in the pit, we were among the first 200 people in the building. That may sound like a lot until you think about the fact that there are probably close to 22,000 people in the building for a concert. And once we walked down onto the floor and saw how few people there actually were... man oh man. Perma-goosebumps. I remember somewhat dazedly holding up my duly-wristbanded wrist to the security guard at the entrance of the pit and looking at the sheer amount of space that was there... and the sheer amount of space that WASN'T there between myself and the stage.  We staked out a spot between Bruce and Clarence with approximately three rows of people between us and the stage. Yeah. Kind of a big deal.

Everyone around us was super nice (Bruce fans are such a nice change from the annoying hipsters I usually go to shows with even though yeah, I am one sometimes), and I got tons of comments on my '84-'85 world tour shirt (thank you, eBay!). The guys in front of us in line for the pit seemed genuinely stoked that two people as young as my sister and I were genuine fans of Bruce. All in all, it made the four hours between arriving at the Wachovia Center and Bruce's first notes on stage fly by.

When the band finally came out, we seemed even closer than I originally thought (I know, I'm an idiot). It was like my brain couldn't possibly process the idea of being that close to Bruce Springsteen until he was actually there, 15 feet away. We were so close to the stage, we couldn't even see the giant screens on either side. The show opened with "Night," and you couldn't wipe the goofy smile off my face for the rest of the show. He played 3 songs off "Darkness On the Edge of Town," "Prove It All Night" - during which there was eye contact* between myself and The Boss - "The Promised Land," and "Badlands," three of my all-time favorite Bruce songs. And people, HE PLAYED "INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET." This might not mean anything to you if you're not a Bruce fan. But trust me, it's a big deal. And it was amazing to hear live.

I've been up relatively close at comedy shows and some small club shows, but this is the closest I've ever been (and probably every will be) at an arena show. And just being able to see how the band members interacted with each other - and what a good time they seemed to be having - was priceless. The expressions on Bruce's face when he took a solo - particularly during "Prove It All Night" - were so intense (and I'd be lying if I said they didn't make my mind... wander... a bit). And that's something that you'd never be able to see from the other end of the arena without the help of the giant screens. Every time someone pointed to Clarence, he'd grin and point back at them and the whole group of us standing by him would cheer.

Other than the previously mentioned setlist selections, one of my favorite moments of the whole night had to be when Bruce played a wrong note during "Thundercrack" and tried to pretend it wasn't him. He yelled out "Who did that?" and laughed with this silly sheepish grin on his face (which I could see... from where I was standing... without looking at the screen). We might treat him like a god, but he's human. And he's cool with being human. The pairing of "Born To Run" and "Dancin' In the Dark" in the encore was another highlight, with the crowd going absolutely nuts. He closed the show with "American Land," which I thought would disappoint me because it wasn't an E Street Band song, but I actually really liked it - even though that meant the show was over.

All in all, I couldn't have asked for a more amazing experience for my first Bruce show.  I'm sure the two guys we waited in line with wondered if "the two rookies" realized what an awesome show they had witnessed. Oh, we realized. We most certainly realized. And more importantly, I'm wondering when I can go see another show, even though I know it's near impossible to have another perfect combination of an amazing setlist, amazing spots in the pit, and amazing weather for standing outside waiting for the lottery.

And because I couldn't go the whole post without mentioning it, it goes without saying that for 58, Bruce looks damn good. Age appropriate? What?  Heh heh heh.

Thanks, karma, for finally coming through.

*Maybe I imagined this, maybe I didn't. But it's one of my favorite songs, let me have my delusions, goddammit!!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sometimes, good things DO come to those who wait...

This blogger is beyond psyched because she just managed to snag a pair of GA tickets for the Bruce Springsteen concert tomorrow night in Philadelphia (and she didn't pay a penny above face value).

I am squealing like a little girl right now. And I think my sister's away message says it all:

"so my sister = amazing...cause we are totally going to see bruce springsteen tomorrow night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and clarence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Open your ears/this is a story/it isn't clear/is he a fool or is he a god?

I know that I'm about four years late on this bandwagon, but, wow, The Wire is an amazing show. I've just finished the first two discs of Season 1 (thank you, Netflix), and I'm absolutely hooked. I'll be the first to admit that I've got a not-so-secret obsession with cop shows (Law & Order, Homicide), but that being said, I wasn't fully prepared for the sheer awesomeness of what is probably HBO's most underappreciated show.*

The Wire has a lot in common with Homicide: Life on the Street, of which I have previously extolled the virtues. David Simon, creator of The Wire, wrote a nonfiction book, also called Homicide, which served as the basis for the television series. On The Wire, he shows all the gritty things network TV wouldn't allow (and lets cops talk like actual cops, dropping all the f-bombs they need) and sets up complex, intricate, season-long story arcs that would have a broadcast network executive shaking in his or her suit. As if that weren't bad enough, the show dares to show the good and bad sides of the cops and the dealers. It's not a show to watch passively while you make dinner or do some writing. It demands your attention and frankly, it deserves it. I've only seen the first half of the season, but I know the rest of it won't disappoint me.

Season 5 of The Wire starts in January, which means that you have plenty of time to catch up on the first four seasons before then. And if you need any more convincing other than you're really missing one of the best shows on TV right now, well... British actor Dominic West, who plays Detective Jimmy McNulty, is pretty hot, even if he hasn't quite achieved Hugh Laurie-level command of the accent.   

