Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Grumpy Old Men Giveaway

I have a copy of Grumpy Old Men on Blu-ray to giveaway! Yay--another contest...

If you have a Blu-ray player and a soft spot for Walter Matthau and/or Jack Lemmon, just post your favorite Walter Matthau and/or Jack Lemmon movie in the comments and you'll be eligible to win the Blu-ray disc.

I'm partial to Walter Matthau in The Bad New Bears--or his turn as Horace Vandergelder in Hello, Dolly!

And for Jack Lemmon, well--is there anything better than his crossdresser on the lam in Some Like it Hot?

Okay, those would be my picks. Let me know yours. One commenter will win the Grumpy Old Men Blu-ray.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Away We Go

I loved this movie.

Sweet, funny, touching--much like lead actor John Krasinski who plays Burt Farlander. Krasinski is adorably annoying--or annoyingly adorable--as the fuzzy Burt. Krasinski's characterization of the goofy optimist provides a nice counterpoint to Maya Rudolph's portrayal of the more practical, introspective Verona. The two have a lovely chemistry together as a young couple expecting their first child.

On a quest to find the perfect place to put down roots and raise the child due in three months, Burt and Verona go on a cross-country journey. Their encounters with other families and relationships lead them to the realization that they aren't "fuck-ups" after all.

The entire cast is first-rate: Catherine O'Hara and Jeff Daniels as Burt's self-absorbed parents, Allison Janney as the loud and crass Lila and Maggie Gyllenhaal as dippy earth mother LN. Sam Mendes direction of the script by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida explores the many variations of family dysfunction.

There are many very funny and over-the-top moments in the film, balanced with the more serious. Although some of the plot is fairly predictable--who couldn't see where the couple's journey would ultimately end?--there's enough whimsy and ingenuity to engage the viewer. The movie explores love and relationships and the meaning of "home." Combining the quirky indie spirit of Management with the hilarity of The Hangover, creating my favorite comedy of the summer (and most likely one of my top ten for the year...).

Go see it!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Nothing Says "Fashion Victim"...

...like a pair of "sandal booties." I saw a woman wearing a pair similar to these in Bed, Bath and Beyond today and my first thought was, "What the @#$%?"

Apparently I am way behind the fashion curve as these were popular LAST Summer. Yeah, not upset at missing THAT trend.

It's a bootie. It's a sandal! It's a bootal!

What was the thought process with this? I want to wear boots but show off my pedicure at the same time? I like wearing sandals, but my ankles get cold?

I don't care if Kate or Giselle have a pair in every color. I have more respect for the dweeb that wears socks with sandals than anyone sporting a pair of these...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Stephen Colbert on Obama Stonewalling

So funny that this bit played after I watched two DVR'd episodes of Queer as Folk (Note to Colleen: Now I know where your Gale Harold and Scott Lowell lust comes from!):

The Colbert Report
Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Stonewalling

Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMark Sanford

(What is going on with Colbert's right ear anyway?)

So hysterical. Love the the side captions...

Score One for the Twitter-verse

I've been standing in for a co-worker sending out company tweets. I've avoided Twitter up to now but having spent the last week tweeting, retweeting and following, I've come to appreciate the amazing power Twitter has. It's not only an addictive time suck, but makes television look like two tin cans suspended between a piece of string in its ability to spread news.

With the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson yesterday, Twitter out-scooped CNN, LATimes.com and just about every major news outlet.

It was a strange day indeed. Although I wasn't a huge Farrah fan and MJ devolution into Wacko-ness far outweighed his Thriller days, I admit to being a stunned as most at the news. Why such a sense of loss over two people who never played a major part in my life? I think Shonda Rhimes said it best when she said, "I'm not ready for the icons of my youth to start dying."

Oh yeah--she posted that pithy remark on Twitter...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pharmacists are Hazardous to your Health

Am I the only one who has to deal with morons at the drugstore?

Last night I went to pick up some prescriptions that I had called in Saturday morning. As part of the automated refill process, I was asked to provide my phone number in case the pharmacy needed to contact me if there were any issues.

No call, so everything should be ready, right?


I get there and two out of three prescriptions are ready. They tell me they're out of the Armour Thyroid. This is the third time I've had the prescription refilled and each time they're "out." I usually get sixty 60 mg tablets; one tablet taken twice a day equals 120 mgs daily total. The first time I got the prescription refilled after transferring over from CVS, they didn't have the 60 mg, so it was 120 of the 30 mg tablet. Four tablets each day. Irritating but no big deal.

