Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

October 18, 2008

Two Blondes review a movie and ramble about themselves:

Note: Our review may have some similar sentiments, but we swear we wrote them separately. Great minds think alike sometimes…

ALISON SAYS:

I haven’t loved a cast this much in a long time. First off, I love Michael Cera. Not in a creepy way. I’ve never gone looking for where he might live in Los Angeles and stood outside wondering if he’d walk out, see me and find me as charmingly awkward as I find him. Really, I haven’t. But I have watched DVD’s of Arrested Development and been amused for hours. Clark and Michael has distracted me from doing work many a time. I may have even considered writing a non-creepy and comedic love ballad to express my thanks for there being a boy-man like Michael Cera both on the big and small screen.

Second, there’s Kat Dennings. Can we just talk about talented and beautiful this actress is? Angelina, we have a real contender for “best lips in Hollywood” now that Kat Dennings is on the scene. And Kat is beautiful in a way that’s real and not just good make-up. She was the perfect slightly insecure, but knows who she is teenage girl. Here’s two quotes I read on IMDB from Kat: “There’s nothing else I would rather do, unless there was a profession that involved cuddling bunny rabbits and kittens all day for money.” “I’ve basically made a career out of my imagination.” How cute is she?!

Then we also have Ari Graynor with her portrayal of the drunk best friend, Caroline. I wanted to stand up and applaud her hilarious, spot-on portrayal of what drunk teenage girls act like. She was able to be charming at the same time as being obnoxious. Then I also loved the boys who played Nick’s gay friends. They were funny and sweet, and never felt like a stereotypical portrayal of the gay best friend.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist felt very real to me. Possibly the realest (is that a word?) movie about teenagers I’ve ever seen. Some past teenage movies (like Juno) left me feeling manipulated and like someone was just trying to sound “cool.” Nick and Norah just felt real and left me happy, amused and charmed. It reminded me of being young, insecure and trying to figure out love. And made me somewhat nostalgic for the days of kissing boys in the streets of New York just when the sun is coming up, or being seventeen and asking a boy if “he’s interested” and being so scared of rejection. It’s a movie that leaves you with that attitude of life being full of infinite possibilities, not to mention lots of great music.

LA Viewers: Worth paying full price at the Grove or Arclight. Yes, I realize what’s going on with the economy, that’s why being entertained is so important right now.

Translation for non-LA viewers: Unless you’re dead inside or hate young love, go see this movie right away.

P.S. The director’s first film Raising Victor Vargas is worth getting on Netflix. A grittier, lower budget look at young love.


JESSICA SAYS:

I like to consider myself to be somewhat of a master when it comes to the mix CD–incidentally, I still feel the urge to call it a mix-tape. ‘Mix CD’ doesn’t have the same ring to it. As of today, my iTunes library has 5,238 songs in it, which is 343 days worth of music, so there is a lot to pull from. There is an art to a good mix. One song needs to lead to the next and you certainly never put back-to-back songs by the same artist. That’s the antithesis of the mix.

So, I was already into this movie, simply from the title. A title that is also, admittedly, a bit clunky. Although this irritates me about other people, I am also someone who is annoyed when my new, favorite, quirky, little band that no one has heard of becomes big, e.g. Vampire Weekend. I have been known to grumble when a song I like is featured on Gossip Girl, or the like. This movie is full of bands to whom this has already happened, or they are dangerously close to it happening. To my point, Vampire Weekend is on the soundtrack.

Two minutes into the movie, watching Michael Cera leave a squirm-inducing voicemail to his ex-girlfriend, and I knew I was going to like it. As we were leaving the movie, I realized what was so familiar and likable about it–it felt just like a John Hughes movie. Instead of Chicago suburbanites, they were New York. Instead of finding the meaning of life at the end of a rollicking day that included singing on a Von Stuben Day float in a parade, they passed through a gay Christmas musical review. And of course, instead of cassette tapes, there were mix CDs.

For full disclosure here, I wrote my Master’s thesis on John Hughes movies. I chose them because I figured if I was going to spend that amount of time reading about and watching something, I had better like them. Plus, I had already seen them each at least five times. As much as I loved Jake Ryan by the end of Sixteen Candles (OK, who are we kidding, I still do love him.), I think I love Michael Cera more. He’s just so funny and sweet and adorable.

