Theater Review: The Plow Speeds Right Past You

David Mamet's play, Speed The Plow, is already short at a mere 95 minutes long, but the show zooms by in an instant. Before you know what's hit you, it's over. You're left with this "what the hell just happened?" feeling. At the center of the show is an ominous book titled, "The Bridge..." and it becomes like a fourth cast member. The other three, Jeremy Piven, Raül Esparza, and Elizabeth Moss spend the hour and a half on stage bantering back and forth about money, power, sex, and the end of the world. If it sounds a little pretentious, that's because it is, but the three leads make such compelling comic performances, it's hard to find many faults with the show or choosing to spend your time watching it. At first look, fans of Jeremy Piven's Ari on Entourage may be surprised that in STP he plays the lesser of the two evils. His character, Bobby Gould, is a recently promoted production head for a film company. His long time friend and business inferior/ultimate Hollywood schmuck, Charlie Fox (Esparza) brings him a "Dougie Brown" film to green light, which will inevitably make them both rich (but probably has the caliber of a Fast and the Furious flick). The show begins with the excitement both men feel at being able to finally rub their success in the faces of anyone who doubted them. Enter Karen (Moss), an attractive temporary worker, who throws a wrench into the happy moment by simply reading a book.

In Charlie and Bobby's world, success is measured by the amount of money made, and neither man seems to have qualms with being deemed a "whore." But upon Karen's naive (her favorite word) suggestion that success can be measured by taking the moral high ground, Bobby finds himself questioning everything he's ever done. The play unfolds in three short acts over the course of two days. It feels like it could be a legitimate moment in the life of any film executive, only pointedly humorous. You watch them all banter each other to a pulp, and wonder what the point is. The play itself, in many ways, reflects the "Dougie Brown" film Bobby and Charlie attempt to green light; pure, somewhat vapid entertainment that uses star power to get people in the seats. While it covers
some interesting material (i.e. misogyny, Armageddon, etc.) the reason to go see it lies in the witty table tennis style repartee (think "Gilmore Guys"). For anyone who ever wondered what it would be like to sit in a Hollywood studio exec's office in the '80's, now is your chance. And it's probably what you might expect; pats on the back, trash talk sugar coated in curse words, and an abominable number of cigarettes (which make the audience smell of sandalwood incense). You would think that with only three characters and a limited plot line, the overall feeling of the play would be intimate. However, seeing as everyone in Hollywood is an actor at their core, the only real intimacy felt is a brief moment of true confusion from Elizabeth Moss' character. There is no intimacy, and any friendship or attraction you see is feigned in an attempt for the characters to fool themselves into thinking they have actually attained real connections. Speed the Plow can easily feel like a dated expose on the superficiality of show business, but ultimately it's about a desperate need for connection and seeming impossibility of finding a real one.

Even though I went into the show as a fan of all three actors, I most wanted to see incomparable Jeremy Piven live. But in a surprising twist, he is relatively upstaged by Broadway counterpart Raül Esparza (it probably helped that Esparza got most of the great one-liners). Esparza commands the stage from the moment he struts out, showcasing his impeccable comedic timing and line delivery. You can not help but admire his affliction of bluntness. Essentially, he is Ari Gold to a tee. While this might be unsettling for Entourage fans, I think we can all understand why Piven, who surely must have been offered the part of Fox, decided to play Gould instead. He's already won three consecutive Emmys as Ari, so the public knows he can pull that off with his eyes closed. Playing Gould however, allowed for audiences to see a slightly softened Piven, still jive talking and running his mouth off, but in a much more conservative withheld manor. We even get to see him feel lost, something Ari would never allow (even in the most dire of circumstances). I have to commend Piven on this, because despite his name being the big pull in the program, he steps ever so slightly back and allows for Esparza to blow past him. You can sense a real camaraderie between these two actors, a mutual agreement to work as a team. This partnership might have made things awkward for the female star, but luckily Elizabeth Moss is a pro, and clearly able to hold her own. Moss, who has received accolades for her portrayal of Peggy on AMC's Mad Men, steps into the role as dutiful, yet ambitious secretary once again. During her second act monologue, she plays Karen as slightly tipsy and overwhelmed by having read "The Bridge...". At first her incoherence of spoken thoughts feels endless and even annoying, but slowly you begin to see everything she says and does is a calculated move. Once this realization comes, you have to step back and really pat Moss on that back. She is able to play both innocent and guilty simultaneously with a great deal of subtlety (surely not an easy thing to convey on stage). 

