Sunday, April 29, 2012

Birthday Wishes to Several Greats

The title was thought up rather quickly, so I apologize that it isn't very good. There are many birthday wishes to send out today. Although I act as if my wishes are actually passed on to these fine actors, as if they are touched by my caring gestures, I certainly hope they are appreciated among their admirers. I am referring to you all, who may or may not be admirers of these people. Since there are more than a few celebrations taking place today, I will recognize them all and highlight a specific film of theirs in which they gave a marvelous performance, or accomplished something extraordinary.
Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York - What a magnificent performance. I don't know how to describe it in any other way, other than that he enhanced the screen with his brilliant talent. Portraying a ruthless criminal known simply as the Butcher, he transforms himself into this cruel, spiteful character, ensconced by pure evil, in such a fantastic fashion. Here, he provides ones of the greatest performances of, dare I say, all time. And the fact that he didn't get an Oscar for his outstanding performance is absolutely shameful, making a political victory for the Holocaust. Regardless of what happened there, sinful as it is, Daniel Day-Lewis established himself, once more, as one of the royalty of Hollywood.

One Fine Day
Isn't she adorable?
Michelle Pfeiffer in Married to the Mob - It was difficult choosing just one movie among Michelle Pfeiffer's impressive filmography, as all her roles are of the same, marvelous caliber. In each film she stars in, she makes herself stand out as one of the industry's most-talented actresses. Not only does she demonstrate remarkable acting prowess, but she accomplishes being both beautiful and adorable while also projecting an aura of intelligence and elegance. True talent. And, yet again, the Academy disappoints for she has never received an Oscar for her clear skill in the art of acting. Why I chose Married to the Mob, I'm not sure, only that it was the first movie that came to mind when thinking of Michelle Pfeiffer. As Angela de Marco, she portrays the typical wife to the Mafia as she attempts to break free of that life and start anew in the city. It's your average ambitious city-girl story, with a mix of crime and comedy, and is only enhanced by Michelle Pfeiffer's appearance.

Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction - Isn't it obvious? As the iconic Mia Wallace, and I say iconic because she represents the film, in my opinion, Uma Thurman displays her ability to seduce viewers with her irresistible voice and style. Of course, Quentin Tarantino orchestrated the entire film, therefore the actress's performance, which only further shows how skilled she is at following the director's, the artist's, vision. When she graces the screen, I cannot take my eyes off of her, for she is absolutely stunning. She portrays her character so incredibly, so troubled, that I shudder at the fear of losing her. And, if you've seen the film, you'd know what I'm referring to, having to do with a certain adrenaline shot. That gave it away. Once again, not surprisingly, the Academy robs yet another actress who gave such an amazing performance. It must be some sort of conspiracy I am not privy to. Uma Thurman, that gorgeous woman on the vintage poster of Pulp Fiction, is simply mesmerizing.

Jerry Seinfeld in Seinfeld - This man created the show that revolutionized television. It remains engraved on the audience's mind as the absolute greatest show of all time. Yes, I'm bold enough to make such a statement. What I admire about the show is its fearlessness into delving into topics that were still considered "touchy", and even more so today. Unlike the happy-pappy sitcoms like Friends (which is also a great show, no question), Seinfeld analyzes specific subjects and points out the humor in them. It's simply indescribable. I would name a few lines from the show that have become part of pop-culture, but that would just make the remarkable show a catch-phrase sack. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Once again, happy birthday to all you fantastic people! Continue your greatness. I'm clearly rushing to wrap this up.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Big Daddy

I decided to title this post based on the film I will be discussing. No need for any pseudo-witty titles, correct? Anyway, this marks the beginning of Adam Sandler's noteworthy career of critically-bashed so-called "so-called comedies". It also marks the actor's first Razzie accomplishment, as he won for Worst Actor; the film itself was also nominated for Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, Worst Supporting Actor for Rob Schneider, and Worst Director for Dennis Dugan. (Here's an interesting piece of trivia: Dennis Dugan and Adam Sandler have collaborated seven movies together, their most recent being Jack and Jill.) While Adam Sandler was known well before Big Daddy, with films such as Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison (the two of which provided the name of his company Happy Madison Pictures), this film truly brought Adam Sandler into the cinematic stratosphere. That's how I see it anyway.

This film probably defines my childhood, not that Sonny Koufax is like my dad and my mother left me on his doorstep, but that I've watched this movie practically everyday when I was younger. As a child, who cannot comprehend the quality of a person's acting, or even know the name of the actor playing the character, it was effortless for me to fall in love with any movie. Big Daddy just happened to be that true love of mine. Of course, there were many movies I enjoyed watching when I was younger, and still do today, but I mostly remember Big Daddy being the theme to my early years. I know the movie by heart actually, so watching this now, I understand about thirty-percent more of it. I now understand a total sixty-percent of the movie. That was a joke. This isn't Inception.

Adam Sandler plays Sonny Koufax, a lazy and unambitious slob who gains unofficial (and illegal I believe) custody over Julian, an easily-influenced kid with a slightly irritating accent attributed to typical child actors. After his girlfriend walks out on him, claiming she want a real life with a financially-stable relationship, Sonny is basically lost and needing a change in his own routine. In comes Julian, who was abandoned by his mother and the illegitimate son of Sonny's roommate, Kevin. The boy is now under the temporary, and again illegal, care of the ignorance of Sonny. Knowing Sonny's inability to handle his own life, it was evident that he would be overwhelmed by the unexpected arrival of a little boy. Over a short period of time, the two developed a relationship similar to that of a father and son, and that does not always constitute the idealistic 1950s montage of building tree houses and playing catch. That is clearly the truth as you witness the playful yet immoral activities they engage in, such as throwing sticks on the ground that cause roller-bladers to crash down. From covering messes with newspaper to encouraging urinating on the street, it is obvious that he is not what one would call a "good father", but he definitely cares for Julian. Adam Sandler's portrayal of such a caring father-figure is both believable and sweet, which comprises of one of his best performances, if you ask me. Then again, maybe my view upon the film is subjective because of what I said earlier. That I loved this movie as a child, and I probably still do love it as a child.

As for the remaining cast's performance, I would have to say not bad at all, especially Steve Buscemi's role as the neurotic bum who enjoys sausage McMuffins. One particular moment I find to be utterly hilarious was in the courtroom when he argues with Rob Schneider's Eastern-European delivery-guy. His high-pitched scream is so amusing to me. As for Rob Schneider's performance, I saw no reason for him to be nominated for Worst Supporting Actor. Granted, overall he is a terrible actor, but here he was actually funny and an enjoyable screen-stealer. (The two actors are often recognized in many of Adam Sandler's films.) Adam Sandler's love-interest, played by that actress from Chasing Amy, is too big-toothed and whispery for my taste, and I honestly saw no chemistry between her and Sonny. She was an ambitious lawyer, while Sonny was a part-time toll-booth operator. Then again, opposites attract?

