Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why I LOVE Michael Sheen

The other day, I was telling my brother that I would see anything Michael Sheen is in. He said, "Really?" I couldn't believe he was shocked. Then, he said, "That guy from 'Two And A Half Men?' The coke head?" "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" I screamed. "THE most awesome actor ever!" So, here:
There he is. Michael Sheen. Love him. Love his movies. Love his ability to play real people (OK, Brits) with such amazing talent that I cannot get enough!

I first was blown away by him in "The Queen."

Yes, Helen Mirren was uh-MAZE-eeng as Queen Elizabeth. But I could not take my eyes off of this guy playing Tony Blair! I mean, he was the voice of reason to an old lady with a great hat and super conservative bag.

I never thought The Queen loved Princess Diana. But I absolutely believed Michael Sheen's Tony Blair when he convinced the old lady to allow a public tribute to the Princess. He was a young Prime Minister, finding his way. He stood up to HRH with respect. She listened.

Who is this guy? And why am I wanting him to star in a movie about Tony Blair? That's all I could think of when I was sitting in the theater watching that film. So, I waited for his next move.

Sure, Frank Langella brings the crazy in his portrayal of Richard Nixon. I thought Oliver Stone's "Nixon" was absurd. I mean, could a guy actually get elected President if he was that crazy? Were Americans duped into voting for a guy who belonged in a nice white room in a fancy jacket that ties in back?

But there was something about this film that revealed Nixon's desire to be accepted and understood. Knowing it was based on actual interviews, I couldn't help but feel sorry for Nixon. But perhaps it's the news person in me that felt more sorry for David Frost. Nixon was a big "get." It was getting him to actually sit down and talk that was an even bigger chore.

Michael Sheen showed the agony anyone who's ever scored a victory, only to wonder if it's all that it's cracked up to be, slip through his fingers. There were moments of pure brilliance in both performances. But I kept wondering who was capturing my eye more. And every time Michael Sheen was on screen, I knew he was the winner.

The tragedy in this whole film: "Invictus" was released around the same time. Now, I love Matt Damon, but "The Damned United" was a film that I desperately wanted to see. It wasn't in theaters long here, so I had to wait for my Netflix delivery.

You should know that I don't really love soccer - or football as it's called here. I didn't know anything about Brian Clough. But by the end of the film, I absolutely LOVED this guy! He would do anything to build a team and make it good. Then, he'd move on. He had ambition. He loved the sport. And by the end, I wanted more.

Seeing the real footage of Clough made me see just how brilliant Michael Sheen is. I will not hesitate to get to the theater on opening weekend whenever I know he's starring in a film.

Maybe you don't love movies as much as I do. That's OK. We can still be friends. But I ask you to check out "30 Rock." Michael Sheen has been hilarious there!

I cannot WAIT until he returns in May!

So, the secret's out: Michael Sheen, I adore you!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Week in Pop Culture

Super cute couple ties the knot.

Jerry Springer is baaaaaaaaaaack!

Mischa Barton's job title is no longer actress. It's fashion victim.

One place you won't see fake boobs: "Pirates 4."

Aretha & Condoleeza - musical match?

Paula Abdul may be part of some flash mob TV show?

It seems that if a certain Kardashian wants to keep her man, she'll have to cut back on paid appearances at night clubs.

Get out the champagne: Mariah Carey will need it.

Jennifer Love Hewitt's turn-ons: office supplies. And if you were thinking about reading her book about love, just read this.

Seriously, Hollywood, enough with making TV shows into movies.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Week in Pop Culture

I ♥ Kate Winslet, so this news makes me sad. However, she does seem OK with it.

I hope this Sandra Bullock news is not true. Though this makes me believe it. And Jesse James isn't exactly denying things.

If you care about "The Hills," you might need to know this.

I could totally watch a reality show centered on Mike Tyson.

Mel Gibson may be making his last movie.

Paula Abdul may be back on TV soon. Or not.

Here's a movie I won't be seeing.

At one time, I was rolling my eyes at the thought of seeing "MacGruber." Now, I'm intrigued.