Next month it was the same thing. Excuse me--you've had a month to get the 60 mg in, what have you been doing? So annoying...

This time it wasn't the 60 mg they were out of--it was the 30 mg! (No surprise since my prescription alone requires 120 tablets for a month...) They actually had the 60 mg in stock, but couldn't fill my 120 mg daily dosage because now the record in their system says my prescription is for 4 30 mg tablets each day, not two 60 mg tablets.

Despite the fact that 1. the prescription was originally written for 2 60 mg tablets daily, 2. 120 mg is 120 mg total whether it's one 120 mg pill, two 60 mg pills, four 30 mg pills or eight 15 mg pills and 3. they have no issues substituting 4 30 mgs for the original prescription, they wanted to call my doctor to get her to approve the change.

Correction: they wanted to call my doctor to get permission to dispense the prescription as it was ORIGINALLY WRITTEN!!!


I finally badgered them into filling the prescription but it took over half an hour.

Rite-Aid sucks.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Secret, Profane and Sugarcane

Just a reminder: If you're in the San Francisco or Hollywood, CA area, you might want to check out Elvis Costello at Amoeba today. He'll be performing songs from his latest CD, Secret, Profane and Sugarcane.

The album, which was produced by the legendary T. Bone Burnett, has Elvis getting in touch with his inner cowboy as he croons thirteen country-infused tunes. Even with the laconic drawling western sound, Elvis' signature sharp wit is still in evidence as witnessed by the lyrics of the CD's opening song, "Down Among the Wines and Spirits":

"Down among the wines and spirits
Where a man gets where he merits...
Once it was written in letter 'bout nine feet tall
Now he sees how far he's fallen

Since he set his mind on her completely
But then I guess that you couldn't have seen him lately
Walking around with a pain that just never ceases
He starts to speak and then he goes to pieces..."
Not only did Burnett produce the album, but he also played guitar on several songs and co-wrote "Sulphur to Sugarcane" and "The Crooked Line" with Costello. Elvis also collaborated with Loretta Lynn on "I Felt the Chill Before the Winter Came" and Emmylou Harris provides harmony vocals on "The Crooked Line" adding to the country-western cred.

Two non-Costello compositions appear on the album notably Lou Reed's "Femme Fatale" and the album's closing number, "Changing Partners" by Lawrence Coleman and Joseph Darion.
Track List:
  1. Down Among the Wine and Spirits
  2. Complicated Shadows
  3. I Felt the Chill
  4. My All Time Doll
  5. Hidden Shame
  6. She Handed Me a Mirror
  7. I Dreamed of My Old Lover
  8. How Deep is the Red
  9. She Was No Good
  10. Sulfur to Sugarcane
  11. Red Cotton
  12. The Crooked Line
  13. Changing Partners
Secret, Profane and Sugarcane showcases Costello's journey from ascerbic witty punk-pop star to reflective rock elder statesman musing about how "Life isn't a game...won or tied..lost by either side..." Kick back, pour yourself a cold brew and enjoy!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Sam Rockwell plays Sam Bell, an astronaut/miner coming to the end of a three-year contract on the moon in this Sci-fi thriller. Actually Rockwell, plays a dual role in this movie--Sam Bell and...Sam Bell. After he is injured, Sam goes back to the scene of the accident and finds another Sam still trapped in the crashed vehicle.

It's really not much of a spoiler to reveal that since the fact is revealed early on in the film. The rest of the movie follows how the two Sams deal with each other--Sam the first being the more evolved version and Sam the second being the more hot-headed one.

It's an interesting to witness how Rockwell manages to create two very different personas who are initially at odds with each other but eventually come to bond.

Kevin Spacey voices GERTY the computer. Although Spacey has that Quaalude calmness to his voice, GERTY is more WALL*E than HAL. At one point when Sam the first confronts GERTY with the question, "Am I a clone?" the ever-diplomatic GERTY tries to distract with, "Do you want something to eat?"

While Rockwell does a fantastic job of handling the portrayals of the two Sams and Duncan Jones manages to create the stark loneliness of life on the dark side of the moon. But while it was an interesting journey, the movie was missing something. Unfortunately along with the desolate environment, there was an overwhelming sense of detachment. Without a connection to the characters and their story I was left being intrigued by the story but not involved in it.

