Monday, January 31, 2011

Movie Monday: Classic 80's Horror Flicks and Hit Men

Last Monday, while browsing my unwatched DVDs, I noticed I had several movies that were released in the 1980's. Being a child of that decade, I figured I would pay tribute an watch a couple of the movies I missed out when I was younger. Then, over the weekend, my buddy Matt invited me to join him at the movie theaters, with other friends, and I happily accepted. So what was going to originally be an 80's themed blog has changed. I will do an 80's one someday soon, since I have several that I need to watch.

Now, onto the reviews!


A family living in a quiet suburban neighborhood has their lives turned upside down when their five year old daughter makes contact with invisible beings through the television. She is kidnapped by the poltergeists but remains somewhere in the house. The family contacts specialists to help rescue their daughter before they lose her forever.

You know, for Stephen Spielberg to go from E.T. to Poltergeist seemed like a perfect transition. One of the first things I noticed when watching this, aside from the first scene, is the amount of Star Wars merchandise located in the kid's bedrooms. I thought that was pretty sweet. I have a slight fear of clowns, so the life sized one in the bedroom creeped me out. I was very pleased with Robbie when he covered the clown's face, but got creeped out at the end when he was dragged under his bed by it. The kitchen scenes, especially the one where all the chairs were stacked on top of the table, reminded me of parts of The Sixth Sense (for the record, Poltergeist did better on the creepy factor). This is one horror movie that I enjoyed how well it was made visually as well as how scary it was. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A Nightmare on Elm Street

1, 2 Freddy's coming for you... 3,4 Better lock your door... 5,6 Grab your crucifix... 7,8 Better stay up late... 9, 10 Never sleep again. A group of teens are under attack by a man haunting them in their dreams. One of the teens, Nancy, quickly realizes what she needs to do to avoid death but has trouble convincing others that she is right. When she discovers the story behind Freddy Krueger, she is determined to bring him out of the dream world and end his killing spree.

It's because of movies like this that make horror scary and enjoyable at the same time. The deaths were brutal and graphic (as they should in this genre).When Nancy nodded off in the bathtub and Freddy's hand emerged from in between her legs, I cringed. That was way too close to a vagina for my comfort (and I recalled instinctively protecting mine for the remainder of that scene). Oh, and Nancy's Mom needs to learn how to cut the apron strings. I thought my Mom was bad and now I have gained perspective on the matter. When compared to another classic horror film, John Carpenter's Halloween, I consider this one of the best. I just think Halloween is scarier. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Mechanic

A hit man (Jason Statham) is doing his job flawlessly, until one assignment hits him on a personal level (killing his mentor). He then finds himself training a new hit man (Ben Foster), who was the son of his latest assignment. Before either of them know it, they are wrapped up in a world of lies and are the ones avoiding their own demise.

Well, for the first movie I saw in theaters this year, I definitely picked an action packed movie for guys who like movies (or movie geeks like myself). The story was easy to follow, but had just enough side story to help blend things together. The action sequences were hardcore. Between explosions, subtle and violent deaths, and a car chase, I got my fill of visual stimulation. I got the "creeper" vibe from one of the targets, a self proclaimed evangelist. He was flirting with an 18 year old girl and it just sent bad chills down my spine. It was one of those times where I was pleased to see the druggie creeper removed from the fictional world. I loved how Ben Foster has developed as a actor. His role in this film was the best I've seen from him and I hope that he continues to move forward in the future. Overall, this was a pretty good action movie that I would recommend for others to see. Movie Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Monday, January 24, 2011

Movie Monday: An Explosion of Trailers

Okay, I didn't watch any NEW movies this week. I just had one of those weeks where I've been watching more television than movies, especially since American Idol started a new season. However, I have been catching up with movies that will be in theaters this year. I'm getting extremely excited for a lot of movies (many are sequels, yes) and I may have to budget my money so I can make it to a lot of midnight showings!

Here is what I am really excited for this year (in order of movie release date).

Gnomeo and Juliet (February 11th)

As a lover of Shakespeare's works and as a mother, this is an entertaining way to introduce my son to one of my favorite writers of all time. I also love that a lot of Elton John's music will be featured in the film. Win win for me!

Hall Pass (February 25th)

I've been wondering where the Farrelly Brothers have been lately, apparently working on this movie, LOL. This story looks interesting indeed and I am loving the cast already! I expect to laugh a lot from this film, so I hope I don't find myself sorely disappointed.

Red Riding Hood (March 11th)

A dark twist on classic fairy tale, sounds like my kind of movie!!! I love that Amanda Seyfried has gone for variety with acting and I expect that she will do phenomenal in this film. I am curious if this will be similar to the Grimm's Fairy Tale version or not...