So yeah, I really liked this movie. My one criticism would be there were parts that dragged a little bit, but on the whole I really liked it. If there were a competition for best bee-stung lips, Kat Dennings could give Angelina a run for her money. As someone who has had friends that were carbon copies of Caroline, the attention needy intoxicated friend, I can attest that Ari Graynor was perfect in the part.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is worth the full Friday night price. I especially recommend this if you ever had a crush on Jake Ryan, Ferris Bueller, etc.

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Two Blondes Go To A Movie: Choke

October 3, 2008

Two Blondes review a movie and ramble about themselves.

JESSICA SAYS:
Here is what I knew about this movie going into it: It’s based on a novel by Chuck Palahniuk. That’s it. Sometimes that’s a really nice way to go into a movie (or book for that matter) because it prevents the sentiment that my mother utters after every single movie when you ask her what she thought–“Well, it wasn’t what I expected.” I have read Fight Club, which is also by Palahniuk, but haven’t read Choke. So, I expected it to be dark and twisty, with a little social commentary added in for good measure. To borrow from Mom, “It wasn’t (totally) what I expected.” It was dark and twisty, but I missed the social commentary. Side note: anytime I quote my mother, be sure to read it with a pretty strong Midwestern accent (specifically Saint Louis).

A quick plot summary–Sam Rockwell plays a recovering sex addict, Victor Mancini, who works at a colonial reenactment site. His mother, played by Angelica Houston, is a patient in a mental hospital who no longer recognizes her son. Victor begins to fall for his mother’s doctor, played by Kelly MacDonald, as he sets out to find out who his father is.

Kudos to the casting director of this film. I don’t think there is another actor out there that plays sleazy, but likeable as well as Sam Rockwell. I’m kind of in love with Anjelica Huston now. As I left the movie, it dawned on me that I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of her movies before. I am in the process of adding her films to my Blockbuster queue right now. This film was filled with scenes that turned on long, silent close-ups of her face as she processed emotion and information. I was in awe. Plus, I got kind of mesmerized by her looks–she’s attractive, but not in a traditional sense and I could never quite put my finger on what made her striking. It’s like the individual parts are kind of odd, but the sum of the parts works. Last but not least, I was so pleased to see Joel Grey, star of Broadway and father of Baby Houseman (a.k.a. Jennifer Grey–“Dirty Dancing”). He’s such an odd little man and he worked that beautifully as one of the recovering sex addicts in therapy with Victor.

Have you ever seen a movie and thought, I bet this is a really good book? That’s how I felt with “Choke.” That’s not to say I didn’t think the movie was good; I did. I just felt like the book probably said things the movie didn’t even attempt to (the missing social commentary I referenced at the beginning of this). I laughed out loud several times, which is how I judge how funny something is. Even better, it was pretty moving, too.

Just a warning: I was unprepared for how much sex there was in this movie. After reading this, you will already be aware it’s about a sex addict. I was not. All the sex scenes felt appropriate and were relevant to the plot, just…you know…this isn’t one for the kids.

This is worth seeing for the full Friday night price. Just don’t see it with anyone whom you might be uncomfortable watching people do the ‘around the world.’

ALISON SAYS:

Who knew broken, depressed sex addicts could be so funny? I sure didn’t until I saw this movie. I have never read any of Chuck Palahniuk’s books, though after reading some of his info on Wikipedia, I’ve just added some of his work to my library account (yes, I have a library card and actually use it). Here’s a few choice pieces:

When Palahniuk “attempted to publish his next novel, Invisible Monsters, publishers rejected it for being too disturbing. This led him to work on his most famous novel, Fight Club, which he wrote as an attempt to disturb the publisher even more for rejecting him.”

“Palahniuk would also become a member of the rebellious Cacophony Society* in his adulthood. He is a regular participant in their events, including the annual Santa Rampage (a public Christmas party involving pranks and drunkenness) in Portland. His participation in the Society inspired some of the events in his writings, both fictional and non-fictional. Most notably, he used the Cacophony Society as the basis for Project Mayhem in Fight Club.”

“Choke” is the latest film adaptation of Palahniuk’s work, and it’s definitely worth seeing. It has a stellar cast, all talented and all funny. There’s a depressing realism to the misery that is their lives, but you still love being along for the ride and keep hoping they’ll find some semblance of happiness. Sam Rockwell dazzles as a guy you sort of want to hate, but can’t help being charmed by. I can’t believe I just wrote “dazzles.” Brad William Henke masterfully portrays the sweetest, most cuddly chronic masturbator you’ll ever meet. Clark Gregg should be proud of himself for his directorial debut with this film, not to mention his hilarious performance as Lord High Charlie and the fact that he wrote the screenplay.

