Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MMM: More like TMM

Morning stargazers! As you may have noticed, this week's edition of the Monday Mood Music is actually being posted on Tuesday which kind of ruins the whole Monday part of the gimmick. Not having access to a computer makes it impossible to get a new post out in the world, but not remembering you had a post scheduled tends to screw things up, too.

With Christmas behind us and 2010 quickly approaching, my brainpan has been all a sizzle about what I accomplished in 2009 and what goals will migrate into the new year. As the wife knows, I tend to focus on what I have yet to accomplish and forget all the things I did do. I should relish those successes and not fret over the missteps but, for me, that's easier said than done.

While cleaning out my email, I ran across a saved message from 2008. It's one of those "Have you seen this video?" forwards. Specifically, it's a link to the Where the Hell is... Matt website. You know, the dancing around the world guy that was SO last year. Despite being old news to many, his website reminded me of the importance of not beating myself up over those missteps. This revelation came to me when I watched his collage of outtakes. Sure, his Where the Hell is Matt dancing video was an internet phenomenon, but he didn't knock it out the park every time.

So here's to 2009, it's successes and failures. And to celebrate my failure to post a Monday Mood Music on the right day, here's the video that's more about dancing than about the music. The Dancing Outtakes Song used was created by Gary Schyman with the skills of Kevin Dukes, Jonathan Clark, Amick Byram, John Beasely and Chad Norris, in case you were wondering:

Dancing Matt - The Outtakes

How was your 2009? What are your 2010 aspirations? I know I won't be aspiring to dance on a suspended boulder in Kjeragbolten, Norway - that's just insane!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wanna Peek at the Christmas Poll?

With Christmas right around the corner, it's time to see which holiday movie you voted as the must-see holiday classic. Every year I make it a point to watch all my favorite holiday movies, but there's a handful of classics that I've never seen. Here's how seven of the holiday classics ranked in your opinion:

Turns out Miracle on 34th Street and Babes in Toyland, two films I vaguely recall playing on my grandmother's old console TV every Thanksgiving, aren't really interesting to you either. Both received 0 votes.

White Christmas and A Christmas Carol (1951) eked out a third place showing with 1 vote each.

Firmly holding down second place is Tim Allen's The Santa Clause with 2 votes. I watched this for the first time over the weekend. The effects are dated, but it's a good little story.

The number one must-see Christmas movie is actually a 3 vote tie between It's a Wonderful Life and A Muppet Christmas Carol. I expected the shame-inducing for Wonderful Life, but who knew the Muppets had it going on like that?!

I said I would make it my priority to watch the #1 film before the Christmas holiday. I already have It's a Wonderful Life on the DVR, I just need to nestle all snug on my couch and give it a good viewing.

A Muppet Christmas Carol may prove tougher. There are no network showings on the horizon. I'd have it sent from Netflix, but it's not available. Hrrrmm... We'll see what I can do.

This is normally the point in the post where I introduce my next poll. However, I'm going to marinate on my next posit for a week or two and give you folks a break. In the meantime...

Go forth stargazers. Eat, drink and make merry!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, December 21, 2009

MMM: All I Want for Christmas

Morning stargazers! Sorry I've been MIA this past week, but I was on the losing end of a battle against the creeping crud that seems to have infested nearly everyone. Thanks to much OTC medication, I am once again functioning normally, though only for four-hour intervals.

Getting sick sucks, but especially so around the holidays. I had to miss out on a couple of Christmas gatherings. So much good food missed, and the fellowship of course. Now as I claw my way through this curtain of congestion back to the land of the healthy, I really need a kick in my Christmas spirit to brighten the mood.

Who better to provide that than one of my favorite singers? While I try to avoid repeating artists too often in my Monday Mood Music, I think you won't mind indulging me. It'll definitely lift my, um, spirits, and get me in the mood; the Christmas mood that is. I hope it'll do the same for you:

Shakira - Santa Baby

Hopefully, this little pick me up along with another day's dosage of drugs will make me myself again. Too much Christmas joy and too many good movies to try and enjoy with dulled senses.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, December 14, 2009

MMM: The Bestest

You sure can tell the Christmas season is in full swing. House after house glitters with decorations. The radio stations play holiday tunes. Network television's regular programming is being swapped for countless specials and holiday classics.

I caught the tail end of one classic just the other night. The 1964 animated tale Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I was quite pissed I had missed it, but I'm certain I'll catch it at least once more before Christmas. If not, you can be sure I'll watch it somehow before Santa makes his rounds.

