Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Celebrity Crush of the Month (v4.29.9)

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January: Rebecca Hall, for being the heart as Vicky and the longed for as Varya.
February: Will Chase, for being Thomas Weaver in another short-lived musical.
March: Joseph Cotten, for a screen presence that's still vibrant after all these years.
April: Nora Arnezeder, for making my jaw drop with her angelic voice

My 30 Rock Goof?

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How did no one catch the green screen shot during the cold open on last week's '30 Rock' before they broadcast it? But other than that, LOVED with 'Mad Men' reference...

My 'Wolverine' Quickie Review


After all the hoopla with the leak of this film, the hype for the public was going to be tough to meet- and boy, did this film falter. Sure, the character Wolverine was the most intriguing (and popular) part of the original X-Men series but the backstory these filmmakers came up with was so weak, they could've done it as an opening montage for the first X-Men film 10 years ago. 

Showing promise (with an opening credit sequence), the story never picked up and the action sequences never truly climaxed for me to care at all. Multiple plot twists has been always been a hard sell for me but there were a few here that were just WTF or 'too easy to call' to warrant any creative merit. 

To their credit, the filmmakers did try to bring some freshness to this franchise by bringing fan favorite Gambit into the mix but that initial appeal wore off quickly- not sure if it's the oh-so-familiar character development or the travesty that is Taylor Kitsch (aka Tim Riggins on 'FNL'). At least teasing a young Cyclops in a few scenes (the best visual effects came with Cyclops, it always has...) was fun for awhile.

That final battle between Wolverine and, umm... not to give anything away, a surprise(!) mutant played out like a round of Mortal Kombat added to the silliness and cheese factor that had me thinking how that was best visual effects shots they could've came up with. Perhaps after all is said and done, if FOX was to think about giving another mutant the 'origins' treatment, they should get one whose story isn't as rugged with wafer-thin conflicts. 

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Additional Hong Kong/China Pictures

Life without internet is more difficult than I first imagined. Anyway, I present to you my week in Hong Kong and Guongzhou.


Buddhist Monastery in Shatin (above) 


The Buddhists in the Buddhists Monastery. (above)


Don't read to much of my disgust in this picture taken at the site of Hong Kong's return to China.


Busy street with the cable car in Downtown.


It still baffles me that it's deemed 'safe' to use bamboo sticks as scaffling. 


I snuck a picture at the customs check between point Hong Kong and Mainland China. I give them five days before I'm asked to take this down.


The legend is true. I present to you- Neik Flip flops. 


Also, Aragon apparently has his own brand of overrated sandals.


Nightlife in Guongzhou. (above)


The inevitable picture I was going to get of a 'Slumdog' poster in Chinese.

All for now, this week- Hong Kong Disney AND Ocean Park... amusement parks galore!

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Entry Way To Hong Kong

The first of what will definitely be many photoblogs coming on this trip, here are a few pictures I took from the second tier of the double decker bus I took from the airport to my grandma's place.


Behind those hills lies Hong Kong Disney.




My Movies On A Plane


During my 20-hour(!) flight from New York to Hong Kong, I had the opportunity to watch many free movies through those nifty screens embedded in the seat in front of me. Which is good, since some of those films got lost in the shuffle at the end of last year's onslaught of movie releases. Here's a quick summary of what I thought:

- 'Yes Man', a film I'll probably forget in about a month but it was entertaining enough to keep me from thinking how much my butt is sore from sitting.

- 'Four Christmases', it was a mess but thank goodness it was only 86 minutes!

- 'Defiance', noteworthy to watch- especially in the dark while everyone around me was asleep. 

- 'Slumdog Millionaire', my umpteenth viewing and I still choke up at the end.

Speaking of 'Slumdog Millionaire', the passenger next to me asked if it was a clean movie before she watches it and I responded by saying there's some violence in there that might be disturbing. She quickly replied 'Oh, violence doesn't count'. I've always had a dilemma regarding content in films especially between sexual content and violent ones. Why does our society regard extreme violence permissible while light sexual innuendoes are taboo and not fit for our eyes? Just a thought.
Anyway, Hong Kong is hot and I'm tired- mo' post about HKG later.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Tribeca Film Festival

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One disappointment I do have about going to Hong Kong (tonight!) is that I'll be missing the Tribeca Film Festival. I always look forward to watching films with my favorite thespians that'll probably never be released- I'm looking at you, 'Life In Flight', and this year's film entries is no different. On the top of my list is 'The Good Guy' starring Scott Porter, Bryan Greenberg and Alexis Bledel- I have a feeling that's not going to see a theatrical release date either.

I guess I'll just have to wait until next year. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Glee Featurette

Another featurette. Another jolt of excitement shoots through my body for this series. So what they're trying to tell me is that May 19th could not come any sooner.

