Seminal TV: Samatha Barks
While writing and procrastinating, I decided to have a midnight snack-like Youtube break. Guiding my choices was the overjoyed news that Taylor Swift will no longer play Eponine in Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables and is replaced by stage vet and Nick Jonas’ girlfriend Samantha Barks. She, by the way, joined a elimination-style reality show called “I’d Do Anything” years back, the show’s objective being to find a singer/actress to play Nancy in a West End revival for the musical “Oliver.” She can sing all right, effortlessly making her voice go to eleven without moving a muscle away from her smile. But during results show performances she’s always a kicker or a bridge, letting the other contestants out-act or out-sass her, and the same goes during the sing offs. Had this been a Tyra show, she’d been out during the middle of the show for being ‘boring.’
Then my search veered into the missions the contestants had to do to understand Nancy, some of which involved behaving like Nancy. Now let’s see if the woman can act. Sometimes she just stands there but mostly she has a confident presence, which isn’t the same thing as strong. In some challenge she doesn’t show fear or, on the clip below, weakness, when she’s supposed to. I have faith for her in drama, I just hope shoe doesn’t revert to her early days. But she’s made progress in three years with her voice breaking as the perma-anguished Eponine as part of the 25th anniversary Les Mis concert. Despite her voice, she admits to not being a perfect actress. That’s one out of two, better than Swift’s batting average.
Seminal Television: Greek
“Evan! We were just doing…sleeping time”
“Shower, and we’re doing some…”
That episode of Greek was something I saw almost exactly last year. That, however, doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching stuff from this season. ABC Wednesdays, NBC Thursdays, “Wilfred,” what else…. Anyway, remind me before Emmy season to talk about those other shows.
Seminal Television: MMC
This is what I do when I’m doing nothing, post short entries, sometimes with a video. The releases of two of his movies, the underwhelming Drive and the promising The Ides of March, feeds our continuing obsession with Ryan Gosling. I’ve seen the Frank McCullen sketches in the Mickey Mouse Club show, but let’s look at his stint as an R&B singer alongside Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez. via HuffPo.
Ah, he used to enunciate. I love how he sings using his hands and how everyone in the 90’s wore sixteen sizes larger than what they’re supposed to. Apparently he abstained from the dancing element in the MCC boot camp, which might go against him if he ever wanted to be in a musical. Gosling as Enjolras!
- FLASHBACK: Ryan Gosling & Justin Timberlake (In Overalls!) As Child Stars (huffingtonpost.com)
Television: Made in Canada (Documentary)
Not to be confused with the Rick Mercer show, the documentary “Made in Canada” is coming out on SunTV at the fall. It’s so cool it doesn’t have an iMDb page yet. Well, it is fall now, and I hope my fellow countrymen sees director Scott Boyd’s journey into making a film in his land. He brushes us up on Canada’s film history and the ridiculous quest for Canadian public funding centred in Toronto (film) and Banff (television). Boyd interviews the people running the system and those defeated by it, as well as discussing the fate and reception of the material that does get approved. Although there’s a lot of footage of Boyd in a funding conference, cringing in a large chair with a drink in one hand, there should be an optimistic end to this rainbow. Like him, the people he interviews have a great sense of humour about the system and the marketing of Canadian films, a quality that helps them in their journey to get their stories out.
This documentary also takes me back (remember “ZedTV?”)when I actually watched the real films in Showcase in my high school years when the channel was still cool. The latter channel, as much as they showed worldwide and Amerindie fare, also introduced me to the work of Vincenzo Natali and is the reason Don McKellar, pre-Grey’s Sandra Oh and Sarah Polley, not interviewed in the doc, are still my heroes. Thus, the defeatist tone of the film’s first half differs from my experience, because the same people who say that Canadian films suck are the same people who say that Toronto is boring, which, get out there, you’re wrong. Which brings us to the people who don’t give Canadian content a chance who get ‘fair’ representation in the documentary.