Fast Five (April)

When I first heard that there was another Fast and the Furious film coming out, I wasn't exactly thrilled. Then, I saw the cast. So many people are returning from this movie that I just have to watch it now. Add Dwayne Johnson to the mix, and holy shit! Let's get this adrenaline rush going!!!!

Scream 4 (In theaters April 15th)

I know several horror fanatics that grew up watching the Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween movies. For me, being just a few years younger than those individuals, my journey into horror films began with Scream (at my 14th birthday party). I will always have a special place in my heart for Wes Craven's trilogy that follows Sidney Prescott through a series of murders and hidden secrets about her family. When I heard that several of the original cast members signed up for a fourth installment, I was excited. With that said, since it's been about 10 years since Scream 3, I have no idea if this new installment will share the same vibe as the others. I would like to hope that it does, but that remains to be seen.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (May 20th)

No Will and Elizabeth Turner... so what??? This is all about Jack Sparrow and his adventure in finding the Fountain of Youth. It will be a great adventure indeed, as long as the rum doesn't run out!

Cars 2 ( June 24th)

I honestly could skip this one and wait for DVD, but since I have a kid (with a room decked out in Cars) I will take him to see it. I like that they are putting a new twist on the story to make it more of a kiddie spy movie. Knowing the wonderful company of Pixar, I will expect some James Bond references and Easter eggs in the film.

As you can tell, I don't get past early summer with these trailers. That's the beauty of going to see the movies I listed above... more previews!!! Now, anyone want to join me in watching some of these films this spring and summer???

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller???

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Has Hell Frozen Over???

As I look outside and see how Kansas City has been hit again with a mountain of snow, it makes me consider taking a tropical vacation each winter. I know I'm not alone in this, but I'm also unlike my father who is ready to move to Florida (I would personally rather deal with the Midwest than hurricanes). But as I am reading statuses of my other friends, one in particular wrote "Hell hasn't frozen over,but K.C. has...Does that count?" I posted a silly theory on his status, but then I realized how ingenious it was. So, for my fellow readers, I would like to share this theory (in a lot more detail).

First I need to share the story of Adam and Eve (I'm not going to assume everyone knows this story, that would make me ignorant as hell). Adam and Eve were the first man and woman created by God and lived in the Garden of Eden. Adam was told by God to not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. A serpent that lives in said tree convinces Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, assuring her that she would not die. She takes the fruit and shares it with Adam, thinking that they would acquire the knowledge to decipher between good and evil. God realizes what they have done and confronts them. Because they sinned, they were expelled from the garden.

Now I need to discuss the Garden of Eden itself. There have been many whom have attempted to find the actual location. Most people have placed it in the Middle East, between Najaf and Kufa in Iraq. In my lifetime, I have noticed that the Middle East is the center for many religious organizations and artifacts. So to me that makes sense. However, there has been some recent (meaning in the past 200 years) theories/beliefs that the Garden of Eden may actually be in the United States... from a church started by Joseph Smith Jr.

Joseph Smith Jr. was a man who started a new church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in upstate New York in the 1820's. He relocated the church to Kirtland, Ohio in 1831 and sent some of his followers to establish a Holy city of "Zion" in Jackson County, MO. Many Mormons moved to Missouri to establish their church and reside there, which did cause the Missouri Mormon War in 1838. Being a lifelong resident of the Kansas City area, I am aware that many branches of the Mormon church have established their worldwide headquarters in Independence, MO.

Okay, is everyone still with me? I'm about to connect the dots here.

So why did Joseph Smith want to establish a city of "Zion" in Jackson County, Missouri??? It's because this is where he believes is the location of the Garden of Eden.

Wow... I live in Jackson County.

So, now I am pondering. If the serpent that convinced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit was, say, Satan (Lucifer, the Devil, whatever you want to call him). He wasn't asked to leave the garden, just Adam and Eve. So Satan could be still residing in the Garden. As many people know, Satan is represented as the ruler of Hell.

My friend posted on Facebook "Hell hasn't frozen over,but K.C. has...Does that count?" Well, if Joesph Smith is right, than I would like to say, yes... Hell may have, in fact, frozen over.

Sometimes, I really enjoy how my dark, twisted mind works.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Music Tuesdays: Cake, Maroon 5, One Call, and Jamie Foxx

Welcome friends to another wonderful New Music Tuesday! I have noticed, going back to my other Tuesday blogs, that I have primarily focused on pop and dance music. I am an eclectic listener but it doesn't seem that way. I will work on getting some other genres in here. I did start a little today, but I promise more variety in the future.

