Life's our oyster and we're gonna suck that bitch down with a champagne chaser.

  • Behavioral Therapist
  • MA Developmental Psychology, Columbia
  • BS Psychobiology/ French, UCLA

  • Movies to See:
    Mission Impossible
    A Dangerous Method

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    The Life & Times of Tim

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    Game of Thrones
    by George R.R. Martin

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    El Camino

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    Newt Gingrich

  • Group of People to Despise:
    Fox & Friends


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Saturday, February 26, 2011  
Oscar the Grouch
The 37th self-congratulatory awards ceremony of the entertainment industry airs tomorrow night. But who cares but the bigwigs in the so-called "Academy" think. I, like any other self-respecting narcissist, only care about that my own opinions are heard and adhered by.

Therefore, in order to show up tomorrow's events, here are 2 lists of films. One is the top 10 films of the year, according to moi, and the next is the top 10 most entertaining (for whatever reason) movies. Also, a benefit to these lists is I will not mention a dress designer ever.

I usually attempt some from of Ebert-esque commentary for each film, "Cinematography, art direction, acting choices blah blah blah," but I don't feel like doing that this year, so instead I'll have a brief sentence or two for each film.

We'll start with the top 10 most entertaining/guilty pleasure movies of 2010. These weren't the best "films," per se, which is why I call them movies, but are either a ton of fun to watch, whether that's because there are multiple explosions, extreme saccharine or for its overall ludicrosity (triple word score).

Top 10 Guilty Pleasures of 2010

It's not much of a compliment to say this is the best movie based on a video game I've seen, nor does it add much that a white jew from Orange County plays the Persian prince. It's just honestly fun to watch, if for nothing else than to witness the further demise of Ben Kingsley's career.

An absolutely ridiculous, silly movin' picture, but Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp are good-looking folks running around fantastic looking locales, saying ridiculous things about ridiculous plot points. That's a winner in my book.

I don't usually go for horror films, but this movie (and its predecessor), which I label a thriller before a horror movie, profoundly creeps me out, as my girlfriend laughs in the corner. They've improved on the found footage formula pioneered by The Blair Witch Project.

Not nearly in the league of the first movie, but it's faithful to its comic book origins, and has cast Robert Downey Jr. perfectly as Tony Stark. Also, Scarlet Johnansson.

Film babies doing stuff in different countries. If you like babies (and if you don't, you are a heartless demon), you will like this movie. Plus it's like 70 minutes long.

Some people don't like Russell Brand. I do. Puff Diddy Daddy Combs is oddly hilarious. This movie is hilarious. Watch it.

I am not a fan of the original Tron but for some reason I loved this film. It has an amazing look to it and is a twist on the action genre. Also, Olivia Wilde.

Armed owls. Slow-motion. Owl City. Gizzards. LSD. Brilliance.

This movie makes you actually want to train a dragon, and has even set up a whole dragon mythology behind the story. Bring on the sequel, please.

Do you watch superhero films, but wish there were more 11-year old girls dismembering bad guys while calling them c*nts? Then this brilliant twist on the superhero genre, also based on a comic book, is a must-see.

Onto the award contenders. These movies are "films" that are slightly more noteworthy than the aforementioned due to their lasting effect on the viewer (i.e. me, and whoever I saw these with), for days and weeks after watching them. I should note that I haven't had the opportunity to see all of the so-called acclaimed films of 2010, namely The King's Speech, True Grit and 127 Hours.... so sue me.

First, the honorable mentions that came close, but did not make the list, but are nonetheless excellent films: The American, The Kids are All Right, The Town, Shutter Island,

Top 10 Films of 2010

If you've read the books, you know that the stories and characters Stieg Larsson created are fascinating and engrossing, and the Swedish films capture this electricity perfectly.

The other Facebook movie this year is as haunting as it is hilarious and will have you discussing its ending for weeks.

This isn't the stereotypical boxing movie of the 70s and 80s. It's got sex, drugs, a bizarre family, Christian Bale AND it's based on a true story.

Basically a carbon copy of the Swedish original, and the second Chloe Grace Moretz film on my lists (the other being Kick-Ass), if you want a horror film that isn't repulsive torture-porn or a campy slasher or anything with Kristen Stewart, this is the film for you. The Swedes are taking over.

I know it's hard to ignore that this movie is directed by Roman Polanski, but if you can, this is a very interesting perspective of corrupt world leaders, from the perspective of, you guessed it, a ghost writer.