Although Moon raises some provocative issues such as what it means to be human, whether or not we are merely or more than our memories, corporate ethics, etc., the film never fully explores these themes leaving the viewer to wonder what exactly they just watched--and why...

Still, if you're a fan of Sam Rockwell (and like most of his performances he does manage to throw in a bit of nudity...), the film is a great showcase for his amazing talent.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Over at Celebritology there's a post about the most overrated entertainers.

For me that list would include Scarlett Johannson (good in The Man Who Wasn't There, Ghost World and Lost in Translation but otherwise...), Natalie Portman, Jim Jarmusch, Woody Allen, Jack Nicholson (has he ever played a character other than "Jack Nicholson"?) and Clint Eastwood, the director.

Much more fun would be a list of UNDER-rated entertainers:

  • Adam Sandler - I love him. Not every movie he's in, but definitely The Wedding Singer, Happy Gilmore, Fifty First Dates and Punch Drunk Love. And he's a genuinely loyal and nice guy from what I hear.

  • Bruce Willis - In addition to the Die Hard movies (except maybe the third one, but that wasn't Bruce's fault..), Willis has excellent chemistry with kids. Check him out in Mercury Rising, The Sixth Sense and my favorite, the very underrated The Kid. Skip Color of Night. Truly terrible movie.

  • John Mayer - I like his music and think his wordplay is really inspired:
Thinking bout my brother Ben
I miss him every day
He looks just like his brother John
But on an 18 month delay

Here I stand
6 feet small
and smiling cause I'm scared as hell
kind of like my life is like a sequel to a movie
where the actor's names have changed
Oh well..
  • Ben Stiller - wrote, directed and starred in Tropic Thunder. People raved about Robert Downey, Jr., but I loved Stiller's performance as the doltish action hero. Plus the movie was funny as hell.
  • Ben Affleck - I thought he actually was the best thing in the naively sappy Good Will Hunting. His nuanced performance as George Reeves in Hollywoodland and assured direction of Gone Baby Gone makes me overlook the whole Bennifer/Gigli debacle.
  • Clint Eastwood the actor - Rent The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Awesome stuff.
Those are some of mine. Got any underrated faves to add to the list?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

DevaCurl Mist-er Right

My hair's been extremely short for quite a while now--and as such my natural curls have been, well, clipped. But as it grows out, I plan to take advantage of its waviness. The problem is that it's a really fine line between "wavy" and "frizzy."

Thank goodness for DevaCurl Mist-er Right. The ingredients in Mist-er Right include lavender, balm mint, lemongrass, chamomile, rosemary and yarrow which not only nourish the hair with natural goodness, but smell so heavenly it's like a mini-aromatherapy session with each spritz!

Fans of Mist-er Right tout its multi-tasking abilities and created a top ten list of uses:

Top 10 Uses for DevaCurl Mist-er Right

  1. Mix in DevaCurl One-Condition or DevaCurl Heaven in Hair into your DevaCurl Mist-er Right for the perfect beach spritz.

  2. Use as a body, room, and car deodorizer.

  3. Use to refresh clothing after being around smoke and BBQ’s.

  4. Use in labor to give you a heavenly lift.
  5. Use as a facial spritz.

  6. Use it to clean mirrors and counter tops instead of Windex.

  7. Mix in with DevaCurl AnGel for added moisture.

  8. Spritz on bed linens.

  9. Spritz on clothes in the dryer.

  10. Take it on the airplane to refresh yourself and the stale air.

For me, the best use is this: spray on to nourish and give a little "lift" to your hair.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Love Elvis

I'm a big fan of Elvis Costello and if you are as well--and you're in the Los Angeles or San Francisco area--you're in for a treat!

To promote his newly released album Secret, Profane and Sugarcane, Elvis will conduct a one-day music tour with acoustic performances on Monday, June 22nd at the San Francisco (noon) and Hollywood (8 pm) Amoeba Music stores.

CD signings will follow the mini-concerts.

If you're not located near either of these cities, no worries. The Hollywood performance at 8 pm PT will be streamed live on Amoeba.com.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Geek Alert

Rajesh Koothrappali: I like Green Lantern, I'm just saying it's pretty lame that he can be defeated by the color yellow.

Sheldon: Only the modern Green Lantern is vulnerable to yellow.

Leonard: Golden Age Green Lantern was vulnerable to wood.