Cake "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps"

My good friend Sarah posted this video on my Facebook wall thinking I would enjoy it. I certainly did. While the song is pretty decent, the video is a lot more entertaining to me. I mean, fruit having sex scandals??? Epic. Did anyone else catch the phone number that was exchanged, 867-5309? Yeah, the number made famous by Tommy Tutone's song "Jenny." I thought that was cute. Oh, and Sarah, your description of this song as "ear-wormy" is pretty good, LOL.

Maroon 5 "Never Gonna Leave This Bed"

I have only listened to this song a couple times. I'm not completely feeling it yet, but sometimes songs take several listening sessions before you like it. This one is more serious than some of Maroon 5's songs and I hope the video paints the same picture. Oh, and does anyone else find the cover of the single (as seen on the video here) a little creepy with an extra set of arms???

One Call "BlackLight"

I knew this was coming, especially since Beiber Fever struck... HARD. We now have a new generation of boy bands. I do admi that I am liking this song. It's got a certain... edginess... that the boy bands I grew up loving didn't have. It also seems as if the video is trying to appeal to some of the Ke$ha fans, with the whole underground/black light feel to it. I'm going to have to pay attention to this group and see if they are big enough to play the boy band game.

Jamie Foxx feat. Drake "Fall For Your Type"

This is a very intimate song. We've all been there... finding a pattern in our dating history in which we see ourselves going for the same type of person. Sometimes it's healthy, other times it's not. The video helps portray what happens when it turns out on the unhealthy side, which includes alcohol and broken objects. I like how simple it was to express something that can seem so complicated.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Movie Monday: A Kevin Smith Film (That He Didn't Write!)

Hello Monday!!! I have a great movie blog this week. It could be the movie I watched or that I'm starting to get my feel for these weekly posts, but either way, I feel very good about my review! Please enjoy!

Cop Out

Two NYPD cops are placed on suspension after an operation goes awry. While on suspension, Jimmy (Bruce Willis) finds out his daughter's dream wedding will cost a small fortune. In an attempt to take care of her wishes, he goes to a memorabilia shop to sell his most prized possession, a baseball card. While there, he is tazered by thieves and loses his card. Now he and his partner Paul (Tracy Morgan) go on a quest to retrieve the card and catch the thieves.

Last year, I went to see Kevin Smith in one of his infamous Q&A shows. Cop Out had been in theaters for several weeks by that time, and there were a lot of really great (and hilarious) stories about making the film. Naturally, as a Kevin Smith fan, I was excited to see this movie, despite the mixed reviews given by critics. As a movie geek and music lover, the first several minutes of the film made me excited for what I saw as a movie that was going to really enjoy. First, the opening credits were accompanied with the Beastie Boys "No Sleep Til Brooklyn." Then an interrogation room scene where Paul proves that he can stay in character by questioning the suspect using a plethora of movie quotes (which included lines from Scarface, Schindler's List, Star Wars and Beetlejuice). Throughout the movie, Paul continually tries to prove to Jimmy that he can stay in character (and I thoroughly enjoyed it).

Once the thief Dave (Sean William Scott) came into the scenario, the comedic banters quadrupled. I was laughing a lot in all of Dave's scenes, especially when he made a comment about going ATM (ass to mouth... paying homage to Clerks II). I definitely got a very good fill of laughs while watching this. I loved noticing certain supporting cast members of the movie: Jason Lee as Ray (Jimmy's ex-wife's new hubby), Michelle Trachtenberg as Ava (Jimmy's daughter), and Rashida Jones as Debbie (Paul's wife). They were all pleasant surprises to me and I enjoyed their small roles to the film. The soundtrack was also very, very good. I got my fill of Poison ("Every Rose Has It's Thorns"), Leadbelly ("Black Betty"), and Run DMC ("King of Rock"). For Kevin Smith's directorial debut, he did a pretty awesome job expanding his movie making skills! Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday Rant and Rave: Winter Wonderland

If I could sum up this week so far, it would be that I love and hate winter right now.

I knew it was coming for several days. Bryan Busby informed me so. Kansas City was about to get hit with the first real snowfall of the season. I had mixed feelings about this information. Last year, my fellow area residents and I suffered through the ENTIRE winter with snow. We all were tired of driving in it, shoveling it, and, for some, were developing bad cases of cabin fever. I had great animosity for the weather that NEVER seemed to want to go away. It was wonderful to see the snow finally melt around St. Patrick's Day.

We escaped having a white Christmas in Kansas City. Well, we had a flurry two days before, but it melted very quickly. I personally believed that we would have a minimal snow season. I might still be right, but I will have to wait until the end of the season before I can start gloating, lol.