OOOH! More good Betty White news!

Here's some "Glee"tastic news.

What happened to Carla Bruni?

Look! It's the anti-Marky Mark!

Charlie Sheen has a sober coach. That's not surprising. What is surprising is that there is such a job. I would be so good at that! "Hey, you! Put that down before I knock it out of your hands!" If you need me, put your contact info in the comments.

"Basic Instinct" stars reunite and I can't tell which has had more surgery.

Larry King asks my beloved Betty White some creepy questions.

Stephanie Seymour: rare breed of 40-something who looks good in a bikini.

Another example of a bad idea from Hollywood.

RIP, Ping Ping!

Monday, March 15, 2010

"Hall of Fame" Less Rock, More Roll

Here's something you may not know about me: I love music! Love it! Can't get enough of it. In fact, I was disappointed I was not iTunes 10 billionth downloader. I really could have used that swag. TIP: Never look at your purchased music. It will only depress you. I could have taken a really nice vacation - but instead have spent way too much money on music. But it makes me happy. And I suppose since my iPod is good to me, it's better than being crammed on a plane next to someone with body odor who wants to lean in and talk to me.

Back on subject...

I was looking over the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. What is going on?


These people are NOT rockers. They sing silly pop songs. Even one of the group's founders is surprised at the induction. Now, I do enjoy singing along with their music. But I hardly think they belong at this Hall of Fame. Cleveland rocks? Um, not with ABBA.


I am on the fence about this one. They play instruments. Their songs are hard to forget. But ROCK? Not exactly. They're more pop-rock. And if this gets buy, it's only a matter of time before Al Yankovic makes the cut.

The Hollies

Not sure these guys qualify as rockers. Maybe back in the day, they were rocking more than other bands, but I'd say they're also more pop. Maybe a little more soul/R&B sounding. Bee Gee-esque. Nothing wrong with that.

Jimmy Cliff

Kids will be excited about this! They'll recognize him from "The Lion King." Reggae. Pop. Not rock. Beginning to think there should be a Pop Music Hall of Fame - or is that the Hard Rock Cafe?

The Stooges

Now, these guys rock! They totally fit in! So, why isn't there more of this?

I'm beginning to think The Hall felt the need to reach out there to get a different crowd interested in its ceremony. Kind of like how John Mayer talks about sex with his exes for attention. It backfires. Stick to rock music, Cleveland! There are plenty more out there. Leave the pop artists for other groups. I want to rock - not bop around to pop music!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How Old People Spend Time Off

OK. I'm not old. Really. I'm not. I don't get discounts at restaurants or movies because of my age. I think that's the "old meter." I reserve the right to take that back when I start getting those discounts. Then, I'll probably bump my definition of old to the age when they start questioning whether you should be driving.

