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Showing posts from February, 2015

Jupiter Ascending

I realize it’s pretty early in 2015, but I truly can’t imagine a worse movie than Jupiter Ascending opening in the next ten months.
This movie is like Battlefield Earth without—No, actually, it’s just like Battlefield Earth.It is a hot mess of a movie that is also totally unfocused featuring career-low performances from just about everybody associated with it.
The script reads like something a fifth grader would write if he tried his hand at penning a Blade Runner sequel.
Eddie Redmayne turns in a performance so bad, I almost have to wonder if we should ever allow him to be on film again at the risk of something this bad happening again.
Channing Tatum looks even more confused than he normally does in this movie, probably because there are aliens, reptilian aliens, magical bees, werewolves, rollerblading on air, immortal aliens, stem-cell researching aliens, pop-up spacesuits, and more double-crossing and backstabbing than an episode of Big Brother.
At a certain point, you feel yours…

Wedding Trouble

I have a problem I think a lot of men have—maybe women too, I don’t know.
I hate going to weddings.
The trouble is, I’m also mortally offended anytime somebody doesn’t invite me to their wedding.(It’s the Portuguese in me.I was raised to believe that if you’ve ever had any interaction with a person at any point in your life, you’re entitled to a wedding invitation from them.)
So I either get a wedding invite and feel pleased only to remember that I hate actually going to weddings, or I don’t get invited and I vow never to speak to the person again.
I should mention that I love the idea of a wedding—it’s just the whole getting dressed up, mingling, eating stuffed chicken thing of it all.The ideal, I guess, would be somebody calling to say ‘I’m getting married and I want you there, but please don’t come.”
That’s the kind of invite I’m looking for.

Facebook Enablers

In addiction, there are enablers.On Facebook, there are the commenters.No matter what you do on Facebook, there’s somebody who will tell you that you’re right.
Get engaged. Get married. Have a kid. Buy a house. Get a divorce. Adopt a puppy. Move to Prague.
No matter what you do, you probably have an aunt who’ll congratulate you on it.It doesn’t matter how well they know you, or if they really believe what you’re doing is a good idea.It’s as if they only live to blindly support others in their endeavors.There might not be any real harm in it, but something about them still seems insidious, like little devils on the shoulders of everyone with a social media account.


Ever since I was a young man, I have mourned the era of the nighttime soap opera.Oh sure, every once in awhile, a show would come along that would have the spirit as those old Aaron Spelling classics (Dynasty, Melrose Place, etc.), but none have truly managed to capture the right balance of camp and high drama.
That is—until Empire.
For the first time in years, a show has come along that seems urgent enough to require that you actually be home to watch it.It lingers in a perpetual state of “jumping the shark” and yet pulls back from the edge every time.
And Cookie—where do I even begin?It’s like somebody took the love child of Joan Collins’ Alexis and J.R. from Dallas and gave it to Amanda Woodward to raise.If there’s any justice in the cultural Universe, this show will run for years.
Or at least until there’s a wedding in Moldavia.


If it weren’t for Facebook, I would never remember birthdays.I am horrible at remembering birthdays.Admittedly—and I’m not proud of this—I couldn’t tell you my Mom’s birthday off the top of my head, or my Dad’s.I can remember my brother’s birthday, but only because his is three days away from mine, but I can’t remember the birthdays of my other two siblings.I can usually get within a week of the right date, but I’m never right on the money.So it’s safe to say that without Facebook, I would never know when anybody was having a birthday.Facebook has made it impossible to say that you didn’t know it was somebody’s birthday.The down side of this is that if you really don’t like somebody, you still have to wish them a happy birthday, or things could get awkward.I have a running tally in my head of all the people who haven’t wished me a happy birthday on Facebook over the last few years.Facebook is now the official way to wish someone a happy birthday like it or not, and I’m pretty good ab…


I think there should be a limit on the number of times you can reboot something.Let’s say three, okay?Let’s say after three times you just have to let the damn thing die, or at least wait twenty-five years (or something) until you try rebooting it again.So—Spiderman.One more shot, and then after that, you’re on the bench.Texas Chainsaw Massacre—you had your chance, now you’re out.Go develop a new idea.At the very least, you should have to do something other than “reboot” it—like, I don’t know, go back to calling it a remake, since that’s what it is anyway.It’s just that “remake” sounds like an impossible feat and “reboot” sounds sexy and somehow robotic at the same time.Maybe it’s just the word “reboot” that I’m tired of, but rebooting reboots has really got to stop.

Another Snow Day

It takes a lot to get me to focus.This isn’t exactly an admirable trait when you’re trying to write something.I’m distracted by anything and everything.So a snowstorm is actually a welcome way to force myself to sit down in a quiet place and write.The problem with nice weather is that it makes you feel like you should be out doing something, whereas snow reminds you that it’s okay to stay in and be still.
The older I get, the more relieved I am when nature gives me an excuse to do absolutely nothing and not feel bad about it.

Katy Perry

What I like about Katy Perry is her theatricality.Admittedly, I’m someone who misses the days when a performance on the Video Music Awards meant something like Madonna doing “Vogue” in corsets and wigs.Lately, theatricality in pop music has transformed into shock value, which can certainly have creative merit, but which usually just involves really revealing outfits and some sort of ill-conceived religious imagery.
Katy Perry always keeps things relatively PG-13, colorful, and entertaining.She seems to know her shortcomings as a singer, and makes up for them with showmanship, which is nothing new—in fact, a lot of really awesome performers have taken that approach over the years.
When I saw Madonna in concert, the show finished—a show that featured upside down marching bands and five-minute fight sequences—and I thought, Well, I sure as hell got my money’s worth.That was how I felt after watching the halftime show tonight.Yes, there might be things you could pick on, but for the most pa…