Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Quickies (v.3.30.10)


- 'Upwards' Indeed: Zoe Lister-Jones couldn't be any sweeter when we worked together on a feature a few years ago and I'm happy that her $15,000(!!!!) budget film is getting high praise. (NYT)

- Leading Killer: Does it really surprise anyone that China led the world last year in executions? It also shouldn't surprise anyone that Texas the United States led the field in the Americas. (NYT)

- Confusing Ad: It's reported that a 30-second commercial spot during the series finale of 'Lost' will cost $900,000. No word if there's a criteria for the ads to be frustratingly confusing. (EW)

- Completely 'Normal': Upon hearing it recoup its initial $4 million investment, 'Next To Normal' is launching a nationwide tour later this year. I'll hound everyone about it when more details are released. (Playbill)

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- LOL @ MTA: The Working Family group is planning to unleash a series of ads parodying Subway notices to get mayor Michael Bloomberg's attention to act on his campaign promise to fix the MTA. The MTA is not amused, but the millions of daily commuters sure are. (NYD)

- Oklahoma Fail: In an attempt to pass a bill stripping hate crimes against gays and lesbians, Oklahoma lawmakers cited the wrong section of the US code. So they'll no longer prosecute anyone who acts violently because of someone's "race, color, religion or national origin." MEGA FAIL, Oklahoma! (ThinkProgress)

- Livin' La Vida Loca: Speaking of gay, Ricky Martin is out. As if we haven't known for ten years. (People)

- Mean Girls: An Irish immigrant teenager in a small town in Massachusetts committed suicide after months of heckling and bullying from her classmates. A truly sad story, the tight-knit community is demanding answers who school officials failed to intercept the well-known bullying acts. (NYD)

My Latest Woody Allen Flick


For the better part of this decade, Woody Allen has good days ('Match Point', 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona') and bad ones ('Whatever Works'). So when word comes around saying he has a project four years in development, a rarity for someone who loves to write and shoot, I'm kinda expecting this to be epic. If the casting is any indication, I shouldn't be disappointed with the Paris-based film. Say hello to Marion Cotillard (who Audrey Tautou must despise by now), Rachel McAdams and Owen Wilson. Can't wait! (Variety)

My Telephone


Here are five thoughts I had while watching Lady Gaga's latest short film music video 'Telephone' featuring Beyonce:

1. I must be intruding on some awesome exclusive lesbian dance party.
2. Lady Gaga would not make a good TV chef.
3. I've never seen Beyonce so nervous in my life.
4. I want soda cans in my hair as well.
5. "kinda busy... kinda busy."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Happiest Girl In The World


At last night's New Directors/New Films festival screening of the Romanian film, The Happiest Girl In The World, I found myself surprised by the content of the international festival hit. Given the premise of:

"When a plucky provincial duckling of a young lady wins a contest, she must travel with her parents to the buzzing metropolis of Bucharest to claim her prize."

I was expecting a tamer version of 'Little Miss Sunshine', the unexpected twist of the prize being a cameo for a commercial made this film much too real for me. Set against the backdrop of a commercial shoot, our heroine must navigate her needs against her parent's and also deal with the cruel world of commercial production. While it doesn't have the sharpest script, I couldn't look away because both me and my friend are very familiar with this nonsense world. In fact, at various points of the film, it was cringe worthy how painfully real the portrayals of commercial agencies and clients' set behavior were. It was just a relief to see the rest of the audience laugh at the absurdity of what goes on just to remind me we weren't sitting in on someone's cruel joke.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Amazing Race Rankings (Week 7)

You have NO IDEA how much I cheered at the end of this week's episode. The cowboys continue to ride and hopefully we'll get to hear that country song Jet is fixin' to write. If that doesn't resurge my love for that team, I don't know what will. Anyway, here's how I love 'em:

Jet's my favorite player. If only they paid more attention next leg.

Have they ran a subpar race yet? I don't think so.

