Archive for June, 2008

Day 13- Willis still LOVES ANIMALS

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Sandra Bullock is a movie star. There is no question about it. However, can anyone name a good movie she’s been in? Think about it long and hard. A good “Sandra Bullock movie?”

There are only 3 movies that maybe come to mind, and all of them have exceptions. Sandra Bullock was in “Crash,” and that was a good movie, but “Crash” was not a Sandra Bullock movie–after all, she was only in like three scenes, and shared the screen with Brendan Fraser. “Speed” was a decent action movie, but let’s face it, the star of that movie was the bus. “Miss Congeniality” was the only Sandra Bullock movie that I fairly enjoyed. It was a cute idea, and had a charming Michael Caine, but it wasn’t THAT great. And can any film that features William Shatner in a main role (playing a part other than himself) be considered a great film?

I’m looking at her imdb page and there is not a single movie other than the ones I named that is good. While You Were Sleeping? More like, “Wrote this screenplay While I was Taking a Dump.” In Love and War? More like in Love and BORE (Yes, I am Gene Shalit). Speed 2? Hope Floats? Forces of Nature? 28 Days? Two Weeks Notice? You know what all these movies have in common–I SAW THEM ON AIRPLANES. All of her movies are shitty, B movies that pair Sandra up with some attractive guy with nice hair (Bill Pullman, Harry Connick Jr, Benjamin Bratt, Hugh Grant (who by the way has gotten more charming with age)) and has her “free spirit” change that nice haired actor for the better.

Why is she so popular? She has never really made a good movie! She sits there on her tower, doing shit like “The Lake House” and “Premonition” and never gets called out for it. I dont understand where she gets off. Or why Hollywood keeps having her open movies. It doesnt make sense. Meg Ryan used to be popular when she made good movies. Then she started making shitty movies (Against the Ropes, In the Cut, Kate and Leopold) and had terrible plastic surgery so now shes not headlining movies. Good. She needs to prove she can choose good projects before she can start getting top billing again. I want the same treatment for Sandra. Its only fair.

In other news, in the “actors who are not on the same plane sharing the same agent”:
OMAR GOODING AND ANNE MEARA.

Omar Gooding is Cuba’s brother. He appeared on the show “Wild and Crazy Kids,” “Hanging with Mr. Cooper,” and “Smart Guy.” Most recently he was on ESPNs, “Playmakers” and the short lived series, “Barbershop” based on the movies. I really liked Smart Guy by the way. I liked the theme song (OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD: I got a slice of da life, and that’s the TJ Henderson, super intelligent, a fine young gentleman, a ten year old wiz kid, BUSTIN high school, he’s a tenacious little shorty with a dozen IQ, he’s got a way with the ladies and hes keeping it real, our favorite little study buddy he knows the drill. Daddy says he’s a kid, on the ball very clever, daddy says he’s brainy, gifted, Whatever (BEST PART) YOUR BROTHER IS SMART. He’s a SMART GUY. Do do do do do do do) I also liked the stories and Omar’s character, Mo Tibbs. He was very funny.

Anne Meara is Ben Stiller’s mother. She has been a comedian for like 50 years, and use to be in the comedy team “Stiller and Meara” with her then husband, Jerry Stiller (or Mr. Costanza). Shes mostly done guest appearances on TV shows since. Like “King of Queens,” “Will and Grace” and “Sex and the City.” She has also appeared on select episodes of the Israeli Sesame Street, “Rechov Sumsum” which was quality (Moishe Oofnik, you’re a crazy son of a bitch.)

I guess neither of them are that famous, or work that often, its just funny because Omar is young and black and was a child actor, and Anne Meara is an old Jewish lady whos been around for like 60 years. Thats not to say agents shouldnt have diversified clients, its just that these two people are like opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of the parts they play and the shows they’re on. I guess its not THAT ridiculous. I think I just wanted to talk about Omar Gooding.

I’m off to see Weird Al at a concert tonight. The concert is at a venue an hour away and I’m REALLY excited. I know a lot of people are like “I listened to Weird Al when I was a kid, but now he’s not that funny.” Bullshit. He’s hilarious and his music has only gotten better. I defy you to listen to songs like “A Complicated Song” (his Avril Lavigne parody) or “Hardware Store” (an original song in which he layers 14 harmonies and lists like 200 items you would buy in a hardware store really fast for like 3 minutes without breathing) and not laugh and be in a state of shock and awe.

