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Quoted and noted: Bill Maher

21 Apr

I had to share this quote because it made me laugh aloud.

“Jefferson would turn over in his slave if he knew we had tens of thousands of troops on bases in Germany, Japan and Korea — wars that we won 50, 60 years ago. It’s a concept we would never tolerate in reverse, by the way. If there were 20,000 armed Guatemalans on a military base in San Bernadino, Lou Dobbs would become a suicide bomber.” ~ Bill Maher, Rolling Stone, April 28, 2011

I’m not really sure what I think of Maher —  he spoke at Kent State my freshman or sophomore year, not a year after 9/11. He was on a panel with a bunch of professors, including a few Muslims. He cut off EVERY other panel member so often, I toyed with leaving because it wasn’t a panel discussion so much as an “I am Bill Maher” discussion. (I hate it when people don’t let you finish a thought; it’s why I think Oprah is icky.)

That being said, I enjoyed “Religulous” (except for the end — that was weird), and, of course, this quote.

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Quoted and noted: On body image

23 Jan

“Yancy, would you rather eat celery or brownies?”

“What is that? A trick question?”

“Exactly. Then you’ll just date guys who like brownies.” ~Slumber Party

When you cancel your cable, finding a movie on a Sunday afternoon to have on in the background while you  make jewelry gets more difficult. I’m watching the teeny bopper “Slumber Party.” I’ve been rolling my eyes at it until one friend said this to another after she lamented that no boys waved at her because she was fat. I kind of love that advice.

Quoted and noted: In which I vent about a pet peeve

13 Jan

“Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.” ~ Peter Ustinov

A rewording of one of my favorite all-time quotes: “Many a truth are told in jest.”

I think these simple facts are why I’m not a huge fan of teasing, and why I get so annoyed with me when I find myself teasing someone.

More often than not, when  someone is “just joking” or “just being sarcastic,” he or she is actually “just telling you the truth.” It’s like people think they can disguise being a turd with humor when, in reality, they’re just being an unfunny turd.

Examples:

  • Poking fun of someone because of his or her age, whether it’s “Oh, you’re older than me, haha!” or “Aw, but you’re just a baby!” One is rude; one is demeaning. What’s the point, if not to worry about getting old yourself, in the former, or worrying that you’re already old, in the latter? And don’t get me started about people who freak out about having another birthday. It’s better than the alternative, no?
  • Poking fun of someone because of his or her tastes. I have been made fun of for my taste in movies and music since high school. I don’t make apologies for it — why on earth should someone apologize for something she likes? — and I don’t understand the point. People have tastes, which are different. This is why drama AND comedy AND Jackass exists. This is why R&B AND classic rock AND spoken word slam poetry exists. I like George Michael AND Boyz II Men AND Bright Eyes. I like  Stephen King AND John Steinbeck AND “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” series. Leave me the frick alone!

I don't like Rihanna. I think her music is overrated, an opinion that was sealed when I heard "Umbrella" for the first time and legitimately thought the DJ's file was skipping. But why on earth would I care that you like her?

  • Poking fun of someone because of the food he or she likes. Never happened to me, thank God, because I’d consider throwing said food in the person’s judgmental little face. But a friend of mine has lamented this, and I don’t remotely understand it.

I am not currently undergoing any of the above-mentioned barrages. Honestly, I’d never write this if I were; I’d be too afraid of singling people out, and I don’t ever like to be that girl. So when it happens, I try to keep my mouth shut and simply roll my mental eyes.

What are you teased for? When people are “just joking!” are you ever genuinely laughing? Or am I the one who’s just being a turd?

15 fictional characters I love

8 Jan

This is actually a Facebook note going around, but I liked it enough that I figured it’d be a better blog post.

The rules: List 15 fictional characters (television, films, plays, books) who’ve influenced you and that will always stick with you, and don’t take too long to think about it. List the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

Who would be on your list? Even if you don’t come up with 15, I’m curious to see the ones that do come to mind quickly.

1. Harry Potter
2. Jake Chambers (King’s The Dark Tower series)
3. Boo (Monster’s Inc.)
4. Wall-E
5. Alan Shore/Denny Crane (If you’ve seen Boston Legal, you know why this constitutes one entry.)
6. Annie Wilkes (“Misery”)
7. Donald Duck

This is much harder than I thought it’d be. I’m an avid reader, but 1) I have the memory of an Alzheimer’s patient, and I think if a character really belongs on this list, I shouldn’t have to look up that character’s name — I remember details! Just not names … and 2) Aside from Stephen King, I most love to read memoirs. They’re not exactly fictional. OK, eight more.