This review may sound a little contradictory at points, especially given my high rating, but that is because anytime I found fault with the show, the acting hearkened me back to why I loved it so much. The characters may not be completely three dimensional, but they are certainly representative of people we all know, and maybe even love. The plot may be close to non-existent, but you laugh and are entertained.

Short and Sweet

High marks for acting quality, but low marks for the original material (sorry David Mamet!). Kudos to Piven for graciously stepping aside and allowing Esparza to really shine comically. Kudos to Moss as well for holding her own in what could easily be a very dreary part. The cast works incredibly well as whole, and no three actors could be more inviting. If you get a chance to see it before the end of it's run on February 22, I definitely recommend seeing Speed the Plow.

Fav Quotes

"I hope..."  
"We all hope honey, it's what keeps us alive."  - Karen and Charlie


"Speed The Plow" Review coming soon!

Thanks to my incredible mother, tonight we're seeing Speed The Plow on Broadway (third row orchestra!). The production stars Entourage's Jeremy Piven, Company's Raül Esparza, and Mad Men's Elizabeth Moss. From the constantly running television promos, it would seem that the show is about Hollywood power brokers engaged in a verbal battle for sex and money... so basically Piven is perfect for the part. Be sure to check back for the review!

Jeremy here I come!

NYTimes just came out with this today, and as you can see I had to post it...

Also, thanks to all my friends and family for the birthday well wishes, you made turning 22 better than ever I expected! xoxo


Holiday DVD List and other Fun Distractions

You can probably tell, from the salvation army bell ringers on the street and the Christmas music which follows you wherever you go, that holiday time is upon us. With Thanksgiving (and my birthday!) on Thursday, stores have wasted no time trying to pump up the Christmas/Chanukah spirit, hoping to get panicked shoppers to spend money they don't have on presents they can't afford. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a grinch, it's just that this will be a very different holiday season. People we know are losing their retirement, their jobs, even their homes, so it's difficult to rationalize buying a new flat screen tv or fancy watch. With consumer's budgets tightening, we may see something we've actually never seen before... real Christmas spirit. Instead of making this season all about how many gifts we need to get or who's got the most expensive payout, maybe it can be about family, friendship and togetherness again (call me corny if you want). This year, we all need a pick-me-up, something to remind us that even though things are rough right now, the future can still be bright. As you can probably guess, my recommendation is film related... I see this as the time to get together with your friends, grab some warm blankets, hot chocolate, maybe a little vodka, and watch some holiday movies. It's cheap, it's warm, and it's comforting. So I've put together my official "Holiday DVDs to Watch List", guaranteed to distract even the gloomiest of grinches (yes, that means you depressed stock market guy).