It started to snow very late Sunday night/ early Monday morning. I remember the last report I listened to predicted 4 to 6 inches. I went to bed noticing about an inch on the ground. I woke up seeing six inches, and it was still snowing. I thought I was going to to hate it, just like I did last winter, but I surprised myself and was excited to go outside and play in the snow with my son.

After lunch on Monday, we did just that.

We made snow angels, threw snowballs, and attempted to build a snowman (which is when you have the idea but never actually get around to it besides a mountain of snow). I felt like a kid again. I also decided to shovel the driveway. It took me a couple hours, but I got most of it done by myself. The rest was done by my next door neighbor, who used his snow blower.

(You can tell where I shoveled and where my neighbor used his nifty machine.)

So Monday was a blast and ended with some delicious hot chocolate.

Enter Tuesday.

My kiddo had no school again. It was a LOT colder. I walked my kid over to the neighbor's house and experienced a wind so fierce it burned against my cheeks. Ugh, the harshness of winter. Then I had to go to work. My Mom takes my Jeep on days like this since it has 4 wheel drive (that and she doesn't want to risk wrecking her car, a Thunderbird). So I had the pleasure of driving my Dad's Chevy truck, with rear wheel drive.

I get stuck in the neighborhood. After a few reverse/drive reverse/drive maneuvers, I get out and move on. I fishtail a couple times, but very minimal. I must state that winter used to be my favorite season. That is, until I got my drivers license. Attempting to drive in this weather is not exactly comforting to me. I feel like I am on edge out of fear that I am going to skid on ice or spin out. I keep those feelings inside though... anyone that drives with me wouldn't notice that about me (an inside glimpse of me, oh my!). I make it to work fine, and drive home with less problems than I did going to work.

Today.... third day in a row that school is cancelled. At this rate, my kid won't be at school at all this week (his school had an in service day scheduled this Friday, so no school for the kiddos anyway). So now I get to entertain my son once again. However, with the really cold temperatures and wind chill, I can't let him play in the snow. He seems to be fine with that for now, since he is happily playing with toys in his room.

I just hope cabin fever doesn't set in this week... crankiness isn't an enjoyable thing to deal with.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Music Tuesday: Goo Goo Dolls, P!nk, and Britney Spears

It's Tuesday!!! Are you guys ready for some great new music this week? You are? Good!  :-)

Goo Goo Dolls "NotBroken"

Goo Goo Dolls- Not Broken from Carlos Lopez Estrada on Vimeo.

Time won't ever steal my soul and we're not broken   So please come home And if the world has worn you down I'll be waiting  So please come home 

I discovered this song and video through the Goo Goo Dolls page on Facebook (one of the perks of "liking" a bunch of artists on the social networking site). At first I was just listening to the lyrics, which are very beautiful. Then, I started watching the video. Talk about amazing! Carlos Lopez Estrada make an absolutely gorgeous video!!! I love how the background colors change to fit the mood of the story of a husband and wife during a time of war. I also enjoyed seeing the effects of smoke in the video, it stood out compared to the two dimensional feel of the video. I'm just so excited that the Goo Goo Dolls have new music out!!!

Pink "Fucking Perfect"

When artists release a Greatest Hits album, they sometimes release a couple new songs to give their fans something new to look forward to. Usually one of the songs become their next single. However, in this case, "Fucking Perfect" is the second single released on the airwaves (the other one was "Raise Your Glass"). I love that Pink has two types of music: the kind you can dance/rock out to and the more heartfelt, touching ballads. This completely fits in the ballad category. It's emotionally touching and beautifully written. It makes me wonder if she wrote this when she was separated from her husband Cary Hart. Either way, it is another great song!

Britney Spears "Hold It Against Me"

This song was released on the radio airwaves yesterday and the single was available to purchase on ITunes as of midnight today. It's definitely a club/dance song and I know it will be all over the radio stations quickly. I don't think it's her best, but enjoyable enough if I were out for the night.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Movie Monday: An Act of Nature

Welcome to the second week of Movie Monday!

The Happening

There is widespread panic in the United State. Some unknown force of nature has released a toxin in the air, causing mayhem, delusions, and mass suicides. A group of people from Philadelphia board a train to escape the city, only to be cut off by the rest of the world in a small, rural town. They desperately try to run away from the toxins and hope for the end to come soon.