About time these two brothers came in second place.

Oh, how the equalizer proved the last three races were a fluke.

Lucky, how very lucky.

The first decent race they've completed, even if it's mistake-filled.

Best Line of The Night: "I'm not going until Phil tells us we're eliminated." - Cord
Smartest Move: Steve and Allie decide not to go back for their bags.
Dumbest Move: Jet & Cord forgetting to get the bottle off the boat.

My Quickies (v.3.28.10)


- Xtina Gaga: The cover art for Christina Augilera's much anticipated 'Bionic' album was released this week. I guess when Gaga's hot, everyone should try to cash in on it.

- 'Bulls Hit: The gorgeous New York Red Bulls Arena officially opened its doors last night in Harrison, NJ. The aesthetics of the riverfront soccer stadium rivals most of its European counterparts. (Red Bulls)

- 'Strike' Out: The latest MTA worker strike (this time due to funds being cut) caused many delays Friday morning in Queens, prompting many unhappy customers who at the time certainly don't mind the layoffs. (NYD)

- Party Over in the USA: Miley Cyrus declares after her album drops this summer, she's done with music and will concentrate more on films. So now you have to pay $12 to get your Hannah Montana fix. (E!)

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- Hogwarts Comes Alive: The grand opening for the 'Wizarding World of Harry Potter' at Universal Studios is set for June 18th. So be prepared to see a lot of muggles dressed as wizards a week in advance. (Official Site)

- The Final Countdown: After eight season, FOX says the current of '24' will be its last. I still remember the days of '24' marathons in college. Gone are the days of Sherry Palmer, Kyle Singer & cougar traps in the woods. (EW)

- Dead Possum Society: A Pennsylvania man was arrested while trying to resuscitate a dead possum. The intoxicated man was said to have mistaken him for Punxsutawney Phil. (NYD)

- Disgruntled Diva: So the reason Megan Mullally quit the Broadway show 2 weeks before previews appears to be that she has her nose up her butt failed to convince the producers of the show to fire her costar, Patton Oswalt. (NYT)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Netflix Wii


Yay! It's here and it works! With the low monthly cost of Netflix and the price of movie tickets increasing, it looks like I'm going to go on a movie binge at home for a little while until a truly event film gets released in theaters.

My Overrated Films


Premiere Online released their list of 20 films that are the most overrated. Though I have to do some hardcore Myspace search to see my personal list from five years ago, I think I remember them pretty well. Looking over the magazine's list, I pretty much have to disagree with every single one of the films that I saw. Of course it's all subjective, but having the likes of classic old Hollywood films such as 'Gone With The Wind' and 'The Wizard of Oz' seems like too much of a shock value than an actual productive list.

My Not So Bond-Like Behavior


Reason #80 Why I'm Not Badass: Did a Sean Connery accent that sounded Mexican for 10 minutes on a date.

Friday, March 26, 2010

My 42nd Street Ballroom


I've always known but my least favorite place on the island of Manhattan is the Port Authority Bus Terminal. What is it about Greyhound stations that makes them so gross and ghetto? But in mist of this disgusting, confusing building lays a treasured structure. I remember as kid, for whatever reason I had to be at the PABT, I would stare at the 42nd Street Ballroom until I was told to we had to go.

Similar to the boardgame 'Mousetrap' and a labyrinth, the 42nd Street Ballroom structure rotates pool balls in a maze of knick-knacks. Everything from a spiral down to bouncing off xylophone panels, the structure was mesmerizing to watch. Keyword being was. This glimmer of light in the hell hole no longer functions and made me early morning trip today much more miserable than it already was. Someone needs to fix this. If not for my childhood memory than for any tragic human soul that has to cross that building every single day.