  • Love Actually - Sometimes, it's hard to remember that love actually is all around. This movie really has everything from Christmas in London, to cute kids singing, to Emma Thompson. You really can't go wrong watching this incredible British cast get their eggnog on.
  • Elf - I remember when I first saw the trailers for this movie, I was skeptical. I mean I loved Anchorman, but c'mon Will Ferrell... a Christmas movie, really. But then I saw it, and it made me so ridiculously happy for no reason at all. Seeing Ferrell in tights, running around NYC talking about sugar and Santa is priceless (or $19.99 for the DVD). See Elf and try not to smile... I bet you can't.
  • Hook - As well as being a great holiday movie, Hook also happens to double as my absolute favorite movie of all time. It has everything, action, adventure, romance, comedy, drama, flying, fairies, baseball... the list goes on and on. But the reason Hook makes it to my holiday DVD list is because the movie happens to begin as the family flies to London to spend Christmas with granny Wendy. Hook helps you remember what's really important in life, family and being with the people who love you (even when they've lost their "marbles").
  • Miracle on 34th Street - Miracle is the epitome of the classic Christmas movie, and typically requires a viewing at least once a year. I consider it a Christmas movie for the eternal optimist, or at least the true Santa believer. Every part is great, but my favorite is when young Natalie Wood begrudgingly repeats to herself "I believe, I believe..."
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - HP may not seem like an obvious holiday movie choice, but when you see Harry celebrating a "Happy Christmas" with his friends for the first time, it's hard not to get a little sentimental.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas - This is another holiday standard not to be missed. My personal recommendation: get up and do the Snoopy dance with the gang. It will put you in the holiday mood :)
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas - No, I am not talking about the silly live-action Jim Carrey version, I'm talking about the real thing. This Dr. Seuss cartoon resonates with every person not quite in the celebrating mood.
  • Babes in Toyland - It's not exactly a Christmas movie, but with all the toys it certainly feels that way. Laurel and Hardy make their way through the insane place that is Toyland, using humor to make it through.
  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York - As brilliant as the original Home Alone is, I actually prefer the second one. Macaulay Culkin plays precocious Kevin McCallister, a kid you definitely don't want to mess with. Watching Kevin run around snowy NYC, get Christmas room service at the swankiest hotel and drop by the most incredible toy shop in all of New York is why Home Alone 2 makes a great Christmas flick.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas - Everyone deserves to have a merry Christmas, even the spooky residents of Halloween Town. Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king, sets out on his biggest undertaking yet, to discover something new and exciting with which to fill his empty life. He happens upon Christmas Town and suddenly his life has new meaning. This stop motion animation musical is another holiday standard not to be missed.
  • Serendipity - Everyone secretly hopes they'll meet the love of their life the way Jonathan and Sara do, but it rarely happens. The two leads get their Christmas miracle when they both want to buy the same pair of black cashmere gloves in a dept. store, only to discover it's the last pair left. After their encounter, Jon and Sara spend a magical Christmas in New York but leave each other with the hairbrained notion that fate would bring them back together one day. What's even crazier, is that their plan works... Jeremy Piven is a great co-star, and he and John Cusack have chemistry together that rivals Jon and Sara's.
  • A Muppet Christmas Carol - Muppets and Michael Caine, how can you go wrong?
  • The Family Stone - The first time I saw this movie, I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but it kept playing on tv, and somehow I kept watching. Slowly but surely the film grew on me, to the point where I feel it warrants a place on my list. It's Christmas themed in every way, and tear jerking at some points. It seems like a bit of an odd jumble of a cast, but it really works in the end.
  • The Polar Express - I just saw this DVD for the first time the other night and loved it. I read and loved the book as a kid, and am glad to say they successfully were able to lengthen into a full length feature film. It makes a great Christmas eve pick.
  • The Santa Clause - Last, but far from least, is my favorite Christmas movie, The Santa Clause. I can't really explain why, but this movie gets to me every time, and it has a great cast. Tim Allen just makes me laugh.
So there you have it, 15 movies, guaranteed to get you humming "Jingle Bells." 

Here are a couple of other fun things:


Special Update: FROST/NIXON

Courtesy of the Jacob Burns, on Wednesday Dec. 3rd, I'll be seeing a special preview screening of FROST/NIXON followed by Q&A with director Ron Howard. This will be my first big JBFC event and I plan to take notes on the whole thing, especially the Q&A so I can bring you an in-depth review of the the new film. I'm really looking forward to this, so I'll hope you'll all check back for the write-up!


Movie Review: I loved Twilight and I don't care who knows it!