If I could describe this movie in one word, it would be... Meh. Out of all the movies released by M. Night Shyamalan, this one was the least exciting/ suspenseful. My first thoughts after seeing this was that it seemed like he was trying to make his own version of a survival/ post apocalyptic type film without using zombies. It was like he wanted to think outside the box but did a poor job executing it. Seeing a cast including Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel and John Leguizamo was a perk, but with a poor story it was saddening to see their roles only play out as mediocre, at best. Between Mark and his brother Donnie, who played Vincent in The Sixth Sense (you know, the one who shot Bruce Willis' character), Donnie triumphs in acting in an M. Night Shyamalan film. The only thing I really enjoyed in the movie was the brutal death scenes. From the girl stabbing herself in the neck with her hair chopstick to the lawn mower attack were awesome indeed!!!  Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

I would have had two movies this week, however my cable box decided to spazz out 1/2 hour into watching Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Grrr... oh well. I have On Demand so I will be able to watch the rest of it :-)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Literary Thursdays: The Introduction

As many of you have noticed, I have started weekly topics for my blog. What I plan to do on Thursdays is to review books that I have read. To me, reading a book takes time. Sometimes I can read a book in a matter of days; other books require a couple months from start to finish. It can depend on how much the book keeps my attention (or in the case of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, I was done reading it 18 hours after purchasing it at the Midnight release). Life's daily things can also keep me from reading a book in a timely manner.

I started reading The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo (by Stieg Larsson) a few weeks ago. I was getting into it. But a week later, I was browsing a Borders that was closing and found a book that I had been interested in reading for only two dollars. So I've stopped reading Larsson's book, for now. I am going to read it all the way through as soon as I'm done with my current book.

Now, the book I am currently reading is The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold. I loved reading The Lovely Bones so I hope this new book will turn out just as good. I have noted that many critics had mixed feelings over The Almost Moon so I will see if I agree with them or not.

Don't expect a weekly blog on books, but expect that they will be posted on Thursdays. Over the past couple years, I have counted how many books I've read and it averages to at least 20 or more per year. Including the one I'm reading, I have a little over a dozen books on my bookshelf that I have yet to read. Some are classics (Pride and Prejudice, Les Liasons Dangereuses), some are biographies (Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson, Truman) and others are more modern fiction (Digital Fortress by Dan Brown). So in the future, look forward to several book blogs!!! Until then, I'll be enjoying my book!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Recap: The 37th Annual People's Choice Awards

Nothing says a new year like the beginning of a bunch of awards shows!!! Our first one: the People's Choice Awards. Unlike the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards, this awards show is voted on by us, the consumers that enjoy movies, music and television. I bet you are a little curious as to how everybody voted, or glad that I wrote this blog so you didn't have to watch for two hours just to see your favorite celebrity for five seconds, LOL. Well, lets get this show on the road!

-Queen Latifah, the host, opens the show by walking down the aisles toward the stage with a group of dancers. She sings Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" and get the audience pumped up and excited! I don't think I've seen that many people fist pumping at the same time... ever. I need to acknowledge I've never gone to a beach for Spring Break (that may help justify things).

-The first award, presented by Jennifer Aniston, is Favorite Comedic Star.... Adam Sandler. While accepting the award, Sandler is told by Aniston that the movie Grown Ups won for Favorite Comedy Film. Rob Schneider and David Spade join Sandler onstage and leave short, blippy speeches.

-Queen Latifah presents a sneak peek of the movie The Dilemma, starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James.

-The award for Favorite Talk Show Host goes to Conan O'Brien.

-Sir Elton John presents the award for Favorite Country Artist, won by Taylor Swift. Before thanking her fans, Swift congratulates John for becoming a father :-)

-Selena Gomez performs. I thought it was kind of a sleepy song and I noticed that she was either singing too quietly or the microphone wasn't turned up loud enough. After the performance, she thanks her fans for winning Favorite Breakout Artist.

-Queen Latifah shows some footage of technical difficulties prior to the show. It included her in a hospital with Private Practice doctors, then with Dr. Drew doing an intervention. Latifah wakes up with the cast of Bones examining her body. She finally wakes up for good from the dream sequence to the stage directors requesting the backup host, Kathy Griffith. It was a comical skit indeed.

-Kate Walsh and Taye Diggs present the award for Favorite TV Comedy Actor. Neil Patrick Harris wins for How I Met Your Mother. He mentions that the last time he won this award, it was for the Doogie Howser Comedy Hour. He thought that was pretty cool. :-)

-Walsh and Diggs continue and present for Favorite TV Comedy Actress. As I predicted, Jane Lynch wins for Glee (which the show wins for Favorite TV Comedy). Lynch presented a very heartfelt speech (something Sue Sylvester would NEVER do). She was joined onstage by Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith.

-Latifah (in a gorgeous pink dress that I would wear myself... note to self, research designer) presents the video that won Favorite Viral Video Star. It was for "Single Ladies Devastation." It's a video where three kids are singing Beyonce's song. The little boy is told by his Dad that he's not a single lady, causing him to bawl like crazy. So adorable yet so funny!!!