Catch all Glee obsessions here

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Harper's Island Episode Two Recap


this post contains major spoilers from last night's episode of 'Harper's Island'

So someone with a decent storyline actually kicked the bucket this week and while another useless character goes down (literally) in flames. As far as the story goes, if logic plays here, I think it's safe to rule out British Cal since he was hung upside down for most of the episode. And while they're continually trying to pin Shane on me, I can't help but think it's his bestie and Abby pursuer we should look out for.

Victims: The Priest (rope trap, hung upside down and then decapitated), Kelly (hung on a rope) & Lucy (falls into a hole, had gasoline poured on her and a lit match... you do the math)

Projected Next Victim: I'm still sticking with Danny Brooks- one of the wedding party has to go.

Project Killer: Jimmy Mance, the ex-boyfriend of our heroine. I don't trust him. 

Previous Harper's Island Post Here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Newest Half Blood Prince Trailer

As my number one anticipated film of 2009, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has pushed up its release date by two days and sequentially released its final trailer. While the book itself was personally ranked fifth (of seven) in the JK Rowling series, the potential for an excellent film is there. And judging from the trailer, this is going to be some magical ride. I. CANNOT. WAIT.

My Susan Boyle

Everybody is blogging about it, so regarding Susan Boyle  and her showstopping performance of 'I Dreamed A Dream' (Youtube has disabled embedding of her performance, so click hereI can only say what many have already said before me- I teared up big time. If there a rectifying moment for reality competition on television, this 'Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover' tale is it. It just goes to show how powerful a single showtune can be- and I'm saying this as someone who despises Les Mis! 

My 'I Love You, Man' Revelation


I've been meaning to watch the latest Paul Rudd outing since its release but never got the chance to. So when me and Riss's attempt to get 'West Side Story' tickets went up in flames, we decided to go grab the best burger in all of earth and watch 'I Love You, Man' before we both leave New York for an extended amount of time. 

While 'I Love You, Man' on the surface seems like another tiresome Judd Apatow-esque male bonding movie, I think both of us were pleasantly surprise how different and refreshing it was- ah, the fine art of bromance. I think it helped that we were both watching with our best friend of the opposite sex because it brought up a good conversation and realization of just how non-frat boy males are. I think for me personally, it's because I can relate to Paul Rudd's Peter in the film- the shy and mild manner guy who moments and tendencies to flair up with inner angst and rebellion. Also, the many, many awkward silences in the film happens on a regular basis with me and my male friends had thanking God that someone else in the world associated with this interaction enough to put it onscreen to comfort me.

Yes, the crude jokes are still there for a cheap laugh or two, but overall- 'I Love You, Man' caters to more than meets the eye, it manages to be the first of the 'male chick flicks' I can totally enjoy without feeling I have to pretend to be macho and chauvinist. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My 2009 New York Giants Schedule

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The toughest test for the reigning NFC East Champions in the upcoming season will be during the first month where they'll have to face the Redskins and then three very resilient road games, but once that's clear and assuming they come out of that with at least a 2-2 record, they should be clear until the December when they'll face their divisional teams back-to-back-to-back. And guess what? I get to watch the Giants on Thanksgiving this year! Yay!

Projected Record: 10-6
Projected Upset Win: Week 8 at Philadelphia
Projected Upset Loss: Week 6 at New Orleans

My Wrong Choice For A Director


McG of 'Charlie's Angels' and 'Terminator Salvation", I repeat- 'Charlie's Angels' and 'Terminator Salvation', wants to adapt the Tony Award winning musical Spring Awakening for the silver screen. While everyone who's familiar with the stage/film crossover history knows this adaptation is inevitable, I can't help but think McG is a wrong choice for director. 

Sure, there's no doubt it's going to electric and high energy, but the source material also calls for emotional and gut wrenching moments that McG has only showcased through his producing credit of 'The OC'- and let's face it, Moritz is a much more troubled soul than Ryan Atwood. My suggestion as always is to go the prestige route and get a helmer who's familiar with music material (a Cameron Crowe) or someone who's versatile and artistic with tragedy (an Ang Lee), or else Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik might as well let Chris Columbus or (gasp!) Brett Ratner take the wheel. (THR)

My New Glee Promo

The show isn't debuting for another month but my anticipation continues to build for this musical dramedy and in the latest promo, we actually get to hear singing! Some television critics have already seen the pilot and have nothing but great things to say about it. Between this and Mitch Hurwitz's 'Sit Down, Shut Up', can my ban on prime-time FOX programming end for good?

Catch all my premature 'Glee' obsessions here

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Angie Tempura

Michaela Watkins officially won me over with her Bitch Pleeze blogger persona, Angie Tempura. "Zac Efron? More like Zac, what the F is wrong?". Hilarity.

