Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sexual song. Even more sexual montage. Enjoy.

Thank you JP, for finding this amazing piece of internet cinema.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Triple Header: A How-To Guide.

Christmas used to be my least favorite day to be a Jew. But I’ve managed to change my tune, and I think it is now my favorite day to be a Jew.

Usually Connecticut on Christmas, for a Jew, is really depressing. Not only is it typically bitter cold, but everyone I knew was like totally out of commission on Christmas Day and since obviously everything is closed on Christmas Day cabin fever slash depression tends to set on really quickly. Because of this, I almost always spend Christmas Day in Miami. But this year, after months of trying to plan when we would get to go to CT to check in on our favorite restaurants in my hometown, my roommate and I decided to go to CT for Christmas weekend, which we titled, “Westport Winter Wonderland Weekend”. Alliteration is fun, deal with it.

Obviously, if you know me at all, it goes without saying that there was a bunch of pot smoking going on this weekend. But I think for any Jew to really embrace his/her Jewy-ness, pot should really be smoked on Christmas. I’m not sure why, but it just feels right. Festive in our own way.

Ok, so the big and most important part of the weekend, was that we completed a triple header at the movie theater. Now, ordinarily, yes, a triple header is pretty bad ass. But at the movie theater we went to, this took some serious coordination and planning. There are only 6 theaters within and the bathroom is outside of the guy who collects the tickets. So if you’re leaving, and going back in with a movie ticket that is time stamped for 3+ hours ago, you’re going to get fucked in the ass (or politely asked to leave, whatever).

The only time I was ever asked to leave a movie theater (which was coincidentally this same theater) was when my friends and I tried to sneak into Something About Mary by buying tickets to The Legend of Zoro. They literally came into the movie theater and asked to look at our tickets and then told us to get out. I was and still am completely mortified.

Anyway, I wasn’t about to let this happen to me again. Fuck you, Christmas Day movie workers at the Bowtie (formerly Crown) Royale movie theater in Norwalk, CT. I will not let you ruin my Jewy Christmas day! So what I did, has multiple layers of sneakiness and general weirdness. I like to make these intricate plans because I am a pretty nervous person and also a really bad liar. So I take whatever precautions necessary to avoid a confrontation, especially one in which I might have to lie. So here it is…

I have broken down the art of the successful triple header into 3 easy steps:

Step 1: Wear a hat.

I don’t wear hats. Ever. If it’s really cold out I’ll wear some sort of fleece headband that covers the ears or earmuffs. But I don’t wear hats because I look semi-retarded in them. But, after taking a note from some of my favorite celebs, I realized that a plain old baseball cap really manages to hide the face. I like baseball caps but usually don’t wear them because I have an unusually large head so that most baseball caps end up popping up off of my head and looking completely ridiculous, unless they are deeper than the standard depth. But either way, the baseball cap hides my hair. I’m sorry, when you’re 5’10” with flaming red hair, it’s not that easy to fly under the radar.

When it came to choosing the most appropriate baseball cap for this endeavor, I ran into a few problems. All of the baseball caps I know and love were in my apartment in the city (not that I ever wear any of them). Any that may have been left behind in CT were not in an obvious enough place for me to find since I came up with this hat idea mere minutes before we left for the theater.

So I start sorting through the family collection of hats. My first choice was a Lacoste hat with a big L in front that everyone in my immediate family owns (L for Leifer!!!!). It’s shallow but almost fits right. But the only one in my house in CT was bright yellow. I’m trying to fly under the radar here, a bright yellow hat might be one of the few things that actually draws more attention than bright red hair. My next choice was bright/light pink. Again, too flashy. I then turned my attention to only black hats and I found a nice little Black Dog hat in my bedroom that I decided would do the trick.

My baseball cap ended up serving two purposes. One was to disguise me from ticket collector man, and the other was to disguise me from anyone in the greater Westport, CT area who might recognize me and engage me in conversation at the movie theater. A. I’m high and don’t want to talk to my friends’ parents, B. I’m high and don’t want to talk to my parents’ friends, and C. Leave me the fuck alone, I’m in the middle of an intense triple header here and I really need to concentrate.

Step 2: Change your appearance / Costume change.

I had to go to the bathroom twice during the 6+ hours I was at the movie theater. I decided the best way to go about this was to wear my hat one time, and to not wear my hat the other time. Also, I wore my jacket one time and not the other time. I also think I put my hair up for one of these high-risk bathroom adventures and left it down for the other. I think I took my glasses off one the times too. Don't be afraid to mix it up. Disguises are fun. Maybe even try out a new voice for your "Thank you!" as you walk by the ticket man.