There are, actually, several "pop-culture icons" in the film, such as the invisible sunglasses, Hooters, the loop-swoop-and-pull, and Scuba Steve of course. Okay, they may not be as culturally significant as a giant boulder chasing Indiana Jones or the Death Star, but they are memorable items of Adam Sandler's repertoire of movies. What we have here is somewhat of a classic of entertainment, something I'm sure everyone who's heard of Adam Sandler remembers fondly. While the critics generally did not care for it, I don't know a single person who didn't enjoy it. Hence, we have an example of how wrong the critics can be.

Watching it today, as the older, intellectual individual that I am, I still enjoy it just as much. Adam Sandler's supposedly awful acting go unnoticed by me, as well as all other questionable elements in the film. When I watch the movie, I'm transported to my old apartment, as that adorable five-year-old who cries whenever she leaves her daddy. (Not much has changed I guess.) Maybe that's why I enjoy it so much, since it reminds me of my childhood, because apparently a nice flashback is universally appreciated. You might have thought this post was rather short, but admit it, not having much to read is refreshing on the weekend. Salutations, and good day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Part Two: The Demanding Sequels

In the history of Hollywood, there has been one challenge that is the aspiration of every single filmmaker in the business. It is not creating an ideal film, while that may be an obvious goal, for movies are movies. They are either bad or good, plainly stated, am I right? For those fortunate good ones, who go on to accumulate great box-office receipts, the filmmaker can go down one of two paths: enjoy the wealth and begin a different project, or make a sequel. The latter choice seems to have become the path most traveled by in recent years, which have given us delightful continuations of beloved animated features, such as Shrek 2 and Toy Story 3. Then, there are those live-action sequels, which, unfortunately, are usually not so great. In fact, they have been known to be quite horrendous, disappointing the thousands of followers who were expecting much more after the watching the first film. This list could be endless, but for the purpose of this post, I will be analyzing two sequels that were released in 2011 that I have watched recently. One is an example of a bad sequel and the other is an example of a good sequel. The Hangover Part II and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, respectively. Note that this is completely subjective for the most part.

It has become a well-known fact that The Hangover was ingeniously original, that it brought a shockwave upon the comedic universe of film that simply shocked and awed viewers. The theatrical trailer could not prepare them for the hilarious antics that would ensue nonstop throughout the film. The moment Ed Helms, who plays Stu, the source of reason of the trio, woke up on the floor of his trashed hotel suite, with an unexplained chicken in the background among other confusing items, the movie was making a landmark in cinema. Every single event that arose on account of the gang's drunken night was a total surprise and subject for mass laughs. (Mass laughs? Was that used correctly?) The entire film was flawless, so to speak, and really revolutionized comedy. Only for a short while, evidently. Two years later, Todd Phillips releases the second part of his supposedly-planned trilogy. (Oh, you read that right. The third, and hopefully final, part of the boozy saga is out May 24, 2013. More of that later.) Considering the revered emotion used to describe the first part, you could guess I was expecting a whole lot from the sequel, as were many other admirers out there. (I dislike the term "fan". It sounds rather obsessive, don't you think? "I'm your biggest fan." Yikes.) The idea that it was highly-anticipated is proven by the outrageous profit it gained at the box-office, more than $450 million. As you're probably already aware, people did not get their money's worth. Far from it. And it was more dreadful taking into consideration the amount of expectation people had. If you haven't seen it, which you are most likely benefiting from, you may be wondering just what was so bad about it? Well, I'll tell you. Right now.

The main problem with The Hangover Part II, which really accounts for the entirety of its awfulness, is that they recycled much too much of the original film's jokes. The reason Heather Graham didn't return in the sequel was because he director did not want to overdo the baby jokes, as it would probably be played out the second time around. Apparently, that was his only worry, because he repeated literally every other punchline as in the first. One "joke" that was especially degenerated was Zach Galifianakis and his Wolf Pack. In the first, when his character, Alan, was making a toast to Doug, he mentioned the Wolf Pack once and only once, and it brought out a few laughs. Here, however, it was far overdone, appearing in nearly every scene. Perhaps my intensified irritation with this humor roots from my general dislike for Zach Galifianakis. I think he is a complete moron, both on-screen and off, as well as pompous from all the attention he got playing in The Hangover. After all this fame, he thinks he's a huge star who can reject Mel Gibson's presence on set because he feels "uncomfortable". Really? (I had to bring that up, even though they say that he didn't contribute to not using Mel Gibson. I know what happened, and it aggravates me deeply. Back to the movie.) Anyway, the film is basically a copy of the original and was not as appreciated because it was no longer original. Todd Phillips had already made The Hangover, he couldn't just cheat and paste that script in the sequel, and simply change the setting and some of the characters' situations. (I feel that I am babbling up to this point, and apologize if I sound incoherent.) Overall, the issue with The Hangover Part II is that they relied so much on their first work of brilliance that they felt confident enough to bullshit the story and include jokes that take way too long to end. Which, as I've said before, make them unfunny. This is a major mistake made by many sequels, and, while it is hard to rejuvenate that magic they concocted with the first part, they shouldn't copy and paste. In this case, recycling is a bad thing.

Onto the next example: the decent, and even good, sequel. Among my three preferred films of 2009, Sherlock Holmes is an exhilarating, stylish film made all the more fantastic by its inventive director, Guy Ritchie. After he defined his unique flair to cinema with films such as Snatch, he assumed the role of remastering the traditional literary classic Sherlock Holmes. The special "flair" I am referring to is the director's quick-breath, slow-yet-fast-motion cinematography that simply pulls the viewer into the action. Transforming the elegant Sherlock Holmes into a bare-fisted-fighting, eccentric genius, with the strange choice of Robert Downey Jr. to complete this adaptation, Guy Ritchie struck gold with the film, producing a Golden Globe for his leading man, as well as the success needed for a sequel. Based on my own deep admiration for the film, one can imagine my anticipation for its next installment. And, boy, am I pleased to say that it was just as good as the first, if not a little less great. In other words, the first was clearly much better, but that does not diminish this one's achievement. Allow me to elaborate.