My Attempt To Save Money


If I knew I could bargain with my utilities fee collector, I would've done that years ago. In an attempt to cut some costs around the apartment since we're losing (sounds so negative) a roommate starting next month, I've toyed with the idea of eliminating cable television in the apartment. While I don't know what my other roommate thinks of the idea, I couldn't help but think everything I watch can be found on the interweb (still using the word). and for legally free. So why should we pay $80 a month for that? (NYT)

My Weekend Off Consisted Of...

Pretty much this...


... except on a bed and with a lot of medicated drugs in me.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Harper's Island Episode One Recap


this post contains major spoilers from last night's episode of 'Harper's Island'

Going into last night's premiere, I knew I was going to have trouble keeping track of all the characters- especially if they're all thrown at you at the same time. While Abby (the cominghome girl) and Henry (the groom) are somewhat billed as the lead, I can easily see different sets of characters taking over the main role with each episode. It's already campy and fun with a character decapitated within the first 5 minutes and the head reappears (shocker!). So let's just go to the chart:

Victims: Cousin Ben (decapitated by boat propellers) & Uncle Marty (got stuck after falling through a hole on a drawbridge and than have everything below torso chopped off).

Predicted Next Victim: Danny Brooks, the college buddy. He's the only black guy on the show, so he's not going to last... but not before he makes the obligatory "black guy always die" joke.

Predicted Killer: I'm going with Hunter Jennings, the ex of the bride... just because the father of the bride is just too obvious.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My 'Paris 36' Quickie Review

While the most obvious comparison would be to Moulin Rouge!, Paris 36 is a story about a group of out-of-work stagehands who decide to put on their own variety show for different reasons- for money, for love and to entertain. While it doesn't bill or pin itself to any of the plots in particular, 'Paris 36' still manages to get me to laugh, to sympathize and to fall in love. Like most French films, it's a feast for the eyes and for the soul. I am glad to finally recommend a 2009 film for everyone to see. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Harper's Island Introduction


I'm usually not a fan of the entire "Who's The Killer?" genre but there are occasions where I see myself completely obsessed with the mystery (ie. The 'Scream' trilogy). So when the previews for CBS's new thriller mini-series Harper's Island started airing, my curiosity was provoked and I became intrigued. C'mon, they kill off one person each week and you have to guess the killer is! What is not fun about that!?! To celebrate, I'm going to blog after each episode to analyze the show and of course, who I think the killer is. I CANNOT WAIT! 

My Extra Extra Testimonial


Being an extra on any film, television, commercial set is rough. I would know, I've worked with them and was one of them once. During this economic downfall, there folks who lost their jobs here in New York who turned to being an extra to earn some additional cash while fulfilling their brush with celebrities. The New York Times has an interesting article about two background artists who are 'taking advantage' of the countless amounts of productions going on in the city. It's fascination to hear that they're not bored or disgruntle about their new $8 per hour gigs that is suppose to help pay for their $1750 per month apartments. Maybe it was just me who doesn't like being underpaid, eating last, treated like I was part of a cattle and never as fun as what RIcky Gervais makes it seem to be.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Quality Airline


Hawaiian Airlines topped the annual quality study of US airlines with AirTran and JetBlue following in as #2 and 3, respectively. The criteria includes day-to-day complaints, luggage and baggage claims, bumping flights and overbooking and of course, customer service on and off the plane. My heart is still with Delta though, for all the discounted flights obvious reasons. (Yahoo)

My Seminole Criminal


Just add this to the neverending list of Football Seminole Criminals... The article even went ahead and listed all their recent trouble with the law, not to mention the academic probation that happened a month or so ago. What's going on down there? 

My Bad Production Design


I wonder how bad the 'production design' has to be for one to cancel a live music performance the day before the show. Country singer Tim McGraw, who from what I can tell is a nice guy, walked out on a rehearsal for yesterday's Academy of Country Music Awards over something he apparently didn't the production design for his performance. Unless it's dangerous or insulting, I don't see how bad production design can be the cause for leaving a show. Then again, it could've been some ploy to get people to watch the show. If that's the case, it worked

Oh, by the way, this is SO the last post ever about country music. (EW)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Break-Up Text


Reason #56 Why I'm Not Badass: One of my roommates decided to tell us he's moving out.... via a text... under 30 days.

My Hong Kong Excursion


It's official. I saw my ticket with my own eyes. I'm going to Hong Kong later this month and the timing couldn't be better. I'm in desperate need to get away from New York for at least a little while. The last time I was in my birth city was in 2002 and had a great time visiting whatever family I have left there and sightseeing at the same time- that extra trip to Australia did not hurt either. So, much like the European Excursion last summer, blogging would be limited and picture-filled. 