Step 3: Bring snacks.

Buying popcorn at the movies is fine. It’s fresh and delicious and festive (even though when I saw Avatar last week I brought my own popcorn- more to come on that adveture). But if you want anything from the chocolate or gummy family, bring that shit yourself. I’m not paying $8 for Junior Mints when I can buy them from a fucking convenience store for less than $2. Sorry, those are just my principles. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

The snacks I brought with came mostly from a holiday basket that my dad left in our kitchen with a post-it that said, “Brady and Max, enjoy”. I also took some cookies, a bottle of water and a can of Fresca. The key is to pace yourself with the drinks. Going to the bathroom more than twice is really taking some unnecessary chances. When I went to the bathroom during the previews of the second movie I also bought a bag of popcorn, which made it look like I was just out to get some popcorn instead of being sneaky. Also, the bag of popcorn in your hands makes it nearly impossible for the ticket man to actually ask you to see your ticket. And then you also get to eat popcorn. It’s a win-win.

Am I a totally crazy spaz for putting this much time and effort into my triple header? I say yes and no. No- This is an intense time commitment and if you’re not going to do it right then you really shouldn’t attempt it at all. Go hard or go home. Yes- Stop acting like you’re trying to escape from prison, you’re at the movie theater.

And now we come to the one downfall of the triple header, which is sitting in movie theater seats for 6+ hours. Bowtie Royal was new in the 90s, but now it's pretty antiquated. None of the movie theaters I go to in CT are stadium style, and this presents a comfort problem. As I said before, I’m just about 5’10”. And my legs are long (not to toot my own horn). So this becomes an issue because I don’t fit well in movie seats. If there’s no one in front of me it works better, but if there is I’ve got nowhere to stretch.

I can’t have my knees stay bent for 2+ hours at a time. My butt is constantly falling asleep and I keep uncrossing and recrossing my legs and shifting around in my seat at least once every 10 minutes. It’s a disaster. But it also adds a physical component to the triple header, making it that much more hardcore. Especially since for the first two movies, we had to sit somewhere in the first 10 rows of seats. So I had to lean my head back the whole time and it was just very uncomfortable. But then, Nine was like way less than half full and we managed to get in a handicapped row in the dead middle of the theater that had leg room for days. Although it was much better than a cramped 6th row, my ass still slept for most of it.

So now... Now you know.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Day: The Hat Trick.

Ok, so I've been writing this post for a really long time and I came to the conclusion that no one is going to read a blog post that is 3 pages in Microsoft Word. So I'm breaking it down into two pieces. And it works better if the second half goes first. Please enjoy and comment :) Emoticons are gay, but I will use them til the day I die. Ride or die, bitches.

I usually don't like to make plans. Because when plans get broken it makes me sad. Like rules, sometimes plans were made to be broken. But not this one my friends... Not. This. One. My roommate and I had been planning to go to Connecticut, stay at my house, and accomplish the illusive triple header. That is, we pay for one movie ticket, and we see three movies.

At approximately 6:30 pm on Christmas night, the plan was officially completed successfully. That's right, this Jew spent more than 6 hours at the movie theater on Christmas Day followed up by a delicious Chinese food dinner. You will probably never in your life hear me praise Jesus again, but I really do thank him for letting me have this wonderful opportunity. I don't think I would have done it with out him, that crazy delusional Jew.

Tomorrow's post is about the experience I had at said triple header, but this one is content based. Some comments and concerns about the movies I saw, which, in the order I saw them, are: It's Complicated, Up In The Air, and Nine.

It’s Complicated.

Just as good, if not better, the second time around. Still hilarious. Still amazing. Still the perfect movie for the holiday season. If you don’t find this movie amusing you actually have no soul. It is the RomCom to end all RomComs. It is perfection. I am in love with it. The one thing I didn’t say about it in my “Sneak Peek review” was how much you will laugh out loud in It’s Complicated. If you’re not LOLing up a storm, you should really get yourself to a doctor because something is wrong with you. And also, that aspect sets it apart from RomComs like Something’s Gotta Give, which, although excellent, are not laugh-out-loud funny.

Up In The Air.

Lemme tell you a little story about my relationship with this movie. The first time I saw a preview I knew I wanted to see it. The reasons behind this were that George Clooney was in it… And… well, mostly that George Clooney was in it... And that it’s kind of a RomCom (more Rom than Com). And I saw in the trailer that at one point they are BBM-ing with each other. When I write a RomCom you can bet your ass there will be BBM conversations all over the place. Long live the BlackBerry. Fuck the iPhone (Sorry, sometimes/all the time I have random fits of anger towards the iPhone, you just witnessed one).