Until Tomorrow–

Day 12: I’m Really Looking Forward to "Wanted"

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When people ask me what my favorite movie is, I always have to say “Airplane.” It is the funniest comedy of all time and it is the movie that made me fall in love with “comedy” as a genre when I was but a young boy. I loved (and still love) the parody and silliness in every frame of the movie. The gags in the movie are not all juvenile. Most of them were clever, intelligent, and required full audience attention. They were gags that you could say, “rewarded the audience” who was paying attention. Sometimes they were four/five gags in each scene. Growing up, I wanted to be the writer for this type of parody and had hope that I could be the one to bring back the genre.

Then much to my surprise, in 2000 “Scary Movie” from the Wayans Bros came out, revitalizing the parody genre. It was good. Clever, funny and fresh. It wasnt on the status of “Airplane” or any Zucker Bros. movie by any means, but it was funny. Scary Movie 2 was also ok. Then, everything went downhill. Scary Movie 3 (although directed by David Zucker) was simply not funny but made tons of money. Scary Movie 4 was also not funny at all but made shit loads of cash. And then, the worst of the worst came out. Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (writers for all 4 Scary Movies) came out with Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans and now DISASTER Movie. Movies nowadays are ripe for parody. There are so many ways to make fun of these genres, but the only gags that Friedberg and Seltzer include in their movies are people getting hit in the face/smashed by something oversized/gender reversal/people getting hit in the crotch. Now, if done sparingly, a good hit in the crotch can be very funny. But when EVERYTHING is someone getting hit by something–wheres the funny? Whatever happened to subtle comedy?

In the new Disaster Movie trailer, there are 6 clips. The first–A guy dressed up in an Iron Man Halloween costume getting smashed by a cow. Second- Hannah Montana getting crushed by a meteor, Third- The Hulk’s shorts getting ripped off. Fourth–The princess from Enchanted getting hit by a bus. Fifth- Hancock flying up from a park bench, hitting his head on a pole. Last- a cross dressed Sarah Jessica Parker getting kicked in the face by Juno ala Dont Mess With the Zohan.

What is funny about ANY of these gags? NOTHING. One rule in comedy, is you cant make fun of something that doesnt take itself seriously. You cant parody Airplane, because it is already a parody of other things. Hancock is a parody of other superheroes, so making fun of it is redundant. Enchanted makes fun of Disney princesses. She almost gets hit by a bus in that movie. Having her get hit by a bus in this movie is stupid. Another thing is that Airplane and all of those movies were funny because they have serious actors in it. Leslie Nielsen was a serious actor before he made Airplane. Peter Graves was a serious actor. When you cast straight up comedians/shitty actors in parts, they probably wont be as funny.

I guess I’m just frustrated at the lack of creativity with Friedberg and Seltzer. They have been given the keys to a Hollywood franchise where they can really be funny and cutting edge and instead all they can do is do people getting hit on the head by things. Fuck You Friedberg and Seltzer. You’re not funny and you’re shitting on great opportunities for comedy.

PS-Some of my favorite comedy parody movies (in no particular order)
1. Airplane
2. Naked Gun (1+2)
3. Top Secret
4. Wrongfully Accused
5. Kentucky Fried Movie

ANYWHOZELBEES–SEE OH ARE WHY (Cory) brought this up a long time ago, but doesnt Luigi’s life suck? His whole job is to be a plumber and put himself in life threatening positions to save his brother’s girlfriend. This guy’s self esteem must be really really low.

Short post I know, but Until tomorrow–

Day Eleven: All Dogs Go To Heaven (4: Itchy’s Revenge)

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With “Jumper” coming out on DVD last week, I will use this post to discuss my thoughts when I first saw the movie (in theatres, with Wild Willis). I first saw this movie for 2 reasons. 1) Special effects and 2) Rachel Bilson. I was not disappointed with the special effects, nor was I disappointed with Rachel Bilson (although I wish the obligatory sex scene had been longer).

However, every other part of the movie was terrible. Plot? Didnt make sense. Characters? Thin as ice. Hayden Christensen in it? Check. I’m not going to go in detail about any of this because this is not a movie review website and I’m not Rotten Tomatoes. However, I am going to point out a couple instances where this movie just shows how dumb and illogical it is, and how stupid it thinks the audience is.

You know the part in “Thank You For Smoking” when Aaron Eckhart is talking to Rob Lowe about how they can get people to smoke cigs in space if its an oxygen environment? Rob Lowe says, “But thats an easy fix. Just one line of dialogue, “Thank god we invented the…you know…whatever device.” THE ENTIRE MOVIE WAS LITTERED with shit like this.