Rajesh Koothrappali: Great. So I can take them both out with a number 2 pencil?

R.I.P. Pushing Daisies

The last episode of Pushing Daisies aired last night. Bryan Fuller wrapped everything up in a neat little bow reuniting Chuck with her aunt and mother, Emerson with his daughter Penny and making sure Olive has her well-deserved happily every after with Randy Mann.

A bit rushed and anti-climatic--but what can you do when you're canceled mid-season?

I guess I'll just have to look forward to seeing cutie Lee Pace on the big screen from now on.


Sunday, June 14, 2009


What can one say about this movie? It's brilliant and poignant and almost completely perfect. It's everything the critics have said it is and then some.

Carl Frederickson--who looks a lot like Ed Asner who voices the character--attaches thousands of helium balloons to his home and takes off for South America to escape being forced out of his home and into the Shady Acres retirement community. The scene where the balloons pop out of Carl's chimney and pull the house aloft is just breath-taking. Exquisite animation.

In typical Pixar-form, the animation amazingly detailed--from the stubble that shows up on Carl's face after several days trekking across a cliff to the iridescent colors of feathers on a rare South American bird dubbed Kevin.

Carl is joined on his adventure by an overzealous and talkative kid named Russell, a dog named Dug and the aforementioned bird. He meets up with childhood hero, explorer Charles Muntz--who looks like Kirk Douglas but is voiced by Christopher Plummer.

In addition to the top-notch visuals, the writing is excellent as well. There are a number of great set-ups and pay-offs, humor, thrilling action sequences and genuinely touching moments. There is a great fight scene between the two geezers that is awesome in its ingenuity. And a sight gag that takes off on the classic "dogs playing poker" paintings is hysterical.

The only downside to the beautifully layered film is that most youngsters can't truly appreciate it fully. Oh sure, they'll laugh at some silliness or be caught up in the action, but the true complexity of the story will go over their heads.

It sure went over the head of the infant some idiot parent decided to drag to the theater rather than pay for a babysitter. His/her squawking and squalling disrupted the entire movie. And the assorted kids whose constant exposure to DVDs and lack of parental guidance caused them to provide their own running commentary throughout the film.

Oh well--I guess it's too much to expect to be able to see a kiddie movie sans kids. Unlike Carl, I didn't finish the film with a character arc that took me from cranky curmudgeon to kid-lover. Still, UP is uplifting (pun intended), upbeat and uproarious adventure.

Go see it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Memos to Moron - part ten

Here I am, using the Abductor/Adductor machine. There you are waiting to use the same machine. I say waiting, but in fact you are HOVERING.

It's annoying.

When someone is using a machine that I want to use, I use another machine instead while I wait. It makes the time go faster and then neither I or my fellow gym rat have to deal with awkwardness.

If after using several machines said person is still using the machine I want to use, I may inquire as to when they might be finished. This is standard gym etiquette.

Unfortunately you are an inconsiderate moron. I say moron because your tactic of HOVERING is counterproductive. It does not encourage me to rush through my sets with expediency. In fact, it makes me go more SLOOOOOOOWLY.

Yeah, it's bitchy--but that's how I roll.

You've been warned. If I'm using a machine you want to use, you'll get to use it more quickly if you back off and do something more productive than hovering in my sight line.

I suggest using the ab machine. You look like you could use it.

My Contact Lenses Have Wanderlust

I lost my first contact lens the first week after switching from glasses. It popped out while I was sitting in the back seat of our car, never to be found again.

Since then I've dealt with a number of escapee lenses--some retrieved, some lost forever.

Amazingly, one that popped out while I was walking home was found. My mother and I went back up the street with a flashlight and miraculously were able to locate it none the worse for wear.

Another one made a break for it in a dormitory bathroom. I was convinced that it had slipped up under my eyelid and ended up scratching my cornea trying in vain to retrieve it.

I had one that I thought slipped down the drain. I immediately dismantled the sink trap to try to rescue it, but it was nowhere to be found. Because it never went down the drain but was actually on my hand the whole time. By the time I realized it, I had accidentally crushed it.

Tonight one went AWOL as I was taking them out to take my shower. I spent twenty minutes on my hands and knees, with a flashlight, searching for it. I had almost given up when I decided to make one last ditch effort to make sure it wasn't still in my eye somewhere. As I peered in the mirror, I managed to locate it.

Perched delicately on my right cheek.