As for postseason baseball, well it is a cruel, cruel mistress. Or master, I guess, since I like boys. The Yankees got nothing from their pitching staff and failed to capitalize on all the walks that Sabathia gave up, and my non-Yankee love** Chase Utley of the Phillies is... uh... 2 for 9 and the Phillies are down two games to the Rockies heading to Colorado. Ouch. But the Yankees are far from done. On the bright side, Magic, the new Bruce Springsteen album, is really quite excellent. 

*This is certainly not true in terms of critical reception, but it certainly doesn't have the general-TV-watching-public recognition of The Sopranos or Entourage.  Also, it could share this title with Flight of the Conchords, but I'm not entirely certain how that show's been received in the real world.

**The boys in the blue pinstripes come first, but I'll admit to checking out a few on the side.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Between Tim McCarver, the Chevrolet John Mellencamp "America Rocks!!" commercials, and Dane Cook's grating playoff ads, it's almost enough to put me off baseball.

Alternately, I love the Pepsi commercial with Johnny Damon trying to distract Joe Mauer while he slides into home.

Friday, September 28, 2007

1 out of 52 ain't bad, right?

I have a love-hate relationship with Entertainment Weekly. I've been a subscriber for... 6 or 7 years, more out of habit now, but there's usually only about 1 issue a year that I absolutely LOVE.

This year's one issue came today. On the cover? A cover story on The Office, an interview with Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman about The Darjeeling Limited, a profile of Jason Bateman, and a stellar* review of Bruce Springsteen's new album. Plus, no Stephen King column. Score.

*Although it does begin with a lyrical mistake, quoting Thunder Road as "Have a little faith/There's magic in the night" when it's actually "Show a little faith/There's magic in the night." Nitpicky, I know, but it is one of my all time favorite song lyrics.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's kind of a big deal...

And with a 12-4 win over the Devil Rays, the Yankees clinch their 13th straight postseason appearance.

Fuck yeah.

I was originally looking for a nice, champagne-y picture to commemorate the achievement, but I decided on this one instead... which the look on Roger Clemens' face seems to say, "Mike, I'm going to take you out behind the locker room and have my way with you." Ha.

So we can cross "Yankees Clinching a Playoff Spot" off my list of things that need to happen in the immediate future. Now if we can take care of the Springsteen tickets and the, uh... job (you can see where my priorites lie in that listing), I'll be all set.

Top Chef makes me so goddamn hungry...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sound the Alarm

I woke up this morning to the alarm on my cell phone, which I've been doing for the past few days. But for some reason, my brain did not process that it was my cell phone and tried - quite unsuccessfully - to get the alarm to stop by turning off my alarm clock. If I had been watching me, I'd have laughed.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rants and Nonrants

So, two weeks ago I ordered two shirts from Threadless and I finally found out today that there was a problem with my order, so no dice, it's been cancelled and my credit card refunded.  They offered me a $5 coupon to use on my next order, but now instead of getting two shirts for $24 and change (I ordered during their back to school sale), I'm getting one for $16.  :(

Oh well, not really the biggest of deals right now considering the Yankees won tonight and the Red Sox lost, putting the Yankees a mere 1.5 games back from the AL East lead.  Yes, the same division in which they were once 14 games behind.  I applaud the sound guy who played "Don't Stop Believin'" at the Stadium when they put the Boston/Toronto score up on the board.  Heh heh.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Holy F*#&@$g S^#t

The Yankees, thanks in part to a stellar pitching performance tonight on the part of Mike Mussina, are now 2.5 games back from the Red Sox.

If nothing else, we're gonna make 'em sweat.

The Perils of Creativity

While writer's block is in fact, quite painful, it doesn't hold a candle to resting your arm against a just-turned-off (aka still quite hot) iron.  However, said injury is not as bad as the one-inch square of skin near my elbow that I seared on the oven door in LA.

Monday, September 10, 2007

61 in 61

What is it about baseball movies that always makes me emotional? I just finished watching 61* and even though I've seen it many times before, as Roger Maris hit homer number 61, I couldn't help but tear up. Of course, it's kind of ruined with the cut back to steroid man Mark McGwire breaking Maris's record, but still.

Well played, Billy Crystal. Your Yankees love has been put to good use.

After today's unsuccessful attempt to get Bruce Springsteen tickets, I decided to watch the concert DVD that came with the 30th anniversary edition of Born to Run. After all, watching the concert on a big screen TV with our surround sound setup probably gave me a better view (and less hearing damage) than I would have had with the tickets I kept pulling for Madison Square Garden this morning. But more on that in a later installment...

Anyway, that concert is amaaaaaazing. Vintage Bruce and an amazing performance of my all-time favorite Springsteen song "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)." Sigh. The tickets will be mine. Oh yes, they will be mine.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I was trying to fire Todd but then he did a sad face at me.

I went to see Balls of Fury tonight with Olie.  I had read the script and seen lots of footage at my internship, so I pretty much knew what to expect - a mostly not-so-funny movie with a few touches of genius from Christopher Walken.  Dan Fogler tries to be Jack Black and isn't, and George Lopez just isn't funny.  Walken's over-the-top-ness saves the film from complete and total suckitude, but doesn't quite completely redeem it.

The disappointing thing about Balls of Fury is that it was written by Tom Lennon and Ben Garant, they of Reno: 911 and The State fame.  I think The State is absolutely brilliant, and its spawn Reno: 911 and Stella (the comedy troupe as well as the eponymous Comedy Central show) are about equally as brilliant.  But when these guys try to translate their culty weirdness into mainstream film, it just doesn't seem to work.  Just take a look at Lennon or Garant's IMDB writing resume (they work as a team) - from the wild subversiveness of The State to... The Pacifier, A Night at the Museum (confession: I thought A Night at the Museum was cute, mostly because of Owen Wilson), and the disaster that was Let's Go to Prison?  I'm not begrudging the guys a well-paying gig - god knows a semester in the heart of the industry changed this jaded indie film geek's perspective on what it is to be a working filmmaker/writer/actor - but it would at least be nice to see a little bit of the weirdness that made The State so awesome in the rather bland and not tremendously funny comedies that the guys are writing these days.

