Friday, December 11, 2009

Genius

I don't know which part is more brilliant, turning The Silence of the Lambs into a musical or having said musical acted out by Legos. Obviously it is full of win.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Dear Zachary

I just watched the documentary Dear Zachary because I vaugely remembered reading the review on Pajiba. I... I can't even explain. I was so emotional. I won't talk about the plot, but there was one point in the story that I'm pretty sure I stopped breathing for ten minutes. I just sat there on the couch with my hand clasped over my mouth, completely numb. My entire body was pins and needles, it was very strange. Then I sobbed. Not like a few tears you get at the end of a sad movie, I was actually sobbing. I thought I was going to be physically sick.

I don't know if this is a positive review or not. It was very well done, but Netflix's star rating system doesn't really apply in a case like this. I can't really recommend it the way I would normally recommend a movie, but ... you should watch it. Look up the story on wikipedia if you don't want to go into it blindly the way I did.

Review

I've been putting off doing this latest round of Netflix reviews, partially because I'm really lazy. First of all, I want to say that I'm glad I stuck with TrueBlood. It's gotten really good. There's a serial killer on the loose and a compelling love quadrangle that doesn't seem forced. I upped my rating on Netflix from 3 stars (Liked) to 4 (Really Liked). Now, back to our regularly scheduled reviews:

"This is so bad it's almost good." Rebecca, Ghost World.
Ghost World is a really, really fantastic coming-of-age movie. It follows the summer after best friends Enid and Rebecca graduate from high school. The above quote is Rebecca's comment on their senior prom. Neither are going away to college, and while Rebecca follows through on her plan to get a job and an apartment, Enid rebels. She doesn't know what she wants to do, but she knows what she doesn't want. Their friendship slowly dissolves without the common bond of high school, as so many friendships do. Enid latches on to and bonds with a middle-aged loser played by Steve Buscemi. It's hard to explain the plot of the movie because it's really a series of events that lead to Enid being forced to make a decision about what she wants to do with her life. It's a really great movie, funny and honest. I highly recommend it.

And heading into the next review, I feel I need to use a quote from Ghost World. Enid's response to Rebecca's prom commentary: "This is so bad it's gone past good and back to bad again."

So one night after a rough day at work I wanted to watch a movie but I didn't want anything that would make me have to think. I decided to try out Netflix's online movie player. Ok, I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I watched The House Bunny. I only laughed out loud once during the whole movie. It was during a scene in which Anna Farris's Playboy Bunny character is teaching the "loser" girls how to do makeup properly. She tells them to highlight their eyes because "the eyes are the nipples of the face." Yeah, that made me laugh. Other than that I was really confused by the "message" of this movie. I think the point of the movie is that it's ok for women to be smart as long as they're pretty and sexy also. The actual plotline of the movie is that the "loser" sorority house has to get makeovers so that the fraternities will want to come to their parties and they can get new pledges. It's basically saying that the girls and their sorority are worthless unless boys think they're sexy. And that's offensive. And Kat Dennings plays a Women's Studies major with a short "butch" haircut, men's clothing, and a face full of piercings. Because of course she does. No wonder young women don't like using the word "feminist" when this is the type of feminist Hollywood presents. Excuse me, I need to go read The Purity Myth and get some healthy feminist theory into my brain.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Dedicated

I work as a cataloger in a library, so I spend a good portion of my day staring at the copyright page (also known as the CIP page). This is unremarkable except for the fact that the CIP page usually faces the dedication page. So many dedications are boring and of the "For J.P." variety that I've really started to appreciate those that have sweet, funny, or just interesting and unusual dedications. Here are two I came across today:

From You Must Be This Happy To Enter by Elizabeth Crane: "For Nina, I'm sorry I stole your hat. Yours 'til Lois Lane." If I ever write a book and dedicate it to Abby, I feel the dedication would be similar to this one. Actually, it would probably be: "For Abby. Thanks for picking me up at the airport. I'm sorry I drank all your wine."

From The Book of Night Women by Marlon James: "To the railroad of bones." I have a feeling I would actually understand it if I read the book, but it's a very interesting dedication.

My personal favorite dedication of all time comes from Why Girls are Weird (I haven't moved my books to my apartment yet, so I'm quoting this from memory so I might be a little off. It also might come from Why Moms are Weird.): "My heart beats: Mommy. Bosie. Stephen."

Abs, any great dedications? If you dedicated a book to me, what would it read?

Monday, July 13, 2009

The only reason I would work 9 days in a row...