Now that that's out of the way, I'd like to explain how I have spent the last few days. I took time off work because I knew that I'd be wiped out after the election. And I was. So, I decided to take care of things around my house that had been neglected for quite some time. Since my mom likes doing physical labor (I somehow missed that gene), she agreed to help - or do the really hard stuff.
Look at the pretty flowers! I planted those in a spot that was home to a few weeds. That red plant is not as full as it was the other day. It seems a cat trampled it. I blame a cat because I have seen those creatures crawling out of the bushes around the corner.
I HATE SHRUBBERY. Of any kind. One of the things I especially hate about the ones around my house is that they are so totally random. There are these two types in the front and one holly bush. It's like the previous homeowners just walked into the landscaping department and said, "What's left on sale? We'll take it!" These looked pretty scruffy for good reason: I hope they die. It would be much easier to yank them out if they weren't full. I wished death upon these bushes during the winter freezes - no luck.
This spot used to be home to four different types of shrubs right off my back patio. Again, random plant choices. I have hated these from the day I moved in. I believe they were put there because the house has no gutters and the rain falling off the roof probably hits the ground pretty hard. It turns out, these bushes weren't so hard to remove. There are a couple of root stumps sticking out. I'm hoping the summer sun beats down on them and prevents them from growing - especially the fern-type bush with thorns. That thing is a big, fat jerk! I got stuck with a thorn that went through my glove and my finger hurt for three days.
I replaced boards that were rotting. It turns out, I'm REALLY good at this. So, if any of you want to come over and redo my posts, come one over. I could do the whole fence in no time!
You do not need to turn your head for this photo. Those are new blinds in my bedroom. This window takes the brunt of the afternoon sun. It had plastic blinds that had warped from the heat. They were cheap and nasty. After living in this house for three years, I finally decided to replace them. So, I went to Lowe's and had blinds cut for the window. While the guy had the blinds on the machine, I was wondering if I had the measurements right. I got them home and a couple of days later, I go to put them up and realize I mixed up the length with the height. Lucky for me, Lowe's took them back and I got the right size. The instructions say the installation takes 15 minutes. LIARS! It took about 15 minutes to figure out where to put the brackets so that the blinds would just slide in. Then, it took about 10 minutes to cuss at the drill, screws and wall. Once that was done, the blinds just slid into place. Voila! The blinds work so well, I took an afternoon nap and the bedroom did not feel like a sauna! YAY!
It wasn't all work. I got a new grill as a gift from my parents. The old one died. This one uses "infrared heat" to cook the food. And it has this unusual tray that catches the grease and makes it drip slowly so you don't have big flare ups. That's what it said. I have used it once and there was a slight flare up. Also, this is kind of a pain to clean. I'm hoping that was just the first time because I really like to grill chicken.

So, now that all that work is done, it's almost time for me to return to work. And I have a few reminders about the work that's been done over these last few days.
My trash can is full - and pick up day isn't until Tuesday! I also have bags of trash that won't fit in the can, along with boards and the old blinds. It will probably take me a few weeks to get rid of that stuff. Also, I'm hoping there's a bulk trash pick up coming soon so I can wheel that old grill to the curb. If I didn't have a Home Owners Association to deal with, I'd do that now because I know someone would pick up that grill in no time.

So that's how I spent my time off - doing grown up chores. Totally not fun. I'm already trying to figure out when I could take more time off and do absolutely nothing. This time, I mean it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Interesting Layout

So, I'm flipping through the new "People" magazine on a lazy Saturday afternoon and I come across this page:
I questioned Rihanna's outfit earlier this month. Imagine my surprise when I see the photo comparing her crazy green outfit to Gumby. Is that the look she was going for when she chose that? Does she have a sylist (if so, FIRE that girl - she's your enemy!)? Or is she just so far ahead of fashion that in, like, six months, EVERYONE will want to look like that?

Then, I looked at the photos on the right. Look at the ladies from "Ugly Betty."
They look like they're shrieking in fear of the Girly Green Monster! It's like Rihanna's looking at them going "ROOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRR! I will crush you!"

Then, there's crazy Britney.
I mean, it's like she's laughing. She might even be saying, "Y'all, I could have rocked that when I had my shaved hair! But, then people would have made fun of me and stuff. I need Starbucks."

I know the photos aren't related (I'm not that crazy - yet). But I was just amused by the three photos on the page. I give props to the layout editor who was all, "Let's put these photos on the same page because I think it's funny." What? You don't think that happens? Let me give you a little inside tip: If you look crazy or make a funny face and there's video/photos of it, don't be surprised if it doesn't turn up on TV/magazine/website. That's GOLD!

In conclusion, Rihanna, please stop choosing your clothing from the crazy wheel. And if you're letting people on chatroulette choose your wardrobe, stop. They're just having a good time at your expense. However, I do give you kudos for pulling off that silly outfit without camel toe. That would have wound up on a whole different website. Trust me. It's out there. Don't Google it. You'll hate yourself in the morning.

Week in Pop Culture

Best MTV news I've heard in a LONG time: They're bringing back "Unplugged!" Yay! Music on MTV!

Lisa Rinna says this photo proves she hasn't had too much Botox.

My least favorite cast member on "Grey's Anatomy" appears to be outta there.

When Divas collide:

PLEASE, Hollywood! Leave "The Wizard of Oz" alone!