There has been, however, talk of a State reunion (outside the fact that all the State members appeared in Reno: 911! Miami and The Ten).  If this is true, I'll be content to believe that they've been saving up all their subversiveness for that.  And I hope it delivers in spades.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

You're like a proper band now. You're like the Police... men.

I love The Replacements (the Paul Westerberg fronted band, not the Keanu Reeves movie), and I love Bruce Springsteen, so it would follow that I should also love The Hold Steady, a band that is very much the lovechild of those two.

And I do. 

That is all.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The internets are letting me down

(a) Bruce Springsteen tickets go on sale in 5 days.  Can someone please explain why there is no Ticketmaster page up for the show yet?  I would like to know how much money I'm going to be out sooner rather than later.

(b) I ordered two shirts from Threadless.  They sent me an email saying "Your order has shipped" and providing me with a UPS tracking number.  Except the UPS tracking number says no such order exists.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

One Little Spark...

Is there nothing better than inspiration?  I don't even know if this will go anywhere, but from the memory of sitting on someone's basement couch, an idea has been born.  I hope that I can actually (a) finish it and (b) make it not suck.

P.S. In light of recent events, how funny is it to see Mel Gibson make his entrance in Lethal Weapon 2 clad in a straitjacket?  Good stuff.

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Boss

Bruce Springsteen's new single, "Radio Nowhere" is free on iTunes this week, which is pretty cool. What's not pretty cool is what iTunes lists as the most downloaded Springsteen songs.  As of 8/30 the top 5 songs are:
  1. Dancing In the Dark
  2. I'm On Fire
  3. Born to Run
  4. Glory Days
  5. Secret Garden
Three of them absolutely belong there.  One is questionable, but for the sake of argument, I'll buy it.  And then there is "Secret Garden."  Why why WHY is "Secret Garden" on this list?  I love Bruce, but that is not one of his better songs.  If I'm listening to the "Greatest Hits" album, I will scramble for the remote to prevent myself from being subject to it.  Not to mention the fact that when Jerry Maguire came out, WPLJ played that song with quotes from the film OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.  It's like a pavlovian response - I hear that song and think "Shut up.  Just shut up.  You had me at hello."  UGH.

But anyway, Bruce's new single is pretty good, and I'm psyched about seeing him on tour this fall.  It's pretty much the only thing I'm psyched about right now in my trainwreck of a life.

Michael Cera and the other boys from Superbad were on The Tonight Show.  Cera was so adorably awkward.  I love geeky boys.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Substituting 'folk' for 'fuck' will never not be funny

Dlisted's "Hot Slut of the Day" is none other than...

Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords.  Folk me.  He's such a sixy man.

Friday, August 24, 2007

*insert obvious "Superbad is Supergood" line here*

You may remember, around 2004, when it seemed that every male on the planet celebrated the 18th birthday of the Olsen twins. And there was a slightly similar, yet slightly less exuberant celebration on the female side when Daniel Radcliffe (he of Harry Potter fame) hit the age of consent.

And yet, even though I find all that just a bit questionable, I definitely took note when Michael Cera turned 18. Cause George Michael Bluth is legal now. Which means it's totally NOT inappropriate that I was crushing on him during Superbad. And I'm totally crushing on Superbad itself. It's smart and dumb, gross and sweet, and altogether incredibly entertaining.

How much can you really say about a movie like this? It's painfully funny, and I don't want to ruin any of the hilarious jokes. Seth and Evan are dorks, but they're real, dimensional dorks. Each and every role is perfectly cast, from Seth, Evan, and Fogel (McLovin!) to the girls they lust after. And Seth Rogen and Bill Hader fit right in as the authority figures who have no desire to be authoritative at all - unless it means that they can use their guns and run red lights.

If I had one complaint, it would be that the film is just a bit too long. Rogen and Hader's subplot, although funny, could probably stand to be trimmed down a bit, as could the party that Seth and Evan go to with Joe LoTruglio's character (I take such joy in spotting alums from The State - which is coming to DVD! - in random comedies). But all in all, it's funny as hell and a great movie with which to end the summer.

Unrelated, Will Forte is on Flight of the Conchords this week! I'm psyched. Although it may be hard to top the idea of a threesome with the boys that was presented in last week's episode...

Monday, August 20, 2007

So Hot, They're Making Me Sexist

What? No, I'm not staying up for the west coast airing of Flight of the Conchords...

...except for the fact that, um, yis (hee), I am.

Also, let it be known that said show has been renewed for a second season.  That leaves an entire off-season (so to speak) to daydream about the boys in nothing but their... business socks.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I <3 Bret and Jemaine

Because I don't think I've written about it yet (even though I've been enjoying it since June):

I don't know how I've lived my life thus far without knowing about Flight of the Conchords. Pretty much the best thing out there. And waaaay better than Entourage. (Yeah, I said it. What now?)

Also, Bret, I want to have your babies.  

Le sigh.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Cake or Death: Eddie or Dane

Recently, I re-watched Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill special. And obviously, it's amazing. I don't need to say that. If you've seen it, you know how brilliant it is, and if you haven't, you must this very minute. Anyway, on the same day I happened to be basking in the brilliance of Eddie Izzard, I caught a rerun of Dane Cook's Vicious Circle.

