Posts Tagged ‘vampire weekend’

Two Blondes Reflect on 2008: Year in Review

January 29, 2009

Two blondes review 2008 and ramble about themselves a lot:

JESSICA SAYS:

Best of TV

“Friday Night Lights” – Where do I start?  I already went on a little tirade about the lack of attention this show gets in our Emmy recap.  I grew up in a town where everyone went to the high school football games on Fridays.  If the team made the championships that year, it would most certainly be front page news for several days.  This show so completely and realistically captures at least the essence of small town life.  There is no other way to say it, it’s just really, really good entertainment.  Do not be discouraged if you don’t like or understand football.  I can attest that Alison has zero knowledge or interest in the game and I got her completely hooked on this show.  It is more the story of life in the high school of a small town in Texas than the stories about the technicalities of football games.  The key here is that this show is firmly rooted in reality.  These teenagers do not have a constant stream of witty retorts at the ready and are not clothed in $14,000 outfits.  The adults get equal time on screen and the relationship between the coach and his wife (the Taylors) is one of the most loving and real I’ve ever seen on TV.  There is not a single person I know who wouldn’t enjoy this show.  Seriously.  I’m not above begging you to watch it because I don’t want NBC to cancel this show–please, please give it a shot.  I promise you won’t regret it.  NOTE – this is my opinion on season two.  I haven’t yet seen season three.  For those of you out of the loop, FNL was picked up in a joint effort by NBC and DirectTV for season three.  DirectTV got to air it first.  Season three is on NBC now.

“30 Rock” – Please see the many previous posts we’ve made regarding our love for the best comedy on TV.

“Lost” – One of my all-time favorites got it’s groove back this year.  We true, diehard fans were rewarded for sticking it out through the Kate-and-Sawyer-in-Cages dark period with the Freighter folk, time travel, flash forwards, and Ben using some sort of weird donkey-at-a-mill thing in the season finale.  Awesome.  Signing a contract with an exact end date was so smart–good stories require good, planned out, endings.  I think the cast of this show doesn’t get enough credit becuase the writing gets all the attention.  If the scene where Sun (Sunjin Kim) watches the freighter explode with her husband, Jin (Daniel Dae Kim), on it doesn’t make you cry, then you must have no heart.  I’ll say it again, awesome.

“Battlestar Galactica” – This one is perhaps more of a DVD review from me because I just started watching this on DVD.  To be honest, I’m not someone who would immediately sign up for a show with such a name.  However, once I started watching it, I became a little odsessed.  When you run into another BG fan it’s hard to have you conversation blend in to those around you because you’re saying things like, “Well, I’m at the point where Starbuck is back on Caprica and Commander Adama is testing people to see who are Cyolns…”  That kind of talk will stand out to other folks in the office, I’ve found.  It’s really a military drama that just happens to be set in space.  That’s not so dorky, is it?  Oh well, it’s good.  That’s all I’m sayin’.

Best New TV Show

It’s a tie:

“Fringe” – I must confess that I love JJ Abrams.  Like if I met him I would probably resemble a teenager who ran in to Joe Jonas at Pinkberry–all giggles, screams, and repetitions of OhMyGod.  However, I did not love this show at first, but because it was JJ, I gave it some time and it really grew on me.  Mr. Abrams truely has a talent for working with strong leading ladies:  Keri Russell, Jennifer Garner, and now Anna Torv.

“Gossip Girl” – Deliciously trashy.  Do people and places like this really exist?  I doubt it, but it doesn’t matter.  You don’t watch this kind of show for reality.

Worst of TV

This is hard to judge because if it’s bad, I just don’t watch it.  I caught a few minutes of “Momma’s Boys,” the Ryan Seacrest-produced dating show.  There is just something so sad and uncomfortable about watching a 30 year-old man have his mother pick his clothes out for him.

Best of Music – Songs
“Single Ladies” – Beyonce.  This song is super catchy.  Plus you can waste hours on the Internet watching all the knock-off videos.

“I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz.  Sometimes his style of singrapping annoys the pants off of me, but not this time.  This is just a catchy, sweet love song

“Viva La Vida” – Coldplay.

Best of Music – Artists
Vampire Weekend – Yes, I know that all the cool kids have already fallen in love with this band and then broken up with them.  Heck, they maybe are even back in love with them by now, but I don’t care.  Their album makes me smile every time I listen and the geeky parts of my personality really get a kick out of lyrics like, “Who gives a f$%# about an Oxford comma.”

ADELE – I can enjoy Duffy, but if we’re going for young, English soul singers this year, I’ll go with ADELE.  She does a nice cover of Garth Brooks’ “To Make You Feel My Love.”