Great week for Betty White news: She'll host SNL & be on "The Middle" in May!

It appears Paris Hilton needs some attention. Click at your own risk.

Heidi Montag's new manager is a psychic. Road to success, people!

Don't tell Jessica Simpson, but apparently the last guy to pay attention to her prefers dudes.

Speaking of the Busty Blonde One, she's DIRTY.

Photos show Jennifer Aniston appearing to want to do naughty things to Gerard Butler. His words should wipe those thoughts out of her head. FOREVER.

Maybe she should just picture this (or bang it - whatever).

Good news: Christopher Nolan will NOT include Mr. Freeze in the final "Batman." Bad news: Arnold Schwarzenegger will need to look harder for work when he's done Governating.

She's more than twice my age, but I wish I looked this good now!

Justin Timberlake likes ladies not named Jessica Biel.

Why didn't any of you jerks get me this for my birthday????

Lindsay Lohan, step away from Christina Ricci! That girl has talent!

Demi Moore is Mom of The Year.

I LOVE BRAVO! Seriously. I can sit on the sofa watching reality show after reality show. And now, there's MORE! (Most excited about the Mia Michaels' show - she's my fave from SYTYCD!)

In his later years, Corey Haim was a horrible version of himself. So in his honor, I'll remember him like this. RIP.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oh, Oscars! FAIL

I'm not talking about the hosts, the random "stars" who presented awards/introduced tributes. I'm focusing on the "In Memoriam" segment.

Lovely tribute with music from James Taylor. But they left off one film star who died last year:
Farrah Fawcett.

She was an award winning actress. She deserved a spot in that tribute. I know the show tends to drag on, but Michael Jackson never won accolades for his acting. In fact, his performance in "The Oz" was hardly Oscar-caliber. But her performance in "The Burning Bed" was her best work (sorry, fellas, "Charlie's Angels" jiggle does not count). If you've never seen it, you can watch it on YouTube (it's 9 parts, so be patient). Bea Arthur was also left out. She belongs in that tribute more than Michael!

Once again, Michael has left Farrah in his shadow. Her death last year was the story of the day - for just a few hours until Michael died. Now, it's like the Academy Awards has decided Michael was worthy of its time and Farrah was not. See for yourself:

Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences spokeswoman Leslie Unger says the segment can only honor so many people.

"Every year it's an unfortunate reality that we can't include everybody," she tells the Associated Press.
Can't include everybody? Maybe if you took ten seconds out of that interpretive dance silliness - or ten seconds from awkward talk before a toss to the nominees - you COULD include everyone!

The point is, the Academy Awards are supposed to be ALL things cinema. That's why we sit through those technical awards of people most of us have never heard about nor will we remember. But to do an "In Memoriam" without Farrah? That's beyond wrong. It's just mean. I watched that segment twice last night, thinking I must have missed mention of her. Nope. They intentionally left her out.

Oscars, if you can't include everyone in your tribute, don't do it. Or find some other way to do it - perhaps scattering the tribute throughout the show. Want me to produce next year's show? I could do a better job! I certainly wouldn't leave an icon out of the ceremony.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Nominees, Pt. 2

I did it! I have seen all 10 Oscar Best Picture Nominees! When AMC offered its showcase of the nominees, I jumped at the chance to cross every film off my list. Last weekend, I wrote about the first five movies shown. The above picture shows the five up this weekend. I had seen two of them before this weekend ("Up In The Air" and "Inglourious Basterds"). Here are my thoughts on these five films.


An Education
This was the only movie I knew absolutely nothing about. I have no problem blindly watching a movie. Sometimes, I think it's better not to know what a movie is about. I find I'm often surprised by how much I like it. That was the case with this one. Carey Mulligan is nominated for an Oscar for her performance in this. She plays a teenager whose father wants her to get into Oxford. She wants to study English and live in Paris. Then comes Peter Sarsgaard's character - an older, mysterious and experienced man. They fall in love. Her real education begins with this man. Like many teenagers, she thinks she has life all figured out. She considers changing what she believed she wanted to be a part of her man's life. When it all falls apart, she goes back to what she always wanted. I smiled through much of this film. A true sign I loved it: I came right home and downloaded the quirky foreign soundtrack! The more I think about this movie, the more I love it. Also, if any of you know of a time machine that will allow me to travel back to 1960s London, please let me know!