I wanted to see Up In The Air for, lets say, atleast a month and a half. Maybe more. Then in the past few weeks it got nominated for all these awards and people were freaking out about how good it is. At that point I obviously still wanted to see it and then got even more excited for it because it dawned on me that people other than me might actually like this film. And the verdict is: It’s really not that great. I liked it enough, but I really didn't like it. I got a little bored at parts. I kind of saw the twist coming. It’s a good twist but pretty obvious. It’s very Last Chance Harvey-ish. Older man who doesn’t really talk to his family meets someone and decides to try to change blah blah blah. I mean I’ll watch George Clooney for 2 hours any day of the week, but you might not feel the same way.


Ok. I have some major issues with Nine. Aesthetically, it is an orgasm for the eyes. I know that when I see Nine again I will like it a lot better because I will focus less on the plot and more on how dazzling each and every frame is. Everything is Italian and beautiful and the sets are gorgeous and the actresses are all entrancing (minus Fergie) and dressed in cool/crazy costumes. The story line is OK. But, the songs are awful.

If you’re going to make a musical in this day and age, there’s really no room to fuck around. Your songs have to be awesome. Downloadable and awesome. You have to be Moulin Rouge to succeed as a musical film for adults. These songs were so stupid and not catchy, it is seriously embarrassing. The songs are uninteresting sentences, ineloquently written, strung together and sung to a unattractive tune. I think if the songs were half decent Nine could have been a serious success, if not at least critically acclaimed. But from what I understand, critics and audiences alike have been shitting all over Nine.

Talking about how bad the music was is really getting me worked up. Like, if you're not going to have good songs, why waste your time making a movie into a musical? It's retarded. A serious recipe for disaster and very poor planning on someone's part. Half of the songs were people just singing the name "Guido" over and over because that was the name of the main character. So. Stupid.

I really liked the overall concept though. It’s about a famous director who talks about how making a film and talking about a film is like killing a dream because nothing is going to be as good when you make it real life as you imagine it to be in your head. Like living up to the expectations that others have for you and that you have for yourself. It was weird because there were things that I really like and identified with in the movie but still couldn't enjoy it. Then it’s also about his tumultuous relationship with his new film, his wife, and his slew of mistresses.

Plot-wise it moves very slowly. But that’s my problem with movies that are so special mostly because of their visual aspects. I really didn’t like Marie Antoinette or the Royal Tenenbaums the first time I saw them because the actual plots are just not exciting . Now they are both definitely in my top ten favorites. The way I watch movies for the first time is that I'm excited to see what happenes next. Once you’ve seen it for the first time, you can stop revving yourself up about what is going to happen next and just kind of be in the moment and appreciate all the little things that make the film special and unique. Atleast, that’s how my mind operates.

So tune in later this week (possibly tomorrow, ha.) to read my tips on how to pull a successful triple header.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sneak Peek: It's Complicated

Maybe you guys didn’t know, but I’m like really industry. I’m just getting invited to premieres and parties and shit everyday. It’s hard to keep up blogging when you’re basically the social epi-center of the Entertainment business. Oh wait, I’m not. At all.

Well, either way, I saw It’s Complicated (trailer embedded above) months ago even though it doesn’t come out until Christmas day. Do I consider myself way cooler than you because of this? Absolutely. But we won’t get into that now. We’ll just talk about how this was possibly the best RomCom I’ve ever seen (except for my number one favorite of all time, Keeping the Faith).

When I scored the invite to this exclusive social event (aka a mass e-mail to subscribers of I was beyond excited. From the first second I heard about this movie I knew I was going to love it. But truth be told, I loved it even more than I thought I would. It comes from my favorite Dirctor, Nancy Meyers. You might know her from smash RomCom hits such as: The Parent Trap, What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give and The Holiday. You might also know her from her writing which includes the previously mentioned films (except What Women Want) as well both Father of the Bride movies. She's an American treasure.

Nancy Meyers is like a fine wine, she gets better with age. With the four above directorial examples (listed chronologically) you can how they get better as they get closer to present day. What Women Want is really cheesy and strange but undeniably good. Something’s Gotta Give is about old people (which is right up my alley but less so for others) and The Holiday is…. The Holiday.