Even if you've been crouching under a subway to avoid the stampedes of teenage girls headed to theaters, you've still heard the deep sighs about Twilight. After reading a ton of the reviews, blogs, and fan outcries, the general consensus is that Twilight doesn't quite make the grade. I've heard it all, "they can't act," "the special effects were laughable," "it was camp beyond camp," and the worst, "they murdered the book." In a situation like this, it would be easy to go along with the crowd and laugh off the movie like most people are doing, but I'm not one to sit idly by while people trash something I love. And love Twilight, I did. It's not that I don't see any truth in the criticism, I just refuse to let it alter the amazing movie-going experience I had. A year ago my friend Aleena and I made a pact that our love for the Twilight book series would bring us together for the epic film premiere (no matter where in the world we were). Luckily, New York and Boston aren't too far apart, and I made the journey to join my college bestie for our Twilight reunion. Our theater was overflowing with estrogen (as well as a few dragged boyfriends), and as the lights began to dim, piercing shrills echoed throughout the city of Boston; Twilight had begun. The story centers around a seventeen year old girl who moves from Phoenix, Arizona to Forks, Washington, the rainiest, cloudiest place on earth. She moves in with her father and begins a typical boring life at a new school, only to discover that Forks is far from normal. She meets a "boy" named Edward, and the rest is history (literally). Twilight is a four book series, and even though the story gets increasingly complicated as the books go on, at its core, it's a very classic love story (even sappy at times). 

During the months leading up to its release, fansites have been posting up-to-the-minute news on the film's stars and what Twilight had in store the Twihards (female versions of Trekkies). Stephenie Meyer followers eagerly awaited what I'm sure they fully anticipated to be the best night of their lives. But the excitement felt upon entering the theater was sucked dry by the end (c'mon I had to make one vampire pun...). Aleena and I shot each other knowing glances from our seats, and without a word understood that as soon as the movie was over, we had to brave the Boston cold and escape the congregations of disappointed Twihards to fully communicate our undying (ok, last pun I swear) love for the film.

Seeing one of my favorite book series come to life was amazing. I won't do what everyone else is doing and compare it
Harry Potter, but I will just say that not all HP fans loved the movies when they first came out either. When you love a book series that much, it's hard for anything to be good enough since the expectations are so astronomically high. It's also good to keep in mind that the HP movies got better with time, and now that Summit has officially greenlit a
New Moon sequel, the franchise has the chance to do it all over again. Hopefully some of the fans disappointed with Twilight will come back to see the sequel and give the movies a second chance. But, like I said, I personally was ecstatic with the film and would only change a few minor things: take out the flashback sequences, pump up the special effects a bit with a bigger budget, and add more Edward/Bella dialogue. Despite these desired changes, the key elements were there.

Numero uno under requirements was good chemistry between the two leads, and I give the casting dept. an A++ on this.
Kristin Stewart (Panic Room) as Bella Swan and Robert Pattinson (HP&The Goblet of Fire) as Edward Cullen, look like a real couple (both on screen and in the tabloids). Both actors spoke about their instant connection during the audition process and how much their relationship developed on set. It's already been well reported that Pattinson not only greatly admired Stewart, but repeatedly proposed marriage to her (Kristin of course, just laughed it off). Both actors has been described as "on the cusp of stardom," and it was widely expected that Twilight would be the film to rocket them into a new super-stardom realm. In spite of the movie's questionable reviews, Twilight has, in fact, put these talented people on the map. They both still have a long way to go before Oscar noms, but I think they both have the potential to get there. Edward and Bella's romance is what holds the books together, and for me, it is what held the fragile movie together as well. As long as I could believe that the two main characters wanted and needed each other as badly as the books convey, than I knew I would love the movie, come hell or high water. While I have been less then thrilled with actor's public antics (floppy hair and less than eloquent ramblings about being an actor), they were believable as the characters and for a rather simple love story, that's all you need. Another plus for the film was their shooting location. Shooting in Portland, Oregon was about as close to Forks as one could get. The scenery was unbelievably beautiful (soaring tree tops and plunging waterfalls), even under all that cloud cover. The last piece of the puzzle was the film's direction. Summit's choice to go with well-known indie director Catherine Hardwicke (best known for her teenage hit Thirteen) over a blockbuster director, was a smart one. While parts of the film still looked a little slick for my tastes, her overall feel was more handheld and intimate, focusing on close-ups of the actors rather than distant shots. Through all of her interviews, it's easy to see that Hardwicke
loves this series and was thrilled to bring her vision of it to the screen. I agree with some of the criticism that Hardwicke didn't quite grasp all elements of the both the plot and the characters (for instance, they don't brood throughout the entire book, but they basically do the whole movie). But I think she garnered all of the most important components, and did the best she could with the budget given. I would love to see her direct the sequel, but it could also be very interesting to see someone else have a shot (maybe a foreign director?).