LA Viewers: Worth paying full price at The Grove or Sunset 5.

Translation for non-LA natives: It is worth paying money to see this movie in the theaters. It will make you laugh and you get to see boobs (if you’re into that).

Sidenote: This is not the movie to bring your small children or your mom to. Or to bring anyone who might be weirded out by somewhat explicit sex scenes.
*Jessica has no idea what the Cacophony Society actually does, but you had her at “pranks and drunkenness.”

Two Blondes Watch Their TiVo: The Emmys, Part 2

September 30, 2008

Two blondes watch their TiVo and pass judgment on the world of television and the Emmy winners.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Winner: “Mad Men”

JESSICA CHOOSES:
“Mad Men” – I was very torn with this one. “Lost” is one of my all-time favorite TV shows and pretty much any other year, it would be my choice. However, “Mad Men” is truly outstanding and “Lost” has already won this award. Therefore, I’m going with “Mad Men.”

P.S. “Friday Night Lights” should have gotten a nomination in this category. Seriously, some of the best programming on TV. “Boston Legal” can’t even carry the shoes (or should I say cleats…get it? Because they’re a football team…cleats) of “Friday Night Lights.”

ALISON CHOOSES:
“Mad Men” – I was very happy “Mad Men” won. But I wish that there could have been a tie between “Lost,” “Mad Men” and “Dexter.” Those are the three shows that both my TiVo and I worship. I also think “Breaking Bad” should have been nominated.

P.S. I am aware Jessica’s cleats joke is a pun, thus the lowest form of comedy, but it makes her giggle at her own cleverness every time she reads it. Sorry readers.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Winner: “30 Rock”

JESSICA CHOOSES:
“30 Rock” – If I haven’t yet made my love of all things Tina Fey-related known, then let me proclaim it now. Tina, I would give up my Sandwich Day-sandwich for you. This show is simply sublime. Episode 210 and Sandwich Day are some of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on TV. If you’re not watching this show, I’m not sure we can be friends.

ALISON CHOOSES:
I agree with Jessica and that is why we can be friends. And if you’re someone who has no idea what “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” is, then I feel sorry for you and think you should take a serious look at your life and your taste in television.

Speaking of taste or lack of, is “Entourage” actually worthy of even being in this category? I’ll admit I enjoyed this show the first two seasons, but it’s not funny anymore. It’s starting to feel douchey at this point.

To the fans of “Two and a Half Men” who helped get it nominated,
Really?
Alison

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Winner: Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”)

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”). Yes, I realize the academy did not even nominate him, but that is not stopping me from giving him the award.

ALISON CHOOSES:
Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) I actually furiously clapped when Bryan Cranston won, despite sitting in an apartment with four other people (who were not clapping). I love this show and am constantly surprised and impressed with his performance in it. But if the world were a more magical place full of rainbows and unicorns (like it is in my head), I would also give an award to Michael C. Hall for “Dexter” and Jon Hamm for “Mad Men.” I would also give Jon Hamm some kind of award for being kind enough to go with Regis Philbin to surprise his wife, Joy.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Winner: Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”)

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Steve Carell (“The Office”) – He manages to show the heart of a character that in anyone else’s hands, might just seem like a dolt.

ALISON CHOOSES:
Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”) and co-winners Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie (“The Flight of the Conchords”) – Alec Baldwin deserves to have Emmys coming out of his ass for what he does on “30 Rock.” There’s no question about that. But I’d also be super happy if Jermaine and Bret got a little notice for their wonderfully hilarious and original show.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Winner: Glenn Close (“Damages”)

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Connie Britton (“Friday Night Lights”) – Again, I know she wasn’t nominated and I know the women who were nominated have either won the award before or are big movie actresses, but I feel very comfortable saying Connie Britton is better in FNL than any of them.

ALISON CHOOSES:
Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”) – I have to admit I haven’t watched “Friday Night Lights,” so maybe I would agree with Jessica if I knew otherwise. But I’m a fan of “The Closer” and think Kyra deserves recognition for her work.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Winner: Tina Fey (“30 Rock”)

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) – Did I not make myself clear on this yet? If Tina Fey is eligible for a category, I’m picking her.

ALISON CHOOSES:
Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) – Insert constant laughter and joy here.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Winner: Zeljko Ivanek (“Damages”)

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Michael Emerson (“Lost”) – What I marvel at here is that Michael Emerson is so skillful (with the aid of some pretty amazing writing) that he has not changed the way he plays the character of Ben, yet he has managed to make the audience go from seeing him as a villain to a hero.