The narrator of Rudolph's story, actor and singer Burl Ives, also performs Holly Jolly Christmas which is perhaps my favorite Christmas song. Here's a snippet of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in case you, like me, missed it the other night:

Burl Ives - Holly Jolly Christmas

Now I'm off to check the guide. Got to set the DVR so I'll have no excuse for missing it again.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, December 11, 2009

Trailer Trash: December-09 Oscarbait

As promised, I'm following up last week's Trailer Trash with a closer look at the limited release films which are poised to vie for a coveted Academy Award. That said, it is doubtful any of these flicks will want me to Exercise my Right to Cinematic Celibacy, but here's how they measure up in my mind, from worst to best:

Serious Moonlight (12.04 LA/NY) I will see, and have seen, anything with Kristen Bell, but having to sit through unhappy, neurotic Meg Ryan is seriously dissuading me. The theme of the script by the late Adrienne Shelly draws me in, but the slapsticky elements are a deterrent. While it seems it's an even toss between impressive and disappointing, why do the odds feel more like 30-70?

Verdict: It's Friday, I Don't Want to be Alone.

The Last Station (12.04 LA/NY) This look into the life of Leo Tolstoy has already garnered some award nominations and looking at the acting powerhouses involved, I expect more are on the way. Aside from the yummy James McAvoy, the trailer doesn't really make me tingle...which probably means this'll be the movie to beat come Oscar time.

Verdict: It's Friday, I Don't Want to be Alone.

Crazy Heart (12.16 ltd.) I love Jeff Bridges and not trying to knock him, but how is Kris Kristofferson NOT starring in this?! I suppose he's too old to play Bad Blake, but he could have done the Duvall role. He just seems like a natural choice. But I digress. Buzz says Bridges may get a nod for his role, but the safe bet is on a nod for the song featured in the trailer.

Verdict: Moist With Antici...Pation!

Nine (12.18 ltd., wide 12.25) Let's see... why would the Reel Whore not want to see a movie full of strong and sexy women?! Granted, two of the ladies tend to grate my last damn nerve, but hopefully Daniel Day-Lewis's lead performance will distract my disdain. That, and all the half-naked, gyrating hotties.

Moist With Antici...Pation!

The Young Victoria (12.18 ltd.) Stuffy period pieces aren't usally my thing, but there's something about this. Maybe it's because there's something about a women of power. Maybe it's because I find it comforting Rupert Friend looks as cuddly as Elijah Wood. Or maybe it's because I'm tranfixed by the gorgeous Emily Blunt every time I see the trailer. Who can say, really?

Verdict: Moist With Antici...Pation!

A Single Man (12.11 ltd., wide 12.25) From the trailer alone, I haven't the first fucking clue what this is about nor do I care. It's visually stunning and Colin Firth's performance is captivating. This may also be the film that finally lands Julianne Moore her Oscar; that's reason enough to support it.

Verdict: Moist With Antici...Pation!

Up in the Air (12.04 ltd., wide 12.25) I'm sure everyone is stoked to see Clooney turn in another winner. Heck, I'm sure some are psyched "Claire Farmiga" is in it. I'm tingling to see some great bit parts, but most excited for Anna Kendrick's performance. Since her turn as Ginny Ryerson in Rocket Science, I've been waiting to see her be more than that Twilight chick.

Verdict: Moist With Antici...Pation!

There you have it stargazers. With the gifts unwrapped and your bellies full of holiday goodies, the hardest thing you'll have to do this Christmas is decide which of these great movies you should plant your ass in first.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Quickie: World's Greatest Dad

Release: 08.21.09
DVD Release: 12.08.09
Rated R
1 hour, 39 minutes

Full Price

Lance Clayton (Robin Williams, Dead Again) is a high school poetry teacher who's also an aspiring author with a stack of rejected novels under his belt. He's also a single dad to an abhorrent son, Kyle (Daryl Sabara, Halloween). Neither his son, his students nor even his girlfriend seem particularly fond of Lance, until the tiniest of white lies makes him the center of attention.

World's Greatest Dad is the brainchild of actor-turned-writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait (Hot to Trot). The events created by Bobcat unfurl at the hands of some richly developed characters. Kyle is so disgusting that even the Reel Whore squirmed at some of his sexually-depraved tirades. While Kyle and his issues are obvious, Bobcat more subtly depicts the flaws of supporting characters like Claire (Alexie Gilmore, Descent) and Mike (Henry Simmons, Madea's Family Reunion). As Lance's situation evolves, it's captivating and disturbing to witness his simple, loving gesture mutate into an unstoppable monstrosity outside of his control.