My Quickies (v.3.26.10)


- Tix Goes Up: This is just insane. I will not pay $20 to see a movie. Ever. I guess I won't be training any dragons this weekend. (CBS)

- Angry White Powder: I guess Anthony Weiner (D-NY) got off easy compared to his fellow Democrats. I'll take an envelope of powdered chalk over smashed windows and voicemails telling me to die any day. (TPM)

- Fifth Starter: The drama finally ends for Yankee fans when skipper Joe Girardi named Phil Hughes the squad's fifth starter when the season opens in less than 10 days. Bring on baseball! (ESPN)

- Oddest Protest Of The Day: A group of devoted fans of a popular gay couple on 'One Life To Live' will rally in front of 'Good Morning America' today to protest the soap's firing of the actors who portray the couple last week. (Facebook)

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- Jack Sauce: It's great to have an episode of '30 Rock' with Floyd again. It's the only time I like Jason Sudekis. Consider me on team Fliz! (Hulu)

- Awards Season: Not even a month after the Oscars, the AMPAS announced their calendar for next year's kudosfest. Just please don't bring back Shankman & Mechanic, I don't think I can handle that mess again. (Oscars)

- Mercury Poisoning?: Megan Mullally's abrupt exit for a Broadway play two weeks before previews caused the cancellation of the entire production. How Karen of her. (Playbill)

- Helm Rush: California's latest idea to cut the state's deficit is to legalize marijuana and then taxing it. I guess it would be easier to tell people you're taking more money from them when they're stoned. (NYT)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Celebrity Crush Of The Month (v.3.25.10)

As promised, it's back. My ridiculous obsession with random famous folks will continue once again. Before we move on to this year's "lucky ones", let's do a quick recap of last year's selection of 'Celebrity Crush of The Month':

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January 2009- Rebecca Hall, 27, actress
February 2009- Will Chase, 30, actor
March 2009- Joseph Cotten, deceased, actor
April 2009- Nora Arnezeder, 22, actress
May 2009- Ellie Frederickson, deceased, inspiration
June 2009- Roger Federer, 29, athlete
July 2009- Jake Silbermann, 26, actor
August 2009- Melanie Laurent, 27, actress
September 2009- Brett Gardner, 26, athlete
October 2009- N/A
November 2009- N/A
December 2009- N/A

Okay, here goes this year's batch so far:

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January 2010: Carey Mulligan, 24, actress
How can anyone not fall in love with her after 'An Education'? Not to mention her grace as she makes her way through the tough award circuit was delightful to see.

February 2010: Jeremy Renner, 39, actor
Macho and sensible, the entire "happy to be here" smug never fails to charm- how very different from Sgt. William James, or is it?

March 2010: Ewan McGregor, 38, actor
An old favorite is back to show that his charisma never went away in double features. Also, for putting George Stephanopoulos in his place.

So come on back towards the end of next month to see who captured my time in the non-reality world.

My Jail Playground


This could've easily been prevented. A series of "jail-themed" playgrounds in Bedford-Stuyvesant are causing an obvious uproar. After numerous complaints how this is the only neighborhood in New York City with these specifically designed playgrounds, the city finally agreed to do a massive overhaul in removing them in the predominantly African-American neighborhood.

To be honest, I didn't think it was a big deal but this is obviously one of those instances where these playgrounds should've never been built in the first place. Are you kidding me? Why even do something remotely controversial to something as non-trivial as a neighborhood playground? It's simply asking for trouble. I feel like I'm watching another Leslie Knope adventure in an episode of 'Parks and Recreation'. (NYDN)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Life In Film: Movie Meme


Andrew over at Encore's World of Film & TV started an interactive blog session that I'm more than glad to partake. What's the aim of the game you ask? See if you can figure it out. It's not that hard. I actually encourage you to try.

