Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Buzzworthy Music Tuesdays: October 4th

Jessie J

    You may already have heard of this British R&B singer. Without a doubt, she's got the pipes to sing but all of her current US singles have been auto tuned to the point of ANNOYANCE. Her hits "Price Tag" and "Domino" are fun but they don't show us a real artist. I wasn't a fan until I saw her raw YouTube videos. She's literally singing acoustic in her flat with a web cam. Why does the music industry feel the need to Katy Perry everything? Jessie J sounds amazing on her own! Granted the below video was made in 2009 - but I do like how you can get to know her personality. It's quite endearing to see a struggling artist become a future star.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Buzzworthy Music Tuesdays: September 27

Janelle Monae

    This R&B singer doing things her own way. Known for her chic menswear inspired suits, this lady has hit the commercial airways with a bang. Her music is played on ads for Target, JcPenny, Gap, Kmart, and Coca-Cola. I was looking to forward to seeing her headline at the Afro-Punk festival in NYC in late August but it was cancelled due to Hurricane Irene. Her video brings a smile to my face because of her distinct individually and talent to rock it out. Being fearless in the music industry is something we need to see more often. Go on Janelle with ya bad self.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

TV Recommendation: Homeland

     The new Showtime show Homeland is an intriguing new series staring Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, and Damien Lewis. Homeland follows Dane as a CIA analysis searching to find evidence that a POW marine is a turned agent and will betray the country. Lewis plays the POW who had been in Iraq for 8 years. His journey back to life in the US is not an easy one as he is pushed head first into society after such an ordeal. I was very impressed by the pilot. In the past, movies or shows based on Middle Eastern affairs have been too complicated or intricate for average viewers to comprehend. I loved that this show was easy to follow.

    I half expected Danes to wave those fabulous Latisse sponsored eyes like it’s just a “so-called life.” Sorry, I couldn’t help myself but seriously you can tell that stuff WORKS! She’s very compelling as the borderline obsessive Carrie Anderson. Damien Lewis was specular in HBO’s Band of Brothers and he is no less here. I’m sad that he’s still unknown to most people today but he is perfectly cast as Sgt. Brody. I can see him doing wonders with this role. There is a solid supporting cast with the exception of Morena Baccarin from the recently cancelled ABC’s V. She feels too young to have teenage children! I’m hoping her scenes with Lewis save her time on screen.

    It’s completely overwhelming to think there are over 100 new shows returning this fall season. I recommend checking this one out for a series that I know will not disappoint. You can watch the pilot below before it airs live on October 2nd.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TV Recommendation: The New Girl

    I’m really excited for some of the new shows premiering this Fall and Zooey Deschanel’s sitcom is at that list. First things first, if you do not like Ms. Deschanel – you will simply abhor this show. If you like her, you will fall in love with her. She is what makes the show.  She sings, dances, cries, and charms your pants off. I loved watching her as the recently dumped Jess.

    This kooky character is perfect for Zooey. She decides to start fresh and moves into an apartment with 3 single men. To see such a lovely women as a complete mess sobbing over Dirty Dancing is priceless. Her first steps back into the dating game is pure entertainment. I expected a bit more from the pilot but I know I’ll keep watching. The New Girl has potential to form into a great sitcom going forward.

   You can watch the premiere below or live on Fox this Tuesday at 9pm.

    Side note: Damien Wayans is in the first episode only since ABC's Happy Endings (which is also a good show) will be having a second season.

Monday, September 19, 2011

63rd Annual Primetime Emmy awards

    Jane Lynch did a good job of hosting this year. I must admit the opening number was TOO long but it was tolerable. Ms. Lynch is a great comedianne and wonderful chemistry with the audience. I felt the famous "Emmytone" singers on the side with Joel McHale, Wilmer Valderrama, Cobie Smulders, Zachary Levi, and Taraji P. Henson was a complete waste of time and not even remotely funny! The SNL musical number was a bit cringe worthy when you think of the censors that do watch the Emmys; regardless, it was entertaining. Poor William H. Tracy getting humped by The Lonely Island was a sight to see.