It wasn’t until watching “Made in Canada” that I realized if any of those movies made money in theatres where it’s supposed to count. And like every other boring film fan, there’s a few screenplays dancing inside my head, and if writing it feels like walking a mile, getting it out there will feel like a thousand. Good luck to us all.
Seminal Television: SYTYCD Canada
This makes me want to watch contemporary dance performances more. Mia Michaels is a goddess and a genius. And if anyone can find the video of season 2’s top 4 girls dancing to Dr. Feelgood and choreographed by Sean Cheesman, that would be greatly appreciated. Not the British version, that one sucked.
Seminal Television: Web Therapy
Lisa Kudrow is doing her Emmy press tour for her show “Web Therapy” that she produces and stars, sounding like the time Phoebe visited Paul Rudd’s parents in Friends. The only thing that reeled me in is her visit to Chelsea Lately of all places, where she reveals that the surprisingly divisive Meryl Streep was in the show. Gotta watch that.
This first one is the least funny of Streep’s three episodes but it starts the story out between Fiona (Kurdow) and Streep’s character. Seriously, I think the Friends alums are funnier after the show went on permanent hiatus. Her and Cox anyway.
When you double click on the video below, leading you to YouTube’s website, there are Iron Lady trailers on the right hand side. I refuse to watch that shit.
Seminal Television: Jason Sudeikis
The ‘Seminal Television’ series will probably only be used for now until someone in “SNL” or on TV in general has sexy hair or a sexier hair piece. Or if any of my nice friends will watch “Mildred Pierce” with me in the comfort of their own home. I’ll bring alcohol!
Seminal Television/Theatre: Les Mis
I’m a “Les Mis” noob and a musical noob, so don’t take the bad parts of this post seriously. In a time of rock and cabaret musicals, it’s kind of refreshing to have a traditional musical like “Les Mis.”
Marius (Nick Jonas) sings a stanza or two and Eponine (Samantha Barks) belts out one line and blows him out of the arena. Although Jonas can sing if he’s alone on stage. Did you know that she was on a reality TV show before this? Also, I like her Eponine even if that means its treasonous to like her rendition’s over national treasure Lea Salonga. Barks’ Eponine is melancholy and mature while Salonga’s Eponine fifteen years ago had this childlike glow but singing as if she’s already fleeting away.
Before I get to Salonga I keep thinking about how many fangirls are there who are on team Eponine. There are a handful of supporting characters in a musical dignified with “It’s my song about dramatic solitude/before I exit and go to craft services/And ignore insignificant bit players….” But the sweeping notes and poetry of ‘On My Own,’ ‘A Little Fall of Rain’ or even Fantine’s ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ trump some of the leads’ songs.
Speaking which, I do like Salonga as Fantine. If she is singing lower because of age, that doesn’t stop her emotion from pouring into the songs. She’s best when admitting about her daughter Cosette (Katie Hall) to the Foreman, or showing her hatred while immersed in the world’s oldest profession. She gets cool points for playing the latter. The book for this musical’s very angry, emo and sad even for my mom, and thankfully the score balances most of the anger out.
Either way, I’m hooked on the musical now. There’s a greenlit film version scheduled for a 2013 release. I guess they have to get stars to play Valjean, Javert and Cosette, but Barks and Salonga better be there, Heck, you can put Jonas in the movie version too. Also, if you have YouTube clips to prove me wrong about who is the best who, go ahead.
Seminal Television: TGS Hates Women
“I hate the ocean, it’s for tools!”
Also, this is my post for today even if y’all are talking about the Oscars. Suck it.
Tenth second of the twentieth minute
I stole this idea from Nathaniel Rogers. These are screen caps of the twentieth minute and tenth second of movies.
Boring story, the screen caps in this post are from movies from my hard drive. This hard drive used to be in my first laptop until, distracted from Pabst Blue Ribbon, I accidentally poured beer on it. I watched these movies are from my college years, when I learned how much I love movies and that I chose the wrong major. (No not really. Are you kidding? I’d rather have hung out with nerdy English majors and rich Art History majors than snobby film majors.)
