Archive for November, 2009

Day 45- Thank God Jeff Golblum is Still Alive

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Last week I read somewhere about translated movie titles of American movies in foreign markets and I thought I’d share some of them here cause they are so funny:

In Israel:
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs translates to It’s Raining Falafel!
Knocked Up translates to The Guy Who Screwed Me
She’s the Man translates to She’s Got Balls

In France:
The Hangover translates to Very Bad Night
Cruel Intentions translates to Sex Intentions
The Matrix translates to The Young People Who Traverse Dimensions While Wearing Sunglasses

In Germany:
Airplane! translates to The Unbelievable Trip In A Wacky Aeroplane
Annie Hall translates to Urban Neurotic

In Italy:
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind translates to If You Leave Me I Delete You

In the Czech Republic:
Hot Shots translates to Warm Shots

In Argentina:
Grease translates to Vaseline!

That’s enough of that. If you guys know more, post them in the comments.

The next thing on the list is a discussion of sexy women who marry weird looking dudes. We see it on sitcoms all the time. How did SHE end up with Jim Belushi?! How did SHE end up with Mike O’Malley? How did SHE end up with Peter Griffin? We all know about Janet Jackson dating Jermaine Dupri and how gross that was. But lets look at 2 more recent examples of this:

Recently, two of Mad Men’s female stars, Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks, got married. Both to weird, nebbishly looking dudes. Elisabeth Moss in my opinion is not that attractive, but I guess she’s cute, and she’s considered one of the more talented young actresses in Hollywood. She was even nominated for an Emmy last year. She could have used her clout to snag one of Hollywood’s hot youngin’s but she decided to go for the more unconventional route. She’s currently married to SNL castmember Fred Armisen. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fred Armisen, but he’s a tiny, weird lookin dude.

Christina Hendrick’s example is far more unsettling. This woman, who plays Joan on Mad Men*, is perhaps the sexiest woman alive right now. And she decided to marry this guy:

Geoffrey Arend. He’s the guy in Super Troopers who says, “These Snozzberries Taste Like Snozzberries!” I dont think he deserves to stand in the same room as Ms. Hendricks! If she is a 10, then he is a 2. And it’s not like he’s Lyle Lovett or Dwight Yoakam who are ugly, but famous and legendarily charming. He’s not even David Spade who has a history of banging hot blonds (Heather Locklear, Nicolette Sheridan, Playmate Jillian Grace etc.)

ASIDE: Adam Corolla has a theory that I think has some truth. Women like to date men who have dated hot women because it affirms that they themselves are hot. Why else would anyone date David Spade? He’s not that funny, he is about 5 foot nothing, and is about as interesting looking as a table. The story behind Adam’s theory is that one time when Corrolla was on the Howard Stern show, he met a hot blond model. Apparently Spade was supposed to appear on the show as well. Adam went up to the model and said, “Hey, do you want me to introduce you to David Spade?” To which the model replied, “Oooh. He dates really hot blonds right? Sure!” She didn’t say, “Oh he’s cute.” Or “Oh, he’s funny!” She was clearly interested because she knew that dating him would affirm her own “hotness.” Absurd.

BACK TO JOAN. She could have gotten any guy she wanted, and she chose snozzberries? Maybe they started dating before she was famous, but still! He’s a 2, she’s a 10. You might say, well she plays the accordion, so she cant be a 10. FALSE. Because she plays the accordion she He’s a stringbean and she’s a whole lotta woman. Can he possibly please her sexually?

Side note: People have speculated if Ms. Hendrick’s curves and chest are padded for the show. But as evidenced by this picture…they’re real and they’re spectacular!

I guess the world is just a crazy, illogical place sometimes, where beauty and the beast can get it on, and where Mystery can wear a huge hat with feathers and goggles and suddenly be The Sexiest Man Alive. Where the talented and graceful Brittany Murphy perishes way too early, but Paris Hilton is still walking around giving people STDs. Where Jennifer Hudson can win an Oscar before Kate Winslet. Where a movie about 9 foot tall, tailed, blue creatures makes $250 million worldwide opening weekend!