Gender: The Thin Man
Describe Yourself: Spellbound
How Do You Feel Right Now: Forever Young
Where Do You Live: Brooklyn's Finest
What's The Weather Like There: One Fine Day
Where Would You Like To Go Right Now: Across The Universe
What's Your Biggest Fear: Ordinary People
Your Life's A Film, Give It A Name: A League of Their Own
What Will You Be Doing Today: Crimes and Misdemeanors
Give Us A Piece of Advice: Whatever Works

My Gleeful Normality

Combining two of the best things ever- 'Glee' and 'Next To Normal'. It's as if they made this just for me. Thanks Carlsbad High School, now this N2N obsession is never going to die.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My (?) Nets


ESPN's Seth Everett asks a very interesting questions:

"Should the upcoming Nets team be called the New York Nets or the Brooklyn Nets when they move to the Atlantic Yards?"

For me, a native Brooklynite, the answer is simple. While I understand the potential financial benefits of naming the team New York, the stigma of having the only professional team in the US named after a region of a city is too great. I mean, c'mon, everybody knows Brooklyn. There's a sense of pride and history that goes with the name. I'd automatically be more interested in rooting for the Nets just because the name gives them more of an identity.

I wouldn't go overboard and rename the team Brooklyn Gothams (a la Houston Texans), but I do think after all the political hoopla that went into bringing the Nets to Brooklyn, if it isn't named for the borough- watch for more uproar on this already controversial move.

My Blog Referrals


It's been awhile (months?) since I've found new blogs to add to my daily reading, but this week I was referred to three different new obsessions by friends, friends of friends or just serendipitous happenstance. And of course, they're all entertainment based. Ch-ch-check 'em out:

- A detailed go-to guide for some of my favorite shows including my current obsession 'The Amazing Race'. Fun, light and with a point of view eerily similar to mine, blogger Jill's weekly recap of individual episodes (and events) is a must read.

- Combining love for theatre, television and film, blogger Isaac already has a cult following large enough to start his own theatrical event (and did!). Injecting sarcasm and hilarity in every entry, the short format blog (my favorite kind) will no doubt continue to be part of my daily read.

- A simple photography concept. Pressing the 2-second timer on a digital camera and then running away from it as fast as you can! Genius! While inspiring fan entries, the original "hit and run" lenser still does it best.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Amazing Race Rankings (Week 6)

Well, we're one team away from eliminating all the weaklings. I'd be very surprised if Brent and Caite are still together after all this is over. Also, the tourism division in France needs to give better direction... or just the correct ones. Anyway, here's how I like 'em:

They're still my personal favorites, but I'm starting to doubt their chances.

Steve is slowly becoming my hero.

Very slowly coming around to liking these baffoons. Maybe someone should teach them a lesson.

They better shape up. If Brent & Caite catches a break, they're easily done.

Let's see how they'll fair the next time they're faced with a tough challenge...

... case in point, these two annoying people.

Best Line of the Night: "My wife says duct tape can fix anything."- Steve
Smartest Move: Steve and Allie NOT calling for that second car when theirs can be easily fixed.
Dumbest Move: Dan and Jordan choosing to do the champaign tower dropping them four spots.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Wrong Demographic

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Sorry Facebook, this ad was catered to the wrong audience. Don't ya know I'm Asian?

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Michael Sheen Appreciation

Between his recent visit to Craig Ferguson (so underrated) and his current stint on '30 Rock', I've grown to like Mr. Sheen even more. Now, can someone cast him in something that doesn't require the man to be either Tony Blair or a vampire?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Famous Homeless Man


Not sure if I should file this under funny, sad or both. There's currently a Chinese internet celebrity roaming the streets on Ningbo, China. He looks the part of a Williamsburg burnout, but the thing is- he's homeless. A pedestrian snapped a picture of 5'8 man and post it on the internet, gushing about his good looks and great sense of style and before you know it, he's the newest internet sensation. He's even started a new fashion trend.

Getting the nickname "Brother Sharp", he has since been followed by more residents, as if they were the paparazzi and he's the celebrity. Catching his every move, what he eats (trash off the street), where he hangs out (back alleys) and who he hangs out with (no one, he's a lone drifter). When the Chinese authorities tried to track him down, "Brother Sharp" is so psychologically disturbed that he refuses and continues on his merry way. You tell me, does he look like he just walked off the runway? (Independent)


My March Madness Predictions


Yes, I realize I'm about four hours too late but hey... better get these in before I take at peek a the winners thus far.