The rest of the cast is also enjoyable. Particular standouts include Charlie Swan (Bella's dad) and Carlisle Cullen (Edwards "dad") played by
Billy Burke and Peter Facinelli. Both men were able to encompass exactly what I had envisioned for their characters both in looks and characterization. Cam Gigandet, as the ruthless tracker, James, is also good in his role, although probably not given enough screen time to be as terrifying as he should have been. Obviously in order to adapt a 544 page book into a 2 hour movie, a lot needs to get cut, but everything I remembered best and loved most about the book was present in the film. The infamous ballet studio scene was also much better than I had expected. Hardwicke really proved that she can do a good action sequence. I could go into more detail on other scenes, but I don't want to give too much away. Though it's been several days now since I saw the movie, I am still coming back and remembering little details that I loved. All this being said, if you have never read the books nor had any interest in reading them, I would warn you against seeing the movie. It was really made for the fans and therefore, an outsider would have a very difficult time enjoying some of the humor and private jokes. But, if you feel brave, I always encourage seeing a movie for yourself and making up your own mind.

Short and Sweet

I loved the film, but not everyone else will. It's got it's fair share of flaws, but for me they failed to affect how happy the overall experience was. The leads have INCREDIBLE chemistry and are worth watching for any romantic. Don't go in with exorbitant expectations. If you haven't read the books, CAUTION, you may not get some of the film's hidden parts for fans. And finally, if you have read the books, please see it with an open mind, and you might be surprised how much you enjoy it!

Fav Quotes

Yeah. Um... I had an adrenaline rush. It's very common. You can Google it." 
-Edward Cullen

"You better hold on tight spidermonkey." -Edward Cullen

"Is she even Italian?" "Her name is Bella!" -Rosalie Hale and Emmett Cullen


New HP Trailer!!!

I don't have much time to really write about it now, but here's the new Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince trailer! Very few movies make me feel giddy and excited like I'm ten again, but this is one of them. I can't wait to see it... ON IMAX!

Quote of the Day

"I think we've reached another quintessential rock, paper, scissors, lizard, spock moment..."  - Sheldon Cooper


Watchmen Update/Revival Review later

The new Watchmen trailer was released on Friday, and it looks pretty damn good.

They did an excellent job choosing music for the first teaser, Smashing Pumpkin's The Beginning is the End is the Beginning. Now they have gone with Muse's, Take a Bow, which, if you listen to the lyrics is very fitting. My biggest concern now is that the trailers might be better than the movie, perfect little consolidated versions of what could potentially be a full length disaster. The graphic novel of Watchmen, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons, is regarded as the epic leader of its genre. It has inspired every graphic novel written since its release and continues to wow new readers every day. Watchmen's ability to not let the character's costumes get in way of the storytelling allowed for this graphic novel to accomplish something rare; it felt like reality.

Due to decades of adoration and praise for Watchmen the novel, it's no surprise that the reclusive Alan Moore wanted nothing to do with its big screen adaptation. Moore feels that Hollywood is largely responsible for a dying lack of imagination in people, and has made it explicitly clear that he wants NOTHING to do with any of the movies derived from his stories. This begs the question, why sign off on the movies at all? I don't know if Moore gets a cut of the film's profits, but I somehow doubt it given that if it got out to the press, he'd really look like a hack. But maybe Moore does get a kick out of seeing just how badly his source material can be screwed up... No matter the reason, he's given his rights away for Watchmen the film, and has done so before with his other novels (i.e. V for Vendetta). 

Watchmen director Zack Snyder (300), has a lot riding on his shoulders, and if he screws this up, fans will be calling for his head. But whether you plan on seeing Watchmen in theaters or not, you'll certainly be hearing about it come March, so get prepared (and wear a hat in case Alan Moore tries to spit venom on you).