8. Regan (“The Exorcist”)
9. Henry Drummond (“Inherit the Wind”)
10. Maximus (“Gladiator”)
11. Heathcliff Huxtable

12. Ted Brautigan (“Hearts in Atlantis”)
13.  Neville Longbottom (Potter)
14. Rose of Sharon (“Grapes of Wrath”)
15. Stacey McGill (Baby-sitters Club)

There you have it. Fifteen characters that have stuck in my mind for better or for worse. Who are yours?

Go see ‘Eat Pray Love’

20 Aug

When I read “Eat, Pray, Love” a few years ago, the book solidified my determination to visit Italy with a girl friend in my 20s.

When I saw “Eat Pray Love” a few days ago, the movie created a new determination: I want to go to Bali with the beau. I got home from my girldate, called him and said, “You need to take me to Bali. They have terrorists, so it’s super cheap.” I really know how to sell a vacation.

Reader, meet Bali. Bali, reader.

I went into the flick expecting to like it. Not only was the book incredibly well done, but all the terrible movie reviews couldn’t actually point out what made the movie so terrible. They threw out words like “navel-gazing” a lot, but I think that’s just code for “She’s richer than I am, and I wish I could afford to take a year and travel the world.”

I see a very distinct difference between a good movie and an enjoyable one.

  • The ideal movie will be both well done and enjoyable, but we can’t all be “The Godfather.”
  • Sometimes, we get well done but forget to make the flick entertaining. I’ve never seen it, but despite the fact that it won the best picture and eight other Oscars, I hear “The English Patient” was mind-numbing.
  • Or we forget to make the movie worth any bit of entertainment or talent: “The Informant” might be the worst movie I’ve ever had the displeasure of sitting through — wildly, mind-numbingly boring. I left the theater caring so very little for the characters, if they had been crumbled in the theater hallway being eaten by a pack of rabid parrots, I wouldn’t have minded.

That leaves the fourth category: Movies that won’t be nominated for any awards, but no one cares because they’re so much fun. “Eat Pray Love” certainly is on the better end of this category. Aside from good performances and breath-taking scenery, the movie is a joy to watch. Why?

  1. Julia Roberts. In every bad review I’ve read, no one can deny her talent or likability.  America’s sweetheart indeed.
  2. Javier Bardem. He’s what a man should be: handsome, rugged, hesitant and weepy when his grown son has to leave at the end of a visit. His only flaw? In one scene when he and Roberts’ Liz Gilbert are reading, he puts on music and takes her hands to dance. First, he removes the book from her grasp. And he … dog ears … a page. ((shudder)) BOOK MARKS, MAN.
  3. The scenery. I love to travel. I want to see everything. Gilbert’s time in Bali, surprisingly, made for the loveliest scenes to watch. Bali has beautiful beaches, lovely apartments and people you want to sit and drink coffee with.

Have you seen it yet? Tell me what you thought!

‘It’s so fluffy!’

13 Jul

Recently, it’s come to my attention that the best, most innovative, creative and well-written movies are, as of late, all cartoons. This summer has been full of crud. In fact, the two very best movies I’ve seen in theaters in 2010 are “How to Train Your Dragon” and, just this weekend, “Despicable Me.”

Instead of giving all the millions of reasons why you should see the Steve Carell-led flick, I’m going to give you this two-second clip. I’ve watched it maybe two dozen times. Best three words in cinema this year.

The scenes where you laugh so hard, you get dizzy

7 Jun

It was the furry wall that did it.

I loved “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” and Russell Brand stole every scene he was it. It only made sense to pull him out and feature him with straight man Jonah Hill for the new “Get Him to the Greek.”

There are certain scenes in cinema that cause me to hyperventilate with laugher. I might nearly fall off the chair or just start giggling incessantly when I’m so much as preparing to watch the scene. “Greek” has one of those scenes. I won’t ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen the flick, but suffice it to say that the offending scene involves a drug called “Jeffrey” (innocent-sounding enough, no?) and a wall of fur.

Need to figure out if that scene is enough to see the full movie for? Well, you can either trust me that it is, or you can compare it to my other two inexplicably fabulous scenes:

* The scene takes place in “Bruce Almighty.” The film is funny enough, though it’s probably not anyone’s favorite Jim Carrey film. The scene, however, makes the whole movie worth it. Remember when Carey’s God fiddles with Steve Carell’s anchor Evan Baxter? It’s silly and nonscene and makes me snort every time.

* The second scene is probably a little more well-loved and universal: Abigail Breslin’s dance performance in the Little Miss Sunshine competition. Holy God, I die every time. “Is he here? Where’s your grandpa right now?” “In the trunk of our car.”

Which movie scenes make you literally gasp for breath for the laughter? And has anyone else seen “Get Him to the Greek”?