BTW: AVATAR=Alice and Wonderland + The Matrix + Pocahontas + The Last of the Mohicans + Dances with Wolves + Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest + Wall-E+Platoon

Where Paul Blart: Mall Cop can merit a sequel. Where Transformers can make $700 million but The Hurt Locker only makes $13.6 million. Where Arrested Development lasts 2 1/2 seasons but “Still Standing” and “Yes, Dear” are syndicated. Where a petition to free Roman Polanski is signed by many, even though he drugged, raped and then sodomized a 13 year old girl. Where Sandra Bullock can get nominated for any sort of award for her performance in The Proposal. AND where a character on 30 Rock needs a kidney transplant, and only 5 months later, an actual cast member (Grizz) needs a kidney. Such cruel irony, world. Such cruel irony.

LASTLY: I just went to a comedy show at the Largo last night. Here are my calls:

Paul F. Tompkins: A
Jon Cryer: B-
Woman comedian talking about the Golden Girls: B
Nick Kroll (pictured): A++. THIS GUY is my new favorite comedian. Not only are his characters (Bobby Bottleservice in particular) hysterical, but his stand-up left me bowled over with laughter.
Tig Notaro: B+
Greg Proops: C

Until Tomorrow—

*When Jon Hamm and January Jones kiss each other on Mad Men who do you think feels luckier? Is Jon Hamm thinking, “Wow! I cant believe I’m getting paid to kiss this beautiful woman!” Or is January Jones thinking (in a Borat voice), “Wa Wa Wee Wa! I cannot believe I’m kissing this man who’s brawn and masculinity is only exceeded by his handsomeness!” Personally, I think she feels luckier.
** I just read that former Los Angeles Laker Rick Fox is dating Dollhouse’s Eliza Dushku. WOT.

Day 44- Oliver Twist Wanted More

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I’m back. After a long hiatus, filled with classes, extra-curriculars, and playing with my new cat (the bestest, cutest, most snuggly wuggly cat in the whole wide world) Snuggles, I’ve returned to my favorite blog. I have a lot to say, so lets get going.

1. BLOG NEWS UPDATE: As some of you may recall, in a previous blog post I wrote about how David Mamet was adapting The Diary of Anne Frank for Disney. I alluded that said project was going to be very dark, intense and highly unconventional. And guess what—Big Poppa Ethan was RIGHT. Sure enough, Disney is trying to get rid of the project. “It’s very intense, and dark and scary,” said a Disney executive. “It’s not a film version of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank.’ Apparently, the screenplay that Mamet wrote is not a drama based on the diary, but a story about contemporary suicide bombings.

David Mamet. The man lives by his own rules.

2. There are 3 movies I have seen lately that I will recommend.

a. The first is the Coen Brothers’ (Loyal Reader Daniel Arkin just got a boner)”A Serious Man.” It’s about a Jewish (I know, I know, I got a lot of Jewish stuff in this post. Sue me.) physics professor living in Minnesota in the 1960s. Besides the facts that I very much enjoyed all the Jewish references, and actor Fyvush Finkel (the silliest named actor from “Boston Public”) was in it, this movie was remarkable. The story was engaging, always unpredictable, the acting was spectacular (especially Curb Your Enthusiasm and Spin City alumn Richard Kind, and Fred Melamed who’s voice is the richest, most soothing, and most luscious voice I’ve heard since James Earl Jones, and who coincidentally enough voices the Talk Radio show host on “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas”), but the cinematography, the images, the motifs, the sets, the dialogue…EVERYTHING was just top-notch.

SIDETRACK: I’ve been playing a lot of this game “MT. RUSHMORE” with my friends lately. Bill Simmons came up with it. Basically you sit around and decide who would make the Mt. Rushmore of certain categories, for instance–Rappers. You have to choose the 4 most influential, legendary, important, famous, people in that particular field. There are no right answers, you just have to be able to defend your picks. For rappers I would say Tupac, Biggie, Dre and Jay-Z. For stand-up comedians I would say Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Steve Martin and probably Jerry Seinfeld. ANYWHOZELBEES—I brought this all up because I was discussing the Mt. Rushmore of famous VOICES. Who has the most important, recognizable, influential voices. My picks(and they are subject to change) are James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, Don LaFontaine (the guy who used to do the voice-overs for all the movie trailers) and maybe at a close 4th, Martin Luther King Jr. He barely squeaks in. READERS–IN YOUR COMMENTS, WRITE IN YOUR OWN MT. RUSHMORES FOR ANY CATEGORY–its a pretty fun, challenging game.