-Two new actors present the award for Favorite TV Drama Actress. The award went to Lisa Edelstein from House. House also wins the award for Favorite TV Drama.

-Taylor Swift returns to the stage to present the award for Favorite Movie Actor. Dammit... Robert Pattison and Taylor Lauter are nominees! Oh good, they didn't win. :-)  Johnny Depp did... and he was actually there to accept his award (he doesn't normally make appearances). He told Swift that he would be in trouble with his daughter if he didn't say hi to her. How cute.

-Queen Latifah gossips with the Kardashian sisters in the audience. It was goofy and lasted about two minutes... just enough Kardashian for me!

-Miranda Cosgrove (ICarly!!!) and Jim Parsons present the award for Favorite Movie Star Under 25 (basically High School Musical, Twilight and Harry Potter people). Zac Efron wins. He was very classy and acknowledged his other nominees. He was very classy in his acceptance speech.

-The audience (and us home viewers) are presented with a sneak peek of the movie Season of the Witch, starring Nicholas Cage.

-The award for Favorite TV Guilty Pleasure goes to Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I guess I can deal with the girls a little longer.

-Kid Rock is given the People's voice award and performs a new song! I missed hearing the name of it, but it was enjoyable!

-Hawaii Five-O wins for Favorite New TV Drama. Kind of ironic for it being a remake of an older TV show. The cast thanks the fans via Satellite.

-$#*t My Dad Says wins Favorite New TV Comedy. William Shatner accepts via Satellite.

-Ahhh!!! True Blood fix. Stephen Moyer and Malin Akerman present the award for Favorite Movie Actress. Kristen Stewart wins. I had a feeling that there would be a win for the Twihards somewhere! She did mention that she was a vampire earlier today, while filming Breaking Dawn.

-Supermodel Nikki Taylor comes onstage and represents Cover Girls national campaign.

-Queen Latifah visits the audience again. She says hi to Katy Perry before going "hysterical" with the Twilight cast. Again, goofy/silly little bit of interaction.

-Time for Favorite Female Artist!!! Mrs. Russell Brand (alright, Katy Perry) wins!!! She actually wins two awards, but since I was distracted momentarily by facebook chat, I can't recall what the other award was for (Best Song of the Year, maybe???).

-Vanessa Williams discusses the Special Olympics and encourages everyone to become a fan and support the United States team for the summer's world games in Greece.

-Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman present the last award of the night: Favorite Movie of the Year. I'm excited!!! The nominees are: Toy Story 3, Iron Man 2, Alice in Wonderland, Inception, and Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The only movie I have yet to see of the nominees is Inception (I know, I know... I own it and will get to it soon) And the favorite movie is:

Twilight Saga: Eclipse (also winner of Favorite Drama movie)

Yeah, it's the People's Choice Awards... meaning the Twihards voted, and voted, AND VOTED for it to beat the other films.

Anyways, that's the end of the show! Not too shabby this year but I'm waiting for a few other upcoming award shows in the next several weeks: The Golden Globes, The Grammys, and the Academy Awards. Yes, I will probably blog about those too!

Wednesday Rant: The Unoriginality of Hollywood

As a movie watcher, I get enthralled in so many things: cinematography, symbolism, and the talents each actor brings to their character. One thing that I hold in the highest regards when watching movies is the storyline. I love getting wrapped up in a great story in a film. The more unique of a story, the better! However, in the land of Hollywood, repeating story lines is a common occurrence. Sure, they will change the location or the occupation of the characters, but when you break things down, all you see is the same exact story rehashed for a new audience. It saddens me at times that the rehashing happens more often that I would like to see. After going through my movie collection, I came up with several reused story lines.

Reused Storyline #1: A small town girl moves to the big city. She is seeking out her dream job and goes through a few obstacles along the way, which includes finding romance.

-42nd Street (Allentown, PA to NYC)
-Coyote Ugly (South Amboy, NJ to NYC)
-Burlesque (Iowa to Los Angeles, CA) <~~~ I haven't seen this, but it's pretty obvious based on the previews alone
-Center Stage (Jodi: Indiana to NYC)

Reused Storyline #2: A situation happens where two people who hate each other are partnered up to solve a problem. By the end of the film, they become friends.

-Wild Wild West
-The Fast and the Furious (also Fast and Furious)
-Toy Story
-Shanghai Noon
-Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous
-Step Brothers
-Men in Black
-All About the Benjamins
-Remember the Titans
-Star Trek

Reused Storyline #2.5: (See previous storyline) By the end of the film, they become a couple.

-The Ugly Truth
-Miss Congeniality
-What Women Want
-National Treasure
-No Reservations
-What Happens in Vegas

Reused Storyline #3: Hotshot from a big city ends up stranded in a small town. After a period of time, he becomes accustomed to the lifestyle. After returning to the big city, they eventually realize they fell in love with the town and make it their new home.