Soon I'm going to try and post the first revival review, but I'm not going to tell you what it is... so you'll just have to check back to find out. 

and now for something ridiculously fun: Justin Timberlake does SNL in two minutes



so i said before that this blog won't be used in any real personal way... except this once. after a long and arduous interview process i was hired by the jacob burns film center to be their new development associate, WOOHOO! all i can say is thank god i don't have to wait to find out anymore, and i'm excited to start!

i also wanted to mention that along with my movie reviews of films i see in theaters, every once in awhile i'm going to try and do a "revival review." it'll be a review of a movie from the past that for one reason or another (good or bad) i think should be brought up again.

and now for something fun:

Quotes of the Day

"Americans have finally gotten beyond our racial past and picked a black man to clean up our mess." - Bill Maher

"Stephen, you brought a spoon to a spork fight." - Jon Stewart

keep an eye out for my christmas dvds to watch list, coming soon...


Movie Review: Zack and Miri Make a Porno, victims of Subprime mortgage loans go out in mass to buy Camcorders

"They're upset 'cause I only fall in love with one woman in this movie," Seth Rogen jokes to Jay Leno regarding his fim, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, being banned in Salt Lake City. Rogen goes on to say he thinks it's odd for them to ban Zack and Miri (a romantic comedy), considering they have no qualms with showing Saw V, a movie franchise based on people being forced to brutally torture themselves. Sex is where Salt Lake draws the line, but they appear to be alone in their moral reprehension of the film. Zack and Miri is a relative hit landing in the number two spot in box offices this weekend (although some might attribute this to an alarming lack of better choices. Plus HSM3 is what nabbed the number one spot...). This must be good news to Kevin Smith's ears, whose last movie, Jersey Girl, was a huge flop. He also recently did Clerks II, but its success was inevitable, given it was the sequel to the movie that made him a directing legend and voice of the "slacker" generation. It was by sifting through the stars from the now infamous Judd Apatow crew though, that Smith was able to come back from the lifeless Jersey Girl and make a romantic comedy that actually resonates, sort of. In the wake of the country's ever deepening financial crisis, the movie can even be viewed as relevant. "I see it more as a a do-it-yourself annual than anything else," laughs Rogen to Leno. 

The movie doesn't stray from it's straightforward title for a second. Zack and Miri, two best friends since the first grade, are making a porno for some much needed money, and you're invited to watch their awkward realization that they're more than just friends. Stars Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, and Craig Robinson all hail from Apatowland, a place where nerds are cool and the funny guy always gets the girl. Judd Apatow may not have invented this concept, but he has run with it and taken the comedy genre by storm. But lest we forget, this isn't Apatow's movie.

Smith once said that he thinks of every movie he's ever made as a snapshot of his life at the time, but with Zack and Miri, it's more of a look back. "This movie is kind of a dressed up version about how we made Clerks," says Smith during an interview. "It's about a bunch of people who don't know anything about film, getting together to make a movie." As for the concept of DIY porn, Rogen says, "Anyone can do this." With half the people just out of college currently unemployed, who knows... we might start to see them pop up in our spam folder (but let's hope life doesn't imitate art). Ultimately the movie is very Kevin Smith; Slackers, cursing and a simplistic moral message (this one being sex is never as good without love). Zack and Miri might have its fair share of nudity (porn star Katie Morgan shows off her skills), and profanity as per usual, but it's ultimately about camaraderie (another Smith standard). People who barely know each other come together to help Zack and Miri with their insane brainchild. More than wanting to see them succeed, you really want to see how much fun they had. Afterall, anything that makes being poor/broke look like fun, is highly sought after in our current economy. There's a great scene where you see their first porno attempt entitled Star Whores, and it honestly makes you want to grab your lightsaber (that's what she said) and join them. However being that this is a Smith production, most of the movie feels overly simulated to the point of exhaustion. Basically we've seen it before and we'll see it again, but with Rogen manning the helm, we're likely to walk out the theater with a smile on our face. 