ALISON CHOOSES:
Michael Emerson (“Lost”) – There has never been a better, more complicated villain than Ben. The writers are due some credit for that, but Michael Emerson always delivers on the material.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Winner: Jeremy Piven (“Entourage”)

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother”) – I would marry him and make lots of adorable, witty babies…if only he weren’t gay.

ALISON CHOOSES:
Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock”) – If NBC put Kenneth’s smiling visage on a pillowcase, I would buy it. There is no other character on TV who gives me the same warm, happy feeling in my tummy as Kenneth does. I feel like he and I would be best friends and warm the world with our positive outlook on life.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Winner: Dianne Wiest (“In Treatment”)

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Evangeline Lilly (“Lost”) – Admittedly, I’m not sure if she would really be up for this or the lead actress award, but I didn’t want to pit her against Connie Britton in my head.

ALISON CHOOSES:
Evangeline Lilly (“Lost”) – I’m gonna agree with Jessica.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

JESSICA CHOOSES:
Jenna Fischer (“The Office”)

ALISON CHOOSES:
Kristen Schaal (“The Flight of the Conchords”) – She’s pure comedy genius in a cute, awkward bottle.

OUTSTANDING REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
Winner: “The Amazing Race”

JESSICA CHOOSES:
“So You Think You Can Dance” – This and “Project Runway” are the only programs in this category where all of the contestants actually have talent and seem to have studied some sort of craft. You can’t just walk in off the street, having never done it before, and be a good dancer. “So You Think You Can Dance” is a show tailor-made for me–the dancing, the costumes, my same-sex-non-sexual love for Cat Deeley…

ALISON CHOOSES:
“Project Runway” – It’s the only reality programming I can stand to watch.

OUTSTANDING VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES
Winner: “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”

JESSICA CHOOSES:
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” – Come on, like there is any contest here.

ALISON CHOOSES:
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” – Agreed.

OUTSTANDING MINISERIES
Winner: “John Adams”

JESSICA CHOOSES:
“Roots” – Um…they still make miniseries? I guess I choose “Roots.” That’s the last miniseries I saw.

ALISON CHOOSES NOT TO CHOOSE:
They all sounded boring to me.

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES:
Winner: “Mad Men”

JESSICA CHOOSES:
“Lost” – I think there is a huge problem with the way this award is set up. Excellent TV writing has to involve both great stand-alone episodes, AND great story arcs that are spread out over a season or more. That fact that they vote on individual episodes only, I feel, can be the only reason that “Lost” hasn’t won this award every year since it’s been on TV.

ALISON CHOOSES:
“Lost” – Most. Amazing. Show. Ever!

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Winner: “30 Rock”

JESSICA CHOOSES:
“30 Rock” – You can’t be surprised by this at this point.

ALISON CHOOSES:
“30 Rock” – I have six words for you: “Boys becoming men, men becoming wolves.”

Apparent Obsession with Josh Groban

September 25, 2008

Jessica says:

If you would have told me, when we started this blog, that Josh Groban would be our most referenced person or thing, there is no way I would have believed you.  However, it’s now true.  I saw this link this morning and thought I owed it to Mr. Groban to post his response.  At least he was trying to be funny with his performance at the Emmys.  Plus, it sounds like he agrees the show, as a whole, was pretty lame.

http://defamer.com/5054476/defiant-josh-groban-to-emmy-critics-really-really

Two Blondes Watch Their TiVo: The Emmys, Part 1

September 24, 2008

Two blondes watch their TiVo and ramble about themselves.

ALISON SAYS:

And now the 60th Annual Emmy Awards are brought to you by extreme awkwardness!

When I was six I peed in my seat in front of an entire class of my peers. I just sat there while urine flowed over the sides of my tiny plastic chair. All the other kids stared at me, pointed and laughed. That was less awkward than the Emmy’s this year.

First, I’d like to know what was up with the bush wall between the “reporters” and the talent during the red carpet pre-show. Here’s my impression: “Kyra Sedgewick. Can I ask you a few questions from behind this cumbersome hedge? Oh shit, a twig caught my dress! I don’t understand why the fuck we have to stand behind this stupid bush. Sorry… so who are you wearing? Hey, where are you going?”