There is a part in Jumper towards the end when Hayden is on the run. He is looking for Rachel Bilson and goes to the bar where she works. He asks the bar tender: WHERE IS RACHEL BILSON! The bartender says something along the lines of “Oh. You’re old friend from high school just came over here and asked where you were. I told him where you lived. I think Rachel went there to look for you too.”

The old friend from high school was Samuel L. Jackson who has a white head of hair, black goatee, carries a long electrical cane and is dressed in a series of turtlenecks, collarless shirts and trench coats. WHY ON EARTH would this bartender believe him when he says he is the 26 year old Hayden’s HIGH SCHOOL buddy. Samuel L. Jackson looks like a freak. (Look at the picture. Would you believe THIS GUY was friends with Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen?) Why would she tell Samuel where he LIVED? That was just a plot device to come up with an excuse for how Samuel L tracked Rachel Bilson down and it was lame, and stupid and illogical and DIDNT WORK ON ME.

The next stupid thing in the movie is the whole plot involving Hayden’s mom, played by Diane Lane. Diane Lane is the head of a secret organization who’s job it is to kill Jumpers. When she finds out that Hayden is a Jumper when he is a young boy, she leaves the family because she does not want to have to turn her son in…to herself. She then starts a new life, even having a daughter with someone else. Now while its obvious why Diane Lane is in this movie ($) its not obvious why she would rather keep her job than her son. That does not make any sense at all. This woman’s whole job is to KILL jumpers and when she finds out her son is one, she decides that rather than kill her son…she’ll abandon him. Really? She doesnt have a change of heart about professions? Doesnt think, “hey, my son is a jumper and he’s not that bad, maybe I shouldnt be KILLING PEOPLE LIKE HIM!”

At the end of the movie, she tells him to run–she’ll give him a head start. What a nice mom.

Anyway, this movie was just a great premise that never went anywhere, despite the fact that Hayden Christensen went EVERYWHERE. Not even Billy Elliot could save it.

Also–it appears Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol’s brother is going to be joining Memphis next year. If you dont remember, to get Pau Gasol, the Lakers traded Memphis the rights to Marc Gasol who they had drafted the year earlier. Is that how deals are made in the NBA now? Hypothetical conversation between Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and Chris Wallace, the Memphis GM:

Mitch: Alright, so we’re almost done making this deal.
Chris: Yep.
Mitch: Run it back by me.
Chris: We give you our best player, Pau Gasol, for your two worst players, Kwame Brown and Javaris Crittenton. Plus some draft picks. Plus the rights to Aaron McKie
Mitch: Who no longer plays in the NBA and is a volunteer asst. coach for the 76ers.
Chris: Correct. AND–Pau Gasol’s brother.
Mitch: Good. Now are you sure you want just his brother? I can throw in his Aunt Miriam. She makes a great Spanish chili.
Chris: No, just the brother.
Mitch: Deal.

What if family members could always be included in deals? Hypothetical convo between the Miami Heat and LA Clippers:

Heat: Alright I want Elton Brand.
Clippers: Well we want Dwayne Wade
Heat: Well how about if we give you Elton Brand’s nephew and a refrigerator
Clippers: How about just the refrigerator and Udonis Haslem’s first born?
Heat: Does he play basketball?
Clippers: No, but my wife is barren.
Heat: I’m sorry.
Clippers: It’s ok. Its her fault.
Heat: Where were we?
Clippers: We want Dwayne Wade, your #2 draft pick and the rights to Tim Hardaway.
Heat: Tim Hardaway retired 10 years ago. I dont even know where he lives
Clippers: GIVE US TIM HARDAWAY
Heat: Fine! You got Tim Hardaway, our number 2 pick, Udonis Haslem’s first born and we get Elton Brand’s nephew.
Clippers: His nephew is a really funny. He makes me laugh, like all the time. Sometimes he says things like, “white people be crazy when they do this!” AND I DO DO THIS.
Heat: That’s great. I love laughter.
Clippers: I’m so glad we’re friends.
Heat: Me too. Promise me we’ll be friends forever.
Clippers: LONGER THAN FOREVER
Heat: Infinity and BEYOND
Clippers: Buzz LIGHTYEAR!
Heat: You got it!
Clippers: I got it cause we saw that together? Remember, for Alonzo Mourning’s 4th post-kidney transplant after party?
Heat: That party was sick!
Clippers: I think that’s when I got AIDS.
Heat: Thats a shame.
Clippers: Well I’m ok now. It was like the “temporary aids.”
Heat: I’ve never heard of that.
Clippers: It’s totally real.
Heat: I’m sure it is. I’m sure it is.