When encountered with the challenge of creating a sequel that is just as good, or even better, than its first film, which was very well received (as with The Hangover and Sherlock Holmes), for some reason the director and/or writers seem to be overwhelmed by such a daunting task. Hence, producing disappointing lackluster films with dull plots, which make the audience lose interest in the franchise altogether. In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, the film loses none of its original sleek intrigue, nor does it ensnare itself into a puzzling plot that was crafted in attempt to increase the so-called "intellectuality". (The latter has occurred before, I'm sure. Perhaps with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest...? As much as I enjoy that franchise, they really had me confused.) Anyway, the sequel to Sherlock Holmes retained its excellence, incorporating a consuming plot as well as an iconic villain from the literary series, the nefarious Professor Moriarty. (Nefarious?) Jude Law returns as Holmes's trusting partner-in-crime, Dr. Watson, who was a lot less bumbling in this installment, as he was physically involved in many of the battle scenes. (Battle scenes. I make it sound like a Lord of the Rings epic. Momentary note.) Sherlock Holmes himself, of course, is just as eccentric and scrappy, as well, if not more so. Here, we have a little hiccup, for Robert Downey Jr. portrays Sherlock Holmes even stranger than in the first, perhaps overdoing it a bit. This observation was made by my dad, who, like me unfortunately, has begun to dislike Robert Downey Jr. and his pompous manner in real life. Therefore, the observation may be subjective. Either way, nothing could disturb the marvelous quality of the film. As I read some reviews of the film, I've noticed a similar negative remark about the film: too much Guy Ritchie-flair. To that, I say that this is a Guy Ritchie film, after all, and that his trademark rapid-movement sequences are not at all stale. Watching this film is just as if I'm watching a film unattached by any previous blockbuster-hit, which shows just how great it is. Disregard the critics, as this is far from disappointing, especially compared to the usual sequels that are produced.

The art of creating a watchable sequel is, indeed, a strenuous task. It requires the ability to start afresh and not rely on one's initial success to reuse, since it was so good the first time around. Also, before actually making a sequel, one must decide whether the story lines were already squeezed dry, for if they were it is painful to watch a sequel where certain characters are demoted to corny, unnecessary additions and jokes have been extended to a point where they are no longer jokes, but sad moments in the movie. That moment when you realize that a movie you once loved has past its expiration date, and it's time to walk out of the theater. Or turn off the television. Of course, sequels of varied genres are different, as well. For instance, to make a sequel for a superhero/epic/fantasy movie is simple, just include a new villain or continue from where you obviously left off. For a comedy, however, the writers must maintain that hilarious element, or people will just make a mockery of it. Just ponder over that next time you finish watching a movie you believed to be absolutely fantastic. While you may be thinking that a sequel would really make your day, remember that it's difficult to meet the expectations of viewers. Because we really are a bunch of bastards. Have a magical evening.

Here are some more bad sequels:
American Pie 2
Transporter 2
Rush Hour 2
The Mummy Returns
Mission: Impossible 2
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, & Blonde
Ocean's Twelve
Batman & Robin
Scary Movie 2
Little Fockers
Cars 2
Grease 2
Son of the Mask
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Pink Panther 2
Iron Man 2
Analyze That

And some good sequels:
The Godfather Part II
Toy Story 3
Shrek 2
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Batman Returns
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Sex and the City 2 (in the worst way)
American Reunion
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
X-Men: First Class (actually a prequel, but it was great)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Jack Nicholson!

Today marks one of the greatest actors of our time's seventy-fifth anniversary of living. To think that seventy-five years ago, the world was being bestowed with such a versatile and enormously skilled actor. One who could portray absolutely any role and nail it there and then; whose ability it was to transform himself into roles as different as the Joker and Melvin Udall. Then again, in every role, he incorporates that devilish charm accompanied by that irresistible grin that invites you to be mesmerized by him. It assures you that he doesn't bite, but when he actually does, you don't mind because you are utterly amazed by his talent. Quite an opening, yes? Well, Jack Nicholson deserves it, just as he does the following post. Yes, a series of exaltations for his films.

As Good As It Gets - Yet another reason why the nineties are most likely considered the Golden Era of new cinema. (By new cinema, I mean the period after such classics that dominated the 1950s and 1960s.) Pleasantly intriguing, and quite frankly an unexpected Oscar winner for its time, the film follows Melvin Udall, a misanthropic author who cringes at the presence of affable beings, and how he breaks his rough shell by the love and friendship of Carol Connelly (played by Helen Hunt in an Oscar-winning performance) and Simon Bishop (played by Greg Kinnear in a performance that most definitely deserved an Oscar). As you witness Melvin's rude behavior, which is somewhat restrained on account that he is obsessive-compulsive, making him suffer as he must confront and apologize. Of course, he never felt the need to do so, until he is granted the care of Simon's dog Verdell, after Simon is tragically beaten by a group of thieves. (That was a bit of a spoiler, but I had to mention it, as it was incredibly unfortunate and encapsulates yet another reason why Greg Kinnear deserved the award he did not receive.) Once Melvin gets attached to the dog, one could say he was beginning to crack a little, to display complete emotion. He begins to feel companionship, then friendship, then love. Here, Jack Nicholson shows just why he is considered one of the Hollywood greats, in a performance that revealed his genuine talent without requiring him to act insane or evil. I'm not hinting that he is typecast as such a villain, but in this film, he's shown a side, a beautiful side of himself, that just sets him high above the rest.

Batman - Set aside Christopher Nolan's new installments for a moment, for this is the real deal. Tim Burton's version of the tale behind Gotham City's masked-vigilante certainly has more of that comic-book feel, though it is far from colorful costumes and cheesy fights. Michael Keaton plays the masked-caper himself, which I heard was an odd choice back in the day since he was mostly used in comedies, but nevertheless he acts well for the part. Kim Basinger plays the damsel-in-distress, Vicki Vale, who could have been played by anyone, and quite frankly I don't care much for the actress myself. But the true star of the film was Jack Nicholson as the infamously glorious Joker. There has been much argument against the genius of his portrayal of the sadistic villain, particularly when he's being compared to Heath Ledger's Oscar-winning performance. Now, listen closely, the late Heath Ledger absolutely does not amount to the caliber of Jack Nicholson's brilliant performance. You got that? In The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger not only didn't do as good a job as Mr. Nicholson, but he didn't act well at all, rather he frightened me. And not in an engrossing, awe-inspiring way, but more in a revolting way. Constantly licking your lips and retelling the tale of how you got that smiling-scar is not what makes a stellar performance. Jack Nicholson truly entertained you as the clownish villain, and he delivered his gruesome lines with such maniacal amusement, much like the actual Joker would have. All this nonsense of Heath Ledger introducing a "neo-Joker", or whatever you call that, is complete rubbish. All he did was drool, lick, and repeat. (Pardon me for disgracing him, as he is dead and I should probably show more respect, but this is an aggravating debacle.) Jack Nicholson portrayed the Joker as he is meant to be, sadistically charming and utterly insane, and I'll be damned if anyone denies that fact.
Jack Nicholson on the film: Tim Burton's a genius. He had the right take on it. That's why I did the movie. I did the movie based on a single conversation with him. We both come from the cartoon world originally. We had similar ideas. Tim said the Joker should have a humorous dark side to him. Burton is one of the great movie makers. I think the world of him. He's the most unassuming man. And he doesn't feel pressure. That's what I love about him. Once he's in there, he's smiling making the movie.