Stupid lens!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What I'm Watching

The so-called regular TV season is over--hence no more LOST or Desperate Housewives recaps--but I've still found plenty on the tube to keep me occupied:

1. The Big Bang Theory - This may be my new favorite comedy. Consistently witty, I end up chortling loudly through each episode. Thanks to reruns, I'm pretty much caught up with season two. However I'm SOL when it comes to watching season one. Unless I want to pay. Which I don't.

2. Mental - This is the show my friend Ari was script supervisor for. Sadly, it does nothing for me. Lead actor Chris Vance is attractive enough--and the writers have found a number of ways to get him shirtless (Booyah!), but his character of maverick shrink Jack Gallagher is completely unappealing to me as he persistently walks around with the perpetual smirk on his face.

There is of course former 4400er Jacqueline McKenzie as fellow shrink Veronica Hayden-Jones. It's nice to see McKenzie land on her feet after the untimely cancellation of the addictive series, although maybe one day she'll get to play a character with her own lovely Aussie accent.

Then there's Annabella Sciorra, who is completely unrecognizable as hospital chief Nora Skoff. I say unrecognizable not because she disappears into her role that you cannot recognize the former object of Wesley Snipe's Jungle Fever, but because apparently cases worth of Twinkies and Cheetos have disappeared from their packages taking up residence on the former hottie's petite frame. (Odd factoid: IMDB and Celebutopia list Ms. Sciorra's birthdate as 1960, while Wikipedia puts it at 1964...)

Even Estella Warren (Planet of the Apes) who played a supermodel on a recent episode looked like she'd been dipping into the Ben & Jerry's lately. Hey, I'm all for more realistic portrayals of women's bodies, but if you're casting a supermodel why pick someone who looks like they could be a linebacker for the Steelers?

So--about the show: Jack's got secrets (a wife? sister? gone missing...), Veronica's got secrets (an affair with another doctor at the hospital...), there's politics and medical mysteries and yawn...

The worst part (other than the super-smug Dr. Gallagher) are the cheesy effects that supposed to depict the "mental" (get it?) condition of the patients--i.e.; what's going on inside their heads. Let's put it this way: the special effects on Star Trek: TOS were more believable.

On the positive side, the script supervision for Mental is AWESOME!

3. The Closer - After watching season four, I'm hooked. Unfortunately, like with The Big Bang Theory, I can't go back and watch prior seasons for free. Oh well--I'll have to satisfy myself with season five which started up on Monday.

4. The Tudors - I missed out on season two--which depicted the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn. Seriously, given the premise for the series ("You think you know a story, but you only know how it ends. To get to the heart of the story, you have to go back to the beginning..."), it shouldn't have gone past season one. By the time Henry married Anne, he was bloated and middle-aged. At the time of Jane Seymour's death (which occurs in the middle of season three of the series), he was disgustingly fat and afflicted with gout and only nine years away from his own demise.

Seriously, does Jonathan Rhys Meyers look anything like a decrepit fatty?

In addition to being seriously factually challenged, season three was pretty tedious.

5. Pushing Daisies - Cuties Lee Pace and Anna Friel are back as ABC airs the last three episodes of the quirky series on Saturdays. The final episode airs this Saturday. Sniffle...

6. Eli Stone - ABC airs the last four episodes of this quirky series on Saturdays starting June 20th. (Dear ABC, what is it you have against quirky series?)

7. Frasier - I've been DVRing episodes of one of my old favorites for days when there's "nothing" on TV. I've got eleven so far...

This should keep me busy until season four of Dexter starts up...

Monday, June 8, 2009

I May Wear My Heart on My Sleeve....

...but at least I'm not stupid enough to post it as a status update on Facebook.

I just recently hid the feed of a friend whose status updates were so vitriolic that it made me physically ill to read them. I doubt I'm the only person she's offended or turned off with her right wing-nut ranting.

Hey people--you've a right to your beliefs (as idiotic as they may be...) and your politics. You can vote for whomever you like and subscribe to flights of fancy and conspiracy theories easily disproved by a quick visit to Snopes.com. But please remove me from your forward list of the latest e-mail alerting me to how illegal immigrants and Islamic radicals are destroying America.

I'd rather suffer through pictures of LOL cats or even good luck chain letter than this ignorant crap.

Anyway, I don't have to read the ranting any more. But Facebook is a pretty public forum and more than just friends (or former friends...), so unless you're angling to be Ann Coulter's personal assistant or Rush Limbaugh's sober companion, you could be shooting yourself in the foot with your freaking status updates.