On a completely separate note, it’s finally nice to see some honesty from today’s NBA players: When asked the question, “Would you be willing to take less money to go to a contender?” Ron Artest responded, “Oh, never. Not in a million years. Actually not in 10 million years.” When asked, “Really?” Artest responded, “Make that 3 million years.” Way to go with the truth RON RON.

Until tomorrow–

DAY 10- The Slaying of the First Born

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Yesterday I was in my iCar listening to my iPod on iShuffle and the song, “Happy Working Song” from the film, “Enchanted” came on. My sister had put it on my iPod and it is a cute song. It’s Amy Adams singing happily about cleaning up the apartment. It has a nice orchestral arrangement with flutes, violins and other sprightly instruments. It has lyrics like “come little friends while we all come together and sing a happy song. “A nice listening experience. The next song that came on was “Uncle Fucka” from “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.” A similarly jaunty, orchestral piece, but with lyrics like “you’re a cock sucking ass licking uncle fucker.” Talk about juxtaposition.

When this film came out in 1999, it didn’t do THAT well at the box office (it was made for $20 mil, it made around $50 mil so I guess it was an underwhelming hit) because people were kind of over South Park. It was daring and rebellious and filthy when it came out in 1997 (or when I was in 4th grade) but in 1999, people didn’t think it could make the successful jump to big screen. And kids who watched it on TV couldn’t get a ticket to a rated R movie.

Who would have guessed that a) South Park the show would still be big, if not HUGE ten years later in 2008 and b) that the South Park movie would stand the test of time and still be as funny and awesome as it was when it first came out. No one.

I think you can attribute South Park’s awesome longevity to three things. First, South Park is not stagnant. The show takes a few days to produce an episode and so can keep up to date on current events. Second, Trey Parker is brilliant and doesn’t give a shit about anyone. He gets smarter every year, makes fun of celebrities (Bono–YEA YEA YEA YEA YEA YEA…), politicians (why should I choose between a douche bag and turd sandwich?), political correctness (people that annoy you–n_ggers), the Internet (how are we going to know what is going on without it!), trends (guitar queer-o) etc. and does not resort to “Cartman gets anal-probed” episodes anymore. Plus he realized that people are over the shock of hearing children curse and so pushing the envelope in terms of raunchiness isn’t going to keep him on the air forever. Third, Cartman and Randy Marsh are fucking brilliant characters. Cartman is the encapsulation of all that is evil, manipulative and not right with the world, and so everything he does can be seen as what the writers think are wrong. But at the same time, you love Cartman and so you never get sick of him doing awful things. Randy is the encapsulation of everything that is dumb and American, and the writers can keep using him to act stupidly, and thoughtlessly be a “proud American” no matter what that entails. We love Randy because we love watching people making fun of us and “holding up a mirror on society” so to speak. Am I comparing South Park to Moliere? Yes, and I don’t think its that big of a stretch.

In terms of the movie, because of the plot (making fun of Canada never gets old), its hilarity (Kyle’s mom’s a bitch and she’s just a dirty bitch!) and the fact that it is a musical (and a great one at that), new audiences and sets of kids keep discovering it every year. South Park right now probably its biggest audience of all time. It has the college/post college kids who grew up on it, it has the middle schoolers/younger kids who watch it on syndication, and it has the adults who are finally appreciating its satirical prowess. Plus, it has finally gotten over the stigma that it is bad for children. Right now there are kids going, “when are they going to make a South Park movie?” And there is one! Plus, the movie was a re-watchability factor off the charts. I guarantee that if you watch it now, you will still very much enjoy it and see new things.

So, GO FORWARD South Park. Continue to make us laugh and expose society’s hypocrisies. I’ll be watching.

PS. Trey Parker and Matt Stone definitely have George Carlin to thank for paving the way for their type of comedy. George’s raunchiness, use of language, knack for exposing hypocrisy and stupidity, and hatred for bullshit in all of its forms was unique and revolutionary. Without him, shows like South Park would not accepted in society today. RIP George.One more thing–Hollywood right now has a movie coming out called “The Six Wives of Henry LeFay” and a TV show coming out called, “The Six Ex-Wives of Henry Tate.” Isn’t Hollywood stupid?