* I’m excited that Modern Family won so many awards because lets face it – it’s one of the best shows on TV!

* My favorite moment was when all the ladies nominated for Best Actress in comedy walked up or stormed up on stage. I see Amy Poehler was brains behind that shenanigan and it was hysterical!! I feel like Melissa McCarthy won for Bridesmaids but she sure does deserves it. So great to see her in a crown and as a pageant girl.

* I was excited for Peter Dinklage who is AMAZING and too funny in Game of Thrones as a supporting actor.

* Jane’s Jersey Dontella skit was priceless with her “Jersey’s taking over.” I only wish it was longer.

* It was wonderful to see Kyle Chandler win for Friday Night Lights which is loved by many but doesn’t have much love from the awards.

* I LOVED that Downton Abby won!!! Woo!! Maggie Smith as well AHHH!!! It’s just an outstanding and epic series.

* HBO’s Mildred Pierce won Best Guy Pearce who was charming and deserving as the best supporting actor. Kate Winlet is one of the best actresses ever so her wining is just the heaven. She’s so frigging sincere and sweet. She’s on her way to EGOTing!

* I have to point out that Kerry Washington did a Jessica Rabbit and looked stunning (just wish the bottom wasn’t sheer). I know the fashion trend was Red with Kate Winslet and Nina Dobrev looking ravishing but my favorite for some reason was Claire Danes in Oscar De La Renta. It was unique and refreshing. I’m tossing between love and hate with Gwyneth Paltrow in Emilio Pucci. She was taking a major risk with her short midriff but that’s what fashion is about.

Lovely Claire Danes

Mrs. Chris Martin

Mrs.Rabbit - I mean Kerry Washington
    My overall feeling: it was a fun night full of surprises. However, I just wish they’d cut the show. Why is it 3 hours long?!

For all the winners. Check out below:

Outstanding comedy series: Modern Family
Outstanding drama series: Mad Men
Outstanding miniseries or movie:
Downton Abbey
Outstanding lead actress, miniseries or movie: Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

Outstanding supporting actor in a miniseries or movie:
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Outstanding directing for a miniseries, movie or dramatic special: Brian Percival, Downton Abbey

Outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie:
Barry Pepper, The Kennedys
Outstanding supporting actress, miniseries or movie: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Outstanding writing for a miniseries or movie:
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey
Outstanding lead actor, drama:
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Outstanding lead actress, drama:
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Outstanding supporting actor, drama: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Outstanding directing, drama:
Martin Scorcese, Boardwalk Empire 
Outstanding supporting actress, drama:
Margo Martindale, Justified
Outstanding writing, drama series:
Jason Katims, Friday Night Lights
Outstanding variety, music or comedy series:
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Outstanding directing for a variety, music or comedy series: Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live (host: Justin Timberlake)
Outstanding writing for a variety, music or comedy series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Outstanding reality competition: The Amazing Race

Outstanding lead actress, comedy:
Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
Outstanding lead actor, comedy series: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding writing for a comedy: Steve Levitan, Jeffrey Richman (“Caught in the Act”),  Modern Family

Outstanding director, comedy:
Michael Alan Spiller (“Halloween”),  Modern Family
Outstanding supporting actor, comedy:
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
Outstanding supporting actress, comedy: Julie Bowen (Modern Family)

Friday, September 16, 2011

See It or Skip It: Drive

    I was lucky enough to win tickets to an advance screening of Drive. First off, please know I am an avid Ryan Gosling fanjunkie…whatever you call it. So, I’ll try my best not to be too bias because I can seriously just watch him do absolutely nothing for hours and call it a masterpiece. I promise not to do that here.

    Drive opens with Gosling as Driver. A L.A. man awaiting the arrival of two criminals who are about to commit larceny. As a side job, Driver provides a clean getaway in 5 minutes. Besides being a full-time mechanic, he does dangerous car stunts for the movies. Here’s a quiet, reserved, and obviously a lonely man with no one in his life but his friend/boss. This all changes with the arrival of a young mother who moves into to his apartment floor. Driver finds a simple solace in this woman and her child. The return of her husband from jail quickly stops this from becoming “one-of-those” films. I don’t want to get too into the plot but the husband brings major conflict. Not only is his presence a threat to Driver’s relationship with this woman, fun old prison friends want payback and won't take no for an answer. The courses of action that follow will forever change their lives.