I’ve decided to review Mary Tyler Moore’s bare arms…. One word: terrifying.
Mary,
Please proceed to your closest Chico’s and find some shawls to cover that shit up. It’s totally cool to be old, you’re still a classy gal, but it is completely unnecessary to bare that much skin in front of millions of people.
Alison

I’ve already complained about Josh Groban once on this blog, but after watching his performance at the Emmy’s, I feel I must whine and bitch yet again. First off, he had crazy eyes. Maybe he realized what a shitty gig he had gotten himself into and it was really freaking him out. Then he would sing in a weird high voice for certain parts. I think he was trying to be funny, but instead Groban ruined some of my favorite TV show theme songs. The “Golden Girls” theme song is even my ringtone, and now I can’t stop shuddering when I hear it. I am currently shaking my fist at you, Groban!

Despite my overall discontent with the show, I do have to give them kudos for ending at 11pm on the dot. That really helped me out with getting enough sleep for work on Monday. So thanks for that Emmy’s!

JESSICA SAYS:

This may have only aired in Los Angeles, but did you see the sad red carpet review that ABC ran before the show? They had Randolph Duke interviewing celebrities about their dresses, and by “interviewing” I mean a lot of gushing that made frequent use of the word, “fabulous.” When Randolph Duke stopped Tim Gunn it felt like the episode of Seinfeld where they run into their doppelgangers. Can’t you just see them going antiquing together?

I want to hate Jeremy Piven, but then he goes and does things like taking shots at the horrible hosts in his acceptance speech of the first award of the night and I can’t help but like him.

Why was Josh Groban singing all the theme songs? Rapping to the Fresh Prince?? I’m fine with ‘celebrating’ TV theme songs, but Josh Groban? I’m so confused and from the sound of the audience, I’m not alone. Does Groban have a sense of humor or was he completely serious with this? Wait, I’m just remembering that I think he participated in the “I’m f*cking Matt Damon” (or was it Ben Affleck?) video, so maybe he meant to be funny. It’s yet to be determined.

Tina Fey is a goddess and I worship her.

Five hosts is possibly the worst idea ever. Heidi Klum seemed dumbfounded by most of the show. Why can’t Jeff Probst wear a tie? Howie Mandel must be the worst person to encounter at a cocktail party—he won’t shut up.

Why didn’t Jimmy Kimmel host? His bit giving out the reality host award was 100% better than anything the actual hosts did. Plus I’m bitter that Cat Deeley from “So You Think You Can Dance” didn’t get nominated and Heidi Klum did.

My crush on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert only grows stronger everyday.

All in all, this made me really wish I still got cable. Ah Mad Men, our love affair was brief, but maybe the fates will bring us together again someday…

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Burn After Reading

September 22, 2008

Two Blondes review a movie and ramble about themselves.

Alison says:

I am a Coen Brothers fan for one reason… “The Big Lebowski.” It is my favorite movie ever. I have been to Lebowski Fest three times. I even won “Best Maude.” And yes, I am very proud of that. And yes, I would call myself a Coen Brothers fan and not just because of my love for the Dude. But I didn’t love “Burn After Reading.” I liked it, but no, I will not be attending any festivals dedicated to this film, though I would attend a fan club for Richard Jenkins or J.K. Simmons after their performances in the film.

I was also really impressed with Brad Pitt’s performance There’s no question about Brad’s movie star quotient. It’s big, the biggest. But my favorite BP performances don’t involve him being a super star. It’s his “smaller” side performances that are truly awesome. Let’s rewind to 1993. Brad plays a small role as an LA stoner named Floyd in “True Romance.” He’s hilarious and perfect in this role. Another favorite “small” performance is his role of a crazy guy in “Twelve Monkeys.” He commits to that role fully. Then, there’s his portrayal of Mickey in “Snatch.” And of course we can’t forget “Thelma and Louise,” where the world first learned about Brad’s charm and abs. Maybe I’m just nostalgic for movies from the early 90’s, but I love seeing Brad playing more than just a hot guy. And he does that in “Burn After Reading,” In a scene with John Malkovich, he’s trying to act tough and mysterious. He does these little eye movements that cracked me up. There’s an earnestness and blind optimism that shines through in this character and shows Brad’s got comic chops. I also want to give a shout out to whomever did hair on “Burn After Reading.” Brad’s horribly tacky blond tips were stupendous.

With a lot of movies and TV shows, I usually find myself predicting what’s gonna happen. But I was happily surprised with some of the narrative and the violence in this movie. It felt really good to not know what was coming. But overall the film felt a bit disjointed to me. The whole didn’t always seem to match its parts and I also just didn’t care enough the characters to get super into the movie. I found myself wondering more about who Tilda Swinton’s dermatologist is, rather than being invested in what was happening to the characters.