While re-watching The Holiday on TV the other weekend I came to the realization that I actually straight up HATE Cameron Diaz’s character in that movie. I don’t find her awkwardness endearing at all, I find it fake. Her facial expressions make me want to scream and she acts like a fucking child. I think it’s just some bad acting from her. I’d much rather watch her in What Happens In Vegas.

If you haven’t seen WHIV (which I would say out loud as “double u hiv”) you should get on that immediately. Because putting Ashton Kutcher in a RomCom means you’re ready to get down to business. Ok, back to Nancy (we’re really good friends, I just call her Nance sometimes.)

Another reason I knew I’d love It’s Complicated is because of the cast: Meryl Streep (I’ll get into that in a second), Alec Baldwin (swoon) and Steve Martin (awkward hilarity). And that is the cast that the film is being promoted for. But if you ask me I say there is a a name that’s missing from the billboards, and that name is John Krasinski.

John Krasinski oddly carries this film. And I don’t mean the film would have failed with out him, because it still would have been good. But he’s like way more involved than I assumed he would be and he is HILARIOUS throughout. I’m not surprised that he was so hilarious, but more surprised at how well he fit in with the cast of characters and how well Nancy Meyers wrote his for him. I've loved John Krasinski since episode one, season one of The Office. But I really think after this movie, everyone who sees it will love him too. Even though I've heard a story from a friend that' he's a dick in real life (the same friend who get me tickets to see It's Complicated, actually) I refuse to believe it.

It’s just that he’s the only really relatable character under the age of 50. In the movie Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin have two daughters and a son. The oldest daughter in engaged to John Krasinski and that’s how he fits in. If you don’t know the plot yet: Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin got divorced because Alec Baldwin left her for a younger woman. Then Meryl and Alec start things up again as Alec cheats on his young wife, played by Lake Bell. Meanwhile Meryl starts dating Steve Martin, who is the architect working with her on redesigning her house.

This next comment might come as a surprise, but I really don’t like Meryl Streep. She has an almost ScarJo effect on me. I love all of her movies but she herself really bothers me. Something about her voice or her intonation. I’m not sure. But she really rubs me the wrong way. But movies I love love love that she is in: Prime, Julie & Julia (watched it last night, no biggie), Adaptation, Mamma Mia!, Devil Wears Prada. You know, the classics.

The best thing about It’s Complicated, other than being in the Nancy Meyers world of visual perfection and cleanliness (I’m not sure how else to describe it), is that plot-wise this one really seems realistic. The problems are real. You, as the viewer don’t really know whose side you’re on. You are as confused as Meryl Streep is about the situation, and that makes the movie great. At one point during the movie, my friend turned to me and sighed and said, “Wow, this really is complicated” and then we burst into laughter and the rude queen next to us shushed us even though his cell phone rang during he movie. Whatever.

Nancy Meyers movies can sometimes get a little… lets say “out there”. The concept of What Women Want is ridiculous. Something’s Gotta Give is realistic enough. But The Holiday? When you think about it and they’re all dancing around together in the end, you’re like how is this exactly going to work? Neither of these couples live on the same continent as either of their significant others. And also, it’s just super cheesy and obvious in the end. But in It’s Complicated everything just seems real. It all makes sense. It’s just so good.

And also, if there is a scene in anything where people over the age of 50 are smoking pot, you bet your ass I’m going to think it’s hilarious. One of my favorite episodes of That 70’s Show is what Red, Kitty, Midge and Bob accidentally eat pot brownies. There’s nothing funnier than a high old person. Nothing.

The pot smoking scene in “It’s Complicated” is done so perfectly, I wish I was there smoking with them. First Meryl Streep and Steve Martin smoke together. Then they go to a party and Meryl smokes in a bathroom with Alec, and they got walked-in on by John Krasinksi, who then also smokes with them. And then hilarity ensues. Talk about high quality high jinx. Say high again. High.

So my recommendation is to see “It’s Complicated” this holiday season. If you don’t like it, I will put coal in your stocking.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Paul Newman's half Jewish, Goldie Hawn's half too. Put them together, what a fine lookin' Jew!

Ok, so first of all, lets discuss Jews with trees. That’s right, I say “Jews with trees” like you should know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. And you should. I’m talking about Jews who have Christmas trees in their homes/apartments/2nd homes, whatever.

I find this repugnant. It’s ridiculous enough that Christian people have Christmas trees in their home, since the tradition of a Christmas tree has little to zero religious significance (or so I’ve heard). Which, in a way, if I were to really think about it, the lacking of actual religious significance of the Christmas tree might make it more acceptable for Jews to have them. But still. It’s not.