Their decontextualized oppression linked to IBM, possible from the World War II era.
After telling someone tha smooking is not Islamic, he looks for someone in a maze.
“Happy.” “So happy.” They open the door, joining the crowd of the upper class, waiting.
“Goodbye, little yellow bird…”
He tries to brush her off. “Alcohol rub. Cologne.”
“You’re lying. I can always tell.”
It’s hard doing damage control for a rogue employee “I don’t have all the information yet.”
After the car explosion. “Go on.” “What do you mean…”
We can hear his wife groan. He reads the book to research his new client, for tourism.
“But I heard him say Maude was with God!” “That’s right. I was at Bible camp.”
After a flashback of bile spreading through a body. “But we’re gonna do this without firin’…”
“They can always get somebody else.” Machines roar.
This series for me turned into a context of which movie collection of mine is cooler. I might have given this post an unfair advantage by being nostalgic, but it’s your call.
20:10: Make yourself at home
Original idea from Nathaniel Rogers and The Film Experience, I’ll screen cap the twentieth minute and tenth second of random movies. ‘But shouldn’t it be 20:11?’ Shut up. Also, these films are from my laptop.
The couple looks at each other. This is the most human Vincent Gallo will look.
[The image that should be between these two contains nudity and will not be posted.]
“Make yourself at home.” She fakes a smile, the start of a grueling proecess.
‘Closer,’ the magician implores and successfully gets the child’s attention.
Looking behind him. He knows he’s being followed, putting his brother in danger.
After she gets bad news. Her oblivious daughter watches the television. She keeps silent.
‘As a side note…’
Her daughter looking for old records of mommy’…A girl for you, a boy for me…’
A woman tells them to take off their clothes and hat. “He’s doing well, eh, Itzhak?”
‘Terrible.’ As she enters, feeling the constraints of costume.
‘Thanks, Cooter.’ She kisses the man on the lips.
Telling her plan to the other girls, fitting in with the unionized workers.
Seminal Television: Jesse Eisenberg’s Hair
Other than Rainn Wilson, I thought that the Jesse Eisenberg SNL last weekend was funny. I’ll make a concession, SNL is ‘rarely funny,’ but it’s a better showcase of talent for the host. Why just nail one role when you can nail eight? Anne Hathaway does a mean Katie Holmes, Jon Hamm cries weird.
The show made Eisenberg finally get out of the Jewfro, hoodie and breakneck Woody Allen-esque speech thing he’s been doing for the past two movies and make him speak and look differently. Hipster, check. Guido, check. Also, I declare that his hair should stay like the picture above forever. Super yum.
Seminal Television Roundup
You two and your football.
‘Seriously, seven out of teenage ten girls have a negative body image.’ ‘Yeah, well six of them girls are right.’
‘Sometimes I bring him juice. My boyfriend is twelve.’
“The Simpsons” inventing ‘Mafia Wars’ avant la lettre.
Jennifer Love Hewitt is a witch. Her Golden Globe nomination makes sense to me now.
Colm Meaney and Keeley Hawes (what does she look like again?) are neither of these people.
Boys who rape (Shawn Roberts) should be typecast in crappy films or eaten by zombies.
Nobody report my blog because of the picture below.
Television: How I Met Your
As much as we all know this, Mandy Moore is better than Enrique Iglesias in every single way. If she could only do some real acting, like be the obligatory trashy girl in a Ben Affleck film.
Seminal Television Roundup
Here comes Mega-Godzilla! Boom. Boom. Boom. Thank you for choosing Staples.
My turn again. His garbage disposal is a dog. He eats cereal out of a turtle shell! His bottle opener is a dog.
Well you’re gonna eat a humble pie, stuffed with crow, and a big side of sorry. ‘Cause I just did. In your face – Girl with a Negative Tattoo!
Seminal Television Roundup
The after effect of talking about Strangers on a Train, and applying it on their own lives.