Anger Management - One of Adam Sandler's better films, it follows the breakdown of Dave Buznik (played by Adam Sandler) as he is accused of having a breakdown. Ironic, isn't it? Don't worry, it all works out fine in the end, after many comical obstacles, of course. Dave is sentenced to an intensive anger-management program, taught by an aggressively difficult instructor named Dr. Buddy Rydell, portrayed marvelously by Jack Nicholson. Throughout the film, he constantly places Dave in confusing and aggravating predicaments, which seem to worsen his anger issue. Somehow, however, Dr. Rydell's methods are remarkable and Dave is at complete bliss with his girlfriend, Linda (played by Marisa Tomei), at the end. This movie further represents how Jack Nicholson can play a vast variety of roles, even an Adam Sandler comedy as this, and he always adds his own signature flair to the film, so you know he's a part of it. Jack Nicholson, I mean, not Adam Sandler. The versatile actor (again, Nicholson) can make a typically gross-comedy like that of Adam Sandler into a respectable, truly funny film. Now, that's talent.

The Shining - I've never seen this, myself, but from what my dad tells me, it is absolutely horrific, as in it is frightening and one of the best horror films to date. He calls it the scariest movie of all time, so terrifying he cannot make himself watch it again for my sake. Not that I want him to, because he's scared me out of ever wanting to see this film. From what I can gather, Jack Nicholson portrays Jack Torrance, a father who turns psychotically vicious when trapped in an isolated hotel with his wife and son. Knowing Nicholson's capability for being utterly chilling, I can say with assurance that he accomplished that tone, and then some. When I'm in the mood for suspense (almost never), I scurry to watch some clips from the film, only to shut it off right before something scary happens. One scene I did watch from beginning to end was when he was walking towards his wife with pure carnage in his stare, telling her that he was going to kill her. Let me be more clear: "Wendy? Darling? Light of my life. I'm not going to hurt you. I'm just going to bash your brains in." That bloodless clip alone frightened me out of watching pieces of that movie while I'm home alone. Even though it is likely that I'll never watch The Shining, I can say for certain that Jack Nicholson proved that he masters the elements of horror.

The Witches of Eastwick - Three divorcees (played by Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfieffer, and Cher) live in an ideal little village called Eastwick, leading the typical single life, which apparently is over-emotional and focused on finding sex. In comes a mysterious bachelor who alters their life in a magical and perfect way, granting them their every wish...until he hypnotically seduces each one of them. The name of this strange individual is Daryl van Horne, and he's played with vile charm by Jack Nicholson. He reminds me of a dashing yet sinister version of the Joker, without the mass-homicidal urges and the make-up, and naturally played the role with ease and charisma. The demonic element underlying the dark comedy is somewhat disturbing, yet only makes Daryl Van Horne the more likable. (Lately, I've been leaning more towards villains than heroes in the films I watch.) Just as he does with the three ladies in the film, Jack Nicholson seduces me from beginning to end. Well, maybe exactly as he does with the women.

Something's Gotta Give - I was almost not going to mention this one, as it is a given how wonderful this film is. For some reason, it also reminds me of As Good As It Gets. Perhaps because I enjoyed it just as much? Anyway, the story revolves around a blooming romance between Harry Sanborn and Erica Berry, played with genuinely believable emotion and signs of friendship by Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. I am one who finds romance between older people adorable, and when the film uses actors as lovable as this pair, the movie is a work of excellence. Jack Nicholson plays the suave bachelor-type Harry Sanborn, once again, with grace and enjoyment. His irresistible smile and characteristic eyebrows really work for him here, as they always do. Diane Keaton plays his near-opposite, an accomplished, prim-and-proper woman, closer to his age than his usual twenty-something girlfriend. Better than anywhere else, here opposites clearly attract as the two form a sweet relationship that grows into true love. The two leading actors have such an amazing on-screen chemistry, one that makes me assume that they are good friends in real life who occasionally share a conversation over a cup of coffee. That's the dream.

As I was writing this post, I realized that I haven't fully experienced the filmography of an actor I so admire, not even close. He has been nominated for an Academy Award twelve times, the most for any actor, and has won three. Out of all those films, I've only seen two, plus an additional eight. While ten movies may be enough to admire an actor as much as I do this man, it is not enough overall. In other words, I need to increase the amount of films I've seen starring Jack Nicholson. For the time being, have a merry birthday, Jack Nicholson!

"With my sunglasses on, I'm Jack Nicholson. Without them, I'm fat and seventy."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

An Occupied Spring Holiday

Good evening everyone. I must begin by saying how dreadful I've been feeling the past two days. Spring break has ended, to my utter dismay, and there is an unspecified void within me. Perhaps because I didn't watch every movie I had in mind of watching during the break? The damage was augmented when I returned to "work" today to discover that I had not completed my assignments correctly. Have I made a note of what a stiffly-stifferson my boss is? Therefore, in addition to my weekly load, I had to adjust my work that was due today, which irritated my awful allergies and induced aches in my skull. Quite a day I've been having, isn't it? What makes it worse is that I'm thinking what happened wasn't all that terrible, which causes me to feel like an intolerable child who thinks the world ends whenever they don't get their way. Believe me when I say I am striving to be as far away from that person as possible. (I'm not referring to anyone in particular, in case the italics threw you off.) Without further ado, allow me to describe my ideal spring break, which I will refer to as a "holiday" because the term "spring break" suggests the clich├ęd drinking and partying that I was not a part of.
(This was written on Monday.)

This wonderful holiday did not truly commence until Sunday, the third day of spring break, when I ventured over to my dad's place. Rather than telling you exactly what I did, with such repetitive sentences as "And then we watched...", I will point out the highlights and singularly interesting events that occurred within these rapid seven days. Oh, how quickly they went by....

Entrapment - I figured this would be a pleasant start to the holiday, considering how much we enjoyed it the many times before. This time, however, we did not enjoy it the same way we used to, rather it was more of Sex and the City-humor, if anything. I cannot account for why this is, honestly. How can a movie we found to be truly funny transform into a corny embarrassment for all actors involved? One factor that was especially distracting was the romance between Catherine Zeta-Jones and her father, Sean Connery. That was a joke, for Sean Connery is neither her father on-screen or off, though he might as well be. It's so strange that just now, after the fifth time I watched it, the awkwardness is so noticeable. Also, the script was absolute rubbish, as all of the actors' lines were so corny and the plot itself was rather ridiculous. Robbing two, high-profile establishments in two weeks, without standard preparation? No. 'Twas a damn shame to lose what was once a decent movie, a damn shame I say.

Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey - Is it just me, or are they the most adorable screen couple of the decade? It's hard to believe they only made two movies together. Nonetheless, in each of them, they displayed such great chemistry, despite their lukewarm reviews. When it comes to romantic-comedies nowadays, one must simply ignore the critics and enjoy the quality of them for what they undeniably are: good stuff. Now, what makes these two so magnetizing to watch is each of their charisma and the fact that they seem to really be having conversations, as if the camera is merely capturing reality. In How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, Kate Hudson plays Andie Anderson, a how-to columnist whose mission is to make a guy dump her in ten days, while Matthew McConaughey plays suave advertising executive Benjamin Barry whose goal is to make a woman fall in love with him in ten days. Coincidentally, the two meet and use one another for their motives, which is such a funny and enjoyable concept. What follows is a romantic battle of pulling the rope back and forth (tug-of-war, if I'm not mistaken), and it is delightful. The couple's next film is Fools' Gold, where they now play a recently-divorced couple who reunite to find valuable treasure. Not as strong as the former film, Fools' Gold still incorporates the two actors' wonderful chemistry. Matthew's laid-back, smooth charm and Kate's adorable and keen wit combine to create one of the greatest romantic-comedy duos. Inadequate acting, the critics say? Bullshit.

Six Degrees of Separation - A hidden gem, this truly is. I've barely heard of this surprisingly remarkable film, other than the fact that Will Smith is in it and he may or may not be a homosexual here. He is, by the way, and he really proved to have acting abilities, good ones too. Here, he portrays a charming, individualistic con man, who I call individualistic because he does not behave the way African Americans usually do. (Time to tip toe across sounding discriminatory.) Not only that, but he is so suave and calm that he does not make the white people around him appear to be lower than him, or even unintelligent. Typically, in these precarious situations where there is only one black man surrounded by a group of classy white folk, the director portrays the black man as highly superior compared to his companions, therefore stating how blacks are generally better than whites. Then again, who really cares who's better? And who is to boldly declare who is better? Are we in an eternal competition of races? (Carrie Bradshaw moment. Forgive me.) Stockard Channing, known for Grease I assume, garnered an Oscar nomination for the film; it was one of those out-of-place nods, I'm sure, for this movie, as I've said, is not very known. (Like when Anne Hathaway was nominated for that movie.) She was impressive as the socialite who is heavily intrigued by Will Smith's enigmatic character and abandons her upper-class status as a result. Anyway, The Six Degrees of Separation was a marvelous film, and, once again, one of many hidden gems of cinema. Right now, I am informing you of this dazzling jewel, and urging you to see for yourself what you're missing.

Niagara - Another hidden gem, though it's more of a hidden piece of scarp metal. I'm sure you've never heard of this film, and there is no reason you should have, as it is an obscure fragment of the 1950s, and there are many out there. What makes this particularly special, so special we actually unearthed and watched it, is because of its star: the beautiful Marilyn Monroe. This was well before Some Like It Hot and when her ultimate fame peaked, and she was as stunning as ever. Watching her grace the screen in color really made me regret Billy Wilder's decision of not filming Some Like It Hot in color, for she would be an absolute beauty were she in color. Even in black-and-white, Marilyn is beautiful, but in color she would be a dream. As we watch Niagara, Marilyn Monroe seems unreal, as if it were supernatural that she spoke and moved about as a person does. She is simply too gorgeous to comprehend that she is a human, like you and I. The film itself was completely pointless. It had absolutely no purpose whatsoever, and should have been constructed into a sort of short rather than an eighty-minute production. After about twenty minutes or so, I was already growing bored, and even fast-forwarded without missing a beat. This is really a film you can overlook, which I'm sure you already have.

Adventures of Tintin - Here, we have a disgraceful snub on the Academy's part. In a year of inadequate animated features, Steven Spielburg emerges with Tintin, a whimsical adventure that would tickle the delight of anyone. That is, if they enjoy adventures and animations. This film reminds me very much of Indiana Jones, from the high-speed getaways, two-dimensional villain, and the exhilarating settings. Exhilarating may be a bit exaggerated a term, but it was indeed adventurous. While it rightfully earned its award for Best Animated Feature at the Golden Globes, it was completely ignored at the Oscars, instead bestowing the honor to Rango. Although I haven't watched that one, to objectively compare both features, I am almost certain I wouldn't enjoy it, on account of the odd-looking animation. Also, the combination of John Williams's marvelous musical score and Andy Serkis's stellar CGI-talent most definitely conquers over Johnny Depp's creepy lizard. Don't trust the critics, once again, for Tintin is a delight.

Ghost Town - Let the record show that I adore Ricky Gervais. Despite the public's general abhorrence for the "British funnyman" (as they so often label him), I absolutely adore the man. He is the frontman for two original and even ingenious films, which include this one here: Ghost Town. It follows the life of a grumpy dentist named Bertram Pincus, who momentarily dies from an operation (which the hospital denies responsibility for, naturally) and thereby gains the ability to see ghosts. What I find amusing is that every time a person passes through a ghost, whom the average person cannot see, they sneeze. This is amusing because now, every time I sneeze, I assume I went through a ghost and excuse myself under my breath. Anyway, Pincus, at first, is naturally stiff and unresponsive to people around him because, obviously, he dislike people in general. Over time, he begins to help ghosts finish their unfinished business, which has a deeper, more profound even, meaning beneath these simple tasks. I'd rather not give away the plot, as I subconsciously do on occasion, so, please, find a chance to see it.

Sex and the City 2 - This may be more than the twentieth time I've seen this. It may be an illness, as I'm led to believe by certain symptoms, such as questioning myself the way Carrie does from time to time and even acting as idiotically as the four of them do. I'm ashamed to admit that I am infected with this horrid virus, and incredulously pleased to say I'm infinitely glad to have such a movie as this. I've said this before, and I'll repeat it now: This movie is a work of utter ingenuity.