East Region (Syracuse)- While almost everyone has Kentucky getting out of this region alive, I'm going to go with the pesky West Virginia Mountaineers who got shafted out of a #1 seed in favor of Duke. I like their style of play and also, unlike most of the pundits out there, I'm not buying Cornell as this year's sleeper. I see them getting ousted in the first round. Let's not good looking for hidden treasures now, folks.

South Region (Houston)- Perhaps it's due to my hatred towards Duke, but I'm banking on another Big East team advance to the final four in the form of Villanova. Their guards are speedy- even Obama says so. Sleeper hit in the region includes Old Dominion and Siena.

Midwest Region (St. Louis)- You might as well hand this one over to the overall #1 seed Kansas. I don't see any team in this region giving them problem maybe besides Georgetown, but they would have to get through Ohio State first before doing so. Upset special: Georgia Tech over Oklahoma State.

West Region (Salt Lake City)- It's a tossup between Kansas State and Syracuse, but I'm going to give in pick the Orangemen even when they're on a decline. I just think they have a tougher road to the Elite Eight with the possibility of playing Gonzaga, Vanderbilt and Butler and will catch Kansas State offguard.

National Champions: Yes, the best team in the nation will prevail this year again. Kansas Jayhawks it is.

My Last Kyle Dean Massey Vlog

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From the moment he first permanently replaced Aaron Tveit as Gabe in the Tony-winning musical 'Next To Normal', Kyle Dean Massey was asked to carry a camcorder around backstage to show the audience random tidbits that goes on on a daily basis at the Booth Theater. After 11 vlog entries, Kyle Dean is powering down for the last time but not before sharing some of more "useful" information.

As a huge fan of the musical (it's currently sitting pretty as #2 on my all-time list and slowly climbing), it's fun to see what goes on and doesn't go on before, during and after the show. I mean, could you imagine climbing 666 steps of stairs eight times a week!?! Nutty. I guess I've been spoiled by Kyle Dean's vlogs and now I must fork over another $65 bucks if I want to relive my obsession with the only stage production that has ever made me tear up.

Check out all the vlog entries here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Ewan McGregor Double Feature


It has been awhile since I've seen a film with Ewan McGregor as a lead. This week, I got the chance to two- last year's 'The Men Who Stared At Goats" and the currently limited release "The Ghost Writer". While both films have their issues, I'm so glad to see Ewan put in two different but solid performances. Can't wait for the hopeful third when "I Love You, Philip Morris" drops next month.

Speaking of which, the "Celebrity Crush Of The Month" feature will be back.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Bay Area Stay In Five Pictures

... one for each day I was there.

The iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

It's hard to believe this is just 10 minutes from downtown SF.

Possibly my favorite picture from the trip.

Fame and historic Castro Theatre on Castro Street.

Of course, the wine caves. Oh, the wine...

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Flying Picture

It's amazing how you can now blog 10,000 feet above ground (I'm currently above Chicago). After another 10-day trip in two states and 4 cities, I'm on my way home just in time for St. Patrick's Day! Yowza!

My Amazing Race Rankings (Week 5)

The best episode of the season so far and back to the elimination format and some tidbits:

At this point, It'd take a lot for me to knock these cowboys off the top of my list.

They're finally behaving like brothers. Jordan should have his own show.

Finally some screentime time for the silent killer team!

Very bold move this week.

Why are they still complaining!?!

Only because Jeff & Jordan annoys the daylights out of me.

Go home, please.

Best Line Of The Night: "Wow. Those are some mean lesbians."- Caite
Smartest Move: Louie & Michael u-turning Joe and Heidi.
Dumbest Move: Brent and Caite skipping another clue! It's only episode five.