Facebook status updates are for announcing that you just ate some pistachio ice cream, or posted a movie review on your blog, or to muse about the weather. It's not a good place to have a political debate.

Especially when your knowledge of the subject is as glib and superficial as your knowledge of Flixster trivia...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Hangover

The Hangover is getting rave reviews from critics. Is it the funniest movie ever? Well, the audience I saw it with laughed throughout--even at things that were at best mildly amusing.

I guess some people don't get out much.

But it is funny. And silly. And completely raunchy.

The premise is simple: A groom to-be and his three best buds (actually two best buds and future brother-in-law) head to Vegas for a bachelor party weekend. The buds wake up the next morning to what looks like one heck of a night--and can't find the groom anywhere.

Unable to remember anything of what happened the night before--from the tiger in the bathroom to a baby in the closet--the three have to find the groom and get him back to L.A. in time for his wedding.

We never see what exactly happened to cause the "hangover"--other than in a series of photos at the end of the movie--which is where most of the movie derives most of its humor. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galfianakis are the clueless trio, while Justin Bartha (National Treasure) plays the missing groom. I was disappointed that snarkmeister Bartha spent most of the movie M.I.A.--and even when he was on screen, his character was more of a normal, "nice guy."

What a waste. There are few actors who do dry and deadpan better.

Ed Helms plays Stu, a whipped dentist who is very different from his character on The Office. Although hints of the "Nard-dog" show up in a song he composes as a ode to Mike Tyson's tiger who is shut up in their bathroom:

"What do tigers dream of
When they take a little tiger snooze?
Do they dream of mauling zebras
Or Halle Berry in her Catwoman suit?"
Galfianakis plays Alan, the socially inept and mentally "off" future brother-in-law. When I first saw posters for the film, I thought Jack Black was in the movie. With his pudgy body and wild hair and propensity for pantlessness, Galfianakis is Black's doppelganger behind a pair of sunglasses. But his character has a goofball sweetness that is lacking in most Jack Black characterizations. Watch out Jack Black and Seth Rogen, there's a new pudgy funny guy in town and he's out to steal your thunder--and your roles.

Bradley Cooper provides eye candy for female viewers and holds his own in the humor department. As level-headed leader, he is less prone to the antics and neuroses of his cohorts, but still manages to get off a few zingers of his own.

The movie is pretty funny. I think that last summer's Tropic Thunder or even the more recent I Love You, Man were even funnier. There are some great gems, however--like the aforementioned "Stu's Song," Alan season a roofie laced steak for the tiger ("Tigers love pepper. They hate cinnamon."), a great visual gag that does homage to Rainman, to an inane conversation about the nickname for "rohypnol" where Alan and his inept drug dealer debate possibilities like "groundies" and "floories" since that's where you're more likely to end up than the roof.

If you liked Superbad and There's Something About Mary then this rowdy, raucous, raunchy romp is right up your alley.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You on DVD

Maybe it wasn't the best idea to base a movie on the already thin premise of Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo's book. The tough love theme is voiced by the character of Alex, played by Justin Long.

Long's character is about the only interesting one in the movie. Or maybe I just have a soft spot for the floppy-haired Mac guy.

The cast is pretty impressive: Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Scarlett Johannson, Kevin Connolly and even a grizzled Kris Kristofferson.

In between the ensemble cast multi plotlines, When Harry Met Sally-esque "real people" type cameos talking about relationship. If you don't figure out that these bits are as scripted as the rest of the movie, then the appearance of Cristine Rose (aka "Angela Petrelli" from Heroes) should clue you in.

Despite the macho posturing of the title, it is in fact a classic chick flick. Most of the stories resolve with the typical happily ever after endings. Most satisfying of those resolutions is perhaps that of Justin Long and Ginnifer Goodwin's characters. Although, like I said, I do have a soft spot for the floppy haired Mac guy...Ben Affleck and Jennifer Aniston's relationship wraps up with the commitment-phobic male pleading for his long-suffering girl friend to marry him.

Now, the philosophy of the book is that if he's not calling you, sleeping with you, trying to be with you, marrying you then he's just not that into you. And that stories about players who fall for the nice girl or steadfast bachelors who do an about face and propose are exceptions not the rule.