Rogen is now an official glittering comedy star. It's no surprise that Smith saw him in Virgin, fell in love and decided he had to write a movie for this guy. Rogen had often spoke about his lifelong dream to work with Smith, and says now that has happened, he can die. When it came time to cast the role of Miri, Rogen made a casting suggestion to Smith, and he jumped on it. "Banks has been Hollywood's best kept secret for a long time," says Smith during an interview. "But now the secret's out." Elizabeth Banks has played hilarious bit parts in movies like Wet Hot American Summer, 40 Year Old Virgin, and Catch Me If You Can, but with Zack and Miri, Role Models and W. all coming out in the last month, her name has finally made it to household status. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the recognition. It's not every day you find a woman who is funny as she is knock-dead gorgeous. Apart from Miri, Zack needed another partner in crime, a producer/investor for their skin flick. Enter Craig Robinson, who began to get notice for his role as Darryl on The Office. He's done three movies with the Apatow crew, most recently playing a hitman in the sidesplitting Pineapple Express, but he still continues to get cast as bit part characters. Until we see more, Robinson is one trick pony at the moment. We laugh when he says "titties," but can't he do more? With so many Apatow veterans, you might forget it's a Kevin Smith movie (which has probably widened his audience), but then you see Jason Mewes (aka - Jay) and you remember.

What's clear from the beginning is that Zack and Miri are perfect for each other, but it takes gettin' it on in front of the camera to realize it. Their sex scene is the sweetest, least pornographic scene of the movie, and it's worth the wait (maybe not for the guys 'cause there's no naked Banks, but your girlfriend will love it). Overall the movie is about on par with Knocked Up, but dirtier, and just like in Knocked Up with its Cirque Du Soleil on acid sequence, Zack and Miri has a unique laugh out loud scene too. Guest stars Justin Long (Galaxy Quest) and Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) play a gay adult film star Brandon St. Randy and his boyfriend Bobby Long in attendance at Zack and Miri's ten-year high school reunion. It is one of the only improvised scenes of the movie was by far the funniest. My biggest complaint about the film was that Justin Long wasn't in more of it. 

Short and Sweet

Zack and Miri Make a Porno covers love, friendship, and creativity under the guise of a sex comedy. Comedic timing is spot on for all of the leads. Seth Rogen returns as the scheming schlub and Elizabeth Banks is the gorgeous girl who loves him anyway. It's got the Kevin Smith stamp on it from start to finish, so it's best not expect the world. Great date movie if the girl has a good sense of humor. Justin Long is a stand out. You almost want to see a movie just about his character. 

Overall I liked it a lot despite its lack of surprises (except for one [and that doesn't mean it's good]), but perhaps with more Justin screen time it could have been better. 

Fav Quotes

"I'll be your sherpa up the mountain of gayness." - Brandon St. Randy

"Don't thank me, just fuck me." - Miri Linky

(hope you like the first review! let me know what you think, i'm looking for ways to improve format etc.)


everyone needs this hat

D&G you've done it again...

Check back tomorrow for my review of Zack and Miri Make a Porno!

oh dear god... it's another blog

never done this before, but it's the year for trying new things.

let us start with the obvious. our new president-elect is Barack Hussein Obama. can i get a woot woot? now my only hope is that the media doesn't over-analyze and criticize his every move (i.e. coverage of his first press conference) before he even makes it into office. but since there's no hope of that, let's just continue to do our part. we may have helped him win the election with our votes, but the responsibility doesn't end there. we need to find ways to get involved in our government again before our generation gets completely written off as the laziest ever. we need to be vocal about the issues through the mass of outlets we have available, like facebook. it may seem silly, but the obama campaign really utilized the internet to get his message out to our generation. it's through these websites that we may continue to be heard. i say may because now that the campaign is over, i hope they still think our voices matter (which they do). 

Prop 8: the demon proposition from hell! well my aunt and uncle from cali are deeply saddened by this, and so are a lot of people all around the country. voting this down would have been a huge step forward for gay rights, and instead, on the historic morning of our first black president being elected into office, our country took a huge step back. unfortunately, it's not completely surprising, but it is hugely disappointing. i know what the arguments are against gay marriage; marriage is about procreation, marriage is about stable family life (right, and that's why the divorce rate is so high...), just because they can't get married doesn't mean they can't have equal rights. OK- i think some people may need a refresher on what equality means. it doesn't mean equality in moderation or in certain circumstances, and it doesn't mean equality, but not when it makes us uncomfortable. equality means sameness and uniformity for EVERYONE. if two people want to share their life together, they should have the right and it should be recognized. stability or instability of a marriage should have nothing to do with the right to get married. a person's orientation should have nothing to do with their legal rights, just as their gender, race, or religious beliefs should have nothing to do with their legal rights. i could go on for a lot longer about this, but suffice it to say, i'm angry. i hope others are too, and i'm trying to do what i can and therefore donating to the no on prop 8 campaign. it's never too late and they can use our help to keep the fight alive.