LA Viewers: This movie is worth paying matinee price at the Grove.
Translation for non-LA viewers: If you can catch a matinee and go half price, go see this movie.

Jessica says:

How do the Coen brothers manage to get such attractive people to agree to look like such…dorks, for lack of a better word, in their films?  It’s impressive.  Brad Pitt actually seems to revel in his character’s dorkiness.  Well, let me back up.  I should probably explain that I am not a huge Coen Brothers fan.  I don’t dislike their work; I’m just not a fan.  I’ve seen Fargo and The Big Lebowski (but only once—I’ve been told I need to see it about three more times to really ‘get it’)*.

So, back to Burn After Reading, for the most part, I thought it was pretty funny.  John Malkovich was as creepy as always, but the performances I enjoyed the most were J.K. Simmons and Richard Jenkins.  I love J.K. Simmons in everything I’ve ever seen him in really.  They are both character actors, so let me help you out with where you might have seen them before:  J.K. Simmons was the dad in Juno and Dr. Skoda on Law & Order and Richard Jenkins was Nathaniel Fisher on Six Feet Under.

Now, I knew I was watching a Coen brothers’ movie and I knew that meant dark comedy and the possibility of some surprising violence.  Yet, somehow I got lulled into a relaxed state by the comedy/spy plot and then BAM you see someone get shot in the head with brain splatter.  That was mildly startling compared to seeing a character get axed in the face in the middle of the street.  I literally jumped and covered my face with my hands when the axe came down.  I’m afraid I really am my mother’s daughter.  She’s been complaining about violence in movies and TV for as long as I can remember and now apparently, so am I.  Oh, yeah, SPOILER ALERT.  Was I supposed to say that at the beginning?

Something about the whole film was just not quite right.  I had issues with the score.  It was written as if the movie was an actual spy thriller.  Imagine the score to The Fugitive and cut to Brad Pitt with frosted highlights sucking from a water bottle.  I’m sure that was supposed to be ironic, but it made me a little uneasy.  I was trying to decide if I was supposed to be horrified that I just saw someone get axed in the face or amused.  The feeling I ended up with was uncomfortable.

I recommend seeing it as a matinee.

*Alison vows to remain my friend, despite this fact.

Two Blondes Go to a Concert: Amos Lee

September 22, 2008

Two Blondes review a concert and ramble about themselves.

Alison says:

I can’t think of anyone less qualified to review a concert besides myself, except possibly for my mother.  Last summer she tried to get me to go to a Josh Groban concert with her.  My mom: “He’s so talented.”  Me: “He is the opposite of talent.”  It’s not that I don’t like music, I love music.  I’m just a terrible music fan.  I forget the names of artists and songs on a regular basis.  But despite that, I’ve decided to join Jessica in discussing the Amos Lee concert we saw at the Music Box in the Ford Theater (because Jessica thinks she’s British, she will spell it theatre).

Dare to dream.  That may have to be the motto of this blog.  Jessica dared to hope, to dream of free concert tickets and made a call into a local LA radio station.  And she won.  And then she dared to hope I would stay out past 10pm on a “school night” and leave my Tivo, and I did. And it was well worth it.  Amos’ music was awesome. After every song he would humbly thank the audience.  So adorable! He’s a singer/songwriter/guitarist/cute glasses guy originally from Philly.  The following genres are listed on his Wikipedia page:  Jazz fusion, Folk, Soul, Blues. His style is a perfect combination of all four. What’s not perfect though was the Music Box at Ford Theater.  There were no seats! How am I supposed to wear cute heels and attend a show there?

Jessica says:

You have to play to win…or call in to win, I guess.  A few days ago I happened to be tuned in to the local indie rock radio station and was actually paying attention when I heard the DJ give the station’s phone number and say he was giving away Amos Lee tickets.  However, he then specified to only call in for the tickets, “if you were really a fan.”  I dialed, but as I waited for someone to answer I got nervous about what that last bit about being a ‘real fan’ meant.  Was I going to have to answer some sort of question?  I mean, I own his album, but I’m not in his fan club.  When friends ask me to make them a mix CD, I usually put one of his tracks on there.  Does that count as a ‘real fan?’  I guess it did because I won the tickets.  The DJ asked if I had won anything from the station in the last six months.  I told him I was pretty sure I hadn’t even called a radio station in about ten years.