This takes the superhero, based on a graphic novel genre, infuses wit, over the top action, a love story and video game references to make the most enjoyable movie-watching experience I've had in a very long time.

I watched the first Toy Story approximately 845 times on VHS when I was a young one (and old one) therefore this franchise is special to me. Can CGI toys make you cry? Yes. Yes they can.

Back in my day, I was on Facebook when it was The Facebook and it was only Ivy League schools, Berkeley, Stanford and UCLA. This film brought me back to the good ol' days of 2004 when I would go on the then The Facebook (bluh) in the computer labs at UCLA between classes. However, this is not really a Facebook movie, and more a courtroom drama, with the help of Aaron Sorkin.

When was the last time you thought of an idea as innovative and creative as the premise behind this film? The answer is never. People have said that they think the ending is campy or cheesy or a cop-out, but I found it to be truly affecting.

An honest, oftentimes disturbing and vivid insight into the psyche of someone suffering from self-injurious tendencies/behaviors, in the context of professional ballet. The line between fantasy and reality is blurred, as many scenes feel like a hallucination as much to the characters as to the audience. The much-talked about sex scenes are fantastic, but are not what the audience should take away from the film.

So forget whatever happens tomorrow. The picks that really matter are on this list... that approximately 3 people will read (myself included twice).

5:06 PM


Wednesday, February 09, 2011  
Streets of Rage (and Douches)
The following is both a cautionary tale, and a how-to guide, on dealing with the road ragers of Los Angeles. It will, as most things in my life, be explained through the magic of the anecdote.

I should warn you that the language utilized in this story is crude, but is taken verbatim from the actual interaction I'm about to describe.

Viewer discretion.... is ill-advised.

Driving on La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles, at rush hour, is a lofty prospect by itself...but when a douche so profound, so erudite crosses your path, it makes the commute all the more... lofty.... and interesting.

Picture this: a Toyota FJ Cruiser (which if you haven't seen one is the most effeminate of the already prickish SUVs on the market), driving exactly parallel to myself in bumper to bumper traffic. The aforementioned girly SUV then proceeds to attempt to merge onto my lane, while still parallel to my car. I swerve away and honk. Idiot didn't see me, whatever. He then tries again, I swerve and honk, with emphasis this time.

Attempt #3. I decide this man (it's obviously a man) is homicidal or mentally incapacitated, and I don't want my beautiful car to be damaged so I will honk with emphasis while braking to a full stop while traffic moves forward around me, and the small-penis'd creature careens in front of me. With great serendipity, we arrive at a red light, parallel to each other once again.

His window rolls down. My window rolls down.

I get the conversation, which is sure to be intellectual and civilized, going.

"Are you out of your fucking mind?!"
"Fuck you motherfucker."

It is then that I think to myself that this guy is a white, past middle-age, douchedemon, with, at most, an at-birth education (that is, the intellect of a just born baby). If we were to get into an "Eff you," flip each other off match, nothing will be accomplished. But if I can openly mock him it would be oh so satisfying. Because believe me we had spectators at the intersection of La Cienega and Airdrome (what a terrible street name).

So he continues the conversation, whilst leaning out his window and has chosen to pair his expletives with not only the middle finger, but also the slap-bicep, lift-forearm-up gesture, multiple times.

I choose, rather than to match his bumbling ridiculousity, to bounce up and down in my seat, arms akimbo to my side, in an effort to mimic the ape-like brutishness of his demeanor. So, if you will, picture his lines of dialogue (because this is a theatrical farce at this point) with his gestures and my lines with ape motions.

"Fuck you, motherfucker!"
"Fucka fucka fucka fucka fucka fucka fucka."
"Fucka fucka fucka fucka fucka fucka fucka fuckaaaa."
"Fucka fucka?"
"Fucka fucka fucka."
"Fucka fucka. Sorry I'm not gay! Fucka."

Green light.

Not to toot my own horn, but the look of bafflement and dissatisfaction on his face was OH so satisfying to me. It is so much better than exchanging some middle fingers and vulgarities then driving off, which really stoops you down to any given assclown's level.

And the coup de grace: As I passed him and he attempted to yell something back at me, I rolled up my window and continued to bounce, hoping that he would see in my exaggerated behavior, his own primitive behavior.

What I attempted to do that night, was cathartic for myself who finds the act of flipping someone off very demeaning to myself, and also, ironically, a big "Fuck you" to all the douchebags on the road, without actually having to use profanity.

Fucka, after all, is ape for, "I'm an educated intellectual and you're a maladroit neanderthal.... motherfucker."

12:44 AM


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