awards, entertainment, opinion, Oscars, Uncategorized

Here’s A Clickbait Oscar Predictions Post

Since my blog largely deals with entertainment and pop culture, it seems only fitting that I’d have some opinions about Sunday’s Academy Awards… and I do.

My first opinion: Oscars traffic sucks. For those that don’t know, I live in West Hollywood, CA, between the famous Sunset Strip and the also-famous Santa Monica Boulevard. If you live outside of the L.A. area, you may not know that West Hollywood is its own separate city, not the “western part of Hollywood”. Ironically, Hollywood itself is not technically a city (it’s simply an area of Los Angeles proper). While the awards take place in Hollywood (at the Dolby Theatre), many of the after-parties happen right around me (the well-known Vanity Fair party, for instance, happens every year just two blocks south of apartment). I have friends that live near the Dolby Theatre, and there are so many roads blocked-off (and the nearest Subway stop is closed) that it makes the locals near-hostages in their homes. In West Hollywood, we don’t crash the parties. In fact, we’re annoyed by all of the limos that line our side streets as they wait for the parties to end so they can drive their passengers home.

My second opinion: seeing all of the nominated movies is a lot of work. As a member of the performers’ union SAG-AFTRA, I’m sent copies of nearly all of the movies nominated each year. I try to watch all of them, but I just run out of time… and I’m pretty sure I’m not nearly as busy as, say, Leonardo DiCaprio. If I’m not finding time to watch the nominated films before the Oscars are actually handed out, then you can be sure that Leo isn’t watching all the nominees before he votes. Just like I do when it’s not awards season, I watch the movies in the order of my desire to see them. Hence, I haven’t actually seen Leo in The Revenant because the movie just doesn’t seem like my cup of tea. Maybe I’ll get around to watching it someday.

My third opinion: just because something is Oscar-nominated doesn’t make it good. Rebel Wilson took some heat a few weeks ago for making this joke at the BAFTAs:

“I have never been invited to the Oscars because, you know, they are racists,” she said while presenting the award for Best Supporting Actor. “But the BAFTAs have diverse members. And that’s what we all want to see in life, isn’t it? Diverse members. One day I hope to return here to win a BAFTA myself. I have already been practicing my transgendered [sic] face.”

Many thought Wilson’s joke was insensitive to the trans community, but if you watch her face (video below), you’ll notice that the look she makes is the very same face Eddie Redmayne makes in The Danish Girl. Wilson’s not joking about being Trans, she’s joking about a bad performance that everything thinks is good. In his Oscar-nominated role, Redmayne makes that face literally every single time his character is dressed as Lili. This is not transformative acting, it’s a one-note performance from last year’s Best Actor Oscar-winner. So I’ll say what so many others haven’t said: The Danish Girl is a crappy movie that doesn’t deal with the consequences of what it would be like to be a Trans woman in the 1920’s, and Eddie Redmayne shouldn’t have been nominated just because the movie is trying to tackle a hot-button issue.

My fourth and final opinion: Room and The Big Short are both amazing. If you haven’t seen them yet, go. Go now. You’re welcome.

Full House, Fuller House, Netflix, nostalgia, TV, Uncategorized

Fuller House is Going to Be Terrible and You Won’t Care

In just a few hours, Netflix will unleash all 13 episodes of Fuller House, the long-talked-about sequel series the 80’s/90’s T.G.I.F. staple Full House. Without having watched a second of the new show, I’m here to tell you something: It’s going to be terrible.

“But Full House is such a big part of my childhood!” you say. Therein lies the problem. We’ve long equated nostalgia with quality, and the two are very much not the same. During its original run, Full House wasn’t exactly lighting-up critics’ (or audiences’) best-of lists. We collectively knew it was bad, but gave it a pass because it was likable and harmless. But in concept, Fuller House hits the nostalgia sweet spot for potential new Netflix subscribers, even though most of those likable characters won’t be there beyond the first episode.

I’ve gotten into heated debates on more than one occasion about my negative thoughts about the movie The Breakfast Club. In terms of plot, writing, acting, and directing (aka the things we take into account when judging a movie’s merits), I think The Breakfast Club is downright awful. That’s not to say I don’t think it’s enjoyable. I also fully recognize its importance in the overall landscape of teen movies. It’s just not a good film.

Every 80’s teen archetype coincidentally ends up together in very same Saturday detention? OK, maybe I can move past that with simple suspension of disbelief. The principal literally LOCKS the students in a library? Hello, child abuse! The troubled teens don’t rebel with any form of destruction to all of the books? You’re losin’ me. The students break out but then break back in? REALLY?!?! There’s an out-of-nowhere dance number?