-Doc Hollywood
-Disney/ Pixar Cars

Reused Storyline #4: Best friends are on a mission to get something. Along the way, they come across several strange situations (and people) until they finally reach what they were looking for.

-Fanboys (watch Star Wars Episode One before it hits theaters)
-Dude Where's My Car? (find the missing car)
-Dumb and Dumber (return briefcase to a woman)
-Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (locating a White Castle)

Reused Storyline #5: A company's CEO has passed away or is stepping down. In order to keep the company within the family, a relative has to step up and take responsibility.

-Tommy Boy
-Mr. Deeds
-Richie Rich
-Billy Madison

Reused Storyline #6: A couple breaks up, leaving the woman jaded and alone. After a period of time goes by, she gets out of a rut and rediscovers herself. Then something happens where the couple is reunited and is together once more.

-Sex and the City: The Movie
-The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Reused Storyline #7: The main character lives in present day and partway into the movie, ends up in an alternate universe which they see their lives lived out completely different than what they were accustomed to. Toward the end, they appreciate the life they had beforehand and somehow order is restored.

-Shrek: The Final Chapter
-Back to the Future Part 2
-13 Going on 30

So, as you can see, there has been a lot of unoriginality in movie making. Please note that of all the movie I have listed, none of them are in my Top 10 favorite movies of all time. Like I said earlier, the movies with great story lines are the ones I generally like the most. If you are curious as to which movies made my coveted BEST list... you can either ask me or wait until March, when that subject is tackled in a new 30 day challenge. :-)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Music Tuesday: What to Expect in 2011

Before I begin discussing a lot of music to come this year, I need to share DJ Earworm's United States of Pop 2010 video. Every year he creates a song/video, which is a collaboration of the top 25 songs of the year, according to Billboard charts. Please enjoy!

Now, lets discuss some of the music to come in 2011.

As I was reading the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (#1136: The Oscar Race is On!), I enjoyed reading about all kinds of movies, music, and television that will make debuts this year (and also had a bittersweet moment reading Stephen King's last EW column for a long while... *sniff*). Toward the end of the magazine, there was an article asking some radio programmers from Top 40 radio asking about what will likely be the big hits of 2011. I will mention some of those artists/songs, plus other artist who have recently announced news of new singles and albums.

Lady Gaga:

As the ball dropped in Times Square, Lady Gaga tweets that her single "Born this Way" will be released February 13th and the album will be in stores May 23rd. I am soooooooo freaking excited for this!

No Doubt:
Yesterday, Tom Dumont tweeted this: "To clarify: last yr we were in studio mostly writing, just some recording. Starting 2day back in the studio, mostly recording..." Before I was into the whole boy band craze, No Doubt was my favorite group. They are still up there in the favorites list. I remember when they toured last year, they wanted to find inspiration for a new future album. It looks as if that we will definitely see that this year *Jumps for joy*

David Cook:

David posted this preview on his website yesterday. I cannot wait to hear my fellow Kansas Citian's voice with all new music. He's worked on this album for several months, so I expect it the album to be better than his first!

Britney Spears:
It was announced on her website that her new single "Hold It Against Me" will be released in January. Entertainment Weekly magazine reports that it will be released January 7th. If it does indeed come out this Friday, I will post the song on next week's blog.

Cold War Kids:

I'm not familiar with Cold War Kids (that I can recall), but this showed up on my Facebook news feed. :-)

Kanye West:
Since his album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, dropped toward the end of 2010, expect to hear more singles. He's working on the video for "Monster" right now.

Limp Bizkit:
I follow Fred Durst on Twitter. A few months ago, he announced that Limp Bizkits new album will be named Gold Cobra and will be released sometime this year. I see this could go one of two ways: it will either make me love them like I did when Significant Other was out or it will clarify that their 15 minutes of fame needs to come to a close. I'm hoping that it will succeed.

The Black Eyed Peas:
The current single "The Time (Dirty Bit)" has been blasting all over the airwaves the past several weeks from their newest album, The Beginning. Get ready for more Black Eyed Peas the next several months.

Now to listen to some of the new songs I've heard the past few days!

Avril Lavigne:

Oh, how I've missed hearing her punk/princess style on the radio. I'm interested to see what comes out lyrically since this is her first album since her and Deryck Whibley's divorce.


Her sophomore album, Cannibal, was released just a few weeks ago so expect to hear a lot more of her partying, glitter laced antics this year (whether you are a fan or not).

Nicole Scherzinger:

Wow, the video's already out! Former Pussycat Doll has gone solo. It's not surprising to me that she made that move, it seems to be a common thing to do when starting out as a female pop group.