Jews with trees are pathetic. Oh, you feel left out of a religious holiday so you just decide to join in with the fun? No. That’s sad and your parents probably told you to just do whatever the cool kids in school were doing and you’d be fine. Yeah, if someone else jumps off a bridge you totally should too. IDIOTS. If you want to celebrate Christmas, go do it with a Christian.

That’s something I don’t have a problem with. If your Christ-loving friend wants to have you over for eggnog and snuggling under the covers while you wait for the sound of reindeer hooves from above, that’s totally fine. You should do that. But creating a Christmas of your own is blasphemous and the Maccabees are spitting on you from the grave. Unless you do believe that Jesus is the lord and savior, in which case, get the hell out of Judaism, we don’t want you here.

But Hanukka. Oh, sweet Hanukkah. What is better than a holiday where you get presents 8 nights in a row? Answer: NOTHING! And the food? THE FOOD! First of all, I really should start eating latkes year round. You can really dip a latke in anything, which is one of the many reasons it’s so great: versatility, baby. But the main reason is that if you fry a potato you really can’t go wrong.

The traditional latke dips are applesauce and sour cream. I’ve never really gotten the applesauce thing, it has always kind of grossed me out. But I will do a dip or two in sour cream. Since childhood I’ve eaten my latkes with ketchup, because what is a latke if not a giant flattened French fry?

The downfall of Hanukkah? No Hanukkah music. I don’t really consider this a downfall although I think many of my Jesus-loving friends would. I mean we have the three Adam Sandler songs, and you know what? I’m OK with it. It totally goes with Hanukkah’s whole under-the-radar vibe. We’re not trying to shove it in your face (cough cough Christmas), we’re just trying to make a holiday where we get presents too, cause everyone needs presents…

I like Christmas music as much as the next guy. It’s fun, it gets you in the mood, whatever. But by the time Christmas actually rolls around I think most people (or just me?) are about ready to claw out their own eardrums at the very mentions of “Simply having a wonderful Christmastime”. I mean I love the *NSYNC Christmas music but after a month straight it gets to be a little much. I think to remedy this stores should play a mix of normal and Christmas music. Like make every OTHER song a Christmas song instead of Christmas songs around the clock. I’m asking for a little moderation here, people.

In conclusion: Drink your gin and tonica, and smoke your marijuanica.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I will eat a bowl of cherries and some ghost meat in his honor.

I can't deal with elevators anymore. I think the only place I'd rather be less than in an elevator is in a taxi. I have some really strange stories of things that taxi drivers have done while I've been the back seat. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? Me doing inappropriate things in the back seat while they drive and pretend not to notice what’s going on? Well, not this girl. But we’ll save my trials and tribulations with taxi drivers for another day and focus on my elevator issues today.

My office building is actually an old rich people's apartment building. And these people take security so seriously it's bizarre. There is an elevator man in one of the elevators and the other elevator is controlled by the guy who works behind the front desk. You can’t hit any buttons in that elevator other than Lobby, he has to hit them from behind the desk. It’s like being trapped in a steal case of emotions.

I hate being in elevators with other people in general. It’s an awkward social situation and I’m just too awkward to handle it. Where do you look? Is it rude to keep your iPod on? Where do you stand? If you’re on the phone do you absolutely have to hang up? Is it rude to text? These are the things that race through my head when I’m in the elevator with a random person.

My issue at work is that usually I’m in the elevator with the elevator man. I’m sorry, I’m just not the kind of person who strikes up random conversations with people. I can’t talk nonsense at my friends for hours upon hours, but if you’re standing in an elevator with me I don’t know what to talk to you about.

The weather is an obvious choice. And although people make jabs about talking about the weather, it really is a conversation topic that I enjoy. I don’t know, maybe I was a meteorologist in a former life, but I always find it interesting enough. It’s always changing, so why not talk about it? Am I right?

But if you’re seeing someone in an elevator every day, you can’t talk about the weather every day, that’s insulting. The weather conversation can happen once a week, maximum, unless there is some seriously crazy extreme weather conditions going on. Like unless I’m Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ and a tornado has transported me to an alternate universe, weather should not be discussed more than once a week.

Other than that, I don’t know what to say. So usually it’s silent for 15-30 seconds. If I’m lucky there’s another person in there with us, in which case it’s more socially acceptable to just be silent. For guys this dead time is easy, because they usually talk about sports. But I could give two dicks about sports. I mean, it was exciting when the Yankees won but I didn’t bring it up with my elevator man.

I think that’s all I got. I’ll be funnier next time.