Some specific things I'm looking forward on this trip besides seeing the fam includes going to my third Disney Park (HK Disney), the famed Ocean Park, visiting The Peak (somewhat pictured above) and of course, the endless knockoffs shopping. Let the adventure begin on April 19th.

My Do-Re-Mi

Thanks to The Film Experience for making my night. If this ever happens at Grand Station Central, you can bet your curtains-originated play clothes I'll be hopping on the 6 Train to join in on the fun.

My Rabbit Hole Casting


I love, love, love the casting decision of Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart in the upcoming film adaptation of the stage play 'Rabbit Hole'. Kidman is at her best when her character is suffering and Eckhart can do plenty with the meaty role in the story about a couple after the death of their young son. As for who should play Kidman's mom and Jason, the catalyst that starts off the story? I would like to see Ellen Burstyn ('Requiem For A Dream') for the former and Emile Hirsch ('Milk') in the latter- in fact, anyone besides Shia LaBeouf would do. (THR)

P.S.- Isn't Nicole pretty?

Friday, April 3, 2009

My 2009 Baseball Predictions

trophy world series 03

With another baseball season starting this weekend, I figured it's time to throw in my two cents as usual with some predictions. Last year, I was a little off. Although I did have both the Red Sox and Phillies in the League Championship Series. So many questions are going to answered. Will the Mets have another colossal collapse for the third straight season? Can the Rays take their best season and run with it? Can the Yanks overcome last year's woes and this year's off-field distractions? Which team will come out of the dreadful NL Central and West alive? I guess we'll all just have to wait and see. Anyway, here are my quick picks:

American League:
1. Boston Red Sox (AL East Champions)
2. Los Angeles Angels (AL West Champions)
3. Minnesota Twins (AL Central Champions)
4. New York Yankees (AL Wild Card)

ALDS: Boston over Minnesota, Los Angeles over New York
ALCS: Los Angeles over Boston

I don't see the Rays getting back to the playoffs (ESPN Mag has them winning it all!) and the Yanks will do well under Girardi's second season but not well enough. The Angels are as dominant as they can be in another weak division.

National League:
1. Philadelphia Phillies (NL East Champions)
2. Chicago Cubs (NL Central Champions)
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (NL West Champions)
4. New York Mets (NL Wild Card)

ALDS: Philadelphia over Los Angeles, New York over Chicago
ALCS: Philadelphia over New York

I don't see how the Mets' offseason moves for their bullpen will result in another collapse- I was wrong last year as well. The only that'd give the Dodgers problems should be the Diamondbacks- other than that, Philadelphia should roll on.

World Series: Philadelphia over Los Angeles

Going out on a limb and calling for the first repeat World Series Champions since the '98-'00 Yanks.

My Release Dates


Just a few recently announced release dates I'm personally looking forward to:

- Carrie Bradshaw and the girls slated to come back to screen during Memorial Day weekend next year.
- Mad Men's third season is set to kick off this summer according to AMC, but specific date has been set.
- Friday Night Light's third season will arrive on DVD on May 19 with another sexy cover.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My Neighborhood Golf Course

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It still baffles me that I live in New York City and there's an 18-hole golf course less than 10 blocks from my apartment. It's so close that I can see the same tip of the Verranzano Bridge on my rooftop. Though not a golf fan, I think I went out to the driving range once back in college, I can appreciate the greenery of the Dyker Beach Golf Course. Their recent addition of the banquet hall prompted me interest in suggesting to my sister to hold at least her small wedding reception there. I'd hold out for my own wedding, but let's face it- that ain't happening anytime soon. 

My Chinese Electric Cars


Taking advantage of the current downfall in the US automobile industry, China leaders adapted a new plan to go ahead with their studies and development of electric cars. While electric cars had a short lifespan earlier this decade, they dwindled and faded away- loosely documented here. But with the current economic crisis and the no-end-in-sight outlook of it for the automobile industry in Detroit, China seems poised to succeed with their new plan and rival Japan as the leading electric car engineers in the world. (NYT)

My Jai Ho Remix

Way to go Pussycat Dolls, you've successfully put the ho in Jai Ho.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Best. Salad. Ever.


Grilled watermelon. Balsamic dressing. Goat cheese. Thanks, Alexis.

My Boxers Renaissance


For the most part of this century, I've been a boxer briefs kinda guy when I opted to wear underwear. I just like the way it feels and looks on me. But due to not laundry for three weeks an uncontrollable circumstance, I'm down to boxers I haven't worn since my shopping spree days at FSU. For goodness sakes, I'm wearing boxers from Structure(!). I've gotta say though, this temporary switch back has been a nice one. I don't feel discomfortable like in the past and I don't feel the urge readjust myself like I remember either. Hmm... perhaps being on the boxer briefs team for so long has blurred my ability to see the advantages of wearing just plain old boxers.