Category: TV

Oscar Sunday and Movie Monday: Swept Away and Django Unchained

Jessica Chastain at 2012 Oscars.  She's awesome.

Jessica Chastain at 2012 Oscars in Alexander McQueen.  She’s awesome.

So the Oscars are this Sunday.  Oh yeah, another chance for Hollywood to congratulate itself.  Yessss* but also a good time to invite friends over, make food and drink.  Of course we watch the Red Carpet and talk to the TV and criticize the fashion choices.  And yes we print out Oscar ballots to add in some friendly competition.  I wish that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were hosting but c’est la vie.  They chose Seth MacFarlane.  Hmm.  I’m sure he’ll be better than James Franco and Ann Hathaway.

I am not romantic about who wins and loses an Academy Award.  For a good laugh read this Oscar voter’s take on this year’s nominees from The Hollywood Reporter.  It does not disappoint.  I agree with him on a few things.  Maybe I’m an old curmudgeon.

I especially agree with him on “Django Unchained.”  For a brilliant breakdown read Jesse Williams‘ take.  I agree with him, a lot.

This brings me to a post I trashed.  It’s the first time I’ve done that.  I made it a goal not to be negative here and not to rant, too much.  In the end I decided that I should post it.  I watched two movies and had strong reactions to them, and to me, this warrants attention.

*There’s an article in the Atlantic about the study of extra vowels and elongation of words.  I am guiltyyyy and I like it!


It’s been awhile since I’ve been to the movies.  Since it’s Awards season it’s time to see how many of the movies that are nominated we can see.  I had no desire to see “Django Unchained” but bf wanted to see it since there was an Italian Western movie called “Django” from 1966.  The star of that movie, Franco Nero, has a cameo in “Django Unchained.”

I wasn’t excited by the previews for “Django Unchained” and by the second hour of the movie I was bored.  The first half establishes the how and why and has some nice moments for Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx but as it prodded on I kept looking at my watch.  I liked “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction.”  I even liked “Kill Bill” because the ladies got to exact revenge and chop up people, but I’m over the revenge stories, Quentin.  Can we try something else?  Can we also try to be a little less masturbatory with the monologues and unnecessary scenes?  I’m so glad you can craft a screenplay and an interesting scene but they’re not needed.

“Swept Away” is not an Oscar contender but it arrived via Netflix.  I knew of its existence because of the Guy Ritchie remake starring his then wife Madonna and the son of Giancarlo Giannini, Adriano.  I never saw it.  I did want to see “Swept Away.”  Now I wish that I could unsee it.  There are parts of the movie that are more disturbing than “Django Unchained.”  I sincerely dislike violence against your fellow human being.  Yes I watch it in movies, and even that makes me uncomfortable, but the calculated violence and manipulation in real life brings a lot of existential and religious questions to mind.

I did not enjoy watching Giancarlo Giannini’s character, the stereotypical Silician Gennarino,  verbally, mentally and physically abuse the haughty, rich Italian from the North, Raffaella, played by Mariangela Melato (Just a note, she recently died).  I understand why the Director Lina Wertmueller created the characters but I did not like them.  I’m not a fan of violence against women.  And if Raffaella has Stockholm Syndrome, well I sure hope she was faking it for survival.

The scenery was lovely and it made me want to jump on a boat and sail around the Mediterranean but the strange games played between rich and poor, man and woman do nothing for me.

Late to the Kiki Party

But can you ever be late?  “Lock the door, lower the blinds and fire up the smoke machine.”  Leave it to an episode of Glee for me to discover “Let’s Have a Kiki” by the Scissor Sisters.  I have their first two albums but missed their third and now I know about their fourth and perhaps last album.  When Kurt (Chris Colfer), Rachel (Lea Michele) and Isabelle (Sarah Jessica Parker)  started singing and dancing I thought whatever this is I like it.  Finally  Rachel and Kurt are having a NY experience: a house party with drag queens and Carrie from “Sex and the City!”  Hahaha.  The mashup of Turkey Lurkey Time with the song isn’t too annoying.

The Scissor Sisters haven’t released an official video for the song but one was made by the Videodrome Discotheque which was approved by Jake Shears and has a collage of Liberace, RuPaul, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Cher, Queen, Donna Summer, Candy Darling, Dressed to KillThe Boys in the BandMyra BreckinridgeThe Wiz, Boy George,ShowgirlsPerfectThe Phantom of Paradise, Cher’s workout video, Richard Simmons, LisztomaniaCan’t Stop the Music, The Golden Girls and possibly more.  Oh and Ana Matronic’s intro/message is longer and funnier so watch it!

Let’s Have a Kiki!

Truffle-Hunting Dogs, Brenda Walsh Saves a Life & Serious Nail ART

Alba, farmer Andre Feraud’s dog, sniffs a “Black Diamond” truffle at a truffle ground in Reauville in southern France. Courtesy NY Mag

Mmmmm truffles.  Well if you can’t have them you can look at the cute dogs (Pepsi!  Alba!) and helpful pigs (Nini!) that find them.  NY Mag

Shannen & Kurt. Courtesy Shannen Says

Did you ever see Shannen Doherty’s reality show “Shannen Says?”  I caught a few episodes and even though I know she’s not Brenda Walsh in real life I couldn’t help thinking that they were one in the same.  We watched as Shannen planned her wedding which must have happened because there are pictures.  Now she saves lives.  She received some frantic tweets from a fan in NJ and managed to defuse the situation from LA.  Gooooo Brenda!  Stay tuned for her next show “Shannen Saves!” dlisted

Frida Kahlo via Jesus Fever

Painting my finger and toenails is fun but frustrating.  At most the polish stays intact for 2 days and then the chipping begins.  I love these girls who get elaborate nail art done.  I don’t know how they manage to keep it for so long.  These ladies go for nail art with a capital A covering a range of artists from Roy Lichtenstein to Frida Kahlo (amazing) to Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.  Flavorwire

Farewell to Gossip Girl

Tonight is the beginning of the sixth and final season of Gossip Girl.  6 seasons?  Good grief.  I’ve given chunks of the last 5 years to this show?  Indeed.  I watched from the beginning out of curiosity, then because I was hooked and, in the past 3 seasons, just to see it end.  When it became totally ridiculous I watched because the recaps and comments on were hilarious–imagine reading them and laughing out loud so that your co-workers ask what’s so funny not wanting to admit you just read a recap of a show dubbed The Greatest Show of Our Time, but when you do everyone rolls their eyes, judges quietly and leaves you alone.

Sometimes I’d miss an episode, read the recap and go back and watch the episode just to feel like I was part of group.  I never commented but the regular commentators are a witty and funny bunch.  Josh Schwartz did better here than with The OC by not throwing out all the possible plots at once, although by season 3 or 4 everyone on Gossip Girl had slept with each other at least once or come close.

For me the best parts of the show were trying to guess where they were filming in NYC and if I had ever been there; the fashion of the women and Chuck Bass; and the chemistry between Blair and Chuck.  Also the general over-the-topness of the lives of the characters was a fun escape.  I may have woes but oh, the woes of the fabulous Upper East Side!

So here’s a slideshow of iconic style moments from the show by The Fug Girls.  They initiated and led the recaps and they do a great job of dressing down the fashion mistakes of celebs on their blog, which I mention in my Resources, Go Fug Yourself.  

You know you love me.


Remain a Girl