Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Step out of the hoodie, sir; hands in the air.

I've been dying to write this for the past few days. It's going to be my rant on everyone's favorite little mumbler and word stumbler Michael Cera. 

As much as I do like some of the movies he's in, this kid is killing me. He's probably on the top ten list of "Most Typecast Actors". He is so unbelievably typecast, it drives me up the wall. And it always makes me wonder if the kid really has any range at all. Sure, maybe a little, but not much. I'm saying he's as a bad as that dunce Megan Fox, but he may just be doomed to the roles he's in now for the rest of his career (however long it may last). 

The first time I had ever seen this baby-faced teen string bean was in 2007's Superbad (going into how much I love that movie is for another entry). I had never seen Arrested Development, but I heard he was pretty much the same, shy teen in his role as Michael Bluth. I have to admit, I bought it. I thought, "Wow. This kid is cute, soft spoken and funny without even making an obnoxious effort." 

Sure enough, thousands upon thousands thought the same as I did and he eventually got more roles. Literally right after Superbad came Juno. Everybody's favorite little "indie gem" as I called it last blog. Sure, I loved the movie and I loved Cera. He still maintained that adorable yet bearable amount of innocence that I so liked in Evan from Superbad

Afterwards, in 2008, came Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, a movie adaption of one of my favorite cute little novels. It was the story of two people, lost and lonely and emotionally wrecked who find each other through mutual friends in a crazy night in New York City. After I saw Nick and Norah, I was excited because the adaption, although not exactly like the novel, was perfect. I thought it was a cute, quirky teen comedy (I'll probably be getting into depth on that genre soon enough as well). 

Despite my enjoyment and that serious case of the smiles that I got from seeing Nick and Norah, I started to notice a pattern: Michael Cera is totally and completely typecast. After seeing Year One, I was just about fed up with it. Because 1) Year One was an awful, awful excuse for a movie (sorry Harold Ramis, but it was not your best) and 2) Cera played the same fucking character as he did in Development, Superbad, Juno and Nick and Norah

Next up comes Youth In Revolt, which doesn't look too terrible because Cera takes on the challenge of becoming his character Nick Twisp's alter ego, a suave and debonair douchebag. However, judging from the trailer, he didn't strain his acting muscle too hard. 

I'm just going to be a smart ass and list all of the common and quite obvious similarities between Cera's characters (and plus, I like making lists. They're fun and organized, which creates the illusion that I am, in fact, organized):

1. Evan, Paulie, Nick, Oh and Nick Twisp all have something very much in common: "The Virginity Factor". In every single one of these films, Cera's character strives to lose his virginity (which is the cliche, yet realistic goal of every teenage boy whose libido is bigger than Kirstie Allie's "I quit Jenny Craig" ass). Evan spends the whole of Superbad trying to get Becca, the "love" of his life to try and notice him so that the two of them can make whoopie before he goes off to Dartmouth. In Juno, well, everybody knows what happened in Juno (sigh). In Nick and Norah, he's not a virgin, but he does end up engaging in sexual activity and he does indeed experience a weak moment in which he desires sexual activity, greatly, from his bitchy little ex-girlfriend. In Year One, his character called Oh spends the whole of the film trying to get with a little blondie from his "tribe" and ends up following her across the desert and trying to save her from imprisonment (Jeebus, I hated that movie). And judging by the trailer of Youth, Twisp spends the whole of the film trying to impress some babe he met in his trailer park by creating a "ladies man" alter ego to help him speed up the process of losing his virginity and all of that typical Cera shit. 

2. He stumbles, mumbles and stutters. Sure, it was cute at first, but quite frankly I'm damn annoyed with it now. I just wish he'd drop the "I'm so cute and you can't even tell I hit puberty yet" bullshit. 

3. He wears hoodies 24/7. Not that I have anything against hoodies, but in every afformentioned film, Cera wears one of those mass produced hoodies which he zippers up to his throat in an effort to appear trendy and cool and almost "hipster" (but that all depends on the fact that if his hoodies are or are not from American Apparel. Ha.) He also wears tight pants, like said cool kid. 

4. He's so fucking indie. Yeah, I said that.

5. He's always so lost. He's like a puppy that's been left home alone. He doesn't know how to get outside to pee and constantly has a hopeless expression on his face. Even when he tries to nervously laugh, he acts like his face couldn't possibly pull off a full smile. Almost as if it hurts to not be fucking angst-ridden and childish. 

In his next film called Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, he plays, I'm assuming, the same damn kid with another damn hoodie with another damn indie soundtrack (not that I'm bashing, but I hate the fact that everybody only started liking Kimya Dawson just because she was on the Juno soundtrack. Sigh!). His character, from what I read on IMDB (endorsement checks, now please and thank you), falls for a girl who has seven "evil" (but judging by the cast, "evil" meas muscular, attractive meathead) ex-boyfriends that he must ultimately defeat so that he can be with his crush in peace. 

