Monday, September 17, 2007

Summer Nights: The best and the worst of the '07 summer movie season

The Summer Movie Season is sadly at an end. Fall is coming, as are the fall movies and the awards season will soon be in full swing. So let us take a look back at the summer movies that we loved, hated, and enjoyed in the summer of 2007.

Overall best movie: I am giving this honor to Pixar's Ratatouille. In a season full of unoriginality and the onslaught of mediocre sequels, Brad Bird's computer-animated comedy about a rat who uses a garbage boy to become the hot new chef in Paris was not only a breath of fresh air, it is also one of the year's best movies. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix is runner-up.

Best Comedy: It's the duo of Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen that take the comedy belt. Knocked Up and Superbad were both so outrageously hilarious that they both will share this title. The Simpspons Movie is runner up for it's staying true to it's roots and the satirical wit it brought, along with the slapstick.

Best Summer Sequel: Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix wins by a knockout. Unlike Ram Rami's mediocre Spider-Man 3, Gore Veberinski's bloated Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, and the over-familiar Shrek 3, David Yates' take of Harry Potter's fifth year at Hogwarts brings out the best in the series and in it's young actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. The Bourne Ultimatum, with it's kick-in-the-jams action and Matt Damon bringing out the best in Jason Bourne, takes second place.

Best Actor:
This is a no-brainer........Christopher Mintz-Plasse's gut-bursting performance as Fogell (aka: McLovin) in Superbad

Best Actress: Again, a no-brainer......Angelina Jolie as the wife of murdered journalist Daniel Pearle in A Mighty Heart.

Breakthrough Performance: Three no-brainers in a row! Shia LeBeouf in Transformers and Niki Blonsky for Hairspray take the top honors.

Best Action Movie: Every dog has his day. That's why Michael Bay will get this honor of action movie for Transformers. It's the embodiment of what an summer movie is: big, loud explosions, kick-ass action, and a damn good time that will be had by all. Live Free or Die Hard is the same embodiment and it takes runner-up.

Best Surprise movie: Hairspray. I mean really, did any of you think that a remake of the Broadway play -- plus John Travolta in drag -- would work? Everything from the dance No's to the music no.s worked like a charm. And since were on the subject of musicals, High School Musical II -- despite the overload of saccharine-driven story and cardboard characters -- worked it's Disney magic to make runner-up honors.

Best Hero: This is a tough one, but I'm going with Daniel Radcliffe reprising the title role of Harry Potter in Order of the Phoenix. Homer Simpson for saving the town of Springfield in The Simpsons Movie, gets runner-up.

Best Villain: No baddie put a shiver down my spine more than Imelda Staunton in Order of the Phoenix. As Umbridge, she not only brings out the evil side in bureaucracy, but she makes Dick Cheney look tame. Ashley Tisdale takes the runner-up prize in HSM II reprising her role as the school bitch Sharpay, who takes her bitchiness and her attempts to steal Gabriella's man, Troy, to new, irresistible lows that makes the Plastics look like a joke.

Most Disappointing: I never thought I would be giving this award to Peter Parker, but there's really no denying that Spider-Man 3 became a mediocre summer movie when the filmmakers sucked-out what dark narratives the third movie had in exchange for bigger and more visual action pieces. That, and having Peter go emo on you doesn't help out the cause much.

Worst movie: Who cares about who killed Lindsay Lohan's character in I Know Who Killed Me? What I do know that Lohan killed her career in just one summer with her next bomb, Georgia Rule. Sad to see a bright career was thrown to the wayside for a drive in the fast lane.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hate mongering doesn't take a day off

You would honestly expect that on the 6th anniversary on 9/11, there would be at least a day without politicization, right? Well, there was. The College Republicans and College Democrats at San Francisco State decided to join together in commemorating the horrific events of September 11, when a group of protesters pulled this stunt.

Regardless whether the opinions of the communists protesters was accurate, it was highly inappropriate for them to do this on the day of remembering those who died in 9/11, as were the methods.

Unfortunately, for Leo Pusateri, he wasn't aware that two wrongs don't make a right.

There's a name for individuals who pull this kind of a number: certified assholes.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

What do Gabriella and Harry Potter have in Common?

There are many things that young stars Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical & High School Musical II and British actor Daniel Radcliffe of the Harry Potter franchise have in common:

Both Hudgens and Radcliffe are household names through one movie.
Both Hudgens and Radcliffe are legal (18 years of age).
Both Hudgens and Radcliffe are discussed on how hot they are though their other sexes.
Both Hudgens and Radcliffe are rich as hell.

But now they share this fact: they've both gone butt-naked.

And yet there's one grueling difference between these two young stars.

One of the big stories this week was that Hudgen's nude photographs and other photos of her stripped down to her bra and panties was leaked to the internet, and now instead of discussing about the experience of doing HSM II, she's doing damage control and asking forgiveness from her tweener fans, most of whom have never seen nor heard of a woman's breast or pussy.

"I want to apologize to my fans, whose support and trust means the world to me," says Hudgens in a statement to "Extra" on Friday, Sept. 7. "I am embarrassed over this situation and regret having ever taken these photos. I am thankful for the support of my family and friends."

