About this blog:
I blog on random Pop Culture subjects. I also post Top 13 Lists. I could do a cliched Top 10 like everyone else, but then I'd be just like everyone else.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

RIP Davy Jones!

RIP Davy Jones 1945-2012! Thanks for all the fun you brought to pop culture throughout so many years.
My parents grew up on The Monkees, my mom in particular being a big fan. I grew up watching the Monkees TV program, enjoying the campy fun, and singing along to my parent's Monkees LPs (yes, music was still on vinyl when I was a kid). As a teenager and adult, I grew to appreciate the more adult humor hidden below the surface of The Monkees slapstick silliness.
Davy was always my favorite Monkee, and by far the best singer of the group.
RIP Davy, and thanks for all the great times!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Movie Reviews

Here are my reviews and ratings on a scale of 1 to 10 for the films I have seen recently:

In Theaters:
“One For The Money” (2012) 6/10

One For The Money is a cute romcom staring the resurgent Katherine Heigl and Irishman Jason O’Mara.
Heigl has resurrected her career in this niche, with films such as Life as we Know It, New Years Eve, Killers, The Ugly Truth, 27 Dresses, and Knocked Up. She’s making a mint off of playing sappy lovelorn characters. O’Mara makes a successful transition to the big screen, after appearing in many television series, including the Sci-Fi hit Terra Nova.
In One For The Money, Heigl plays Stephnie Plum, a down on her luck New Jersey woman who’s recently lost her husband, job, and car. Desperate for money, she begs her cousin for a job as a bail-bondsman. The former lingerie saleswoman turned recovery agent has to quickly learn to bring in wanted criminals, including Joe Morelli (O’Mara), a possibly framed cop wanted for murder, who also broke her heart in high school, and the occasional naked old man. Plum becomes determined to bring in Morelli, more for revenge than the money, aided by a delightful group of quirky characters, including her oddball family, two humorous prostitutes, the kooky bail-bonds staff, and an over the top bounty hunter named Ranger. The love/hate tensions heat up between Plum and Morelli, as they engage in a dangerous, but romantic and comedic game of cat and mouse.
This film is not great, but it’s entertaining. The on-screen chemistry between Heigl and O’Mara, the interesting and action-packed storyline, the hilarious situations Plum gets herself into, and the delightful supporting cast make this romcom enjoyable for both men and women.

“The Rum Diary”(2011) 5/10

I am not a fan of the grossly overrated Hunter S. Thompson’s writing, nor the horrible attempts at adapting his novels to film. They directors always try way too hard to make the films strange and hallucinogenic, making the already uniteresting material even more contrived and forced.
The Rum Diary gets lost within itself somewhere along the way. The story never really progresses, and the film never actually goes anywhere. It’s more boring than entertaining, painful than humorous. Stagnant would be a fitting adjective. Even the usually entertaining Johnny Depp couldn’t save this film from being a dud. I really wanted to like it, but was unable to. I even watched it a second time trying to find something to like about it, but was unsuccessful. Don’t waste your time watching it.

“Anonymous” (2011) 4/10
I’m a fan of Shakespeare, history, and conspiracy theories. I agree that it’s quite possible the man we know as Shakespeare may not have written all or even any of the works we attribute to his name, or that he could be a figurehead for the works of several writers of that era. While this film only follows one of those possible scenarios, it does so convincingly, but also confusingly.
The film jumps around between several time periods, showing several of the characters throughout their lives, often without need to, and often without explaining which of the younger versions of the similar looking characters is which. This tactic may work in other films, but in this one it comes across as a sloppy chaotic mess.

“What’s Your Number” (2011) 6/10
This romcom pairs up Scary Movie alum turned romcom mainstay Anna Faris with chiseled superhero Chris Evans (The Human Torch, Captain America, Lucas Lee). Faris’ character Ally Darling enlists the help of her resourceful manwhore neighbor Colin (Evans) in tracking down her 20 exes, fearing that she may have missed out on the proverbial Mr. Right. Will Ally be too busy dwelling on past mistakes to notice the romance brewing right under her nose? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

“A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas” (2011) 6/10
The campy characters of the Harold & Kumar series offer up yet another film full of sophomoric delight. The third installment is nowhere near as funny as the first film, but way better than the second. The NPH cameo is again the highlight of the film. If you’re up for a rowdy romp through the holiday season, check this film out. If you’re easily offended, obviously avoid this film like the plague.