    Drive won the directors award at Cannes this year and I can easily see why. This action packed thriller is with several surprises. Be fair warned: VERY GRAPHIC VIOLENCE. I mean skull-crushing-shot-in-the-face-oh-my-gosh-I-can’t-believe-that-just-happened violence (which is slightly evident in the movie’s trailer). This is definitely NOT for the weak hearted. At times, it does feel a bit too stylized with the exaggerated slow movements pulsating to the hypnotic electronic beats with neon lights in the background. Yeah, like I said it has style. In that aspect, it feels very European. Yet, there are scenes where Gosling gazes into Mulligan’s eyes and it feels like you are intruding on a private moment. Mixing these elements was an interesting approach to this film. I did enjoy the film. Unlike most films opening today, it's a a slick and cool with loads of fun at the theater.

   Ryan Gosling provides (trying to be unbiased here) a solid performance. He fits well into the character. While some other more macho man actors can play this role, I don’t know if it would work well with anyone else. I cringe to think what type of film this could have been with Jason Statham or The Rock. It’s not my favorite film of his (nor is it remotely his best) but he sure works that screen. Bryan Cranston is great yet subtle as Driver’s ill-advised boss and confidant. Carey Mulligan is neither here nor there for me. I think she’s a wonderful actress! However, she’s just not right for this particular role. This role should have had an unknown actress because frankly it's just not a good part for any mainstream actress. Mulligan is too big a name to still be doing parts like this.

   Not everyone was blown away by this film at the screening. Some viewers thought it to be extremely campy and completely unrealistic. Well to them, I say: “IT’S A MOVIE, GET OVER IT.” I do agree Albert Brooks’ act was over the top but that may be because I’ve only seen him as a comedian. He’s a shady businessman who will cut your throat open. Literally!! Brooks completely 180’s himself and is like you’ve never seen him. However, I liked that fact that Ryan Gosling was going against the two old macho bad guys like Ron Pearlman and Brooks. It’s not your everyday scenario.

   Like I said before, this is a visually violent film. You will either be shocked or laugh uncontrollably at how outrageous this just got! By the end of the film, Gosling is drenched in blood stains. (Couldn’t he  find a new outfit besides the shiny bomber jacket?). I can't help but think it was just too gory at times. I mean I don't know if certain scenes were really necessary. Overall, Drive is an intense yet emotionally thrilling film. The film is far from perfect but the twists and turns keep you glued to your seat.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Downton Abbey Season Two Trailer

   Downton Abbey season two is set to air this week Sunday Sept 18 in ENGLAND. We, Americans, have to wait 8 long weeks in January to see where Lord Grantham's family left off. I am beyond ecstatic to see this series. For those newbies, please watch the first season on Netflix immediately. It's about 7 hour episodes. (It goes by quickly, I promise!) Downton Abbey is set in the early 20th century after the sinking of the Titanic. It follows a distinguished noble family and their servants. The series left off with the announcement of WWI, which undoubtedly will affect this family.

    What's great is it doesn't entirely feel like a period piece. The stories hit close to home. This is not an old lady's cup of tea because there are some sassy (YES, sassy) characters and scandalous turns of events. Romance, action, backstabbing, and comedy... What more can you ask for? And it's on PBS!!

    There's a great article on the NYTimes site about Julian Fellowes, the creator. I highly recommend to get a glipse of the new season.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

In Memory: Cliff Robertson


    Cliff Robertson passed away this past Saturday. He is not a household name but his work is definitely recognized by today’s moviegoers. His performance as Uncle Ben in Spider-man’s was pivotal to the Peter Parker storyline. However, I’ll remember him during the zenith of his career. Robertson was an All-American prototype: handsome, athletic, charming, and easy-going. His career spanned from the late 1940s until 2000s with over 60 films to his name.