The photo was first reported by The National Enquirer and has been splashed all over the Internet on blogs such as Hudgens, 18, is seen fully nude and standing, facing the camera in what appears to be a private bedroom. Online speculation wondered if the photo was faked, but confirmed on Thursday that it's authentic.

"This was a photo which was taken privately," says Hudgens' rep. "It is a personal matter and it is unfortunate that this has become public."

I'm not going to bust her balls over this scandal because when you look at the track record of other young and famous stars such as Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, this is really tame. For all we know, Hudgens could've been doing other crazy shit.

As I said before, there is a difference with Vanessa and Daniel, in terms of going naked. And the difference is that while Hudgens meant for those photos to be private, Radcliffe is going naked for a play that he's signed up for. And ladies, Radcliffe will soon be going naked for Broadway.

British actor Daniel Radcliffe hopes to debut on Broadway next year in a reprise of his London role in "Equus," a performance where he shed not only his clothes but the mantle of Harry Potter.

Radcliffe won rave reviews for his performance as a tortured teenager during an 8-week run of Peter Shaffer's grueling psychological thriller in London earlier this year, but said the prospect of acting in New York was "terrifying."

"It will be amazing, but I will be terrified because I was talking to Richard Griffiths about playing New York and he said the most stupid thing you can do is underestimate New York audiences," said Radcliffe, 18, in an interview with Reuters.

And yet, I hear no outrage over Radcliffe going butt-naked. Go figure.

Another example of the three-ringed circus freakshow that is Hollywood today, I suppose.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

High School Musical II

Say whatever you want about High School Musical II (an exercise in providing more mental masturbation that execs at Disney can sell to the tweenage crowd), but give credit where credit is due to Ashley Tisdale (The Suite Life with Zack and Cody). She not only reprises the mean-spirited bitch in Sharpay, she takes the plotting and conniving to a new level not seen since Rachel McAdam's performance as Regina in Mean Girls. Within Disney limits, that is.

Sharpay's new scam includes stealing Troy Bolton (Zac Efron of Hairspray) away from his girlfriend Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) by hiring him to work at her parent's country club and surrounding him with college recruiters when Troy's friends are tagged along for work and enter the talent show. Yes, the scam is very bland and dull, but Tisdale works with what she has and makes it irresistible fun watching her character play Troy like a wind-up doll.

Tisdale's performance -- add to it, the catchy and flashy numbers ranging from the impressive I Don't Dance to the kick-in-the jams spectacle opening no. What Time Is It? -- not only makes this tweenage product placement film watchable (even with the cardboard story, cutout characters, and ultra-cliched romance between Troy and Gabriella) but it's soon-to-be third installment (due out fall of next year on the big screen) worth looking at as well.

** 1/2 stars out of ****

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Starting September Off Right

Jeez. I have reached a new low since starting this online journal. In the month of August, I have only poster three blogs. And I haven't been keeping up with the presidential campaign of Rapture Ralph/Blat. Damn you, life!

Anyway, for the umpteenth time, I apologize for my lack of blog postings. With Senior year in full swing, I won't have all the time that I want to blog. Thankfully, fall break is fast approaching and depending on how non-lazy I am, I might be able to crank out a few a week, so pray that I don't fall ill to laziness.

And the hypocrite of the month goes to......: Senator Larry Craig, a (i'm shocked, i'll tell ya, shocked!) Republican representing Idaho who plead guilty to soliciting oral sex from an undercover cop in the bathroom of a Minneapolis Airport. Ironically, Senator Craig, in the past has voted against both gay marriage and civil unions for gays, and voted to impeach Bill Clinton for lying under oath about his affair with one Monica Lewinsky. If the GOP should take anything away from this latest scandal it should be the following: if you're going to keep preaching you're the party of traditional family an moral values, then lead by example.........on second thought - don't. You're not the party of traditional values. You never have been.

The race to the post season: has begun. And this time, just about every race is up for grabs, and there's no way to tell which teams gonna win which division. Will A-Rod carry the Bronx Bombers to to another post-season appearance? Can Jake Peavy, Milton Bradley, and the pitching staff lead the Padres to another Western Division win? Are the fighting Philies good enough to make it to the playoffs? Who is the team everyone will fear come playoff time? And which team will win it all this year? You gotta love September baseball - the drama, the action, and the teams showing themselves if they're pretenders or contenders. Stay tuned, folks.

Lord of the Ring: One Ring to rule them all. One Ring to find them. One Ring to bring them all, and in the Darkness, bind them. OK, i'll admit, it's really dorky of me to recite this, but dammit, we're the graduating class of 2008! With the Senior rings we're picking out, then receiving in 4-6 wks., we might as well be the Masters of our school! My ring will look something like this:
class ring - heritage with school chest
ring model - lexington (H33)
metal choice - 14-kt. yellow gold
metal finish - antique (traditional)
stone color - birthstone
birthstone color - september fire blue spinel (chose school color)
accent stone - cubic zirconia
stone cut - sunburst
ring side 1 - school mascot (mustang)
ring side 2 - name (chose my nickname, radio) and design (paw print)
ring band options - full name inside and smooth band
ring year date/size - 2008/9.5
outside initials - JH

This is going to be a bitchin ass ring!

Fall Movie Season: It's fall, and the awards will be in full swing, and there are some great movies this time round. Here are my top 3 movies to watch for:
The Darjeeling Limited

No Country for Old Men

Lions for Lambs