On Netflix:
“Restraint” (2008) 2/10

An Australian thriller that has an interesting premise, but falls short in so many ways. It really drags on, with out much action or suspense at all. There are a lot of plot holes and improbable developments. It’s not worth watching.

“Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog”(2008) 7/10
An overly short, yet silly and enjoyable 3-Act musical series from writer director Joss Whedon of the cult hits Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly. Staring the always hilarious Neil Patrick Harris as blogging wanna-be supervillain Dr. Horrible, Nathan Fillion of Firefly as his nemesis Captain Hammer, Felicia Day of cult hit Eureka as their mutua love interest, Penny, and Simon Helberg from the smash hit The Big Bang Theory as Moist, Dr. Horrible’s useless sidekick.
This series of shorts is hilarious fun for anyone not trying to take life too seriously.

“Pervert” (2005) 2/10
This ridiculous horror/comedy is barely watchable. They were obviously trying to be ridiculous and over the top, and they succeeded in that, but that’s the only way they succeeded, other than in being titillating.

Friday, February 17, 2012

“Top 13 Reasons the Entertainment World is Better Off Without Whitney Houston”

First of all, even I’m not that insensitive. I’m not celebrating her death, just her forced retirement. She was one of the worst and most overrated entertainers of all time, and unfortunately during my lifetime. Her more than a decade long spiral into self-destruction, leading to her early demise is tragic, but that doesn’t make her contributions to the entertainment world any less excruciating.

13. Whitney Houston started “acting” again, in “Sparkle” a soon to be released re-make of a 1976 film. Didn’t “The Bodyguard”, “Waiting To Exhale”, “The Preacher’s Wife” and “Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” display enough of Whitney’s pathetic acting skills?

12. She also started recording again, reportedly adding two songs to the Sparkle Soundtrack.

11. Prince can live at ease now that Whitney’s no longer stalking him at his LA concerts.

10. California liquor stores will now be fully stocked for other lush entertainers.

9. Houston’s CDs can now be used as commemorative frisbees and coasters, rather than just trap shoot targets.

8. Jon Bon Jovi can now begin his reign as the most annoying singer from New Jersey.

7. Whitney doesn’t have to come up any more ways to name albums after herself. (“Whitney Houston” “Whitney” “Just Whitney”)

6. Her voice is completely gone. She sounds like a soft-spoken troll, or someone with a cold whispering Tommy’s got the Motts. The music world already has one too many Macy Grays.

5. “The Bodyguard” is just plain awful. Like ALL of her other films, it is a remake, so there’s no originality at work at all. Pairing up Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, two of the least talented celebrities of all time, should be a crime against humanity. But the worst thing about “The Bodyguard” is listed below at #1.

4. Bobby Brown has one less person to beat up and do drugs with.

3. No more failed Whitney Houston comeback tours for audience members to walk out on.

2. “Greatest Love of All”, yet another re-make by the uncreative Whitney Houston, was the second most annoying song of her career, hence the #2 ranking. Like the even worse song listed below, this one seems to drone on and on in sappy, vomit inducing bliss. “The Greatest Love of All” was Houston’s 3rd most successful hit, but definitely her 2nd worst song.

1. “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston is the lowest point ever in the history of the music industry. Like most of Whitney’s career “highlights”, it’s a re-make. If you were around in 1992-93, which was the epicenter of “my era”, you know that this horribly annoying, seemingly endless, whiney Whitney song was on the radio nearly non-stop. This was before the days of satellite and streaming radio and iPods. There were few choices for musical entertainment, and most of them overplayed this terrible song for about a year. It’s sappy, crappy, and almost as monotone as Ben Stein. This song is by far my worst memory of my senior year of high school, forever scarring my ears, my musical taste buds, and common decency.

R.I.P. Whitney Houston (1963-2012), a tragic death, but a sigh of relief for people with good taste in music.

©2012 Denim McDemus