    He is known best being handpicked by Mr. President himself to playing JFK during his military years in PT 109. Robertson was also a serious actor with Charly. Based on the famous book Flowers for Algernon (most of us read during school), Robertson played a mentally disable man who undergoes experimental treatment to increase his intelligence. His heartbreaking portrayal led to winning an Academy Award in 1968.

    My top favorites are Gidget, Sunday in New York, and My Six Loves. In Gidget, Robertson was the older role model for young surfer wannabe Sandra Dee and it still gets me giddy to see him as Kahuna. *You'll know why as you see the film.* Sunday in New York is a great film with Jane Fonda as his out of town sister looking for a Sunday romance and gets more than she bargains for. Robertson does a supporting comedic turn as a international pilot and ladies man. Lastly, my all time favorite is My Six Loves. This surprising romantic comedy stars Debbie Reynolds as a Broadway diva looking for quiet time in her country home – only to see there are 6 little stowaways living there. Robertson plays a handsome preacher wooing Ms. Reynolds. Oh, the fun that awaits them!

    If you don’t know of his work today, I hope that one day you can catch a movie on TCM or rent a DVD of Cliff Robertson’s work.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Buzzworthy Music Tuesdays: September 13th

Eddie Murphy

    So, it was finally confirmed last week that Eddie Murphy will be hosting the 2012 Oscars. I’d be really excited if this was 1985 but poor Eddie hasn’t had the most successful career in the 2000s. *Pluto Nash, Norbit... do I need to continue?* But I am a fan of Eddie's (see my Coming To America post) and do wish for the best. Must not forget he was nominated for his supporting actor performance in Dreamgirls. Maybe he can choose better projects to highlight his talent after this big profile gig. Here’s hoping Mr. Murphy can bring the goods and maybe do some old SNL skits. Fingers crossed that he opens the ceremony singing the below song (which happens to be my go-to karaoke song).

Monday, September 12, 2011

Home Improvement Cast Reunion

Pic from EW.com

   It's been about 13 years since we last saw the old crew at Tim Allen's family sitcom, Home Improvement. The series ran for 8 seasons. We watched the a funny tool man, his wife, and three boys grow up on our TV sets.  Entertainment Weekly brought the cast together for their October 7th Reunion's issue. I don't know if I'm happy or in shock. Boy, did they age BADLY. I remember my sweet memories of pasting JTT posters all over my room. I still can't believe he's 30. Wasn't yesterday he was doing the rain dance in Man of The House? Or looking super cute in Tom and Huck or Wild AmericaWow... yeah... the 90s. I know with Tim Allen's new show, Last Man Standing soon to premiere this Fall season - he needs all the press he can get. Most critics think it will be cancelled instantly. Maybe Allen can bring these actors back to the show? Seriously, where have they been?!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cool Site: BookLamp

    I recently discovered something for my fellow bookworms! Do you LOVE Pandora? Isn't it wonderful to find new artists that are similar to your musical taste? Well, now you can do the exact same thing with books! *NERD ALERT* Best part about it: it's free! After typing in your favorite book or author, you can find plenty of novels (fiction and non-fiction) that this site thinks you'd be interested in. I know it can be overwhelming to choose a good book. I love the various option this site provides. New authors and classics like Jane Eyre are right at your finger tips. All you need to do is go online or your local book store and dig into that great new novel.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Coming Soon: The Skin I Live In

    Is there anything director Pedro Almodovar can't do? Seriously, he's created fantastic dramas, comedies, and continues with this psychological thriller coming next month. His last film, Broken Embraces, was along this manic obsession storyline. Antonio Banderas is like we've never seen him before playing a plastic surgeon recreating new skin with unethical experiments. Now, this is NOT the Human Centipede *shivers*. Almodovar has proven himself to be a master storyteller. The eerie music and the suspenseful cinematic shots make me very eager to see this film.  After seeing both clips below repeatedly, I expect a major mind trip. Here's hoping this will be one of the most original films of the year!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What I Learned From: Coming To America

Queens Is The Ideal Place For Love

"But where in New York can one find a woman with grace, elegance, taste and culture? A woman suitable for a king." ... "Queens!"