The Hurt Locker
When this movie came out, I thought, "Great. Another war movie." So, I skipped it, weekend after weekend, often choosing lighter films. I wish I would not have done that. This movie is absolutely worth seeing! I was super excited to see Guy Pearce in the beginning of this movie. As much as I love him, I cannot imagine this film not being carried by Jeremy Renner. He is crazy. War crazy. I would never in a million years want to defuse bombs for a living. Anyone who likes handling things that go BOOM! can keep that job. I'll watch from a distance with my hands over my eyes. I'm sure that in the years to come, there will be many more movies to explore the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I hope they handle them with the same care as Kathryn Bigelow. To say I was blown away by this film would be cliche. But I was moved by this. I'll root for this one tonight!

Up In The Air
FULL DISCLOSURE: I love George Clooney. That said, I also love his movie choices. To play a guy with an awful job (flying from city to city to lay off often unsuspecting employees) and still be likable - well, that takes talent! Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga are also amazing in this. Kendrick plays an eager co-worker of Clooney's. She does high-strung well. And Farmiga - how have I never seen her before this? She becomes more than just a hook-up for Clooney's character. I have to admit, seeing Clooney play a guy who has no attachments wasn't hard for me to imagine (hello, Mr. Bachelor). But willing him to open up and consider a different path (or flight, as a good portion of this movie is in an airport) was worth every second. I only wish I had the miles his character has - to travel the world and not pay a dime? Yes, please!

The Blind Side
This was another movie I resisted. I don't really have a good reason. I just never made this a priority, despite the rave reviews from friends. Plus, even though it's based on a true story, it just seemed too good to be true. Seeing Quinton Aaron as the (literally) larger than life kid who desperately needs a family hooked me from the beginning. This may surprise you, but I really do have a special place in my heart for kids who are on their own - even if they have a home. Every kid needs someone to tell him/her that there is a better world for them. There is no limit to what each child can accomplish! There. I feel better! This super-sized kid with a heart of gold melts many. This movie takes on racism and the education system (two things that nearly kept this kid from succeeding). I know there is much more to this story than was in the movie, but I hope it does more than make people feel good. I hope it inspires more people to recognize the potential in kids and encourage them to follow their dreams - no matter how big they are.

Inglorious Basterds
I am hot and cold with Quentin Tarantino. Loved "Reservoir Dogs." Loved "Pulp Fiction." Did not love "From Dusk Till Dawn." Liked "Jackie Brown." Didn't care for "Kill Bill." I was cautiously optimistic about this one. Brad Pitt is the big name in this movie. But Christoph Waltz steals this film! I was not only amazed by his ability to speak many languages, but his ability to charm while slaughter - wow! If he does not win an Oscar for this performance, I'd be surprised. For a movie about killing Nazis, this did not feel as violent as I would have thought. Don't get me wrong, there is bloodshed in this movie. But at no point did I say, "Enough!" Perhaps that's because I know the history here. Still, this is one of Tarantino's best films. I'd like to see it win Best Picture, but I won't hold my breath.

Friday, March 5, 2010

OMG! My TV Is Killing ME!

So, I'm trolling the Internet, looking for news (um, it's what I do for a living - yes, Perez Hilton & TMZ totally qualify as work - shut up). I stumble upon this story: "5 Surprising Ways Your TV Is Slowly Killing You." I click and wait for the page to load. I think, unless it says my TV is going to jump to life, hop out of the entertainment center and beat me silly, there's NO WAY this can be true. So, here are the five ways it will "kill me."

