Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED of 2008

The Criminally Underrated of 2008

AUSTRALIA-Baz Luhrmann makes an unpretentious epic that addresses discrimination without being condescending or disingenuous. And there's a (seriously refreshing) love story based on mutual respect. Plus mutually statuesque Hugh Jackman & Nicole Kidman. What's not to like?



SPEED RACER-Stop Hating! People fail to understand that the movie is a Children's Film about Corporate Crime. It's seriously the PG-rated version of Michael Clayton. Fraud, bribery, embezzling, stock manipulation, corporate espionage and sabotage. It's all there in a Technicolor dream with a kid with a BFF Chimp. I guess with all the fantastical action (and haircuts) audiences just couldn't accept a story of Good versus a very real life Evil.


THE BANK JOB-A Smart (stop acting so surprised) Jason Statham heist flick not brought to you from a Guy. And Saffron Burrows showing everyone how to wear 70s fashion like a model. Fierce!







A CHRISTMAS TALE (Un Conte de Noël)- It's like a French remake of The Family Stone except that it's completely devoid of empty sentimentality, all the characters keep it harshly real with each other, and Catherine Deneuve's wrapped up in YSL. Absolute Perfection.





THE FALL-Visually stunning (and I'm not just talking about Lee Pace) relationship between a suicidal love-sick stunt man and an incredibly imaginative (and slightly gory) girl.







TELL NO ONE (Ne le Dis à Personne)-A French thriller with heart. And an actually engaging mystery! Magnificent!








QUANTUM OF SOLACE-Enough with the Borne comparisons! Thankfully there's not a Julia Stiles in sight. The brilliant dangling rope [rife with symbolism for all you Film snobs] will become a classic Bond moment when people begin to take their heads out of their asses. And why is no one praising the Bond Girls who weren't some Distressed Dames this time around? Especially considering that überlauded Dark Knight horribly faltered in that aspect.


1.MATHIEU AMALRIC
This year he went from Eco-Baron Bond Villain in Quantum of Solace to Ostracized Middle Child in Christmas Tale. The man can seriously do anything! And if you don't believe me check out his 2004 César-winning performance in Kings & Queen as a Bipolar Violist who finds himself committed to a mental institution in part for wearing a Bullfighter's cape. Did I also mention that he just starts breakdancing (with full-on popping & locking) during a therapy session? Yep it's awesome.

2.NICOLE KIDMAN
I never thought that I'd see the day when Ms.Kidman would get absolutely no love (I'm talking to you, fickle critics) for a romantic drama. Nicole completely rocked it in Australia by being completely believable and most importantly likable. I'm really done with this "Look at me I'm really acting" attitude [Changling Angie!] that kills the film's heart-the illusion.
And on a Nostalgic Note: She reminded me of the brilliant Deborah Kerr in King Solomon's Mines with all her prudish English uptightness that still manages to be amazingly endearing.

Friday, December 26, 2008

My Boxing Day Gift to You!-A House of Hot Ginger Men

The web is seriously lacking in some Ginger Men love so let's put an end to that right here.
Let there be Gingers for everyone!

David Wenham-Down Under Ginger

Seth Green-American Ginger
Kevin McKidd-Tartan Ginger
Damian Lewis-TV Ginger
Simon Woods-Literary Ginger

Rupert Grint-Magical Ginger
Prince Harry-Royal Ginger
Scott Summers-Extraordinary Ginger

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Christmas Gift to You!

I have sacrificed myself to the movie gods to bring you this edition of
For Better and For Worse...


You would think that a movie with Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor would be the best thing ever. But OMG I have no idea who thought this movie would be a good idea except for maybe the person in charge of late-night basic cable programming. I'm pretty sure they could have made a better (=watchable) movie by adapting a Star Wars/X-Men Crossover FanFic. It even would have been legally tidy since FOX holds all the properties! God, FOX totally needs me. So here goes (literally) nothing...

[DECEPTION]
Early 90s erotic suspense derivative. Biggest waste of Baz Luhrmann's leading men. Should have been Direct-to-Video or Lifetime. Maggie Q. Only 1 (short) Hugh shirtless scene.