Despite that, the movie is all about the exceptions and not the rule as proclaimed by its title. That, however, doesn't make He's Just Not That Into You exceptional. It's pretty rom-com standard fare.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Spaghetti Fetish Soulmate

I was wrong about the Spaghetti Fetish Soulmate being the Cereal Fetishist. It's actually this guy:

Woman to sit in my bath tub full of noodles, wearing a bathing suit.

I will pay you $1 USD to sit in my bathtub full of noodles while you wear a one piece bathing suit.

I will not be home, nor will anyone else while you do this.

I will leave the key for you, and you will sit at your leisure.

I will require at least a 5 minutes stay.

A neighbor will watch the front door from across the street and using a supplied stopwatch, will time your entry and departure.

Please supply your own footwear.

The noodles will be cooked, and therefore slippery.

DO NOT bring any sauce. I will season the pasta after I return home prior to dinner.

Okay, a couple of things:

1. The guy's a cheapskate for only paying $1. Yeah it's only 5 minutes (which works out to $12/hour), but have you ever trying washing gluten off your body?

2. Slippery noodles is just asking for a personal injury lawsuit.

3. You truly can find just about anything on Craigslist.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Christine Baranski on The Big Bang Theory

Now that I have the ability to DVR shows, I've been loving The Big Bang Theory. Just caught the episode with Christine Baranski as Leonard's Mom. Looks like Baranski, Queen of "Arch," has cornered the market on bitchy mom roles:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Merlot Your Skin Drinks

You're probably aware of the benefits of drinking a glass of wine: polyphenols, antioxidants, lower cholesterol--not to mention that relaxing buzz. Merlot Skin Care features those very same benefits--well, minus the hangover.

Harnessing the power of the seeds of red grapes, Merlot Skin Care helps counteract the damaging effects of free radicals. Grape seed oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and resveratrol.

I got to check out the Moisturizer with SPF 15. The rich yet light-weight cream absorbed quickly and left my skin soft and smooth. I also tried the Purifying Peel Off Mask which combines grape seeds with lemon, grapefruit, orange peel and ginseng extract to help to soften, firm and protect against stress. It also contains Vitamins E and B5 to make sure skin stays hydrated while unwanted dirt and particles are removed.

What I liked best about it, however, was peeling it off after it dried. So much fun! What can I say? I'm easily entertained. Sue me.

Merlot Skin Care contains no methyl/ethyl parabens, propylene glycol or animal byproducts and is not tested on animals. It's available at Walgreens and MerlotSkinCare.com.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You

I should have watched this DVD before Gran Torino obviously since it debuts on iTunes, OnDemand and on Blu-ray and DVD today.

Oh well.

Review of He's Just Not Into You to follow in the next couple of days. In the meantime, here's an overview of what the movie is NOT about:

Hmm...now I'm almost wishing I could see THAT movie!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Gran Torino

This movie was highly recommended by my brother James, so when I was given the opportunity to review the DVD, I jumped at the chance.

It was excellent.

Sort of a weird combining of Dirty Harry meets The Karate Kid; Clint Eastwood being a gruff and grizzled Mr. Miyagi and Vietnamese next-door neighborhood being the bullied Ralph Macchio character.

The film sets Eastwood's Walt Kowalski up as a cranky geezer, but frankly if my son let his daughter come to her grandmother's funeral dressed like something out of a Britney Spears video, I'd be pissed as well. Walt's bitter barbs are also directed at the local priest, which was also understandable given that he was annoying as hell.

The film revolves around the recently widowed Kowalski, who sees the lifestyle he always known slipping away, and his growing relationship with his Vietnamese neighbors. Kowalski, a veteran of the Korean war, initially despises his foreign neighbors but eventually comes develop a friendship with them and to take young Thao under his wing.

It was awesome to see Eastwood in all his "Make my day" glory--although his raspy whisper did grate at times. As Kowalski goes toe to toe with gangbangers, you can't help but admire his courage. There's some heavy-handed and awkward scenes like the weird reading given to Walt when he visits Lor family and the final confrontation overdoes the messianic sacrifice symbology with Kowalski laid out as if crucified. But mostly the film hits the right notes.

If you missed it in the theaters, definitely add it to your Netflix queue.

And if, like my brother, you loved the flick, mark June 9th on your calendar. Gran Torino will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on that date and will include two special features:

  • "Manning the Wheel: The Meaning of Manhood as Reflected in the American Car Culture"
  • "Gran Torino: More than a Car"