I Love You Phillip Morris - Jim Carrey plays Steven Russell, a good 'ol boy from the South who is happily married and a proud member of the police squad. After a car accident, he decides to leave his traditionally blissful life and become a con man, later ending up in prison. Amusing premise, right? There's just one thing I forgot to mention: he's gay. Thus crushing what could have been a humorous film. Knowing the key element, I reluctantly started to watch it, since it is with Jim Carrey after all. Twenty minutes in, I simply could not bear to view the vile images that would be shamelessly flaunted on the screen. Abominable of me, you say? Well, it seems audiences agree, considering the mere two-million gross based on a thirteen-million budget. Ouch. Seriously, delicate manners aside, could you sit there and watch an actor whom you admire and respect commit such deeds as...thrusting? (Pardon my vulgar language.) I'm sorry, but it is rather unsettling to behold.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie - I thought it was worth mentioning that they are, indeed, engaged. No, seriously, they are. Then again, are they?

Not Another Teen Movie - What may be the best spoof to date, this follows the life of Janey Briggs, a Rachel Leigh Cook-type of dork who becomes the center of a bet placed by Jake Wyler, a Freddie Prinze Jr.-type jock. Sound familiar? Chris Evans (that guy who plays Captain America, in case you weren't aware) proves he has incredible comedic talent, and could possibly have amounted to the Charlie Sheen of spoofs, as well as delivered us better spoofs over the years. (When I say us, I mean everyone who enjoys a really good spoof, not this recent garbage we've been bombarded with. I find myself amused by the fact I include you in my wishes, as if you all want the same things as me. Then again, don't you?) In between, the film lampoons many other teenage flicks, including Cruel Intentions, Bring It On, and Can't Hardly Wait. Unfortunately, this movie is not as well-known as the spoof of the twenty-first century. Though believe me when I say that this is far better than Epic Movie. That was a bit of sarcasm because Epic Movie was terrible. And Not Another Teen Movie was excellent. Really, though, you should definitely catch this on the flip side. Or just watch it.

American Pie - The teenager movie: masturbation, drunken parties, best friend pacts, and, of course, prom.

Pulp Fiction - A modern classic. Yes, this term is applied to the brilliant film quite often, but that is obviously because it is true. The film is a genuine piece of remarkable cinema destined to be cherished for years to come. In fact, it already has achieved that status, wouldn't one concur? Quentin Tarantino devised an amazing, and definitely most original, script with several interlinked plots, which is always a positive factor. He creates such a fantastic film, filled with simple, casual conversation (something you would find in Seinfeld, perhaps) and surrounded by senseless violence. Maybe not as far as senseless, but rather gruesome. Perhaps not gruesome, but pretty damn bloody. John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and Uma Thurman, as a group, represent this film's beauty. From the image of Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield shooting down a witness to Mia Wallace's seductive cat-like stare and magnetic black bangs. And, of course, the timeless twist with Vincent and Mia. Sensational. This entire film is pop culture. Every scene is a portrait of the film, absolutely exquisite at every angle. The dialogue, the acting, the overall exhilaration when watching it. Everything is utterly magnificent. Clearly, viewing this film a second time has intensified my original admiration for it from when I first watched it. With confidence, I can call Pulp Fiction one of the greatest films ever made. Though I hope this doesn't sound like I'm kissing anyone's ass. (What was the point of those last two sentences? A cheeseburger is called a Royale with Cheese in France.)

Michael Fassbender - While I've only seen two films of this actor's work (three, as of Tuesday night), I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this man has a bright future ahead of him. Actually, that future has already arrived with the past year of all those great movies, but it may become brighter on account of, say, an Oscar perhaps? He has already come close last year with his controversial turn in Shame as a sex-addict, so it won't be long until his name shows up on the nominee ballot. But this is just hope talking. The two films I've seen him display his acting prowess are Inglourious Basterds, as charming British Lieutenant Archie Hicox, and X-Men: First Class, as the eventual villain Magneto. In the latter film, he plays more of a key role, and demonstrates his amazing talent as well as his ability to act any role with success. Other films of his productive year include Jane Eyre, where he plays the "brooding" Mr. Rochester, and A Dangerous Method, where he plays sex psychologist Carl Jung. (I call him sex psychologist loosely, as he mainly explores psychoanalysis along with Freud, and only analyzes sex separately. I believe.) Michael Fassbender is meant for the highest esteem, and I can say with assurance that he will, or possibly already has, achieve-d that. Indeed, and he's rather dashing as well. He most certainly is.

Triplets and Twins - How are they going to pull off adding Eddie Murphy to the mix of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, as already odd pairing? I guess those scientists forgot to mention that they included the sperm of Shaft in the Benedict milkshake, explaining Danny DeVito's street-smarts. And hasn't the period where a sequel is generally accepted passed its due date? Nearly twenty-five years later! Plus, the original Twins aren't looking so fantastic, what with Arnold's general age-effect and Danny's strange blond hair. Considering how much as I love this movie, as well as root for Eddie Murphy's one comeback-type success with the critics, I am completely optimistic about the upcoming movie. (There is no release date at this time.) Whether it is well-received or the champion of Razzies, my dad and I judge the movie for ourselves, not on what "society" deems acceptable. I said that last sentence with a little George Costanza in it. Appreciated, I bet.

Friday the Thirteenth - The day, not the movie. This may have been the best Friday the Thirteenth I've ever remembered having. We started the day by going shopping, a less-than thrilling task but nevertheless bearable. Then we picked up some Chinese food on a whim, which was deliciously fresh as it was relatively early in the day and well before lunch hour. For our film platter, we has Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (followed by a short nap, Six Degrees of Separation, and Twins. Lovely, simply lovely.

Star Wars marathon - Epic. What else can one expect from such an iconic saga?

Midnight in Paris - Once again, an absolute delight. A perfect ending to a perfect holiday.

Behold, my wonderful spring holiday. I know there were a few sentence-long descriptions for some movies, culturally significant ones too, but never fear for I shall elaborate more another time. Now, my stomach is begging for sustenance and I'm afraid of my mother when it comes to eating. Farewell!

Here is my film scorecard for the holiday:

Day One
Fools' Gold
Day Two
Night at the Roxbury
Adventures of Tintin
Ghost Town
Day Three
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Sex and the City 2
Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back
Day Four
Sinbad and the Golden Voyage
American Pie
How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days
Just My Luck
Not Another Teen Movie
Scary Movie
Day Five
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger
Pulp Fiction
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (100th Movie!)
X-Men: First Class
Day Six
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Six Degrees of Separation
Day Seven
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
American Pie 2
Midnight in Paris
The Incredibles

Friday, April 6, 2012

Woody Allen's Latest Creation

All I can say is I am immensely pleased.