[IS BETTER THAN]

(or Viva Laughlin)

JUST SAY NO TO Ashley Judd W/O Morgan Freeman!
(or ironically w/o Hugh)

[BUT WORSE THAN]

Staring at Ewan's Davidoff Adventure Ad...for 2 hours
AND/OR
Hugh's Introduction to America via the Cage Scene in X-Men on loop...for 2 hours

Seeing is believing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

'Australia' For Better and For Worse- a review

I really can't stand the vast majority of reviews being written by the big boys & girls of print. It's like they're all trying to out-do themselves in being completely and utterly irrelevant. Apparently they all need to post a sign by their typewriters that says-"You're not going to win a Pulitzer for writing a 3000-word scathing review highlighting the historical inaccuracies of Gladiator." They've apparently forgotten that the most fundamental part of a movie is that it be entertaining. 'Entertaining' just so happens to be the opposite of mind (and butt) numbing boredom. Who would have known?!

Exhibit A: Melinda & Melinda. I never fall asleep in movies yet I managed to mimic a corpse during that Woody Allen 'gem' (Which I believe is the last movie he actually directed. Say it with me-GHOST DIRECTORS!)

Exhibit B: (and the inspiration for my new movie review format) SAVED. The movie about teen pregnancy that came before JUNO and that didn't premiere on Lifetime. The universe still owes Mandy Moore a Golden Globe or SAG nom for her diabolically pious performance as Hilary Faye. Unlike Juno, Saved didn't need a self-aware 'indie' soundtrack or quirkily sardonic teenspeak. It just rocked.

All this ranting has led to my new movie reviewing format.
So here's the gist: I pick a movie that is better and a movie that is worse than the one I'm reviewing. It's like 3 movie reviews in less than 50 words. Damn efficent right?

STAR! CROSSED! LOVERS!


[AUSTRALIA]

Aussies being Aussies. Hugh being Riddikulus. David Wenham being Hot Big Bad Ginger. Nicole being Nicole. Billabong. Nostalgically Engaging Epic.

[IS BETTER THAN...]

Children who suck. Dreamy Emerald Dress. Vanity tracking shot. Annoying Pome Children. James getting shafted. Sexy Library. Typewriter. Pretentiously laborious.

[BUT WORSE THAN...]

Effing! Brilliant! Musical! Boho Ewan McGregor. Drop Dead Costumes. Kylie Minogue. Infinitely Re-watchable.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hats Off to Pushing Daisies!

First things first-I'm still in a ridiculous amount of denial about the cancellation of Pushing. Daisies. My poor pop culture constitution cannot handle the cancellation of a brilliantly fantastical and charming morsel of entertainment goodness. But I was almost moved into tear-shed while watching episode 10 "The Norwegians". See apart from the show being a smorgasbord of delight with its brilliant cast and magical visual storytelling it also has hands down the most fantastically creative production and costume design seen on TV and most movies. One of the many weekly delights is seeing the Technicolor-idolizing wardrobe of leading lady Chuck. Surprisingly in Ep 10 it was Norwegian Hedda (played by Ivana "I'm in everything" Milicevic) that made me smile when I saw her sporting a hat design that I coincidently also own (though mine's purple). God, I'm going to miss this show. 

Oh and if you're thinking of playing it Fringe (in a non-Joshua Jackson way) at Comic-Con next year- The Wool Cloche hat is handmade in Italy by Flu's Ear and was previously (sorry!) available at Nordstrom's. Though if you want to sport Chuck' Rasberry Fedora with Bow (by TARNISH) then you're in better luck because it's still available at Nordstrom.com


On an Awards note/rant-
I'm not one to seek validation of my pop culture by a group of self-congratulatory academy fogies but come on 12 Emmy Nominations for a Fantasy genre show that had its own pre-pilot comic book! It seemed like a truly geek chic show was finally going to get some respect (Unlike Buffy or BSG). Unfortunately the respect didn't turn into viewers. Though I would like to say that Us few loyal viewers are worth 20 times those Grey's Anatomy fools.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The one where Wolverine visits a Spa