... So I can take off and enjoy my boys Joe Firstman and Brian Wright. And the third guy. Abby and I will be seeing these lovely lads this Wednesday in Nashville. Woo hoo!

Check out the show from last night:

http://app.synclive.com/?show/30736

Sorry, I had it embedded earlier but I couldn't figure out how to make the stupid ad NOT autoplay, despite the fact that the show wasn't on autoplay. Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Moving on

Ok, forget what I said about the tale of my worst week ever. It's over, it's done, I'm moving on. In fact, I'm starting a new feature here! I just signed up with Netflix and I'm planning on posting my reviews of the dvds I watch here. Here we go:

"I wanna do bad things with you"- True Blood, Season 1 Disc 1

Mediocre. A decent premise, but there's something... off. It might have something to do with Anna Paquin's performance, which is pretty uneven. I usually like Anna Paquin. Fly Away Home was one of my favorite movies in my youth, she's a main character in the X-Men movies, and she has a small role in Almost Famous as the awesomely named Polexia Aphrodisia. So she's built up a lot of good will with me over the years. But still, she's not working for me in True Blood, at least not yet. The first disc only has two episodes on it, so I'm going to give it another shot before I give up on it. The basic premise of the show is this: A synthetic blood (TruBlood) has been developed, allowing vampires to try to assimilate into society. AP plays Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress at a bar in Louisiana who happens to read minds. She gets her crush on with a vampire, Bill, who is old enough to remember the civil war, much to the delight of Sookie's grandmother. I love a good twist on the vampire legend (one that doesn't completely fuck with hundreds of years of mythology- I'm looking at you Twilight), and the setting and supporting characters are great, so I'm willing to give the show some time to get going. I mean- AP won the Golden Globe for her performance. She's got to get better, right? The best part of the show so far has been the opening credits. No, really. When the second episode started I was excited because I was going to get to see the credits again.



"I don't get tough with anyone, Mr. Gittes. My lawyer does." - Chinatown

I'm trying to alternate between a tv show and a movie, for no real reason. My second netflix pick is the classic Jack Nicholson flick Chinatown. Holy crap. It was so good. I mean... sooo sooo good. It would have swept the Oscars for sure had it not had the misfortune to be released opposite The Godfather Part II. Political corruption, murder, sex, 1930s fashion... it's all here, and it's all awesome. I don't want to give away too much of the plot, because it's so intricate. I actually knew one of the movie's big secrets because I caught about 10 minutes on TV a couple of years ago, but it actually made it better (It was the slapping scene towards the end, if you've seen the movie and you're curious). That's the sign of a good mystery- it gets even better after you know the secrets. The movie is dark, for sure. I loved the ending though, because [minor spoiler] I kind of love it when the bad guy wins. Rent it. Now. You won't be disappointed.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Be Prepared

Coming soon to a blog near you (specifically- this blog): The Tale of Miranda's Worst Week ever.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

'Royal Pains' is like 'Entourage' on crack...

... in a good way. At least that's how Daniel Carlson (of Pajiba "fame") describes it in this review. Which is weird, because from the looks of the commercials I thought it was going to be terrible. USA normally produces exactly the kind of shows I like to watch: I love Psych and Burn Notice, and I enjoyed the few episodes I saw of The Starter Wife. I even liked old-school USA sci-fi shows, like The 4400 and The Dead Zone. And everybody enjoys Monk, even if they don't admit it. 

But then there was In Plain Sight, a show I don't really like, but I can't figure out why. Abby suggested it was because there were no men good looking enough to hold our interest. That could be part of it, but I enjoy Law & Order: CI, and Vincent D'Onofrio isn't my idea of eye candy, so that can't be the only reason I don't like the show. It's had great guest stars like Sherry Stringfield, Dave Foley, and Wallace Fennel. Why don't I like the show... I think it's because something about Mary McCormick (the actress who plays the main character) grates on me. For a while I thought it was just the way her character was written, but then I saw an interview with her on Chelsea Lately and she was even more annoying. I rented another movie that she's in to try and figure out if it's really Mary McCormick I have a problem with. I'm guessing it is her, because I've actually already seen the movie, and I can't remember her character at all. And she has 3rd billing on IMDb, so you'd think I'd at least kind of remember her.

So anyway, here's what I'm getting at: the promotion leading up to Royal Pains is bringing back memories of the marketing for In Plain Sight, which isn't a good thing. Although I do remember USA started showing ads for IPS months before the premier, so I was already annoyed by the show before it even premiered. I really thought Royal Pains would be another disappointment, but since it was given a positive review from a reviewer I've been following for years, and he likens it to Burn Notice, I'll give it a shot and let you know what I think.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Send in the Subs!