Worst of Music

Now, it pains me to say this, but Kelly Clarkson’s My December album was not good.  I’ve been a fan of hers since American Idol, so I preordered this album on iTunes.  Mistake.  The songs seem to have no structure (usually a bad thing in pop music), they’re depressing, and worst of all–boring.  I have high hopes for her new album, out March 17, though.

Best of Film

American Teen – I only saw one new documentary this year, but I really liked it.  Following Hannah, Colin, Megan, Mitch, et al. brought memories of the flood of emotions you go through as a senior in high school.  I’m still not sure how I feel about the animation sequences in this film, but I enjoyed the rest of it so much, that it doesn’t matter.

Bolt – I don’t want to bring about the end of my and Alison’s relationship by saying this, but my favorite animated film of 2008 was Bolt, not WALL-E.  I’m kind of obsessed with the hamster, with his bubbling super-fan excitement.  I was charmed by the pigeons’ New York accents too.

TIE: Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon – both are excellent and they have completely polar opposite tones, which makes it impossible to choose one over the other.  For my full Frost/Nixon review, see https://twoblondeswalkintoablog.wordpress.com/2008/12/28/two-blondes-go-to-a-movie-frostnixon/.  My Slumdog Millionaire review will follow shortly.

Worst of Film

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Apparently my opinion of this film is not the majority, as it just received 13 Oscar nominations.  I was just bored for most of it.  For the full review, see https://twoblondeswalkintoablog.wordpress.com/2009/01/09/two-blondes-go-to-a-movie-the-curious-case-of-benjamin-button/

ALISON SAYS:

What the fraggle happened in 2008?

Alison’s review:

Best of film:
WALL-E
It is the best film ever.  Period.

The Wrestler
See my past review.

Honorable mention goes to:
The Dark Knight – see my past review.

Worst of film:
Sex and the City
I know as someone with girly parts, I’m supposed to love this film.  I did watch the show on HBO and it was a big part of my life.  I remember meeting up with gal pals in NY and having drinks and watching “Sex and the City.”  The tradition continued once I moved to LA.  The movie, on the other hand, made me sympathize with disgruntled husbands and boyfriends all over the world who were dragged to see this film.  I was annoyed as I watched the women of Sex and the City scream and fawn over one another.  I wanted to yell at the screen: “Get over your issues and shoe obsession and stop wearing that tiny, weird hat!”

Indiana Jones
I didn’t see this, but I just know.

Best of television:“Lost” – Just watch it.

“30 Rock” – Read my many other posts on 30 Rock.

“Breaking Bad” – An amazing show.  You have never seen anything like this show on TV.

“Friday Night Lights” – No, really you can hate football and love this show.

Honorable mention goes to:
“Mad Men” – Just trust me and plug AMC into your TiVo.

Worst of television:

I wouldn’t know, because my TiVo is caring and knows what not to save.  But a safe bet would be any reality show produced by Ryan Seacrest.  Also from the five minutes I was able to stomach of “Knight Rider,” it looked pretty terrible.

Best in everything:

Tina Fey
How many Emmy’s did this woman win this year?  And how well did she portray Sarah Palin?  I can’t think of any other show that makes me as happy as “30 Rock” does.  Once again, I have to say it: “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah.”

Best online videos:“Where the hell is Matt?”
There’s always many funny, moving, interesting videos to be found on the worldwide web, but something that made my heart warm this year was watching Matt dance all over the world in the video, “Where the hell is Matt?” available here:
http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/videos.shtml?fbid=vpj970bQKUL

“I’m f-ing Matt Damon”
If you haven’t seen this, please look it up, unless you’re my mom, because she might get offended by the curse words.  Otherwise, you will find this hilarious.

Honorable mention goes to:

“Planet Unicorn” – I am too busy still laughing to explain it to you. http://www.planetunicorn.tv/

Cutest and most enthusiastic mom in 2008 (besides our own):

Michael Phelps’ mom.

Winner of Most Screaming Teenage Female Fans in 2008:
Robert Pattinson
I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing for you, Robert.  Either way, good luck with that.

Best on-air slip-up:

Spaghetti Cat – If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up.  Reading is fundamental, even if it’s about a cat who’s eating spaghetti.

Best Abs of 2008 goes to:Helen Mirren
Did you see that picture of Helen Mirren in a red bikini?  Damn, girl!  I mean… damn, Ms. Award Winning Lady!

Honorable mention goes to:
Our new president, Barack Obama, for those pictures from his vacation in Hawaii.

Best in technology:
Wii Fit – It’s sooooooo much fun and can actually give you a good workout, even tennis elbow.  There are a bunch of ladies at my grandmother’s “independent living home” who are in a Wii bowling league.  Is there any better use for a video game than a group of fun-loving senior citizens getting some exercise while having a laugh with their friends?

Worst in technology:
New Facebook – I’m still grumpy about it.

Best Review of 2008:

“Pop Waffle Does 2008” located here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18MMPhuHZIE

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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.