Tell me again exactly WHAT gauge you’re using to describe this movie as “good?” You’re using nostalgia! And even Uncle Joey would tell you to “Cut it out!”

Uncategorized

Vote with Your Gut, Not Your Inner Pundit

A couple of years ago, I vowed to myself to stop posting to social media about my political views. Other than posts about LGBTQ issues (which I personally view as human rights issues rather than political issues), it’s a vow I’ve kept outside of a few re-posts of the occasional Onion story that is humorous no matter what your political ideologies may be.

I made the vow because I found myself getting into fights with friends, family, and complete strangers. Sometimes they were fights where we simply didn’t see eye-to-eye, sometimes they were fights where the other person was mis-informed on an issue yet  wanted to debate it, and sometimes I was the one who was mis-informed. It was eating up a lot of my time and energy, and I realized that the only way to stop the fighting was to stop engaging in the fight to begin with. To me, Facebook (still my personally most-used social media platform) didn’t need to be a constant state of negativity for me in my day. I’d much rather see adorable animal videos in my feed.

This is a blog, though, and a seemingly a venue better-suited to sharing opinions. In my time away from political opinion-sharing, I’ve noticed an interesting shift among the types of posts I see. Yes, people still share their passionate views about the candidates they like and the ones they very-much don’t. But I’ve also noticed that everyone is now an arm-chair pundit. People aren’t just sharing their opinions on the candidates, they’re also now sharing their opinions on candidates’ chances based on their perceived read of the rest of public opinion and polling data. Everyone is now an aspiring Nate Silver, yet nobody is anywhere near as good at it as Nate himself.

In all this arm-chair punditry, one very important factor people seem to be forgetting is that the candidate that always wins is the one that more people simply like moreI don’t mean “like” as in “supports all of the issues that I support.” I mean “like” as in “I’d like to hang out with this person and maybe go get a beer.” People don’t necessarily think of it in those terms, but it all comes down to gut instinct.

Donald Trump is making massive strides towards the GOP nomination not because he’s tapping into issues the other GOP candidates aren’t. But, given the choice of hanging out and having a beer with any of the GOP candidates, who would YOU choose? Be honest, you shuddered at just the thought of having to spend time alone with Ted Cruz. But Trump? The guy was a TV star for a reason having nothing to do with him being a billionaire (otherwise we’d all be tuning in each week for another wacky episode of The Warren Buffet Show).

On the Democratic side, many of the Hillary Clinton supporters keep repeating their belief that Bernie Sanders will never win the general election (there’s that arm-chair punditry again!). This is repeated so often that it seems as if the Clinton supporters believe it’s the only way to sway Sanders supporters to change allegiances. But sorry, that’s not the way gut instinct works.

Christmas, Darth Vader, Star Wars, Uncategorized

Someone Made a 5-Hour Darth Vader Yule Log Video, Of Course

Even as a child, I thought the idea of TV stations abandoning their programming on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in order to show a continuous loop of a burning yule log was absurd (thank you, Channel 11). But now that absurdity gets a dose of timely awesomeness thanks to this Darth Vader Yule log (thank you, guy with lots of time on his hands). Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a burning corpse!

chocolate, food, foodie, Uncategorized

Forget Cheese Slices, Check Out These CHOCOLATE Slices

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m actually surprised something like this hasn’t been in mass production for decades. I mean they’re like Kraft Singles, but instead of processed cheese product, it’s processed chocolate product. What’s not to love? If you want to buy them, you’ll need to order them online (and be able to read Japanese). And they only come five to a pack, so stock up when you place your order!

Millenium Falcon, Parkland High School, Star Wars, Uncategorized

SEE the High School Campus That Looks Like the Millenium Falcon from Star Wars

When I tell people that I grew up near Allentown, PA, most people invoke the Billy Joel song with the SUPER-homoerotic video. Others are familiar with Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. But with the latest Star Wars movie hitting theaters next week, there may be renewed interest in the fact that Allentown’s Parkland High School campus looks A LOT like the Millenium Falcon. School officials continue to deny that the design is deliberate, but their architect at H. Solo & Assoc. probably knows differently.

MF aerialmf2

Ryan Gosling, Saturday Night Live, Uncategorized

Watch a Bizarro SNL Spoof of Bad 90’s Sitcoms

It was cut for time, but since we love all things Ryan Gosling, it’s been released online.

The sketch isn’t necessarily laugh-out-loud hilarious like the sketch with Ryan and Kate McKinnon as alien abductees, but the level of specificity in which it spoofs ABC TGIF-style shows (we’re looking at you, Family Matters) is a marvel.