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...