Until Tomorrow-

Day 9- I’m So EXCITED! I’m So EXCITED! I’m So….SCARRED!

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I woke up this morning with a peculiar thought in my head. Who would I rather be right now-Mark Paul Gosselaar (Zach Morris) or Mario Lopez (AC Slater)? It’s a toughie. 15 years ago, no question I would rather be The Gosselaar. First of all, he hooked up with basically every girl on the show: Kelly (a goddess)-every year, Jesse- during the Snow White and the 7 Dorks Episode, Lisa-during the “Tori” episodes (speaking of which), Tori, girl in wheelchair, college girl who appreciated Zach’s fat ass cell phone, fat girl who won Zach in an auction, Leslie (the hot blonde during the College Years) Rena Sofer (the HOT Milf in Hawaii), the list goes on and on. AC Slater got the dregs. As great of a dancer/wrestler he was, he could never close with Kelly (as Alec Baldwin inGlengarry Glen Ross” would say, “ALWAYS BE CLOSING!”), he lasted with Jesse for only a few seasons (and she wasn’t hot back then–her hair was way too big and she was too tall and annoying), he got the sqeaky voiced, “Alex” in the College Years and frankly, even though the audience “oood and ahhd” whenever he flexed his muscles, you know they all wanted the charming Zach anyway.

Plus, even though AC supposedly was the built guy, there was that one episode in the “Tori” days where Zach and Lisa hooked up, pissing off Screech so much that he ripped open Zach’s shirt revealing what looked to be a sculpted and toned set of chesticles. Apparently, Mark-Paul hadn’t neglected his physical fitness, putting him on equal par with AC. Now although Zach got way fat during the college years, he still married Kelly, who dropped her hottie Professor for him. So all through Bayside and beyond, I would want to be Zach hands down.

Now is what I want to talk about though. Mario Lopez has a whole like 10 page spread in People magazine this month with pictures of him looking sexy as a desirable bachelor. His last girlfriends were all very hot (i.e. Ali Landry–the DORITOS girl!), and he is a very fit man. He’s got like a 12 pack and his muscle’s muscles have muscles. He did great on Dancing with the Stars, and he’s got steady jobs as a TV personality. Although he cant really get any acting jobs and there was about 10 years when he was hosting TV talk shows with Danny Bonaduce and a show on Animal Planet where he introduced pets that did tricks.

On the other hand, Mark Paul Gosselaar did some shitty work after SBTB but made up for it when he ditched his “Zach” persona and kept his hair brown (fun fact–he is actually NOT a blonde in real life. He died his hair on SBTB) which got him roles in actual TV shows like “NYPD Blue.” The creator of “NYPD Blue” and the show runner for other shows like “Commander In Chief,” Steven Boccho, also really likes him, and is casting him in other shows. Plus he’s married to a hot wife and has kids, and hes respected.

Who’s more relevant now? Mario Lopez for sure. Who’s hotter now? Mario Lopez for sure. Who has more money–Mario works more, but Zach still makes a shit ton off of residuals for the things he’s done in the past. Who gets more women now? Mario does, but Zach is married, so you cant count that against him. Who will look back on their career and say, “I was respected for my acting?” Neither, but probably moreso Mark Paul. At least Mark is getting acting opportunities now, while Mario can only look really good. Plus, who will look back on their career and say, “there was a point when I was the best in the biz at what I did?” Def. Mark Paul. He had the Tiger Beat market cornered for a good 7 years, while Mario had to pick up the sloppy seconds.

So if I had to be someone RIGHT now…..

The Gosselaar. If I wanted to be crazy physically fit too I could just work out. Not only am I doing serious acting work now, but I will always be BELOVED as Zach Morris, while AC Slater was only liked. Plus, no matter how old I get, I can say I banged Kelly Kopowski. For sure they did.

No matter if you agree with me or not, at least we can all be glad we’re not Dustin Diamond.

In other news, does everyone realize how many actresses there are with a name with some variation of “Cate.” Cate Blancett, Kate Winslet, Kate Beckinsale, Katie Holmes, Kate Bosworth, Kate Hudson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Catherine Keener, Katherine Heigl. Coincidentally, all of these actresses (with the exception of Catherine Keener and maybe Katie Holmes) can open movies by themselves. Plus, most of these actresses are actually pretty good. What is it about the name Kate that is so popular? Is it that is sounds like “cake” and people like cake? Maybe.

I cant think of another reason. If you can think of more Kates or reasons why there are so many Kates, please let me know.