I was at the taping of Vicious Circle, which was kind of a big deal. I went with Nikki and a bunch of other people, and we spent quite a bit of money for seats that were not close to the stage.  For someone who is "all about the fans," as Dane frequently says he is, you would think that might be taken into consideration before he charges over $100 for floor seats - at the Comedy Connection in Fanueil Hall, it was $30-ish plus drinks.  

After seeing Dane at the aformentioned Comedy Connection many times, paying $60 for an upper tier seat at the Garden in Boston seemed just didn't seem right. We left the show buzzed on alcohol and laughter, but feeling somewhat underwhelmed. The show just wasn't as amazing as Dane had been in the past, we thought. Maybe we had just seen him so many times that his live shows were losing their thrill. Or maybe that was just the booze. It had been a long week previously, and I just found out I was accepted into the Cannes internship program, so some celebrating was in order.

When I finally saw the Vicious Circle special on TV, I was even more disappointed. Surely, I thought, the show will be better than I remembered. And... it wasn't. There wasn't as much funny in the two hours as there should have been. And so much I had heard before... multiple times at his shows.

Anyway, what I'm getting with all this is that it's kind of difficult to say, but... I think I've outgrown Dane Cook. Which is kind of painful considering the amount of money I spent to see him live over the past 4 years (Three times at the Comedy Connection, twice at BU, and the whopper of a show that was the Garden). But there's something very collegiate about him. And I don't mean collegiate in that argyle sweaters and rich New England family sort of way, but more in the way of boys with unironically flipped collars and backwards Boston Red Sox hats and the girls who love them.  And that's not a scene of which I want (or ever did want) any part.

Maybe it's because I'm done with college - and Dane Cook will forever be inextricably linked to my four years at BU.  Maybe it's because - even as a straight girl - Eddie is way more attractive in his skirts and heels than Dane is in his torn jeans and faux-hipster shirts.  Probably it's because Eddie Izzard is just funnier.  So, sorry Dane, but this is where you and I part ways.  It's not you, it's me.  Really.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hi, I'm Shallow

Bravo re-ran the latter half of the second season of Top Chef today. I started watching it while I did some baking (I figured it was appropriate background noise) and proceeded to get sucked into watching the rest of the episodes. 

As did my mom.

So we sat around all day watching TC reruns, which, admittedly, made me a bit hungry, and made me depressed again because it made me think of how I couldn't taste my $35 plate of sea scallops and fennel risotto that I had on vacation. Which is neither here nor there.

Anyway, the end of season two has the infamous Marcel/Cliff/Ilan/Elia head-shaving incident, which provoked a discussion as to why I so intensely disliked both Ilan and Marcel (I don't know why any discussion was needed - I thought it was pretty obvious).

"Well," said my mom, "if you didn't like Marcel or Ilan, who did you want to win?"

"Oh, I wanted Sam to win."

"Why is that?"

"Oh... well, uh, Sam's... really hot?"


"Well, being that I can't actually taste his food, that's pretty much all I have to go on. I'm sorry you raised such a shallow daughter."

(Me trying to smirk provocatively always ends up with me looking like an ass.  Maybe that's why I can't land guys...)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy Matt Nathanson album day!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Drool x 2

So I came across this on my morning roundup of Yankees blogs:

Just look at those smiles.  The picture certainly made me want to return to dreamland, that much is for sure.  And that security guard back there looks like he's totally checking out Becks' ass.  Wouldn't you?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Vacation: All I Ever Wanted?

I love vacation, I really do.  But there's just something about going to Disney World that doesn't really feel like... well... vacation.  I always find myself coming home from a trip to Florida and thinking... "I need a vacation."

Ah well.

Vacation did tend to overwhelm the awesomeness that was Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp back in Rent on Broadway, which was simply incredible (and happened to be the day before we left for the trip). And I missed so much while I was in Mickeyland.  The Police playing 3 shows in NYC, Matt Nathanson tickets going on sale, the Yankees making a bunch of roster moves (Mike Myers and Miguel Cairo DFA??), the love of my life Michael Cera (George Michael Bluth)* doing a shitload of press for Superbad...

Tonight's SNL rerun's host is Hugh Laurie.  A hit or miss episode, but when they gave Hugh center stage, it was quite good.  The man's got a sense of humor that's just a bit too classy and sophisticated for SNL these days.  Or maybe I just didn't care because I was too distracted by his attractive self.  And his accent...  
*I've decided that this is not inappropriate as he is only three years younger than me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

*squeals of glee*

I was greeted by the most amazing surprise upon waking up:

Yup, that'd be the trailer for The Darjeeling Limited. Tell me why I didn't try to get an internship at Fox Searchlight again....?  I'm so psyched for this.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dear eBay Sellers,

A shirt from Bruce Springsteen's 2003 tour with the E Street Band is NOT vintage.  Nor are the shirts clearly screenprinted in your basement.  Buyers are not stupid.

Now how about lowering the price on one of those nifty red and white baseball shirts from '81?  I'm desperate to own a shirt that's 4 years older than me.



Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Friday, July 06, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


From Pete Abraham's Yankees blog:

Don't know if YES showed it, but Moose was wearing a t-shirt that said, "Prepare to Die." That, of course, is a line from the great movie The Princess Bride.

Gotta love him.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Of the many summer three-quels, Ocean's Thirteen is the best. Unlike Pirates and Spiderman, Ocean's Thirteen doesn't feel an hour too long or painfully self-indulgent or completely nonsensical. While the plot may not be much clearer than the air on a hot LA day, it makes enough sense to keep the audience engaged. Money needs to change hands (out of Wally Bank's and into Danny Ocean's) and casino games shall be rigged - the details don't matter. Especially not when Soderbergh (director and DP) photographs Vegas so wonderfully that you can't help but start planning a trip there as you watch Brad and George stroll along the Strip.