1. TV makes you deader.
Shocker. Sitting on your behind and staring at the boob-tube is not the same as exercise. So, I should not count reaching for the remote control as "weight lifting." I also should not count my laps during commercial breaks to the laundry/bath room as "aerobic exercise." And they throw in this scary stat: compared to people who watched less than two hours of TV a day, those who watched four or more hours a day had a 46 percent higher risk of death from any cause and an 80 percent higher risk of death due to cardiovascular disease. And that was true even among people who didn’t smoke, were thin, ate healthy diets and had low blood pressure and cholesterol.

2. TV makes you drunker.
Now you're talking! I mean, even though I must watch TV for my job ("Real Housewives" and "Kell On Earth" are research). But it says TV may make you drink more because you might be susceptible to what you watch. OK. I get that if you're young. But if you're my age and you stumble across those "Jersey Shore" douchebags fist-pounding to house music with one hand while sipping out of a plastic cup being held in the other hand, you're not going, "OMG! I'm sooo gonna go do that!" I have watched minutes of some TV shows that have made me want to drink - but not because they're doing it. It's because it's such bad television that I want to cry that I have not submitted my own script for a pilot. And then, I scream at the TV, "I could have written that and been paid a lot of money to have people wonder why they're still watching this crap!" (Oh, yeah, I'm looking at YOU "Private Practice!")

3. TV can make your kid pregnant.

Really? Because I've been hooked into marathons of "16 & Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" on MTV and it doesn't make me want a kid (and I haven't been a teenager in more than a decade). Yes, I am constantly surprised at the number of shows that depict teens either having some form of sex or dressing/dancing provocatively. And back to those "Jersey Shore" kids: yeah, they hook up everywhere, but do you want a permanent reminder for life of that spray-tanned, juiced-up, tattooed, greasy stranger? Ick. I'd hate that kid for life - as only a mother could. But I really think if more parents would talk to their kids and not let the TV do the baby-sitting/child rearing, kids would be a little smarter than the sex thing. Then again, I'd like a store to hire me to stand in the condom aisle to tell kids who are talking about how embarrassing it is to buy condoms "Then you're not ready to have sex, so skeedaddle!" Contact me if you're hiring.

4. TV weakens your bones.
Since I'm not a kid (young at heart, people), I give up here. However, I would like credit for taking multi-vitamins and eating cheese and ice cream while watching TV. Calcium builds bones. I think I saw that once in an after school special.

5. TV makes you less engaging.
Really? Because when I watch TV, I often Tweet about it (which winds up on Facebook and can spark discussion/debate). I shout at the TV. It never talks back, but I feel better. And most of my friends watch TV. We talk about it. Seems like we're engaged there, dumb study!

So, will my TV kill me? Maybe. I just hope it's in my sleep. If I saw it coming and had to fight it off, I don't know if I could live with myself if I killed the TV before it killed me. Besides, I'd have to figure out how to watch my favorite shows!

Week in Pop Culture

I'm beginning to think all those people who used drugs in the 70s will never die.

What's the best way to get back at your ex-boyfriend who blabs about your sex life? Go talk to Oprah!

Some day, Justin Timberlake will return to making music and STOP making bad movies.

Hey! More crazy talk from Megan Fox!

Note to all film-makers: don't send a letter pleading for votes if you're up for an award.

Since you've probably stopped watching, you should know that "Ugly Betty" has naked teeth.

I was totally uninterested in the "Smurf" movie until I read this.

Mario Lopez (AKA Slater) got a dog and gave it the most ridiculous name ever.

Lindsay Lohan is "writing" a book. I use the quotes because I'm not sure she can read.

Seriously, tabloids, back off the kids. They didn't seek fame. They don't need you questioning their life choices.

Now that I know Julianne Hough likes douchebags, I like her less.

Johnny Depp's lady wants him to stay away from Angelina Jolie. And after reading this, I wonder if there's anything Angelina won't do.

No surprise: Jon Gosselin is so un-endowed, even Playgirl wouldn't pay much to see his little friend.

I am now considering Botox.

Not sure I want to see stars ice skate - unless there's some Johnny Wier involved.

Now, you can be just like Keira Knightley and rent designer shoes.

Finally, I just don't get Rihanna.