Well, I think I gave you guys a pretty decent start to new music this year. Stay tuned for next week when I start posting reviews of new songs and music videos!

Oh, one more thing... here is a teaser promo for a new music show, The X Factor. This is why Simon Cowell left American Idol and what I will be checking out this Fall:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Movie Monday: Featuring Gerald Butler, a Funeral Gone Awry, and Sliding Across Hardwood Floors

Hello, my fellow bloggers! It is a new year which means resolutions and fresh starts. With that said, I'm going to try something new with my blog. I've seen on other popular blog sites that the writers write specific types of blogs on certain days, like photo Fridays. So I'm going to use my love for movies, music, pop culture, and the news to create my own weekly blogs. Let's start with what I will talk about each Monday... movies!

Well, in the past week, I posted on my Facebook and Twitter that I was going to start catching up on movies that I have never seen before. In my impressive movie collection, I have many that I purchased with the impression that I would enjoy them (when I got around to actually watching them). I keep them separated from the rest of my movies as a reminder that I have to make them a priority. Well, between Christmas, work, New Years, and spending a lot of time hanging out with my kiddo (who has been on school break), I was able to watch three of my movies. Let's review those movies, shall we???

Law Abiding Citizen

Clyde, a loving father and husband, has his home invaded and witnesses his wife and daughter get brutally murdered. Months later, he's in court and listens to the judge give one of the men 3 years in prison and the other get awarded the death penalty. Outraged by the justice system, he resurfaces 10 years later after murdering one of the criminals and has strategically planned revenge on all those involved in the case, with his lawyer, Nick, in the middle of it.

Aside from the fact that Gerald Butler is major eye candy to me, I am amazed with his plethora of acting credits. I don't see any kind of role that he cannot do. As Clyde, I saw a deeper, dark side to him that made his role unforgettable. About halfway into the movie, Nick and his partner are requesting to the judge to give Clyde as minimal of interaction with others as possible. The judges cell phone rings and as she answers it, it explodes and kills her. I had a major WTF moment that I had to re watch the scene. The execution of Clyde's plans were so extremely brutal that it kept my attention to the screen wondering what was going to happen next. This was a very enjoyable thriller and one of the best movies released in 2009. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Death at a Funeral

I wanted to see this in theaters, but it never happened. Oh well, I saved a few bucks buying it on DVD than if I purchased a movie ticket (gotta love after holiday sales!). A family is grieving over the death of their patriarch, and while trying to reflect on his life, chaos ensues in many interesting ways! There's secret love affairs, drugs mistaken for prescription medication, career envy, and one of the most active caskets I've ever seen!

Based on the cast alone, I expected this to be absolutely entertaining and hilarious! Between Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Zoe Saldana, James Marsden, Danny Glover, Luke Wilson, and Tracy Morgan (plus several others), the comedic timing was very well executed! As much as I enjoyed several laughs out of this movie, I still want to the the 2007 British film to compare (yes, it is a remake). I recommend this movie to anyone who loves comedies, or just want to watch something to make you giggle many times. Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Risky Business

Yes, I had never seen this movie before now. I think the person most shocked about this was my Mom. Well, no more shocked reactions since I finally watched it! Within the first 10 minutes of watching this, I realized two things. One, Joel's parents are anally overprotective over their materialistic things (the stereo settings, the crystal on the mantle, the Porsche). Two, I recalled seeing some of the scenes spoofed in Not Another Teen Movie.

After the infamous living room dancing, I realized exactly how risque this movie was for the early 80's. High school students were having sex with prostitutes (wow, Joel and Lana make stairway sex look painless). A jealous pimp was causing havoc on Joel, especially with loading all the main floor furniture into a truck just hours before the parents came home. If I had watched this as a teen, I probably would have been blown away, but since I've seen movies like The Girl Next Door (a lot like Risky Business but involving the porn industry instead of prostitution), it wasn't as mind blowing as it could have been. I am glad I finally watched this though... totally worth the $3.49 I spent on it at Best Buy. :-) Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

And this concludes the first of many Movie Monday blogs! In the future, I plan on adding movies I see in theaters. I already plan to see a lot this year, including: The Hangover Part II (May 26), Cars 2 (June), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II (July 15), Black Swan (in theaters), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (May 20), Blue Valentine (expanding to more screens this month), Scream 4 (April 15), and.... maybe.... Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I (November 18). Damn! There's a lot of sequels coming out this year... just like how it has been the past several years (while my mind reminds myself of the Scream 2 film class discussion of how sequels suck... which there is a good amount of truth to that). Anyway, I might need a movie watching buddy, or several, this year!!