Hugh Jackman naked in a jacuzzi.
And Liev getting physical.
It's like they hacked my brain.
Oh and did I mention Danny Huston?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Doctor is (thankfully not) Out

Just brilliant. 
And if you don't get it ask Santa to bring you the complete series of Frasier. 
Like Now. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pop Culture Case Study: Music Men make the best Superheroes Part 4-James Marsden

Though Cyclops is technically the head of the X-Men the film franchise chose to focus on everyone's favorite wife-beater wearing Canadian Wolverine. Thankfully Bryan Singer chose not to skimp on the hotness by choosing James Marsden to don the red shades and love triangle. Ah what can be said about James Marsden that wouldn't better be articulated with a musical double feature of Hairspray and Enchantment.
Hairspray: James is Corny...Collins! No but really he's just plain ridiculous. Take that Zafron! (J/K Zac I still love you even though I have yet to see HSM 3). Do yourselves a favor and learn the Corny Collins dance! Sorry but that'll be the closest you'll ever get to dancing with James.
Enchantment was fantastic until Amy went out of her effing mind and *Spoiler*picked Patrick Dempsey. Seriously what the hell, Amy? And there should have been more Idina. A lot more.
But really what is it with all these movies (read: Superman, The Notebook, 27 Dresses) where the gal is in love with someone other than James. Talk about fiction!
So here's to you James for showing us again that Music Men make the best superheroes.

Monday, December 1, 2008

WTF Moments in Pop Culture: Here's to Keanu becoming the Naked Chef

Keanu Reeves is going to be a chef in a movie directed by David Fincher. This is surely going to be some effed up shizz. Oh did I mention it's a love story without time travel? Here's to the love interest being Fincher-alum Jared Leto.

Quite possibly the most brilliant Pop Culture moment of 2008



I have to say I was completely floored when I saw this on Thursday morning. To take a viral video gag and bring it into the homes of millions of unsuspecting Americans on Thanksgiving morning has got to be the brainchild of some sort of pop culture evil genius. I am seriously in awe by their brilliance. It seriously puts that London flashmob to shame!

If Notting Hill starred Daniel Craig wearing a puffy vest...

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Mane Event-Robert Pattinson's Hair for Best Supporting Actor

I usually leave all the Oscar Recommendations to Blog Next Door but I saw Twilight (read:and survived) and my duty to the sanctity of Pop Culture won't let me to abide without comment.
Much like Tom Hanks' BFF Wilson the Volleyball Rob's hair transcends that which is inanimate (his character Vamp Edward Cullens) into something that is full of soul (and by appearences B&B's Sumotech). Whenever the movie got a little too Fangsty for me (due in large part to copius overacting) I knew I could just count on the hair to whisk my mind away to the editorials of V-Man or Vogue Homme. But seriously, Rob's hair out-acted (long seen-or-heard from) Peter Facinelli in the movie. To be as accurate as possible his hair out-acted everyone in this movie except perhaps TV guest star-staple Billy Burke who thankfully checked all his sentimentality at the door to play dad to Vampstinent Lover, Bella. This people, is why we go to the movies.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Seven Wonders of Pop Colony

I was tagged by Michael from mystuffandcrp oh so long ago to do the 7 things you don't know about me meme (I'm guessing that's grammatically redundant but whatevs. Damn newfangled internet lingo!) So better late than never...

1. The # of Ida Corr songs on my iPod.
And yes it's the Fedde le Grande remix. I am somewhat self-respecting. Oh who am I kidding? It does go great with China Whites and platform dancing.

2. The # of times a day I pray to the Movie gods to be a Guest Programmer on TCM. Seriously I'm crazy learned about classic movies. I'd probably put in my program:
a Joel McCrea & Preston Sturges Duo: Sullivan's Travels & The Palm Beach Story
David Lean's Brief Encounter-Celia Johnson & Trevor Howard make middle-age repression look so hot!
The only Political movies worth watching: Lubitsch's Ninotchka & Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Oh and All 14 movies pairing the best couple in movie history: William Powell & Myrna Loy
So yeah it would probably take a couple of days to watch but it would be well worth it.