Al Pacino does some quality scenery chewing as this installment's villain, and Eddie Izzard gets more screen time (although not as much as he should) then in 12. All that being said:

Dear Steven, George, Brad, et. al.,

Thank you for making Ocean's Thirteen not suck. Granted, you didn't have to do much better to beat the lame excuse for a movie that was Party at George's Italian Villa Ocean's Twelve, but you realized that you fucked up and got back on your game. Kudos.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Third Time's a Charm...

...for posts involving Liev Schreiber in the last 24 hours, so:

Snap Judgement: Liev Schreiber Still Without Wedding Ring, Theoretically Still Available

[link via Jezebel]

Thoughts on inhaling his secondhand smoke during Talk Radio still forthcoming. Sigh.

Conspiracies and brainwashing and incest, oh my!

I'm typically not fond of remakes,* especially when the movie being remade was really good, really distinctive, or really a product of its time. As interesting as it was to see Vince Vaughn play Norman Bates (even more interesting now that he's established himself as a comic actor rather than continuing to take roles in crappy dramas), Gus Van Sant's shot for shot remake of Psycho was pretty much a disaster. Even when filmmakers take a not-so-great movie and try to make it better - Fun With Dick and Jane, anyone? - there usually isn't much success.

All of that is a long way of saying that for me, the deck is stacked against a remake going in. Especially the remake of a movie as good as The Manchurian Candidate. But despite my hesitation, I thoroughly enjoyed the 2004 remake. I don't think it's as good as the original, but it's not bad at all. It utilizes current events in the original film's formula way better than it has any right to, and it fares far, far better than Jonathan Demme's previous attempt at a remake, The Truth About Charlie (a remake of Charade). Also, the casting is dead on. Meryl Streep is clearly - and hilariously - channeling Hillary Clinton, Denzel Washington is reliable as always (seriously - has the guy ever been in anything that he wasn't great in?), and Liev Schreiber manages to be both cold and robotic and and oddly touching. And Jeffrey Wright! His part is small, but he's one of my favorite under-the-radar actors working today, and I love to see him pop up in the most unexpected places (Casino Royale, anyone?).

Demme's technique of having the actors look into the lens is off-putting and unsettling, a perfect effect for a film where many characters are unsure of what is going on in their own minds. And the vagueness of the film's conspiracy actually works to its advantage, allowing viewers to draw their own parallels to the current machinations of the US government.

I haven't seen the original in a few years, so my memory's a bit fuzzy, but I completely forgot about the vaguely not so vaguely incestuous subplot between Raymond Shaw and his mother. Liev Schreiber has chemistry with Meryl Streep that's too good for a mother/son relationship. It's like smoking cigarettes - you know it's quite wrong, but it just looks so good on screen.

I think I'm going to read the book this summer. Cause who isn't up for a little Oedipal Complex action while you relax by the pool in Disney World?

*I should clarify that for me, a remake doesn't include many adaptations of a book that is or practically is public domain (e.g., I don't think Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet is a remake of the 1969 Franco Zeffirelli version), or a foreign film done in another country (Infernal Affairs/The Departed)**, even though in the latter case, the original foreign film is usually better, like with a remake.

**I don't actually think this applies to The Departed. But it is the most well known example of a foreign film remade as an American film of late.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Ten

Forget all the sequels and blockbusters. The movie I'm most excited for this summer?

The Ten.

I can't decide which I think is funnier: Paul Rudd's reading of the cast list at the end (Blah blah blah blah blah blah... and Jessica Alba!) or Liev Schreiber's character karate chopping his wife at the very end. Either way, it's all brilliant.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

"I am drunk and wearing flip flops on Fifth Avenue"

If you could only see my list of posts that haven't made it beyond a first draft. Currently in rough draft stage are posts on Eddie Izzard, women's baseball apparel, our old beer fridge, transvestitism in rock music, the TV movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, and baseball movies. Add to that list my thoughts on the play Talk Radio, which I saw this Saturday.

I think my problem is that I just have incredibly high standards. I won't let myself "publish" a shitty piece so it keeps getting rewritten and such until I decide it's okay or get so sick of it I abandon it. Or in lieu of all that, I just space out while I listen to Peter Bjorn and John, my latest musical interest. Because I've got nothing to do and the entire summer to do it.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunset Cantina makes some badass espresso martinis. Also, I graduate tomorrow, and I'm totally not ready.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I'm not posting about baseball anymore. I think I'm a jinx or something.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

With Great Box Office Haul Comes Great Responsibility

Why was Spiderman 3 so baaaaaad (with the exception of Bruce Campbell, of course)? You fell into the Batman "too many villains" trap, Sam Raimi!

I am so unbelievably hungry right now and really craving some In-N-Out burger.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hot Fuzz: This shit just got real.

I read the Hot Fuzz script. I had seen countless clips. I met Edgar Wright. I spent all day on the 19th pulling overwhelmingly positive reviews. I felt as if I had seen the film, without actually seeing it. And still, none of that could have prepared me for how amazingly funny and brilliantly violent the film was.

You know the premise. You know that it pays homage to Point Break and Bad Boys II. You know that an old woman gets kicked in the face (and that, my friends, is some funny shit). But trust me, there's more funny shit than they can show in the commercials. And it's so ridiculously over the top violent and absurdly silly and well written and directed that it works way better than the movies it spoofs, even when it crosses from action movie spoof to action movie actuality at the end. Edgar Wright has quite a knack for directing action scenes.