Until tomorrow—

Day 8- Nothing Rhymes with Eight

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Its a little bit early (or late depending on your time zone) to be discussing the Academy Awards, but I am going to talk about them anyway. That is, I am going to talk about what happens after a certain trend related to the Oscars.

Since the “superhero boom” of 2001 that started when “Spider-Man” had the biggest weekend opening of all time to date. $114 million. (And for bonus points who knows the current all time biggest weekend opening of all time? If you said “Maid in Manhattan” then you are woefully misguided. Its Spider Man 3, with $151 million!) This phenomenon had studios green lighting even superhero movies left and right. Some good (Batman BeginsYAY!) and some not so good (Daredevil-BOO!)

There has also been a trend in the academy as of late, to nominate actors for Oscars for performances in more “indie” roles. A lot of these actors were lesser known/unemployed before and so, when they are finally recognized for great work they want a large payday. What movie roles give actors large paydays? ACTION MOVIES. What type of action movies are Hollywood making these days? SUPER HERO movies. My theory is also made true by this statement of principles:
1. If Indie actors want money and big roles.
2. And Superhero movies want indie actors and have money and big roles
3. Therefore Superhero movies will give indie actors big roles and money.

Don’t quite follow? Well the proof is in the pudding.

After her big Oscar win for “A Beautiful Mind” in 2001, actress Jennifer Connelly (who’s biggest film to date before that was David Bowie’s “Labyrinth”) chose to make Ang Lee’s “The Hulk” her next big picture in 2003. (PS. I saw the new Hulk this weekend and I was pleasantly surprised. It was very good. During the fight scenes I definitely felt like punching someone/destroying something/screaming loudly.)
Charlize Theron followed her Oscar win for “Monster” with “Aeon Flux” (also the next big picture for Oscar nominee (for “Hotel Rwanda”) Sophie Okondeo).
Holly Hunter followed her nomination for “Thirteen” by doing voice over work for “The Incredibles.”
Morgan Freeman followed his long overdue Oscar win for “Million Dollar Baby” with a small role (for which he got a large paycheck) in “Batman Begins.”
Phillip Seymour Hoffman followed “Capote” with “Mission Impossible III” (not a comic book movie, but a big time movie villlian nonetheless and a provider of one of the most kick ass trailer monologues ever (“Do you have a wife…or a girlfriend? Cause I’m gonna find her. And I’m gonna hurt her. Then I’m gonna KILL YOU RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER!!!”)
Judi Dench followed her Oscar win for “Shakespeare in Love” with her role as “Catwoman.”

JK! That was Halle Berry who after her win for “Monster’s Ball” did X2 and then Catwoman silly billy.
Thomas Hayden Church followed his much lauded role in “Sideways” with his role as The Sandman in “Spider Man 3.”
Heath Ledger followed his Oscar nom for “Brokeback Mountain” with his upcoming role as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.”(Insert dead Heath Ledger joke here).
Cate Blanchett folllowed “Notes on a Scandal” with Indiana Jones 4.

AAAANND If I were to extend the Phillip Seymour Hoffman category, I could put Alan Arkin who followed his win for “Little Miss Sunshine” with “Get Smart” and Helen Mirren who followed her win for “The Queen” with “National Pleasure 2: Book of Secretions.” (Thanks Wayne’s World!)

Do you see what I’m getting at? So moral of the story is, if you want to get a part in a new superhero movie, getting an Oscar nomination makes it a whole lot easier. So don’t be surprised if you hear that Hal Holbrook is playing “Thor!”

Now I am going to introduce a section of the blog I’m going to call, “Actors Who Made the Right Choice.” The first actor (or actress in this case) who made the right choice is……

MARA WILSON
You may remember this adorable young actress from her roles in “Mrs. Doubtfire” as the adorable “Nattie.”(Some of my favorite Natty lines: “We’re his goddamn kids too,” “But we’re in the middle of Charlotte’s Web” and “DADDY!”) In her heyday, this precocious doodlebug even gave the Full House Olsen Twins a run for their money. She was super-cute in Mrs. Doubtfire, uber-cute in “Miracle on 34th Street” and not as cute, but still engaging as the magical, literary tour de force “Matilda.” After “Matilda,” she made two more movies, “A Simple Wish” and “Thomas the Magic Railroad” and then disappeared. There was no comeback at age 18, no guest starring role on “Judging Amy” or “Law and Order,” no DUIs. She stepped away from the camera and that was it. And boy is she better off for it. Not only did she cement her status as one of the cutest child actresses of the early 90s but she is always going to be remembered for her cuteness and delicate acting and that’s it. Mara Wilson (if she continues to stay off the radar and does not pursue acting after college) will be frozen in time in the minds of our generation as just a wonderful, adorable, child actress who, while in her prime, was at the top of her game. No afterthought. For all of these reasons, in my mind, Mara Wilson is an actress who made the right choice.