    Where else can you meet women who quip these gems? “I'm not interested in a man unless he drives a BMW,” “Hey, baby, I'm almost single. My husband's on death row,” or my personal favorite: “I was Joan of Arc in my former life. (lights hand on fire.)”

Forget The Bar, Church Is The Place To Meet Potential Mates

    This is where Akeem meets Lisa McDowell, his dream girl. Church also includes great live bands like Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate.

The Most Accurate History Is From The Barbershop

    Apparently, Joe Louis was 137 when he fought Rocky Marciano. I also didn’t know Martin Luther King Jr. and Frank Sinatra hung out in this barbershop.

"Will you just taste the soup?", "All right, I'll taste the soup. Where's the spoon?", "Ah-ha!"

 Walking On Rose Petals Is The Only Way To Travel

    If King Jaffe Joffer ruler of Zamunda can do it? Why can’t we?

Destination Wedding to Africa Is A Great Idea

    You'll get a expert Wedding Singer with choreographed dancers!

She's your Queen-to-be. A Queen-to-be forever. A Queen who'll do whatever his highness desires. She's your Queen-to-be. A vision of perfection. An object of affection to quench your royal fire. Completely free from infection. To be used at your discretion. Waiting only for your direction. Your Queen-to-be.

Forget Mickie D’s and Head Over To McDowell's

    "I'm McDowell's. They got the Golden Arches, mine is the Golden Arcs. They got the Big Mac, I got the Big Mick. We both got two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions, but their buns have sesame seeds. My buns have no seeds."

"Is It Just Me, Or Does Every Woman in New York Have A Severe Emotional Problem?"


    I resent this quote but it's kind of true! Remember the ladies at the bar? And just look at the rep at the telegraph spot!

"As long as you're asking, why not go for a cool million?" "You do not think that would be too much?"  "Naah."

Renouncing Your Throne or Having Arguments On The Train May Not Be The Best Idea

    People are mad noisy in New York. Please try not to air out your business on public transportation.

"Man: So what do you think? [talking to woman] Woman: Go on, honey. Take a chance!"

Who Cares if Your Prince is a Goat Herder

    The boy has got his own money, I mean the boy has got his own MONEY!

Finally, Use Soul Glo To Maintain Those Juicy Locks

    Just let it shine through...

Eww. Get's me every time!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Buzzworthy Music Tuesdays: September 6th


Oh No, I Din’t!

    I’m throwing it back Brooklyn style. For three straight days, I’ve seen Hova music videos pop up on my screen! It’s like the universe wants me to kick it a little ol’ school.

    Here’s a little doozy from the late 90s that we all love and remember. Of course, Mr. Shawn Carter has grown from this time period to become one of the most successful artists in the history of music. This mega-brand man doesn’t look to retiring anytime soon. I’m so grateful for that! If you haven’t yet heard his newest release with Kanye West, please do immediately. Watch the Throne is not to be missed.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Coming Soon: The Artist

    I may not be the biggest fan of silent films but I know come Oscar season, the critics will go bonkers for this SILENT film. Yes, it's silent and filmed completely in Black & White. Obviously, it's will pay homage to Classic Hollywood and the Golden Era. *Yay, screams movie buffs like me*This film was the big buzz at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. The movie is about the rise and fall of a French silent movie star (blame the Talkies). I can't help but oogle at the 20's set up with the gorgeous costumes and lavish scenes. Just listen to the musical score. I feel like I'm in a movie theatre during the Great Depression! I expect to see The Artist on like ALL "Best Movies" list.

The Artist is set to be released on November 23rd.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Coming Soon: My Week With Marilyn

    Marilyn Monroe is someone I hold dear to my heart. I feel like her sex symbol status completely overshadowed her talent as an actress. Her performance in Some Like It Hot was ridiculously good and one of my favorites ever. It was funny, sexy, and aloof. She had the ability to be a great dramatic actress as well - shown in her 50s films Niagara and Don't Bother To Knock. So when I heard her life story was going to be made a movie again, I was very hesitant.