that's all the political jargon i got for now. that, and this: the days of bush are coming to a close. take a moment to look back over the last 8 years. it's pretty scary, but it's almost over. 

now, down to the real business at hand, MOVIES!

here is my movies to watch list for the coming months:
  • November 7 -   Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  • November 12 - Slumdog Millionaire (new danny boyle movie starring anwar from skins!)
  • November 14 - Quantum of Solace (bond is back, and he's never looked better. daniel craig is quoted as having said now that obama won the election, he thinks the world is ready for a black bond)
  • November 19 - Special (really great idea, and i like michael rapaport)
  • November 21 - Twilight (going to boston on opening night so i can see this with aleena, [we made a pact] so yeah, i'm that girl)
  • November 21 - Were the World Mine (if you wanna tell prop 8 to go to hell, see this movie)
  • November 21 - The Soloist
  • November 26 - Australia (new baz luhrmann epic, got to hit it up)
  • November 26 - Milk (also timely in its release. i wish everyone who voted for prop 8 would see it. sean penn/james franco = hot)
  • December 5 -   Frost/Nixon (it's not getting the best reviews unfortunately, but i love michael sheen)
  • December 10 - Wendy and Lucy (michelle williams has a dog and doesn't wash her hair for months. it looks great)
  • December 12 - The Day the Earth Stood Still (i'm not sure if i actually want to see this yet because keanu is in it. but i'd be lying if i said i wasn't intrigued)
  • December 12 - Doubt (best casting ever. oscar noms abound i'm sure)
  • December 12 - The Reader (kate winslet as an ex-nazi involved in a may/december romance. yeah, i'm psyched)
  • December 17 - The Wrestler (mickey rourke's triumphant return, playing practically himself. there's a great article about him in last week's issue of EW)
  • December 25 - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (probably the movie i'm most excited for this holiday season. i think it looks phenomenal from the trailer. i still can't believe they were able to pull off the backwards aging process believably)
  • December 25 - The Spirit (i probably won't get to this one in theaters, but it looks like comic campy fun)
  • December 26 - Revolutionary Road (leonardo dicaprio and kate winslet reunite for dysfunctional romance, YES!)
  • December 26 - Valkyrie (andrew and i saw the trailer for this the other night. tom cruise [with an eye patch] looks up and says "we have to kill hitler." we're both bad people because we laughed at this... a lot)
  • December 31 - Good (another movie about the nazi's, but this one has viggo mortensen in it)

that's the list for now. seeing as movies around here currently cost $10.75 (gross), i probably won't get to see a lot of these in theaters, but the definites are twilight, milk, doubt, the curious case of benjamin button, and revolutionary road. barack, do you think you can do something about lowering movie prices? seriously, if there's one place where we need change... 

other things: iCI gave me a creative project to do this coming week, so i'm really excited about that. gossip girl season 2 is blowing my mind with it's awesomeness and surfing for spoilers has become a new hobby. i've started drawing again, it's a slow and steady process. most of it's crap right now that i'm not showing anyone, but i'm having fun with it. i've downloaded the soundtracks to the mission, atonement, and high school musical 3. i'm reading chuck dugan is AWOL and mediations in an emergency. next up i'm deciding between the meaning of night , water for elephants, and Oil! i'm trying to learn how to crochet in time for christmas because i found this book and i thought they would make good presents. i might fail miserably though, in which case you will all be getting gift cards to target, cause that store is awesome. but if they come out really well then i will sell them on etsy where no one will buy them. 

that's all i got for now, but i'll leave you with a few of my fav obama photos (at the top, cause i can't figure out how to put them on the bottom) by doug mills.