Abs, I don't know if you watch The Office, but this clip below is possibly my favorite moment of television from the last year. It's from the season finale. Pam, who apparently is an awesome vollyball player, sprains her ankle during a match at the company picnic and has to go get it x-rayed. Well, the doctor has some other news for Pam. You don't hear anything, but it's pretty obvious what's going on. John Krasinski kills me every time I watch this.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Love



By the way, my last name is now Calhoon-Spock. I'll also answer to Calhoon-Quinto and Calhoon-Sylar.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Shopping Win

Today I shopped the sale rack at Charlotte Russe and bought two new skirts for work, a new purple/orange top, and the best Christmas shirt ever (see below), all for under $13 total. The best part? One of the skirts I bought for $2.99 is eerily similar to this skirt at Express selling for $69.50. Muahahah!


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Cringe

I'm not a super huge Smashing Pumpkins fan, but I am still supremely disappointed/creeped out that Billy Corgan is apparently dating Tila Tequila. Eeeewwww. Corgan brings his own aura of creepitude to the table, but I can't look at pictures of Tila for more than a few seconds without feeling like I need to disinfect my eyeballs.

Mostly I feel disappointed in Corgan. Judging by the supreme elitism exhibited by hardcore Smashing Pumpkins fans, I assumed Corgan would be way out of the walking VD's league. Corgan was never on my list of celebs I'd like to sex, but he's definitely off now.

True story: I once worked with a girl who was a hardcore Smashing Pumpkins fan. At the time "Tonight, Tonight" was one of my favorite songs (I was 19), and I made the mistake of sharing this with her. Her response: "It's a good song, but real Smashing Pumpkins fans don't have favorites. We love them all equally." EYEROLL. Have you ever been in a situation where you know for sure that every single person within earshot wants to punch someone in the face? What's worse: "Tonight, Tonight" was on a mix cd we had to listen to each week, so we got to hear her feelings on "real" Smashing Pumpkins fans multiple times. Ugh.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Name that Tune FTW

A few weeks ago I was watching TV late at night when I thought I heard Pot Kettle Black in a commercial for Observe and Report. I wanted to verify, but I couldn't find the clip on youtube and I didn't see the commercial again, so I assumed I had been hallucinating. Happens all the time. Well, I finally found the commercial on youtube, so I know that I'm not actually going crazy. This commercial is a little different than the one I've been seeing, because the one I've been seeing actually plays less of the song, therefore earning me more points in Mr. D's game of "Name that Tune." True story: in first grade I kept falling asleep during Mr. D's music class and apparently it was such a problem my parents had to be called. I guess I was the first Wilmo student to be bored to Zzzzs by Mr. D. I would not be the last.




[Points to self] Winner. Also: If you go to the actual youtube page for this video, you can see me win at Name that Tune in the comment section.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Headlines

British elementary school teaches children about acceptance and how not to be bigots; American fundamentalist Christian group to protest. Via Jezebel.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Double Dipping

I've been thinking a lot about buying a new TV. My current television is still functional, and I don't really have the money right now, but I'm looking ahead. And while looking ahead, I might as well think extravigantly. So, while I'm buying my fancy widescreen HD TV, I might as well pick up a blu-ray player. Blu-ray players will play all my current DVDs, so I don't technically need to replace my collection, but it's an interesting thought: Which movies do I love enough to buy again (or will benefit most from improved picture/sound)? From a quick scan of my shelf, here's my list:

1- Almost Famous. It's my favorite movie, so it automatically makes the list. This is technically a triple-dip, because I owned the one-disc version of the DVD before upgrading to the two-disc director's cut. A quick search of Amazon and Ebay shows that apparently it's not available in the US, but it doesn't look like it will be hard to get in a US compatible format.

2- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Another of my personal favorites.

3- The Godfather Collection. There's a new remastered DVD collection out, and I think it's also available on blu-ray. The original DVD collection (the one I own) isn't a very good digital transfer; the picture quality isn't as good as it could be.

4- The Matrix. I've never seen any of the sequels, but the original is just so cool. I think it'll definitely benefit from improved picture and sound.

5- Moulin Rouge! Once I'm living on my own, I won't be able to steal my sister's copy. I guess this isn't technically double-dipping, since I don't own it myself, but I just think it'll look fantastic in high def, so I included it on the list anyway.

6- Serenity. Another triple-dip. If I decide to double-dip on TV series I already own, Firefly would be on the top of the list.

7- The original Star Wars trilogy. This might not count as a double-dip, because I only own it on VHS. 

