This weekend, over a leftover turkey sandwich, I finally sat down to see what all this Twilight fuss is about. Surprise, surprise, 24 hours later, I have happily devoured the book and am currently suppressing a potent urge to spend several hours google image searching Robert Pattinson.
For reals, guys. This book made me swoon like no grown woman should. It's easy for most of us to recall that teenage feeling of first love - that unmistakable knowlege that I will just DIE if I can't have this person. We've all been there, right? But remembering is one thing - it's another thing entirely for an author to recreate that feeling so fully that the flicker of a smile between two characters ignites that same blaze in the reader that was, for most of us anyway, squelched out with the end of our teenage years. Twilight is 498 glorious pages of heart-tugging vampire romance, and I loved every second of it. Great literature it's not, but you won't find a more entertaining read for a long bus ride home for the holidays.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Tomorrow is your last chance to see The Production Company's excellent staging of The Most Damaging Wound, perceptively directed by Mark Armstrong. The show has already received an impressive amount of critical praise, and I'm happy to jump on the bandwagon. Armstrong has assembled a talented cast who nimbly communicates a familiar story to theatergoers: your average group of white guys gather in New York to reminisce and part with the beer-swilling ghosts of "the old days". I know, I know, the setup has the potential to be exhaustingly old hat, but the cast embodies the characters with an exuberant simplicity that is entirely free from judgment, and Armstrong's canny direction favors honesty over the irritating earnestness that many similar plays have suffered from. It's such a pleasure to see a smartly staged off-off production with a spirited cast under terrific direction. Check it out!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Weissler is currently developing The Band Wagon, based on the classic MGM film; and Clueless, an adaptation of the hit 1995 Paramount movie.
Something tells me Barry Weissler has logged many hours checking out Alicia Silverstone's teenaged ass in Clueless, hence this grand idea.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
You only have one week left to see these two fantastic shows:
Go see The Production Company's fantastic staging of Blair Singer's sincere and touching play The Most Damaging Wound. Check it out, it runs through Saturday 11/29.
Also go see Mike Daisey's latest monologue If You See Something Say Something. Daisey's canny work is equal parts scathing political diatribe and hilarious personal musing. Spalding Gray would have been proud.
I'll write more about these great plays later, but for now, go get yourself a ticket!
Monday, November 24, 2008
You have to see this to believe it: Sarah Palin interviewed on television while live turkeys are slaughtered in the background. When asked what she's doing at the slaughterhouse, she says, "Well this was neat! I was happy to get to participate in this... you need a little bit of levity in this job... certainly we'll probably invite criticism for even doin' this too, but at least this was fun." Yep, yep, just havin' fun at the local poultry bloodbath, gettin' in the holiday spirit and promotin' those real American values, oh for sure, yep!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
I caught Were the World Mine when it closed Newfest earlier this year. The film was selected for (and won) a ton of festivals, and it's easy to see why - it's a charming musical fantasy that succeeds in making your heart soar, even on an indie shoestring budget. The story follows Timothy, the only out gay student in a preppy all-boys high school. When Timothy is cast as Puck in the school's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, he discovers Puck's magic flower, complete with a magic potion capable of turning the straightest rugby player into a drooling puddle of love. Before long, the entire small town that was so conservative and homophobic is brimming with puppy love of the non-hetero variety.
The cast, led by talented newcomer Tanner Cohen, is pitch perfect, but the real star here is the music. By turns it is haunting, catchy, and soaring, and I guarantee you will leave the theater singing "Oh, Timothy..."
Were the World Mine opens this weekend at Cinema Village, check it out!
Update: Here is the official trailer.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Oh my... a friend passed this along to me. Not only is the below letter 100% real, but it arrived printed on the top sheet of a memo pad, each page of which was emblazoned with the addresee's name. Creepy, sad, or thoughtful? You decide.
You have received previous letters from me and I have stuck to an all business approach. I am writing now to be as real as possible. You may look back at this letter five years form now and say "thank god I called that guy in" or you will look back and say "I wish I called that guy in". Either way, I know I will be extremely successful in this industry. There is no such thing as guarantees in acting but there is hard work, dedication, determination and pure talent. I know I possess all of those traits. Please don't mistake my confidence for arrogance, I am nothing but humble however realize that I have something that has yet to be unleashed. I hope you will consider to call me in. I would love to be represented by you.