I've always enjoyed Robin Williams' serious performances, and this role is worth remembering. World's Greatest Dad is well-crafted and darkly funny. While entertaining and heartfelt, the balance of the shocking, the ridiculous and the pathetic truth of people's motivations may not be appropriate for the sheepish. If you like to be surprised, be sure not to let anyone give away the plot before you watch it!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, December 7, 2009

MMM: 'Tis the Season

Have you ever had one thing trigger something else completely unrelated? That's what happened to me over the weekend.

Here in the NC Triangle we've been getting crazy rain for the past few weeks. About the time I thought it would be dry enough to get a little exercise raking leaves, damned if it wouldn't start raining again. To top it off, our cool fall weather turned to friggin' cold ass winter weather on Saturday.

As I sloshed around in the mud and rain, this one song got stuck on mental repeat. The song has absolutely nothing to do with anything I recounted above other than the title, which happens to also be the first line:

The White Stripes -
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground

Sifting through my archives I was surprised I'd never featured Jack and Meg in a Monday Mood Music. Shameful, I know.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More Than a Mouthful: Rihanna on SNL

For those who don't watch SNL, here's a still of Rihanna performing Russian Roulette:

I bet she wishes she had that chainmail headwrap back in February.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, December 4, 2009

Trailer Trash: The December-09 Gang Bang

Can you believe it, stargazers? It's time for the final Trailer Trash of 2009. It feels like the year has flown by. Then again, thinking back to some of the horrid movies I've sat through, it didn't move nearly fast enough.

That's all in the past, let's talk about the future. Specifically, the fourteen major releases being crammed into theaters this holiday season. Here's the December lineup according to IMDB. I've sorted them from best to worst for your reading enjoyment.

Exercise the Right To Cinematic Celibacy.

Transylmania (12.04) If they really wanted to cash in on the vampire craze, why not try selling New Moon bootlegs to the lines of moist Twilighters outside of the theater. As far as I'm concerned, copyright infringement is way more legal than wasting money producing this crap.

Did You Hear About the Morgans? (12.18) The recession's hit everyone hard. That's the only way to explain why Sam Elliott's slumming it. He should have done the math; Sarah Jessica Parker = Fingernails, Hugh Grant = Chalkboard, Parker + Grant = Shrill, shudder-inducing annoyance.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (12.23) Speaking of excruciatingly shrill, what's worse than having to hear Beyoncé's horrifically bad Single Ladies song for the one-zillionth time? Having to hear it sung a la Chipette Auto-Tune! My undying affection for Anna Faris is the only thing keeping me from burning this fucker to the ground.

It's Friday, I Don't Want to be Alone.

The Slammin' Salmon (12.11) Though Club Dread isn't a favorite, you can count on the Broken Lizard fellas for a few good laughs. Michael Clarke Duncan may steal their thunder, but as long as I'm laughing at something stupid I'll be a happy camper.

Everybody's Fine (12.04) Remember the delightfully funny English flick Waking Ned Devine? I do, and I'm excited about its creator's latest. The attractive cast is being sold with a perfectly acceptable home-is-where-the-heart-is tale. However, methinks a weightier premise than an inoffensive Christmas with the kids awaits.

The Princess and the Frog (12.11) "After 75 years of Magic, Walt Disney" figured if a black man can be President, they can finally have an animated black princess. The days when the most one could hope for was a Peabo Bryson song on the soundtrack are long gone. This'll get my patronage just to show support for finally doing the right thing.

The Lovely Bones (12.11) Visually, this appears spectacular. But...Having read the book, my biggest hang ups are Rachel Weisz and Mark Wahlberg as the Salmon parents. Seriously? I guess we will have to trust in Peter Jackson on this one.

Armored (12.04) Eight months. For eight months this trailer has preceded every gorram movie I saw at the theater. At first the idea of Fred Ward, Skeet Ulrich and Larry "Crazy Laugh" Fishburne gave me a little action chubby. Now I just want to go to see if I've sorted all the twists out.

Avatar (12.18) Honestly, the story isn't all that compelling. The main draw is seeing what a rumored half-billion dollar budget looks like in amazingly innovative 3D. If it weren't for that curiosity, M-Rod would still give me reason enough to see this.

Sherlock Holmes (12.25) Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes initially had me stoked. Then I was barraged by trailer after Cheez-Whiz-saturated trailer. You'd think the sexy cast would help, but be prepared for another Van Helsing.

Moist With Antici...Pation!

It's Complicated (12.25) After the roast beast feast, why not liberate the grandparents from the home and treat them to a Meryl movie? While laughing at sex jokes may be awkward with Nana and Pop-pop present, with Baldwin and Martin also starring this complicated romance promises good, simple fun.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (12.25) Terry Gilliam films can be hit or miss, and we all know his last project with the late Heath Ledger was DEFINITELY the latter. Still, Imaginarium looks fantastic and the concept of the multi-actor Tony character holds promise; sweet, sexy promise.