8- V for Vendetta. Of my Natalie Portman movies, this is the one I think will benefit most from blu-ray.

So, Abby, which of your DVDs would you replace with blu-ray?

Friday, March 06, 2009

AAAAAHHHHH

I really could not come up with a better title for this post.

Two days ago I posted a humorous video about gay marriage. This post, however, is not funny at all.

Annie Leibovitz, one of the most acclaimed artists living today, is in serious financial trouble. Why? Because when her partner, Susan Sontag, died in 2004, she left her entire estate to Leibovitz. But since the government doesn't recognize their relationship, Leibovitz is forced to pay up to 50% of the value of the estate in taxes. Had Leibovitz and Sontag been recognized as a married couple, Leibovitz wouldn't have to pay a dime. First she had to suffer through the death of a loved one, and now she has to suffer financially.

This is just one reason why gay marriage should be legalized. My heart breaks for Leibovitz. 

Story found via Evil Beet.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Best Albums of the Aughts

Pajiba's most recent Comment Diversion asked readers to list the best albums since 2000. Here's my list:

Probably not the "best" but some of my favorites:

Rilo Kiley "The Execution of All Things"
The Elected "Sun, Sun, Sun"
Tilly and the Wall "Bottoms of Barrels"
Wilco "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"
Tegan and Sara "The Con"
The Decemberists "Picaresque"
The Postal Service "Give Up"

And I have to give a special shout-out to "War of Women" by Joe Firstman. It's not my favorite of his work, and it's definitely not the best album of the aughts, but it has deep sentimental value and not including it just feels wrong.

Immediately afterwards I realized I left out "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" by Bright Eyes, and I've thought of a few others since then. And would you believe that I'm the only person so far that chose "The Execution of All Things" as the best RK album? Everyone else chose "More Adventurous." I think when the final list is composed, the only albums I chose that will make the cut will be "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" and "Give Up." Maybe "Picaresque" but the Decemberists votes seem to be split between "Picaresque" and "Castaways and Cutouts." That could hurt the Decemberists' chances of making the list at all.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tweet

Hi.

Despite having recently admited that I don't fully understand the purpose of Twitter, I created my own twitter account. I'm thinking of it as a social experiment. Follow me @mirandom03.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Faceplant

Jezebel has a great article up right now: The Top 10 All-Time Model/Runway Mishaps. My love for the article doesn't come from a place of schadenfreude (unlike the asshole anchormen in #4 who laugh at poor Kamila who slips while wearing zillion inch heels and carrying a bucket of water. It's hard enough to walk in high heels without throwing off your balance with a watering can!). When I'm walking down the sidewalk and I bite it, I hope I handle myself half as adorably as these models. The models just pick themselves up with a smile and a shrug and keep on going. It's all the more impressive when you realize that a model falling is potentially very serious: had those crazy shoes she's wearing snapped her ankle during the fall, her career could be over. 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Are you a Jenny or a Blake?

I know you love Rilo Kiley. Who doesn't? I'm here to pose a simple question:

Jenny or Blake?

Here's what I mean: Lets say (God forbid) Rilo Kiley gets a divorce, and you have to choose between mommy and daddy. You have to choose a side. Do you choose Jenny or Blake?

Jenny would obviously be the more popular choice. She's the front woman, she's fabulous, she's got great hair. Her side projects have gotten serious press. Blake doesn't get nearly as much attention as Jenny, and it's really too bad. He's just as talented as Jenny, musically (ok- I'll grant that Jenny's singing voice is stronger, but Blake has a good voice as well). I think the fact that he's not a cute red-head with big boobs works against him. 

Really it just comes down to which side project albums you can't live without: Rabbit Fur Coat and Acid Tongue v. Go On and Sun, Sun, Sun.

Rabbit Fur Coat and Sun, Sun, Sun came out at the same time three years ago. There was so much press for RFC, you would think John Lennon and George Harrison had come back to life to record a Beatles come back album. Ok, that's maybe a bit excessive, but you get my point. In contrast, there was very little fanfare for Sun, Sun, Sun. But which one has stood the test of time?

For me, it's Sun, Sun, Sun all the way. I barely listen to RFC, but I listen to Sun, Sun, Sun all the time. I like Jenny's new album, Acid Tongue, more than I liked RFC, but it's still pretty new, so it's hard to say how much of my enjoyment is based on the quality of the songs versus the newness of the songs.

So I'm a Blake. I can live without Rabbit Fur Coat, but I can't live without Sun, Sun, Sun. But I'm thankful that this is just a hypothetical and I don't actually have to choose!

