Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jay-Z & Kanye Release "Otis", but Duckie Did a Better Job

Earlier this week, Jay-Z and Kanye released a track off of their highly anticipated upcoming collaboration, Watch the Throne. An ode to the late, great, intoxicating soul-man, Otis Redding, an artist so talented and beloved that really, he needs no last name. He's Otis. The track is good, featuring some memorable and jarring lines from good-ol Mr. West (I say that sarcastically because although his talent is indisputable, I can't stand the essence that is Kanye: the brand). But really, as I was listening to it, I couldn't stop wishing that Jay-Z and Kanye would just shut up so I could hear the Otis sample underneath their rhymes.

So, for everyone who listened to Jay-Z and Kanye's tribute to Otis, and hoped they'd stop being so rude as to talk over a classic soul track, here is the iconic scene from Pretty in Pink (you know the one...), with  Duckie Dale so perfectly lip-syncing along to Try a Little Tenderness.

"This is a very good tune. My mother used to sing this. This is Otis, I love Otis."
- Duckie Dale (Pretty in Pink)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TIFF 2011: Toronto International Film Festival List Announced


If feels like just yesterday we were impatiently anticipating the first breeze of the Spring season with the promise of Summer heat. Well, now we're only one month away from TIFF 2011, which in Toronto means Fall, which means one step closer to Winter and the disgusting mounds of snow that come with it... It's bitter sweet, to say the least.

Toronto International Film Festival frenzy kicks off as per usual, starting the second week of September, when stars and fans alike, flock to various theatres and hot spots in Toronto to take in all the festival has to offer.

Early this morning, TIFF organizers announced the initial 50 films for TIFF 2011 and the list couldn't be more impressive and jam-packed with talented Hollywood A-listers. A few of the big films that were announced today: Ryan Gosling's Drive, George Clooney's The Ides of March and The Descendants, and Brad Pitt's Moneyball. The official list is up on the TIFF site, and get a full breakdown on what films are screening as Galas and Special Presentations. And for the first time ever at TIFF, this year's festival will open with a doc, a U2 documentary, From the Sky Down, from Davis Guggenheim.

For a festival that has been a launching pad for Oscar darlings like Juno, Slumdog Millionaire and last year's The King's Speech, I for one, can't wait for September.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lords of Dogtown - Swooning Over Emile Hirsch

This scene epitomizes why I love Emile Hirsch. He's so bad-ass and this might be the best seduction scene ever seen on film. OK, I may be over-doing it a bit.

Great. Freaking. Movie. I cry every time. Lords of Dogtown perfectly plays out a coming-of-age story about a group of skate-boarding friends, growing up in 1970s Venice Beach. It stays true to the gritty and scrappy surf/skate lifestyle, and it's especially sad seeing Heath Ledger as Skip Engblom, raw and engaging as always. Mostly because he can no longer steal an entire movie like he always seemed to do. This is Director Catherine Hardwicke at her best - she should stick to indies.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Red Band Trailer: Ryan Gosling's 'Drive'

What can I say? I love a good crime film (...not sure what that says about me). It's no secret that I'd much rather kick back and watch Goodfellas or The Departed for the umpteenth time, than give any attention to some of the derivative action flicks that've been released lately. And, as a proud Canadian (and former fan of The Mickey Mouse Club and Breaker High!), I love me some Ryan Gosling (minus his ridiculously-fake Brooklyn accent. Like seriously, buddy, you're from Canada, not New York. Life doesn't have to imitate art ALL the time), and I truly believe Carey Mulligan is pretty much close to perfection. She has a subtle, yet distinct, on-screen presence that the world fell in love with after her breakout (and might I mention, Oscar-nominated) role in An Education. Also must mention the stellar supporting cast that includes Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and the gorgeous Christina Hendricks (Mad Men).

Ryan plays a Hollywood stunt driver who also moonlights as a getaway-car wheelman. Drive looks gritty, excellently violent, and pretty damn sexy, with heads bashing and guns waving. Seriously, what's wrong with me?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Latest on HBO's Boardwalk Empire & How to Make It in America

PhotobucketGoing out to all the HBO fans and addicts (like yours truly!), here's the latest update on the TV shows we are so desperately waiting for.

In case you haven't seen this yet, here's what we can look forward to for the highly anticipated second season of Boardwalk Empire, premiering in September. Looks like Nucky's in for some competition from surrogate son, Jimmy. Although all I'm hoping for is some more screen time for the intriguing and always-captivating, Richard Harrow (Jack Huston).

Plus, season 2 of How to Make It in America gets a second chance to wow us in October. (October 2nd is what I've read.) I think when this one came out last year, we all thought it'd be like 'the new Entourage', but it's a different show and I'm willing to give it another shot to really give me more than just the stellar cast and breathtaking New York scenery.

Speaking of Entourage, it's a bittersweet ending to a ground-breaking television bro-mance that will be missed. Whatever, it's not like I'm shedding too many tears since Entourage will live on in syndication and get extensive replays in my personal DVD collection, that's for sure. The final season, only 8 episodes, starts this Sunday (July 24th) and things are definitely up in the air. Vince's career, Ari's marriage and it looks like Sloan sent back E's engagement ring.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review: Bad Teacher - Shut the Front Door!

Who knew Cameron Diaz could be so unlikeable? For someone who easily brightens the screen with her goofy smile, even giving Julia Roberts, a run for her money in My Best Friend's Wedding, she managed to be quite detestable in Bad Teacher.

Bad Teacher
Cameron plays a self-centered, unapologetic, downright-bad, teacher who's main goal is to marry rich. She's flawed, so flawed that you feel guilty for being on her side (even though I was). She cheats, steals, lies, does drugs, treats her students like crap and appears to have very little conscience. Basically, she's evil - and the protagonist can never be evil! Wait, that's not true. The main character can be bad, but by the end of the movie, usually there has to be some sort of redemption to make it right and restore 'happily ever after' balance, at least in a light-hearted comedy like this one. But that doesn't happen here. There's no punishment, and she definitely does not redeem herself.

And I don't know, maybe I'm just as bad a person deep down inside, because I didn't really mind that. I didn't need her to come to a positive realization or make up for her wrong-doings in the end. She got the guy - maybe not the-guy-with-all-the-money, but the guy we knew she'd end up with. Oh, and if you don't walk out of the movie hating Justin Timberlake's character so much that you wished he was in front of you so you could slap him, I'll give you a hundred dollars. Maybe.

Jason Stackhouse is the Best

Jason: "There's werewolves?"
Sookie: "Yes"
Jason: "Shit! Bigfoot? Is he real too?"
Sookie: "I don't know, I guess it's possible."
Jason: "Santa?!"
Sookie: "Jason! Focus."