A and I arrived shortly before the opening act, Lucy Wainwright Roche.  There was a brief moment of panic when they didn’t have our names on the list at will call, but they let us in anyway.  (Note to self:  use this information to get into concerts free from now on.  Just say you won tickets from whatever radio station is sponsoring the gig.)  Lucy was ‘adorable,’ in Alison’s words, but I can’t see myself buying her record.  She sounds like that nice girl from down the hall in your college dorm who plays the guitar and is a summer camp counselor someplace in Minnesota.

Amos was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.  I was pleasantly surprised that several of the songs had a much stronger electric feel in person than they do on the record and he is an entertaining blues guitarist (but then again, I know nothing about playing the guitar).  I think I did manage to convert Alison to the fan club, since she tapped me halfway through and mimed that she wanted me to copy the CD for her (it was quite an elaborate miming gesture).

My only complaint about the experience has nothing to do with the music or the performers.  There was this group on youngins who arrived about three songs into the show and shoved their way to the front of the crowd.  Pretty much right in front of Alison and I.  They were two guys and three or four girls.  After pushing their way to the front, the girls proceeded to spend the entire concert taking photos of themselves.  Flash photos.  Apparently not only were they too self-involved to actually listen to and enjoy the concert, but they also missed the 45,000 signs posted by all the exits forbidding flash photography.  Eventually, at around photo number 67, the bouncers show up.  Who do they eject from the show?  Not any of the girls who were actually taking the pictures, but one of the guys with them.  The girls let him take the fall for them and he left by himself.  I’m thinking of a word and it rhymes with ‘smitches…’

Two Blondes Go To A Movie: The Dark Knight

September 6, 2008

Two blondes review movies and ramble a lot about themselves.

JESSICA SAYS:

Warning:  This review is going to sound like Andy Rooney, but…

Has anyone else noticed that movies have gotten really, really loud in the last couple of years?  Alison and I went to a double feature yesterday, Pineapple Express and The Dark Knight.  I was fine in Pineapple Express, but man, The Dark Knight was literally painful.  I had to plug my ears during any action sequence (which is approx. 96% of the movie).  Even after plugging my ears, I left the theatre slightly shouting everything I said.  I had the same problem a couple of years ago at one of the Bourne movies.  Is it just me?

You know it’s bad when you walk into Forever 21 and think, “Yes, this music seems to be playing at a reasonable volume,” as I did after the movies.  On a related note, on the way into the movie I told Alison I had made my first purchase at Forever 21 just a couple days prior.  She asked why that was my first.  Me:  “Because that store gives me an aneurysm.  The music is too loud, it’s messy, and there are teenagers everywhere.”  Her:  “OK, grandma.”  So maybe it is just me.

I recommend seeing this movie in the theatre, but bring industrial-strength earplugs and don’t sit on the aisle under a speaker.

ALISON SAYS:

As someone who wanted to be a super hero, but was deterred by bad arches and a fear of heights, it was fun to live the life of one for 150 minutes. I saw The Dark Knight twice in the theater and both times thought it was awesome. During my second viewing, I felt bad for Jessica as she held her right ear and winced at the impressive surround sound provided by Pacific 15 at the Grove. But despite her discomfort, I loved the music, explosions, action and awesomeness.

However, in the land of two blondes, there is no perfect review. I was really distracted by Two Face. Rather than looking like a guy who’d been burned, he looks like half a zombie. Also, in any moments where I lost my suspension of disbelief, I was a little thrown by the way Batman talked. It was so guttural, almost to the point of being silly. I think this YouTube video sums it up perfectly: 

LA Viewers: This movie is worth paying full price at Arclight.
Translation for non-LA Natives: Go to the theater to see this movie, but if you’re concerned with hearing loss, don’t sit near the speakers.

Two Blondes Go To A Movie: Pineapple Express

September 6, 2008

Two blondes review a movie and mostly ramble about themselves.

JESSICA SAYS:

My view on marijuana has changed over the years. As a teenager, I totally drank the Nancy Reagan Just Say No Kool-Aid (but only when it came to drugs—I was more than happy to overindulge in alcohol as a minor…and still am). I made it entirely through high school and college without ever lighting up, or toking, or whatever the kids are calling it. It wasn’t that hard to resist because unlike what they told us in the Just Say No club, if you say, “No thanks,” people don’t really pressure you. I was an officer in the Just Say No Club; media relations officer, which meant I went to the local radio station and recorded Just Say No ads (I also played the keyboard in the Just Say No jazz band). Vanity was my main reason for never smoking it, as it turns out. I’m horrible at inhaling. It’s embarrassing. I choke, cough, turn red, my eyes water, etc. Not what you want to happen when you’re trying to get the boy next to you to kiss you.