Invictus (12.11) With Eastwood behind the camera directing Morgan Freeman AND Hilary Swank again, this is sure to be an award-winning reunion. Isn't it amazing how much she bulked up to play a South African Rugby player?!

Brothers (12.04) What better way to stay warm in winter than to cuddle up with the combined heat of Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal? Like a cardboard insulating sleeve, a crazed, fuglified Tobey Maguire promises to temper their fire and add some heady, popcorn-munching drama that's not to be missed.


Know what? I'm not ready to say goodbye to the trailers of 2009 just yet. I've got one more gang bang in me. Check back next week for a special Limited Release Edition of the Trailer Trash! I'll take a look at the seven films studios are parceling out to audiences in order to build that Oscar buzz.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Huh, Huh, You Said "Poll"

Seeing as how it's a week after Thanksgiving, guess it's time I wrap up my write-in poll for your favorite Thanksgiving movies, huh? For those who may have missed the half-naked Rachel Ray icon in the sidebar and the accompanying post, my question was, "What's your favorite movie to watch during Thanksgiving?"

I had hoped to uncover some hidden Thanksgiving-related gem, but your answers confirmed my fears. There just aren't that many. Here's the breakdown:

The Mad Hatter finds himself enthralled by Elf.

Fletch watches the football, but will squeeze in time for A Christmas Carol (with George C. Scott) and Home Alone over the holidays if it's on.

Invisible Woman gave the only holiday must-see, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. A Charlie Brown Christmas and a decades old version of A Christmas Carol also rank high on her holiday viewing list.

For me, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is probably my only Turkey Day staple. The two movies that always come to my mind are Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Pieces of April. The latter stars Katie Holmes before she moved into the house of crazy. Even though these are Thanksgiving-centric, I've never dusted them off to watch them every year like I do horror movies at Halloween.

Looks like Thanksgiving will continue to fall in the shadow of the Christmas entertainment empire. Which is a nice segue to my latest poll!


Every Christmas, I settle down with my favorite holiday films which includes Gremlins, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Bad Santa, Elf, Scrooged, and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Over the years I've caught snippets of the "classics," but have never taken the time to watch them in their entirety. This will all change in 2009. I scoured the interwebs, discovering several holiday classic lists. The Top 10 films according to various sources are:

Chicago Tribune:
10. Love Actually
09. Elf
08. A Muppet Christmas Carol
07. White Christmas
06. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
05. Miracle on 34th Street
04. The Santa Clause
03. It's a Wonderful Life
02. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
01. A Christmas Story

10. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
09. Babes in Toyland
08. Home Alone
07. Christmas in Connecticut
06. Elf
05. White Christmas
04. Scrooged
03. Miracle on 34th Street
02. It's a Wonderful Life
01. A Christmas Story

Associated Content (in no particular order):
10. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
09. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
08. A Christmas Story
07. Home Alone
06. The Santa Clause
05. Scrooged
04. Miracle on 34th Street
03. A Charlie Brown Christmas
02. A Muppet Christmas Carol
01. It's a Wonderful Life

From these lists and others, I have listed seven holiday classics that I should have seen by now. Over the next two weeks, take a moment and let me know:

Which holiday classic should top my must-see list?

If you don't see one in particular that you consider required viewing, by all means write it in! I'll watch and review the top scoring movie before this Christmas passes.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Give Them a Gift They Can Use

Hey, stargazers! I wasn't too active over the Thanksgiving holiday. After stuffing loads of turkey and fixins down my gullet, I beached my rapidly expanding ass upon the couch to sift through the mini rain forest of advertisements that came with the newspaper.

I had no intention of actually fighting the Black Friday crowds, but I was curious to see what awesome deals I would be missing. It wasn't until the fifty-seventh ad that I ran across this:

Sorry, the original ad was no longer available, but the price is still the same.

O-M-F-G! Seriously?! Christmas is always a time when stores try and hock crazy loot as "the perfect stocking stuffers," but who the fuck needs this happy horseshit? Actually, if you know someone who needs this, maybe you should consider stuffing their stocking with this instead:

Or some similar book, program or series of steps. I don't think I'm being irrational. I'd almost dismiss the personal breathalyzer as a gag gift except I'd never pay fifty simoleons for a joke. Five easily, maybe fifteen if it were really funny, but no way in hell I'm shelling out fifty!

Maybe I'm just overreacting, but this has to be the craziest thing I've seen advertised since the Snuggie.

Large Association of Movie Blogs