Until Tomorrow–

DAY 7- I LOVE LA

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I am going to digress from talking about movies for one moment to share with you why I love living in Los Angeles. My cousin Jenna was visiting from Boston and wanted to see a celebrity, so we went to this restaurant called The Ivy. It is the trendiest place to go in town and you are almost guaranteed to see celebrities there. For example, my mom’s sister (or my aunt) wanted to see a tabloid celebrity when she visited, so my mom took her to The Ivy. As soon as she got there who do they see but Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie. The two biggest “tabloid celebrities” on the planet. That’s how trendy that place is. I had never been there before, but I was given the offer and so I thought….what the hey!

As a side note, seeing most celebrities is not a big deal because, a) you never say anything to them because you chicken out and b) you really have nothing to say to them anyway. What am I going to say to Antonio Banderas? I really liked you as the voice of Puss and Boots? What’s it like being from Spain? Hi Kate Hudson. I really like your jeans. What are Matthew McConaghey‘s (sp) abs like in real life?
There are only a few celebrities that I would actually freak out about seeing anyway and this is off the top of my head–Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Kobe Bryant, Mike Myers, Jack Black, Judd Apatow, Robert Downey Jr (who I just saw in this great film called “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints”-rent it) and Justin Timberlake. These are people I would actually want to talk to, and feel like I would have a good time with even if I wouldn’t have that much to say.

BACK TO THE STORY–THE IVY is uber-expensive. They literally can charge you for ANYTHING. For example, I ordered a 7-Up which they gave me from a tiny bottle that filled one glass with ice and guess the price—$6.50. Yes. Half a glass of 7-UP cost $6.50. A small capresese salad with tomatoes and basil (and NO dressing)–$18.00. You get the picture. Anyway my cousin was constantly looking for celebrities but there were none to be found. Just really really rich people–guys with highlighted tips and $700 sunglasses, blondes with tons of Tiffany bracelets etc. Anyway, we had a wonderful meal, no celebrities–but whatever. We went outside to go to the valet when who do I see? (SHOUT OUT TO STEPHI BLANK)–but BILL SIMMONS–ESPN’S SPORTS GUY! He is literally my favorite columnist. I read him everyday. He writes about everything I think about–for example he wrote a whole column about the NBA in relation to Ron Burgandy quotes. I read his article on last nights horrendous Laker game this MORNING. I listen to his podcasts, send him letters and even though he is a huge Boston fan and talks shit about the Lakers all the time, I still love him.

So I walk up to him and say–hi Bill, my name is Ethan I am a huge fan of your column. I read it all the time. You are my favorite.” He is SUPER nice–says, “thanks a lot. You a Lakers fan?” I say, “of course I am.” He says, “what’d u think about the game last night.” I said, “I couldnt sleep it was so awful.” He looks at the guy next to him and says, “by the way this is the OWNER OF THE CELTICS.” He introduces me to him and we chat a little bit about the game, the Lakers, Andrew Bynum, and the owner even jokingly offers Celtics tickets to my cousin. When they leave, I wish the owner good luck (even though I hope the Celtics all die tomorrow) and he drives away in the NICEST silver Bentley convertible I have ever seen and Bill Simmons drives away in his not so shabby BMW convertible. Then I wait for the valet to bring me my dented Toyota Camry.

In conclusion, this was the PERFECT celebrity for me to meet. He was famous, but not too famous and I think he genuinely appreciated my comments. The fact that he wanted to talk to me about sports and was out to lunch with the owner of the team that was in the NBA Finals is still almost too surreal for me to put into words. So in conclusion–you will always see celebrities when you are in LA if you know where to look. Oh and I LOVE LA.

As a side note–do you ever notice how Matt Damon always plays the wealthy, smart, deceptive white guy or a variation on that? And by always I mean a LOT, and by white I mean white.