Being "as real as possible" is a wonderful quality in an actor, and nothing keeps it real quite like personalized stationary.
I know I'm probably supposed to lurve Will.i.am's new song "It's a New Day," being an Obama fanatic and all, but... does anyone else find the beat, well... annoying? It's lodged in my head and won't budge. Actually maybe it's not annoying, it's just annoyingly catchy! It does have a lot going for it: in addition to the Obama love, I can't argue with a song that pays homage to Hall & Oates hit "Sarah Smile".
Monday, November 10, 2008
With team Apatow turning out a vast array of trifling gross-out comedies, it's easy to dismiss Zack and Miri as yet another silly movie for stoned college kids. Fortunately, this isn't a Judd Apatow film - it's pure Kevin Smith all the way, and fits right in with Clerks, Mallrats, and Chasing Amy as a very unlikely romantic comedy with a lot of lewd humor and a lot of heart.
In the Apatow school of comedy, it seems that any true emotion has been thrown in as an afterthought. But Smith carefully sets up Zack and Miri as real people who care about each other, and because their relationship is so honest, the audience can't help but fall for them, too. Because we care about the characters, the comedy is that much more outrageous, and the repercussions of their agreement for casual on-camera sex is not only hysterical, it's actually emotionally compelling. Elizabeth Banks and Seth Rogen are outstanding, and Justin Long turns in a hysterical cameo as gay porn star Brandon St. Randy. Check it out!
Friday, November 07, 2008
From today's Variety, a review of Doubt. Streep does not fare well, alas!
The considerable integrity and strength of John Patrick Shanley’s play prevail despite a questionable central performance in “Doubt.” Stepping back behind the camera for the first time since his misguided “Joe Versus the Volcano” in 1990, Shanley capably retains the power of his study of unsubstantiated moral convictions gone tragically awry, and the extensive opening up of his four-character, 90-minute 2005 Pulitzer and Tony Award winner adds in social context what it loses in sharply focused intensity...Hmmm.... interesting! They made their bed when they didn't cast Cherry Jones, and now they will lie in it. Still looking forward to seeing Philip Seymour Hoffman, though, who fares considerably better: "Hoffman’s performance is ambiguous enough to make the viewer continue to wonder about Father Flynn and, crucially, to fear Sister Aloysius might actually be right."
...The film’s one iffy element, oddly enough, is Streep. This master screen actor, who applies a slight New Yawk accent to her phrasings, takes the vocal low road here as opposed to the more forceful approach of Cherry Jones in her riveting Broadway turn. By ostensibly underplaying the role’s villainy, however, Streep overdoes the melodrama, thereby turning Sister Aloysius into more of a stock figure than she ultimately seemed onstage. Every little tic, gesture and facial mannerism seems maximized by the effort expended to minimalize them, to diminished returns in the cause of creating a three-dimensional character. While the dramatic scenes still register with notable force, it’s a disconcerting, unsatisfying performance from a thesp who most of the time rings true. (emphasis mine)
Thursday, November 06, 2008
On November 5, 2008, the NY Times used 96-point font across the front page, declaring one simple word: "OBAMA". The paper has used the large font size only three times before - for Nixon's resignation, for the first man on the moon, and for the attacks on September 11th.
I have been finding it very challenging to just wrap my head around this moment. It's inspiring, daunting, and surreal to even try to take in the ramifications of this historic time. The simple headline decision by the Times reflects the weight this will have in the history books - this is a true landmark moment in our country's history.
Oprah had a good show yesterday, interviewing prominent political and media figures and getting their take on this new America we live in. Gloria Steinem said that in the 60's, so many people felt that true democracy was so close. Then when they killed two Kennedys, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr, it was "as if the future died, and now I feel as if our future has come back in an even better form." You can watch the clip here.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
NPR is telling me that Michael Crichton has died! No! Crichton was the author of Jurrasic Park, The Andromeda Strain, Congo, and my personal favorite, Sphere (terrible movie, but a really great book). He was 66.
at 9:00 AM
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Wow! 27 Dresses is the worst movie I've ever seen! Well, it's definitely in my top five, right there alongside Dante's Peak and Hilary Swank classic The Core. It is the Lipstick Jungle of feature films. Katherine Heigl is just miserable. And Malin Ackerman, oh god. Terrible!
at 6:40 PM