    My Week With Marilyn offers a brief time period in her life when she was filming the 1957 film The Prince and The Showgirl. This film was a commerical failure and is known for it's issues off-screen. Michelle Williams will be playing the icon. Big shoes to fill! She doesn't really look like Monroe but I do have faith in Williams after seeing most of her work. She is a very capable actress. Kenneth Branagh will be playing Laurence Olivier (WTF?). Branagh is known as a Shakespearean actor and director (Thor). He's a great actor but he looks NOTHING like Olivier. The supporting cast brings extra appeal with Dame Judi Dench, Emma Watson, Dominic Cooper, and Julia Ormond. I'll definitely watch this film but I will be very critical of the actors and their portrayals. Take a look a the poster and some images of Williams as Monroe.

 My Week With Marilyn is coming to theatres on November 4th.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

See It or Skip It: One Day

I spoke previously of a great book to movie adaptations with The Help. One Day is not one of them. Ugh, I really wanted to LOVE this movie. It’s one of my favorite books. The story of Emma and Dexter is a love not to be missed. It’s funny, annoying, sad, romantic, and brutally realistic in many aspects. Why couldn’t get this one right? Why!!

    One Day is based on the bestselling novel by David Nicholls (who also wrote the screenplay). The book follows the lives of two friends over the period over 20 years. Every July 15th, we read about this one day in their lives. The successes, failures, affairs, tragedies, and overall missed opportunities life has to offer us. Boy, did this have the potential to be the next great love story film.


    Let’s start off with Anne Hathaway. I love this woman. I was blown away by her live performance 2 years ago in Shakespeare in The Park. She is such a greatly funny and talented actress. Should she have been casted as a British dorky, funny and insecure Emma? No, she shouldn’t have. Yes, everyone is up in arms about the whole fake accent but it doesn’t bother me. She had a British accent before in Becoming Jane and it was tolerable. However, I can see how this is a factor that stopped a lot of moviegoers. The film is not doing well in the box office. Emma Morley is someone who blooms slowly and the whole process is something I loved about the novel. It just wasn't working for me. Hathaway tries her best but doesn't succeed in this role.

    Dexter looks so tired. The character is suppose to be a jerk and a mess but I just didn’t buy it. He’s still Dexter – the charming jerk. Jim Sturgess attempts to bring this complex character on screen but his lack of chemistry with Hathaway ruins the entire film for me. Watching these two in interviews is a bit painful as well. While he did bring emotion to my eyes, I know he's a good actor -so I really can't blame it on him either.

    I could have seen Romola Garai as Emma instead of Dexter’s girl, Sylvia. Her performance in Jane Austen's Emma showed me she had the talent but I guess she wasn't a match to big named superstar Hathaway. She is grossly underused in this film. Another American in the movie is the fabulous Patricia Clarkson. Since she's Dexter's mother, she's an important character but once again they dropped the ball on this too. You should get the whole story on most of these background players. How do they expect the audience to invest in these characters if we aren't getting enough?  There was a point when I just didn't care.

    Director Lone Scherfig did a phenomenal job with Carey Mulligan in An Education. I expected no less with this film but something feels off. The cinematography and shots are lovely. I know it wasn't the director's fault. Maybe it was editing issues?

    Now, the film follows the novel directly. I wasn't surprised by any elements. It may anger some moviegoers knowing this is not a typical romantic. Just look at the set up! You're in for a ride. I kind wish they changed the ending. No spoilers here! Studios changed the end of book adaptions in The Notebook, Dear John and My Sister's Keeper. Numerous fans actually prefer those movie to the books because of this!

    What went wrong? Could it be the writing? But it's the same author!! Did I cry like I was punched in the face? Oh, yeah. I cried and cried at the book, so it was going to waterworks at the theater. I can't pinpoint where problem lies but it seriously breaks my heart that I couldn't love this movie.

     Non-readers will probably like this movie but being a devoted book follower – I just can’t.

VERDICT: SKIP IT (read the novel instead)
*Okay, go ahead and Netflix it*