In “School Ties” he plays Charlie, a wealthy student at a prestigious white school who cheats on his big exam (threes where the deceptive part comes in) and doesn’t come clean until another student rats him out. Coincidentally in that film he also hates Jews and hates Brenden Fraser, but who can blame him for that. (4/4).
In “Good Will Hunting” hes not wealthy, but he is deceptive (to others when he doesn’t reveal that he is smart, and to himself when he doesn’t reveal how scared of rejection he is) and he is “white” in that he is BAHSTON white. (3/4).
In “Rounders” he plays, Mike a CARD player (deceptive by nature) who goes to Harvard Law School (talk about smart and white!) (3/4).
In “Dogma” he plays Loki, who is a demon and therefore deceptive, smart and I guess wealthy (3/4).
In “The Talented Mr. Ripley” he plays Tom Ripley, a deceptive, supposed Ivy-leaguer (white/educated) who is smart nonetheless and makes lots of money by killing and being really f’in creepy (4/4).
In “The Legend of Bagger Vance” he plays a wealthy, smart, old school golfer (white). (3/4).
In the “Ocean’s Eleven” trilogy, he plays Linus, the wealthy, smart, con man. Where’s the whiteness? Remember that scene where he dresses up as an agent for the Nevade Gaming Commission and tells Bernie Mac that the gaming commission has always supported “negroes?” Thats good for (4/4).
In the “Bourne Identity” trilogy he plays Jason Bourne, the wealthy, brilliant, deceptive SECRET AGENT (3/4).
In “The Departed” he plays Colin Sullivan, who is wealthy (or at least higher class), smart (lets give credit where credit is due) white (dick ass Bostonian), and deceptive (he’s a fucking rat for godsakes.) (4/4).
FINALLY, in “The Good Shepard” he plays a Yale (smart, wealthy, white) graduate, who is one of the founding members of the CIA (deceptive). (4/4).
There you have it folks–Matt Damon’s character.

UNTIL TOMORROW–

The 6th Day- Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

3

At HBO Entertainment where I work, there are several break rooms with several TVs that all play what is on HBO. Sometimes this is a good thing, and other times this is a bad thing. HBO is known for having really quality original programming such as “The Sopranos,” the “John Adams” miniseries, and “The Wire,” however these are only on HBO at certain points in the day. Most of the time HBO shows movies. Movies that shall we say are “less than good quality.”

So while the employees are hard at work, reading quality scripts and talking with brilliant writers, sometimes you’ll be walking to the break room and see something like “Norbit.” This is ironic and funny because it seems like everything HBO strives for gets shit on when they broadcast Eddie Murphy pretending to be Asian. Kinda makes you think “hey, why am I working so hard if I am going to have to share air time with “Alvin and the Chipmunks?”

In any event, the other day I was walking through the break room and “Night at the Museum” was on. I informed a fellow intern of mine how they were making a sequel and he reacted incredulously. “What? Night in ANOTHER Museum? What, Night at the Air and Space Museum?” Then it hit me like Thai food 15 minutes after I eat it. What about “Night at the Museum of Tolerance!”
Imagine with me if when night fell, Ben Stiller was trapped in a museum filled with Hitler, Nazis, hatred, food deprived children, Stalin, Communists, and people who were part of some of the most horrible displays of intolerance and terror mankind has ever known? Along for the ride would be members of the new “Finding Our Families, Finding Ourselves Exhibit” which include, Billy Crystal, Maya Angelou and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. How would Ben Stiller be able to contain and pacify them all? What would Kareem Abdul Jabbar say to Joseph Stalin?

Pretty sick, twisted idea!

Anyway–I was also talking with my friend Evan (we talk a lot) about how Jack Nicholson is crazy. It got me thinking, what would Jack Nicholson be like as a Grandpa? I bet you he’d be the coolest Grandpa ever. This is a hypothetical conversation of what its like in Jack’s family.

Mom: Where’s Grandpa Jack?
Dad: I dont know, he’s an hour late. He said he’d be here.
Kevin (looking down): Is Grandpa not coming?
Mom: I dont know honey, I’m sure he’ll come soon.
(Doorbell)
Dad: That must be him!
(opens the door revealing Jack and two smoking hot, scantily clad models–one on each arm)
Jack: KEVIN MY BOY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Kevin: Thanks Grandpa! I knew you’d come!
Jack: I havent missed a birthday yet.
Kevin: So what’d you bring me?
Mom: Kevin! That’s rude.
Jack: Oh c’mon. The kid knows what he’s talking about. Of course I brought you something.
Kevin: What is it?
Jack: Kevin, for your birthday, I brought you….(Tears off both models tops) TITS!
Kevin: Woo-HOO! Grandpa you’re the best!

Anyway thats my fantasy. Until Tomorrow—

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