There's just so much that works so well, not the least of which is the cast. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost pretty much reprise the relationship dynamic that worked so well for them in Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, and... real life, as all the pre-Fuzz interviews reiterate. What's also awesome about Hot Fuzz is the supporting cast. Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton, Paddy Considine (who was unexpectedly hilarious to someone who had only seen him in In America), Martin Freeman, cameos by Cate Blanchett and Peter Jackson... basically a dream cast of wonderful British character actors.

On a side note, I think Simon Pegg is on the verge of breaking out into a big-ass star, and I couldn't be happier. Best evidence of this? My rather mainstream roommate saying to me: "So I was on IMDB this morning trying to find out if Simon Pegg was married..."

I really think that Hot Fuzz is one of those movies that affirms your love of movies. Not because it's good (even though it is), but because it was written and directed by two people who are making movies because they love movies. And you've gotta love that.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

When Bad Movies Attack

I watch a lot of random bad movies on cable. Frequently, I'll find some way to justify watching something bad - "oh, it has Gary Oldman/Christopher Walken in it" (I use that one a lot) or "come on, it's Billy Madison, how can you not love Billy Madison." But I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why I got sucked into watching Rumor Has It.

Admittedly, the movie wasn't horrible - I've seen worse romantic comedies (Runaway Bride and Forces of Nature immediately spring to mind). In case you're unfamiliar with the plot, a young woman (Jennifer Aniston) returns home to Southern California for her younger sister's wedding, where she realizes that her mother and grandmother may have been the inspiration for Mrs. Robinson and Elaine in The Graduate. So she seeks out Beau Burroughs (aka Benjamin Braddock - played by Kevin Costner) and ends up sleeping with him and freaks out, because she thinks he may be her father. This much of the film is actually not that bad in theory, but the execution is questionable. Jennifer Aniston is cute enough (although suspension of disbelief is required to figure out why someone as attractive as her can't meet men), but I haven't found Kevin Costner attractive since Bull Durham and even that's only because of the "Well, I believe in the soul..." speech* he gives to Susan Sarandon's character. Now I really want to watch Bull Durham...

Anyway, because having Jennifer Aniston end up with a man old enough to be her father is vaguely icky, there is another character. Enter Mark Ruffalo, whose character is completely superfluous. He plays Jennifer Aniston's fiance and is basically only there at three key points in the film: the beginning, to establish their relationship; the middle, to tell her that the engagement is off because she's fooling around with Kevin Costner; and the end, to tell her that he accepts her apology and wants to marry her. I adore Ruffalo as an actor, but there is nothing interesting about his part in the film. I guess Rumor Has It gets points for having a cute idea, but unfortunately, it still... sucks.

And yes, I am fully aware that I devoted nearly 500 words to a crappy romantic comedy. I'm sorry. What do you want from me?

*Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

See You at the Grindhouse

Sometimes, you go to a movie and come out feeling enlightened, educated, like a better person for having seen it. Sometimes you admire the technical achievements of a film. And sometimes, you just come out thinking "Damn, that was fun."

Grindhouse is obviously the third option. It's been so long since I went to see a movie and marveled at how much fun I was having. I mean, Blades of Glory was funny when Will Arnett and Amy Poehler had center stage, Zodiac was gripping and thrilling, and Reno 911: Miami was entertaining but ultimately rather disappointing, to name a few recent movie escapades. But Grindhouse was just plain fun. Gross-out, jump-out-of-your-seat, grip-the-chair-arms-in-terror, laugh-your-ass-off-when-it's-done fun. It's clear that Tarantino and Rodriguez really love the genre to which they're paying homage.

I liked Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror for its sheer awe-inspiring intentional badness. The plot makes no sense (is there a plot?), the dialog is hokey and the movie is horribly underlit. But it's all in good fun, and when you're not cringing at the extreme gore, you're probably laughing at the absurdity of it. "It's a no-brainer," Josh Brolin says of a head that has... well, no brain. And even though it's quite possibly the most obvious pun on the planet, it's really fucking funny. Rodriguez only shoots on digital these days, and he used that to good effect, scratching up the "film" to an occasionally unwatchable degree, which just adds charm.

Death Proof, Tarantino's contribution to the film, could stand alone as an actual good film. Whereas Rodriguez's installment only really works as part of the Grindhouse gimmick, Death Proof is good - well-acted and genuinely suspenseful, with a great cast of characters. So what if Tarantino likes to have his characters sit around and talk? The banter is witty and engaging, and he writes interesting characters. The girls are sassy and feminine and assertive. Kurt Russell's "Stuntman Mike" is simultaneously seductive and scary, and then batshit crazy, in an awesome way, of course. And then when the car chases start... holy shit. The stuntwork and driving are mindblowing.

And then there were the faux-trailers. Would it surprise you to hear that Edgar Wright's was my favorite? Didn't think so. Plus, Will Arnett did the voice over for it. One of my favorite actors working with one of my favorite up-and-coming directors? I only hope they collaborate again in the future. The other trailers were good too, but I don't want to spoil too much of the amazingness.

Seeing Grindhouse at the movie theaters at The Grove - with their leather seats, stadium seating, and computerized snack bar ordering system - was probably antithetical to the whole grindhouse experience. Regardless, there's something about the shared moviegoing experience - the hushed whispers during the coming attractions, the smell of popcorn, the feeling of anticipation as the film begins - that makes me think that Grindhouse won't translate quite as well to DVD. The individual films, perhaps, especially Tarantino's. But Grindhouse as a whole is an experience that you've got to get off your ass and go to the theaters to see.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Lemon, what happened in your life to make you believe people are good?