For funsies, here is the Elected song that's been stuck in my head these days. The last verse is my favorite:


Friday, January 30, 2009

Loopy

Here's a fun game to play next time you watch your favorite TV show: I call it "Spot the ADR." Lately I've been noticing more and more in movies and tv shows when dialoge has been dubbed in. Once you know what to look for, it's pretty easy to spot. 

An easy thing to notice is if an actor says a complete line of dialog while the camera is on someone else. Usually this will happen at the very begining or end of a scene. Sometimes it's exposition, like if a scene was cut and they need to explain how the characters got from point A to point B. This is just a hunch, but in a recent episode of Bones Booth and Brennan have an indepth conversation while riding a motorcycle. I think some if not all of that dialog was looped in because a scene was cut. I can't remember exactly what was said, but I remember thinking "I wonder if they cut a scene" while watching it. The camera was too far away to really be able to see their mouths. 

In shows like Bones or House, when there is a lot of technical information being thrown around, a line is sometimes looped in to simplify what's going on. Tonight I was watching an old episode of House and I noticed an ADR. Foreman comes up to house to tell him a blood sample from a 6 year old contained endomitrial cells. Anyone with an understanding of a woman's body would obviously know what that means, and it's made perfectly clear in the very next scene. I guess they really wanted to keep the audience up to speed, because they cut to a shot of House while the line "It's menstrual blood" is looped very well by Foreman. Er, I mean Omar Epps. I've seen that episode tons of times and this was the first time I noticed the looped line. One excellent example that I may never have realized was a looping (I learned it was from the commentary) is in the Firefly episode Out of Gas. In this episode the ship has broken down and the crew is running out of oxygen. Mal asks Kaylee how long they have. "A couple hours, maybe." The camera cuts to Mal for the ADRed line: "We'll start to feel it... and then we won't feel nothin at all." The look on Mal's face fits perfectly with the line, and I would never have realized that the line was added in after the fact.

It's a fun game, but let me warn you: If you're the type of person who doesn't like to think of the process of making a TV show, don't play this game. I'm the type of person who finds things more impressive once I know how it was done. It's why magicians piss me off. Knowing how a trick is done actually makes it more interesting to me, and if I can't figure it out I find it frustrating. So, for me, little glimpses into the making of the show and trying to guess why the director or producers felt the lines needed to be added is super interesting and makes the show better. If you're the type of person that just wants to watch, and not know the magician's secrets, don't try to spot the ADR.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Superb Hand Eye Coordination

I love on Bones when Dr. Brennan gets to pretend to be someone else, she gets so into it. In the first or second season Booth and Brennan go undercover as a boxer and his girlfriend, and it's a great episode. Even better is this recent episode where Booth and Brennan have to go undercover as circus performers. She has so much fun, it's great.



Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Seriously.

I didn't catch all of the inaugural shindig on TV, I chose to sleep in instead, so I didn't actually watch the guest speakers. But when I saw that Kal Penn had given a speech, my first thought was "Kumar? Seriously?" and then "I want his agent." BWE had similar thoughts. 

Happy Inauguration Day, y'all!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chewie's there, he's like a deformed Ewok

Star Wars, as told by someone who as never seen the whole original trilogy.


Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

I like the part where Han and Luke make out.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Addendum

A couple days ago, I posted a list of ways I made myself feel like an ass at my cousin's house. Okay, I must admit that I was intentionally misleading in step #4. My cousin's wife is a twin, and I had no reason to believe the person answering the door was not actually a member of the household, and it was pretty dark, so it's understandable that I would mistake one twin for the other. However, I've known them for most of my life, and if I can imediately identify Tegan and Sara, you think I'd be able to tell apart twins I've actually met and have in fact known for about 15 years. Maybe my cousin-in-law should invest in some tattoos or a labret piercing.

PS Do you know how hard it is to find good pictures of Tegan and Sara by themselves? I had to go past page one of my Google Image results, which, if you know me, is a lot more effort than I normally put into posting here. There are some on their myspace, but again, most are of the twins together.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How to make an ass out of yourself in under 3 minutes

1. Go to your cousin's house.

2. Ring the doorbell. Hear nothing. Think "Hmm... maybe the bell's broken." Ring the doorbell again. Knock. Try the door. Knock. 

3. After the door is opened, realise that it actually wasn't locked and the bell was working and in fact you just rang the doorbell multiple times for no reason. 

4. For good measure, while standing in a dim entryway talk to the woman who answered the door as if it's your cousin's wife. Actually, it's her sister.

Congratulations! You've just followed my patented method of being an ass.