A Sour Record

The day of fooling comes around every year on the first of April, which also now marks the date of the infamous anti-Oscar ceremony known as the Golden Raspberry Awards. I don't need to dive into an erratic description of its origin, nor do I have to moan about how unjust some of their decisions are. (I thought it would be valuable to point out that I used the words "erratic" and "moan" in that sentence. Erratic is synonymous with insane, not sexual.) Anyway, ignore my awkwardness, and allow me to announce the unfortunate targets of this year's Razzie ceremony. In addition to the actual "winners", I will share whom I thought deserved it more. Now, this event was unlike no other in its history. Note the title of the post. Yes, unless you don't know the winners, a record has been made: a single movie dominated all categories. And that movie, ladies and gentlemen, was none other than Adam Sandler's enormous dud, and quite possibly the worst movie ever, Jack and Jill.

And the Worst Picture goes to... Jack and Jill!

Most deserving Worst Picture in years.
And it damn well should have gone to this piece of garbage. Must I even explain why? I'm sure you've all seen it by now, having heard all the buzz about it. Plus, who doesn't want to see an Adam Sandler flick? After this movie, undoubtedly, no one will want to see any of his movies. Actually, people will crowd the theaters to see his future work, but only to see if it's worse than Jack and Jill, if that is even fathomable. But if anyone can make a movie more awful than this, it's the mastermind behind the worst movie ever.

And the Worst Actor goes to... Adam Sandler for Jack and Jill and Just Go With It!

He's just been told he set some kind of record.

But it should have been given to... Russell Brand for Arthur

There's nothing to say.
As a male actor, Adam Sandler is perfectly adequate. Although he definitely is not the greatest, he is definitely not worth a Razzie for Worst Actor. Russell Brand, on the other hand, is an atrocious actor, rather he is an enlarged British brat who tends to think he's awesome. In Arthur, a terrible movie in its self, Russell Brand portrays an immature Playboy whom everyone thinks is a total buffoon. The audience is meant to feel sympathy towards him, but we simply do not. He is a total buffoon, and I am quite certain he behaves that way in reality. Why Helen Mirren agreed to be a part of this rubbish, I'll never understand.

And the Worst Actress goes to... Adam Sandler for Jack and Jill!

She's such a terrible actress, isn't she?
This, I entirely agree with. What exactly was the matter with Adam Sandler when he was drafting this movie? "Hey, I can play my character's sister too. And make her an annoying sister. I just blew my mind." I don't know, but this choice ruined his career, I think. Once again, I don't need to elaborate on the sheer revulsion Jill Sadelstein brings about in all of us. I include the multitude in my statement because I am sure that no one enjoyed his performance as Jill. Correct me if I am wrong, please do. While I do agree with this victory, I am slightly leaning toward Kristen Stewart also because she truly is a bad actress who needs to leave. Really, she should go away.

And the Worst Supporting Actor goes to... Al Pacino for Jack and Jill!

Call his agent. He's the best.

But it should have been given to... Ken Jeong for Zookeeper, The Hangover Part II, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Big Momma's: Like Father, Like Son
So much disgust in one person.
In all honesty, Al Pacino was really not bad at all in an entirely horrible picture. I say this objectively speaking, of course, for I would never try to flatter Jack and Jill in any way. The reason Al Pacino was honored was simply because he is Al Pacino. Who would want to see an Asian actor, who really is a bad actor, win the award? There is a whole lot more shock value if an Oscar-winning legend gets the award. But, really, who cares if Al Pacino gets it, at this point? He's not who he used to be, sadly. Ken Jeong, on the other hand, deserved this award because, well, he's terrible. The fact that he was nominated for four movies should reveal his worthiness, should it not?

And the Worst Supporting Actress goes to... David Spade for Jack and Jill!

Only picture I could gather, thankfully.

But it should have gone to... Nicole Kidman for Just Go With It
She really wants the award.
Another transvestite achievement for the movie. I don't recall David Spade playing a woman in the movie, truthfully, but apparently he did and it was horrendous. I do not concur. No, one man-who-played-a-woman win is enough. The moment Nicole Kidman invaded Just Go With It, my eyes were involuntarily shutting to the horror of her awful performance. Yes, she was definitely by-far the worst of the year when it comes to supporting roles. It makes me gag just mentioning it, especially considering I recently watched it, last night to be precise. Plus, her lips are an architectural eye-sore. Let they be a lesson to those wishing to alter their appearance. Yikes.

And the Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel goes to... Jack and Jill!

But it should have gone to... The Hangover Part II
Such a major letdown.
Jack and Jill supposedly ripped off or was a remake of Ed Wood's Glen or Glenda. (The Razzies just wanted to nominate it in every category.) The genuine winner should have been The Hangover Part II solely to emphasize what a disappointment it was. After such a comedic tour de force, its sequel was an utter disgrace. Stretching the jokes to a point where it became unfunny, a sweaty and uncomfortable setting to behold, and putting Zach Galifianakis in the spotlight were the catalysts of this bad movie. That's right, it was truly terrible. What was funny in the first, Todd Phillips exaggerated in the second, henceforth causing it to become cringe-worthy and just plain sad. And I hear a third one is in the works? Again, yikes.

They must be watching Jack and Jill.
Sarcasm is wonderful.
The remaining categories all honored Jack and Jill, as I've stated in the beginning, and its only competition were identical for the most part. They included The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, New Year's Eve, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. While the Razzies are absolutely nothing to be proud of, it is quite impressive that a single movie swept all the awards. Again, it's nothing close to an esteemed accomplishment, but nevertheless, it's something. Then again, not really.

Monday, April 2, 2012

All That Jazz

I'll bet my two cents you're wondering what lies behind this title. No mystery or obscured reason, really. I couldn't think of an appropriate title that will reflect the content of this post. At the moment, I am listening to Top Hits of the 1930s, a truly wonderful album that includes the soundtrack to a marvelous decade. Honestly, I cannot listen to what these kids listen to these days. The music of the 1930s are so whimsically catchy, in a way that does not burn your brain throughout the day. Plus, the tunes remind me of Disney's Hollywood Studios. In Walt Disney World. Are you enjoying my explanation?

Anyway, what constitutes this post is a brief description of my life. I know you could simply skim over the tab above (A Little Something About Me) to get the main picture of who exactly I am. But you won't find the saucy details there that you'll read here. Actually, they're more like neat tidbits about my life. Not about me, about my life and its daily events. I'll go into an even bigger picture with my past. I don't know about you, but I do not want to miss this. (I'm pathetic.)

The most I can recall is up to just about five years ago. Amnesia is not the cause of this, simply forgetfulness. There are specific moments in my past that I recall vividly, such as when my mother and I went to Path-Mark during a gun-robbery. This was not a robbery of guns, but a robbery where the thugs were wearing latex masks and wielding guns. There was one guy standing with his legs apart on top of two adjacent cash registers, waving a gun back and forth and tilting his head. People were laying on the ground with their heads down, as per protocol. All I remember is rushing to the milk section, getting some milk, and driving home. How we got out of there, I'll never know. Whenever I mention it to my mother, she merely shudders and shakes her head. Did someone die, I wonder? Oh well. It was quite a stir, enough to remember to this very day.