BACK TO THE MOVIE RECOMMENDATIONS: Anyway, “A Serious Man” raises a lot of interesting questions about life, fate, God, religion, morality, the possibility of a 4th dimension, and much much more. I need to see it at least 4 more times to get it.

b. “Youth in Revolt” is a film that hasnt been released yet, though I saw it at the St. Louis Film Festival. It stars Michael Cera as a…..you guessed it…an awkward virgin. But that’s the only real typical thing about this movie. Michael also plays his character’s badass alter-ego Francois, who wears tight white pants, has a wispy brown mustache, and does everything that Michael wants to do but doesnt have the guts to. It’s really funny seeing them interact with each other on screen. It’s like watching the Parent Trap but without the knowledge that the adorable star is going to be a raging coke addict. This movie has hilarious supporting turns by its young actors as well as its older ones, including Steve Buscemi, Ray Liotta, Justin Long, Fred Willard, and, my personal favorite comedian right now, Zach Galifinakis. While Zach Gal is my favorite comedian, Fred Willard is the funniest man alive. Period. Anyway, this movie was very unpredictable, sincere, cute, cleverly written, and had pretty cool animated sequences. Good movie.

c. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. Everyone has an opinion about this movie, and mine is that it was WONDERFUL. I felt like it was made for me. The angst, anger, fear, love, and needs of a 9 year old child were perfectly expressed not only by the lead actor, but by the Wild Things themselves. This was not a children’s movie but a movie about children. Spike Jonze’s vision was uncompromising, dark and real. And I love him for going that far. Listening to an interview with Maurice Sendak, author of the book, describe why he wrote the book, and all the fears he had as a child, it really seems to me that Jonze captured the book’s message. Plus, the movie reminded me so much of my childhood it almost made me cry. I’m not going to get into personal details about my young life, but lets just say I built lots of forts, and there are many dents in the walls of my older sister’s room. Plus Catherine Keener looks like my mom.

TYPICALLY this blog is not a place for me to review movies, but I felt so good about these three I had to share my thoughts and encourage you all to see them.

OK NOW THAT THOSE ARE OUT OF THE WAY, I HAVE ONE LAST THING TO TALK ABOUT IN THIS RETURNING POST: ANIMANIACS!

I was thinking recently about why I know so much about pop-culture and Hollywood, and I realized that it is most likely correlated to two TV shows I watched religiously in my youth: Reruns of 1980s and early 90s SNL, and Animaniacs!

Animaniacs was one of the first cartoons that was explicitly written and marketed towards children, but in actuality was completely subversive, clever and written for adults.

For example, some of the parodies Animaniacs did were of: The Pirates of Penzance (I am the Very Model of a Cartoon Individual), Goodfellas (Goodpidgeons), Simon and Garfunkel (They did a parody of Feelin’ Groovy and changed the lyrics to “Make a Gookie” which was a silly face Wakko always made), Seinfeld, Friends, The Agony and the Ecstasy, Orson Welles (THE BRAIN), the list goes on and on.

There were also decidedly adult jokes and segments, such as the Wheel of Morality, jokes about Bill Clinton, the Three Tenors, Mickey Rooney, a chicken who impersonates a human and who only one person actually realizes is a chicken until he takes off a hat or a mustache and then suddenly EVERYONE realizes he’s a chicken, Broadway musicals, and segments where characters explain complex jokes, or complain about their roles in that week’s episode.

Awesomely clever Hollywood parodies were also a staple of this show–an entire episode was devoted to the Warners breaking into the film industry! With songs about Variety magazine and even a cameo by Batman and Robin director, the horrendously campy Joel Schumacher, Animaniacs skewed Hollywood better than anyone else.

Not only was this show educational (I know every country of the world thanks to Yakko–http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDtdQ8bTvRc, and I know that Lake Titicaca is between Bolivia and Peru, thanks to that great Animaniacs song, “Lake Titicaca”), but every episode had its own original score!

What’s interesting is that now, in my adult years I’m finally understanding the jokes! As a kid I had no idea who Mickey Rooney was I just thought his name sounded funny. Now, so often I hear pop culture references and I think to myself, why do I know about this, and the answer is I remember it from ANIMANIACS!

So thanks Steven Spielberg! Not for E.T. or Jurassic Park, or Saving Private Ryan, or Catch Me If You Can. Certainly not for The Terminal (I’m from KRAKOZIA!) Thank you for bringing us Animaniacs, one of the best animated series’ of all time.

Until Tomorrow–

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