3. The # of pairs of Tory Burch Reva flats that I own and wear even when it's raining and freezing. I really love this style because they're flats and they come in all sorts of colors which totally appeals to both my Latin & Preppy sides of my tastes. I actually purchased each pair at Nordstroms although in different states but coincidently in the same emotional state (pure joy).

4. The # of my favorite kick ass comic-book women (all written by Greg Rucka)
1. Queen & Country: I'm dumbfounded to why this isn't a franchise yet (or at the least a BBC series. Yes I'm talking to you producers of MI5/Spooks!) . And it has all the makings of a female Bourne but without the pesky memory loss. Seriously check out this book if you have any love for the spy genre. Did I mention it's like Alias but with an extra helping of angst and none of the absurdity?
2. Whiteout: The protagonist Carrie Stetko is a brunette with freckles who lives in a cold place. So I can quite easily relate. But the book is also a great mystery story set in the fascinating (and according to Leo & Al-Disappearing) Antarctica. And really no one does non-grating self-destructive characters like Greg Rucka.
3. Checkmate: Sasha Bordeaux may have a Bond Girl name but she's 150% kick-ass and sports one of the most enviable hairstyles in comics ever. Take that Sally Hershberger!
4. Wonder Woman: Everyone has their take on Diana but I've got to say Rucka's has been one of the most satisfying as of late. Pitting Diana against dirty politicians is rife with drahmah. I guess I'm a sucker for what seems to be a Rucka trademark: the female led political thriller.
Rucka's run was also highlighted by gorgeous covers by JG Jones.

5. The # of framed pieces of James Jean (of Prada Fairies fame) art hanging in my apartment-including a sketch he did for me at New York comic-con. Unsurprisingly the guys at the framing store refer to me as "That Comic-Book Girl".

6. The # of movies (off the top of my head) that apparently only I can love:
A Good Year-Ridley! Marion! Tom Hollander!
Domino- Edgar Ramirez! Tony Scott!
The Lake House-Keanu!
What a Girl Wants-Amazonian Bynes!
Live Free or Die Hard-A car takes down a plane for goodness sake!
Imposter-Seriously you have to see it for Gary Sinise. Hot!!

7. The average # of times a week I go to Starbucks.
And no I don't order a Bitch drink. I keep it simple- Grande Vanilla Latte usually iced though sometimes reg.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quantum of *Steve* [Updated w/ more Craig!]

I literally just got back from seeing Quantum. I'm in no position to do a review of it since my Daniel Craig love is so strong it sent me to a sneak preview (& not the free kind!) of Golden Compass. And when I visited London this past spring I had no problem doling out £13 at VUE Leicester Square to see Flashbacks of a Fool. Who am I, a lowly colonial, to pass up a Daniel Craig film in his motherland? Not to mention Eve and Claire Forlani are in it!

Though I will share that while I was watching the movie I couldn't help but notice all the Steve McQueen shout-outs. If it's not intentional it's got to be some serious subconscious stuff on the part of Paul Haggis & Co.
The Thomas Crown Affair-Though Daniel technically dons the three piece at the end of Casino Royale I'm still going to conclude that McQueen was Tom Ford's muse for Blond Bond. Tom even put Daniel in some aviators à la Thomas Crown for the majority of Quantum. OCD Cred-Persol was the brand of choice of Mr.Crown and coincidently for Mr.Craig in Casino Royale.


The Great Escape
- Can you really think of a motorcycle jump independently from McQueen? Didn't think so.


Bullitt-A car chase that ends with the perps dead and an angry superior fuming over lost tesimony. Sounds pretty familiar. Oh and there's that whole matter (albeit a sexy one) about the classic style of a cardigan and shirt.