I'm a bit surprised I'm saying this, but I think that I might like 30 Rock more than The Office. Nothing against Michael Scott and company, but the sheer absurdity of 30 Rock's asides plus Alec Baldwin plus Kenneth the Page is just too good. And when you throw Will Arnett into the mix? We're talking almost Arrested Development levels of amazingness.

Revisiting 30 Rock's first season on DVD, you can see how it found itself and developed into a worthy successor to Arrested Development as the most under-appreciated comedy on television. The show may have started off on rough footing, but even when it was struggling, it showed signs of the truly brilliant show it has the potential to become. And it did become that show, thanks in part to stellar performances all around, great guest casting, and awesomely geeky Star Wars references, my personal favorite being:

Liz: The Hair asked ME out.
Jenna: What? THE The Hair? Well, what did you say?
Liz: I had to say yes. I mean, he looked at me with those crazy handsome guy eyes... it was like the Death Star tractor beam when the Falcon--
Jenna: No, Liz, do not talk about stuff like that on your date. Guys like that don't like Star Trek--
Liz: WARS! 

My favorite episodes of the first season would have to be Fireworks, Black Tie, and Jack-Tor, with Blind Date and The Head and the Hair getting honorable mention.  Fireworks and Black Tie feature some great guest appearances by Will Arnett, Rip Torn, Isabella Rossellini, and Paul Reubens - a random assortment of actors if you've ever seen one.  Jack-Tor features some of Alec Baldwin's funniest moments in a montage of his character filming a promotional video.

And there are just so many awesome little touches, like the names of the ridiculous sketches on The Girly Show (30 Rock's show within a show), Jenna's obsession with her sexuality, Tracy's entourage of Griz and Dot Com, Jack's uptight personal assistant, and Liz's moments of sheer nerdery.  Plus, the movie references are plentiful. 

And for what it's worth, I totally identify with Liz Lemon. Although I'm not sure I could fall so desperately in love with the city of Cleveland.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Baseball season is here!

YankeeGirl247: i'm so bummed i'm going to be missing andy pettite's opening game tomorrow
lawnwranglergirl: what time is the game?
YankeeGirl247: 1
lawnwranglergirl: well i'll be watching the gameday.... which is to watching the real game what methadone is to heroin
YankeeGirl247: .....right

Saturday, March 31, 2007

I Am an Unabashed Will Arnett Fangirl

Let's Go to Prison was supposed to show the world as a whole that Will Arnett was the funniest man on the planet. But, it wasn't very good,* and no one went to see it, and the genius that is Will Arnett remained hidden to everyone except those who worshiped Arrested Development. That's okay. Because along came Blades of Glory. Ostensibly, Blades is Will Ferrell and Napoleon Dynamite-- I mean, Jon Heder's show, and as unlikely as it may seem, Will Arnett and Amy Poehler totally steal said show. Between skating to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch's "Good Vibrations," laying on a bearskin rug, and just being all out over the top ridiculous, Will Arnett was clearly the audience favorite during the 8:15 show at the Grove.

The film itself was funny - not in the same league as Anchorman or Zoolander, though. There are some lapses in logic/abandoned plot threads that you're willing to overlook in the name of being entertained, and I don't particularly think that Jon Heder is funny, but he didn't invoke anger in me the way that he did in Napoleon Dynamite. And sure, the two are funny in that "oh man they are acting so gay - not that there's anything wrong with that" sort of way. But Will Arnett and Amy Poehler (and to an extent, Jenna Fischer - who, I must say, looked totally hot) were just so wonderfully over the top and inappropriate, they easily stole the show. An ice skating routine dramatizing the relationship between Marilyn and JFK? So beautifully absurd. And incest, when played by a real life husband and wife, is just funny.

*It did have a few extremely funny moments. Will Arnett singing "Move This" definitely qualifies, as does... okay that was it. Will in general was quite funny. Dax Shepard? Eh... not so much.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I once heard the main theme from True Romance in a commercial. I recognized it, but I couldn't recall from where I recognized it. This drove me absolutely crazy, especially because the playful xylophone-filled tune doesn't scream True Romance. I racked my brain for quite some time trying to figure out where I had heard the music before until it hit me one day at dinner and with a mouth full of chicken I triumphantly shouted, "True Romance!" The rest of my family was a bit confused. But I was happy. The feeling of accomplishment I got from figuring it out was quite good. And I think that's why I liked Zodiac so much. Although it isn't really comparable with regard to scale, I could completely identify with Robert Graysmith and his insatiable desire to find out who the Zodiac Killer was.

Yes, the movie is long. IMDB tells me it is 158 minutes. However, it does not feel that long. It is incredibly suspenseful in parts and genuinely looks like a film from the 1970s. It's substantially funnier than one might expect. The acting was fantastic all around, and only once did my mind wander and imagine Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo making out. Just kidding. Kind of. But flights of fancy aside, Zodiac is a smart, tense thriller that is haunting in its open-ended-ness. Go see it instead of wasting your time with 300.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Musical Memories

It's amazing how one song or album can bring you so vividly back to a place. I first discovered the Arcade Fire shortly before my trip to Cannes last year. I was flying all by myself, and after I had exhausted the possibilities of the inflight video on demand entertainment system (which was actually quite good), it was time for the iPod. I listened to Funeral. And I listened to it again. And again.

And when I heard "Wake Up" on Lauren's mix CD the other day, it was a crazy flashback. No longer was I in a rental car heading east on the 10. I was sitting in the Paris airport, waiting to board a flight to Nice, filled with equal parts excitement and fear. I was relaxing in a bunk bed, writing mini-reviews of the three movies I had seen earlier that day. I was sitting on the balcony at 4 AM, trying to sober up and squeeze in a few hours of sleep before I headed out for the next day's 8 AM screening. Damn, I had a good time.