Bart’s on the dumps that Jessica Lovejoy (Meryl Streep) doesn’t talk to him in public, but she tempts him that ‘if it’s a secret…it’s more exciting.’
The debate between The Hurt Locker and Avatar continues.
Seminal Television – Ghost Whisperer
Rob King’s “A Brief Moment…”
Again, I’m probably breaking a lot of laws now, but as part of an academic seminar two weeks ago, Uoft Professor Rob King did it freestyle and talked about “A Brief Moment for Sincerity, or, What Do Jon Stewart and Charlie Chaplin Have in Common?” Obviously the most enticing title of the bunch.
One of these things is not like the others:
Prof. King says that with some exception, comedians making their way into political speech lose their comedy. I’m one of those people obtuse enough to think that everything is political, I even see the Three Stooges short with a sociopolitical interpretation. The food fight represents the deconstruction of the bourgeoisie. Chaplin and Stewart must be sincere, talking in a hallowed language because of a sense of urgency to bring their country men back into sanity. I still think, however, that they’re just as political when they’re being funny – we can see this when Fox News attacks Stewart’s lack of integrity which is funny because Stewart never needed integrity in his show. I know that that’s a passive aggressive way of saying that they should keep their day jobs, but it’s not like they want Obama to show up on Open Mic Wednesdays. Both men are just more effectively political in their usual methods. I don’t know if that answers Prof. King’s question or not, though.
Hunchback of Notre Dame ’86
Mom came home with a DVD of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Not the Disney one, the Charles Laughton one nor the silent one. Turns out it’s from a Australian company that released the movie in 1986 and the guy who does the voice for Quasimodo is this Canadian guy who has a lot of acting work in Australia. His Quasimodo sounds like Laughton too. I like the shaded-in quality of the colour, which isn’t the way animation does colour today. The colours that dominate the movie are mostly brown and gray, depicting a Paris gritty like every Medieval European city, centuries before it became fashionable. And the way they coloured the bell is amazing.
This is my first time seeing a full adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel. There’s Quasimodo and his damsel of distress Esmeralda, fighting against the mob who judge them for their appearances. Oh, and where all the male leads have to do is talk funny and people think they’re great, Angela Punch McGregor has the difficult task of playing Esmeralda, and she fails. Her tone doesn’t change whether in distress or not. She doesn’t even sound convincingly in distress when needed.
Seminal Television: Chief of Hearts
Homer Simpson and Chief Clancy Wiggum (Hank Azaria) aren’t talking about Faye Dunaway.
Seminal Television: Everybody Hates Chris
Rochelle undoes everything Faye Miller or Peggy Olson have tried to do two decades ago.
“Now I know y’all say you don’t need a man and I know you all say you don’t want a man, but the truth is, you can’t get a man. Look at her. You think she don’t want a man? Why do you think she wear all this make-up? Believe it or not, the heifer’s 62 years old. But she looks good! And if you wanna look like this when you’re 62, I suggest that you purchase some Yvonne.”
The film begins in 1973, with a car explosion killing Mohammed Boudia. Then they show the man who’s going to avenge that death, a fashionably dressed man named Ilich Ramirez Sanchez (Edgar Ramirez). We see him going to Beirut to meet Wadie Haddad, trying to prove himself to Haddad by telling the latter his guerrilla history. Despite his youth and inexperience, Haddad includes him in the PLFP. An important theme of the film will be Ilich, now calling himself Carlos, constantly trying to prove himself to Haddad and win his approval despite his shortcomings.
We see Carlos, going to and from his contacts in Paris and London, the camera fading in and out and beginning a scene with captions of the place and time elapsed, marking how disjointed this short version of the film can be. He’s assigned and taking on missions by himself, accomplishing them with quick athleticism. We get to see Carlos get weaker and fatter as the film progresses. The film wanes as it goes on yet Ramirez’ performance gets stronger and he portrays Carlos’ later days. The shorter film focuses on Carlos’ nasrcissism and interiority, yet I would rather have seen him pull off more terrorist plots than to see another full frontal shot.