By the time I reached my mid-twenties, I started to realize that maybe it wasn’t such a big deal. In grad school, I decided to try it, just to say I had and to see what all the fuss was about. Again, unlike what Ms. Reagan told us, I was not automatically addicted. Like I had feared, my inability to inhale kept me to a one joint minimum and it had barely any effect on me. I became only slightly more giggly than normal.

My major concern going into this movie was that I didn’t have enough weed experience to get all the jokes. That wasn’t a problem. In the end, my main critique was that it was too long. I know this is not a novel critique for a Judd Apatow et al movie, but it was 1:52 and would have been much funnier at 1:30. The pot jokes were legitimately funny. It’s the action sequences that were way too long, and at risk of sounding like my mother, too violent. When I signed up for a stoner action adventure, I wasn’t expecting to see so many people meet their bloody demise.

So, I recommend renting this movie to watch as the second film on a staying-in night with friends. Pick something shorter as the main attraction.

ALISON SAYS:

Dear Seth Rogen,
Do you remember driving by me on Crescent Heights and 3rd six months ago? I furiously waved at you from my Blue Scion and may have even honked a couple times. No, it’s totally cool if you don’t remember.
Alison

Here’s my background, or lack thereof, when it comes to pot. In elementary school I was a star pupil when it came to Project Charlie (a drug education program). The teacher loved me, because I was and still am a nerd. She would repeat the mantra “You are special” over and over to make sure we knew we didn’t need drugs to be special. Being an only child, I was already aware of how special I was, but it was nice to see it confirmed in colored chalk up on the board.

At age thirteen, when I found out two of my friends were rowing out to the middle of our lake to get stoned, I was convinced every after school special I’d seen was about to come true. Certain that they were going to drown, I tried to save them by yelling from shore, “You’ll die out there!” My heroic efforts were mocked as they rowed farther away from me. Of course in the end, they didn’t drown. Nothing much happened at all, besides them probably enjoying the clouds more than usual.

In high school my sophomore year boyfriend, a former honors student and captain of his lacrosse team, started smoking weed after we broke up. He ended up getting kicked off the team and failing out of school. It only confirmed my every fear of the fall one takes when one experiments with drugs. Even at age 16, an age where you might not want to broadcast just how drug free and straight edge you are, I was running stop smoking programs in the student center at my school. I would shake pictures of darkened, damaged lungs at fellow classmates.

So, yeah, I was THAT girl. But despite my lack of experience with marijuana, I found Pineapple Express to be mostly hilarious. I laughed loud and often. Seth Rogen and James Franco were awesome together, and I have a newfound respect for James Franco after his performance as the ultimate pothead. My only criticism would be some of the violence at the end. Violence doesn’t bother me (two of my favorite movies are Die Hard and True Romance), but it seemed like overkill. It kind of felt like someone just wanted to throw in a shitload of blood and crazy stunts, but then again blood and stunts are super fun. But the ending felt long and overly bloody and not as funny as the rest of the film, in my sober and nerdy opinion.

LA Viewers: This movie is worth paying matinee price at the Grove, but may not be worth full price at Arclight.
Translation for non-LA Natives: I’m happy I saw it in the theaters, but I wouldn’t call it a travesty if you waited for one of your stoner buddies to rent it from Netflix.

I’d like to introduce you to Alison…

September 6, 2008

Born with a funky hip, Alison started her life in a cast that left her spread eagle for a little over a year. This experience really prepared her for her career in Hollywood.

During Alison’s childhood she experienced many high’s (being chosen for co-captain of the safety squad in 5th grade) and many lows (peeing in her seat in 1st grade), but throughout it all, she retained her hyper activity and love of storytelling. In a medium-sized town in Connecticut, Alison began producing and writing for her elementary school’s news show, “Notebook News.” She loved working on the show and brought a little “flava” to the town of Greenwich, CT when she debuted her original rap.

At age eleven, fortune smiled upon Alison, when her parents bought a video camera that they would never figure out how to use themselves. It basically became Alison’s. Her friends, sometimes unwillingly, became her cast for an assortment of movies, shows and documentaries. At age 16, Alison was on a radio show in NYC for her stupid human tricks giving her the ability to force millions to hear her talk about herself and make funny noises. This only strongly reinforced her need for attention.

After receiving a B.S. in Cinema Production and an aversion to cold weather from Ithaca College, Alison packed her ’88 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera (blue with rust stains) and headed to Los Angeles, where she now lives with an inflated sense of self and the misperception that anyone would find her bio interesting.

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