I wish I could go back this year.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Let's Go to Prison... or not.

One of the perks of my internship is free DVDs. Basically, all the studio's new releases are delivered on Tuesday and the marketing department takes what they want, starting with the execs and ending with the interns if there is anything left by then. Last week, it was only Magnum, P.I., which I politely declined. This week... jackpot. In a way.

Let's Go to Prison.

I would not buy this movie. I even felt guilty putting the monthly cost of my Netflix subscription towards it. But free? I'll take it!

So I watched it.

I wouldn't go so far as to say it was a waste of time, and after all, there is something alluring about a free DVD but... I think disappointed is the best word for it. After all, Bob Odenkirk + Will Arnett + a couple of Reno 911/The State writers seems like an awesome combination. But... it isn't. I definitely laughed, specifically at Will Arnett. Specifically at him singing "Move This." Oh dear lord can that man spin gold from straw. Hopefully Blades of Glory will end the string of bad movies he's made post-Arrested Development (although to be completely honest, I don't think it will), but even if it doesn't, he's sure to be the bright spot in it.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

P-p-p-p-p-p-p-lease, Eddie!

One of the things I've been doing at work is compiling a list of film-related websites. While working on that task, I found this article:

Who Delayed Roger Rabbit?

I love Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It's quite possibly one of my favorite movies of all time, and the above article is incredibly interesting. It also explains why Roger Rabbit seems to have such a small presence at the Disney theme parks. Anyway, it's worth a read if you have any interest in the film.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Movies in Brief, Volume 2

The latest movie reviews I don't particularly feel like devoting an entire entry to:

Factory Girl

Here's the thing about Factory Girl: it suffered from pretty lackluster buzz, its most recognizable star was Jimmy Fallon (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), and it had Sienna "the biggest thing I've done in my career is Jude Law" Miller in the title role. But it didn't really suck. It had some problems, but overall, it was actually a pretty good movie. Sienna Miller did a fantastic job. And on a shallow note - which, I have to add, almost all my "movie reviews" have, and that makes me a little sad, because I'm really not shallow - Hayden Christensen was a very sexy Bob Dylan - oh wait, excuse me, "Billy Quinn." Oh! I almost forgot to add: Two members of the Velvet Underground are played by Weezer bandmembers Pat and Brian. Weezer lives!

Half Nelson
I got this movie from Netflix right before the Oscars, and I was determined to watch it before the ceremony. That didn't work, but since the Oscars end at 9:30 on the West Coast, I popped it in as soon as I got home from the Oscar party I attended. Oh man. I was completely blown away. The film was incredible, and Ryan Gosling really did give a great performance. If only half the people who have seen him in The Notebook would give this film a chance...

Howl's Moving Castle
Not quite as good as Spirited Away, but still quite good. I started watching it in Japanese with subtitles - and I don't have a problem with subtitles - until I remembered that Batman himself, Christian Bale, voiced Howl. So it was to dubbed in English I went.

Badlands had been on my to-see list for quite some time now - I adore films of the 1970s. It is an odd little movie. It's a movie about a killer, but there's not a lot of violence, and most of the film relies on narration from Sissey Spacek, which seems to go against every screenwriting rule you've been taught, and there are lots of gorgeous, lingering nature shots. Of course, it actually works, because Terrance Malick is an extremely talented director and because directors were able to get away with weird stuff like that 35 years ago. And I have to say, I was quite impressed by Martin Sheen in this movie.

However, the most notable thing about this movie, for me, is the main theme. It's a seemingly uncharacteristic melodic/percussive piece that was paid homage to by Hans Zimmer for the score of True Romance, a similar seemingly uncharacteristic film. Some time ago, I heard this theme in a commercial or movie trailer or something, and nearly jumped out a window because I simply could not remember where it had come from. I eventually did remember that it was from True Romance and in turn Badlands and then I was happy. But that was one of those things that made my brain hurt for a few days...

Infernal Affairs
As you probably know, Infernal Affairs is a Hong Kong action film that was remade as The Departed, one of my favorite films in recent memory. both films have the same basic plot - a cop undercover with the mob and a dirty cop with ties to the mob are both assigned to find themselves and are trying to find each other. Chaos and much violence ensue. While I'm partial to The Departed, Infernal Affairs is a great, entertaining movie in its own right.

The major difference between Infernal Affairs and The Departed is the running time - Infernal Affairs moves so quickly, it's about an hour shorter than The Departed. This is not to say that The Departed moves slowly; Infernal Affairs just moves at that much of a breakneck pace.

Ok, so it's a British TV series, not a film, and I've already devoted an entire post to it. But I finally finished the whole series and it really is brilliant. However you can get your hands on it, do so. And hope that they eventually see how lucrative a region 1 release would be. Also, I really wanted to share this exchange:
Daisy: How you feeling this morning?
Tim: Very rough, actually. I swear to god that I will never drink again... until lunchtime.
Daisy: Very wise.
Tim: So, how's it feel to be 26?
Daisy: Hmmm... a bit gassy.
Tim: Well, gettin' old. You'd be dead in 4 years if this was Logan's Run.
Daisy: Ugh, that'd be terrible.
Tim: I know, I look like a twat in a jumpsuit.
Daisy: Don't say that, Tim. That's a horrible word that hates women.
Tim: What, twat?
Daisy: No, jumpsuit.
Hee. It also earns points for Tim's pure unadulterated hatred of The Phantom Menace and (nerd alert) the use of the original Ewok song. Oh, yeah, and I met the director. ;)