Another more pleasant memory I recall occurred with my dad. For some reason, this was one of my happiest memories, and I was awfully ill at the time. I even remember the date, the third of May of 2009. I remember the entire day clearly. We woke up very early, I had already started feeling sickly, and we went to the new Super Wal-Mart to see what the hubbub was about. After browsing the delectable grocery section and picking up some yummy desserts, we went home, and by then I felt quite horrible. To comfort me, my dad made me some tea and lent me his sweater, which to this day I still cherish and wear in the winter. Allow me to describe how exactly we made our tea back then, much different from how we do it today mind you. In a large, beer mug, we poured hot water into a tea bag with a scoop of honey, then added milk. Sound generic, right? Well, compared to how we drink it now, it was rather unhealthy. (Now, we do not add milk, and we use green tea leaves.) With the giant mug of tea and two delicious store-bought cheesecakes (one New York-style, another French-style), we watched the original Around the World in Eighty Days, starring a very young Shirley MacLaine. I didn't particularly care for it, not as much as the new Disney installment with Steve Coogan. It was just too bloody long. After that, I believe we watched the original Alfie with Michael Caine. Again, not as good as the new installment. The entire day was just so lovely, and to this day, I don't know why this particular day with my dad shined as so great. Of course, there are plenty more wonderful days we had, but I think I should move on and mention a great day with me mum.

Serene beach at the Polynesian Resort
It wasn't so much as a single remarkable day, but an entire week in the most magical place on Earth, particularly our most recent trip this past August. As always, Walt Disney World is absolutely magnificent in every possible way. Not even the sweaty throngs of people could fluster me, as I am centered in my own bulb of bliss. (I bet you though that said "sweaty thongs", didn't you?) This specific adventure, however, was intended to be just my mother and I. Unfortunately, she surprised me by adding her husband and son along. I'm sorry, they surprised her.... Anyway, that could not and would not faze me, for my mother and I were by ourselves, alone, practically the entire time. We dined in exquisite restaurants, such as the Hollywood Brown Derby. (I had the Duck Two-Ways with a Dorma Nesmond martini, followed by an elaborate Banana-Toffee Tower. Delicious.) We took siestas during the day, to relax from the heat of the parks, along the white beaches right outside our room. (I say white to emphasize how clean and soothing it was. And by that, I am not implying that "black" is not clean or soothing. See what our society has come to?) The whole vacation was an extraordinary state of bliss. One noteworthy event, that was not exactly lovely, was when my mother vomited at a restaurant after being poisoned by Long Island Iced Teas. Who poisoned her, you may ask? My assumption is her very own husband. Yes, and I am not shy to admit how I feel. He treats her terribly enough as it is, so the hypothesis wouldn't be far from being false. Regardless of that minor mishap (if anything it was amusing), this trip to Disney World was one of the greatest on record. This August is likely to be even better, as we will be going alone this time. (Then again...)

Mickey Mouse waffles
One of the gems of Disney World
By the previous two posts, you might have inferred that I have a tendency to eat large amounts of food. Consequently, I would have to be rather large in size, as well. As of this moment, this is not the case, but there was a period in my life when I was, shall we say, noticeably overweight. During this phase in my life, from what I can remember, I was not necessarily unhappy with myself. Then one day in the third grade, I believe it was, I was the center of harsh torment. At the time, I had a little crush on this one guy (I don't even remember his name...okay, yes I do) and on that day in the cafeteria, I was shyly attempting to talk to him. Then, as I was trying to offer to throw away his food, he told me to leave him alone because no one liked me and I was just a fat loser. I may be paraphrasing, but that's the overall account of the event. Note that this happened rather audibly in front of my entire third grade class. The fact that I was the new kid did not help ease the sting of this attack. Yes, it was a traumatic verbal attack that eventually inspired me to change myself. By eventually, I mean four years later, after I saw my sixth grade yearbook picture and realized I look like my grandmother. With that burst of motivation, I jumped on the treadmill and gradually worked my way to losing weight. In the interval between seventh and eighth grade, I lost about thirty pounds in one summer. Then during the school year, I continued exercising and lost another twenty pounds. Unfortunately, anorexia played a part in my dramatic transformation, but not enough to make it a habit. Once in a while, I will eat less than a thousand calories in a day because everyone has those bloated days. To this day, I exercise diligently most days of the week and eat relatively healthy. There are those days when I'm with my dad where we eat some homemade treats we made ourselves, but I find that when I eat guilt-free and joyfully, I don't feel nasty or depressed. A tip for the ladies out there.

There you have it, just a slice of my life and what I do besides writing these damn posts. It's rather nice to write about myself sometimes, don't you agree? Aren't they simply delightful? (Awkward expectations.) I hope you enjoyed it, sincerely I do. The following are a few meaningless facts about me in general for you to ignore or obsess over.

-My hair is naturally straight--apparently this is a desirable rarity--and I never style it. Ever.
-You wouldn't know it from reading my average posts, but I am incredibly susceptible to stress. I wish I could give a reason as to why; I simply cannot explain it.
-I haven't kissed anyone in eight months, which is like not having sex for a year and a half I imagine.
-I have five friends that I share almost everything with, and whose opinion I value highly. Who needs sixty people in their address book anyway?
-I have never eaten at Subway, though I hear they have a variety of healthy choices.
-I am strangely attached to my old PC from time to time, primarily for the purpose of playing the Sims 3. In case you are not aware, that is a game where you can create a person and live their life. Some people go to the extreme and actually believe that they are the person they're controlling. Not the case for me, however.
-I find the bodily sounds of people around me very aggravating, such as repetitive sneezing, unstoppable coughing, sniffling, and snoring. In some cases, I cannot stand the sound of a person's voice.
-I have traveled abroad to Ukraine to visit my grandparents once. My dad and I went there so I could see my grandfather before he passed, for he had cancer. Sadly, when we got there, he had already passed away the day before. While there was a very melancholy ambiance, my grandmother, uncle, aunt, and cousin were all enormously pleased to see me for the first time. Overall, it was a great trip, better than expected.
-I am an avid admirer of the Pretty Little Liars series, both the books and the show.
-I am known for talking to myself in private. Didn't you expect that, though?
-Seinfeld is my absolute most-preferred show.
-One last thing: I really like one of my best friends, who is a guy of course, yet I fear our friendship will be ruined if we pursue it. I think he likes me too, though he has the same fear. For a better picture, he and I are exactly like Jerry and Elaine.

This was all an April Fools' Joke. Just kidding, that previous sentence was.