The Towering Inferno-If you saw Quantum you'll get the connection. But even if you haven't seen it I think the symbolism is pretty clear. Fire=Hot=Hottie

No Shirt. No Problem.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gwyneth is Patrick Bateman (but without the ridunculous bod)

Gwyneth once again shares a morsel of her cultured soul with us poor masses via GOOP:
“The only one that is not free is Zagat, which I have an obsession with. I literally do not go out to eat until I reference it.
G somehow manages to sound more like Patrick Bateman than Patrick Bateman! And Lest we forget her affiliation with Huey Lewis which spawned a Chart Topping Single to boot (Bad Aussies!).
It will not come as a complete surprise to me if Gwyneth dishes next on her favorite NYC Dry Cleaners who coincidentally have no problems with verbal abuse for not adequately laundering her white linens.

[BTW: I know that you totally saw through my rant for what it really is-an excuse to post Christian Bale channeling his New Wave-Riche via a at-home tanning bed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Turf War: Gwyneth vs. Oprah & Martha!

Gwyneth's in the process of launching her Lifestyle website (which is just a pretentious way of saying BLOG)-GOOP whose nauseating (or hence forth to be known as Bounce-ing) motto is "Nourish the Inner Aspect" 
Is this Gwyneth trying to be the White Oprah or is she trying to out-WASP Martha Stewart?
I don't know but I'm pretty sure this is only going to get ugly. G-You just don't start moving in on 3-comma Divas with battalions of découpaging loyalists! This is actually wise advice to anyone who wanders accidently (or otherwise) into the scrapbooking section of a store. 

The layout looks like the love child of O and Real Simple (or like a J.Crew Catalogue) 
I haven't seen this much unrepentant WASPosity since I found myself in a Lily Pulitzer store in Dallas trying (and failing) not to laugh at a man trying to rationalize (and failing) purchasing a seersucker shirt. 

Gwyneth's already done enough harm to my inner aspect by making something called View From the Top. Which I would have nightmares about if it wasn't for Mark Ruffalo's presence. 
But if Gwyneth is going to nourish my inner aspect I'm pretty sure that it'll be by watching the Didotastic Sliding Doors (with perhaps a Sliding Fraiser chaser). 
Now I'm not going to totally write-off GOOP (though Gwyneth probably will as a Charitable Contribution to the proper life-styling of Plebs) but I won't mind giving it a look-see if she promises to include her truly awesome mom/underrated comedic genius Blythe. 

Director's Cut: I was originally going to title this post "The Hateration of Gwyneth"  which would have been both a Mary J. Blige (or MJB to ye clubmix kids) and a Julie Andrew reference but I thought it would be lost on most people except the exceptionally (read: neurotically) popcultured. Oh or that people would think that the post was about defending G. I'll leave that to Vogue. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Du(t)chesses Face-Off!

I actually thought it was going to be worse. A lot worse.
So as far as expectations go (however low they were) I'd say that they were generally exceeded.
To get to the point- It was a good BBC Corset-Melodrama but with a fantastically lavish costume and makeup budget (mind you not Sofia Coppola fantasic but then again she's a Coppola so money's no object). Though it REALLY needed some more scrumptious Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia suffered from this exact same problem). I didn't really think producers needed it spelled out but here's a freebie for you guys: Hot Guys - Shirt = Happy Movie-Goer *says the girl who saw Into the Blue in theaters*
And I'll give Keira & Crew extra points for keeping it under 2 hours. Well Barely. But hey it's a corset piece.
If you ever wondered what a Spelling Bee set to pop music would sound like...
London Bridge-Not that I don't love the track but the video is all sorts of awesomeness.
Fergalicious & Glamourous- Spelling Bee Pop in the vain of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. & C.R.U.S.H. And Fergie carves out her niche in pop---Adjectives!
Clumsy-Like all good pop this song is just plain catchy as a cold. And oh wait is that another adjective?!

Note: Being the forgiving soul that I am I will offer Fergie a reprieve for the Big Girls Don't Cry lyric "Like a child misses its blanket" even though it does make me vomit everytime I hear. Though the numerous shots of China Whites that I usually consume when the song plays could also be a factor. Maybe.

WINNER: FERGIE-With a solid win!
While Keira's Duchess is definitely watchable (and perhaps enjoyable to some) Fergie's Dutchess is really the Gift that Keeps on Giving. Just try listening to Fergalicious only once. See it's impossible!