I really just wish I knew if this kid had any range at all. If I found out now, I could stop feeling sorry for him and seeing all of his movies and just move on to admiring bigger and better talent.  

I mean sure, there are other actors that have been like him, but they were lucky enough to make it to "veteran" status. Like Will Ferrell. I mean, he has Stranger Than Fiction, so I really can't talk trash. And Vince Vaughn has Psycho and Domestic Disturbance

I happened upon a message board in which the commentators mentioned how they wanted to see Cera as a "mentally disturbed" character. Pfft. Good luck with that my fellow dreamers. He'd butcher it. What he'd butcher more, though is a film version of Catcher in the Rye. Eeessh.

Okay, I'm done. I feel better now.

Okay, I couldn't resist. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sophomore Scripts and Unbuffed Fingertips

Last night I went to see Jennifer's Body and I can honestly say that it was not as bad as I had feared it would be. I mean, sure, it wasn't a box office hit or an indie gem like Juno was, but Jennifer's Body had some potential (just some, not too much).

It's was, in a nutshell, a semi-campy/cheesy horror-comedy. It's kind of a difficult, for lack of a better way of phrasing this, genre to pull off. It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't awful either. I'm a fan of Diablo Cody and not just because she won an Oscar for Best Screenplay. I've read one of her book before, Candy Girl, I think it was called. It was funny and had cute little one-liners and her trademark Cody Slang. Even reading interviews given by her, she's funny. She's talented, even if she didn't fully shine through with her sophomore screenplay. 

I'm not Megan Fox's biggest fan either, but I think she did the very best she could (which is pretty mediocre) as the bitchiest succubus in Devil's Kettle. I think being a douchebag is the only thing she really knows how to do, since according to rampant rumors, that's exactly what she is. 

Anyway, aside from bashing everybody's favorite blue-eyed brat, the studio really only used Megan Fox to sell the film. Despite her starring role in the films trailer, she really wasn't the main character in the film. Amanda Seyfried (aka Needy Lesnicky), was the heroine of the story. She pulled off the nerdy, less attractive friend quite well (even though I think she's beautiful) but she ultimately kicks ass in the end.

Another thing that made me feel slightly uneasy aside from Fox's mediocre acting was the fact that Adam Brody was cast as a killer who's in cahoots with Satan. What wasn't surprising, however, was the fact that he was the lead (lip synching) singer of an indie rock band (Seth Cohen would be proud, seeing as Brody was practically an indie rock king as Cohen on The O.C.). 

When Jennifer flashes back and explains her murder to Needy, we see Nikolai (Brody) and the rest of his indie cohorts surrounding Jennifer in the woods near a black hole at the bottom of a water fall. Nikolai ends up stabbing Jennifer to death while singing lyrics from that annoying one-hit wonder...the "867-5309" song, because the girl's name in the song is "Jenny". The point of bringing this up was because it just reminded me of the rape scene from A Clockwork Orange; everybody knows what I'm talking about. It's just something you don't forget easily.

I also found that the movie had a pretty decent soundtrack. Some songs stood out for me. Even the Low Shoulder's evil "hope" anthem, "Through the Trees". I was also excited to hear Florence and the Machine on the soundtrack and Silversun Pickups. I am a fan. 

So, to wrap this up, Jennifer's Body wasn't the best horror-comedy I've ever seen, but it wasn't the absolute worst either. I think I'd watch it again. I'd really try and quote the movie or something (like I do most movies I've seen), but I'm just not Ellen Page-y enough to pull off the deadpan sarcasm. Oh well!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dunce cap

Don't be a dreamer. It'll only hurt you, as it did me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Goodbye my hopeless dream

Agh! I just learned that Death Cab penned a new song for the soundtrack to New Moon, the second film in the f*cking Twilight series. I truly used to be a fan of Meyer's Twilight simply until it got too big and commercial. I have all of the books, but I've only read Twilight (about 3 or 4 times actually). Supposedly, I always "stay true to my indie nature by not going to mainstream." Hmpf. 

Agh! I'm 18. I've been 18 for about 14 hours now. I don't feel much different, but I feel like I should feel much different. If that makes any sense.

On a more positive note, I've decided that I would like to start reading The Great Gatsby again. One of my all-time favorite stories. A friend of mine and I were discussing it the other night and I just realized that I remembered all of these details and moments in the book where you just have to sigh or feel some sort of aching pain for Gatsby (and for Daisy because she's such a stupid flake). 

Oh, and obviously, being a "fair-weather" feminist (thanks for that Alyssa) I didn't like nor will I ever like Tom. He's hulking.

I have always had a soft spot for literature's favorite drunken piano player, Klipspringer (ain't he got fun?)

I just had such extravagant visions brewing in my head each time I started a new paragraph. Everything from Gatsby's parties filled with strangers only used as props to impress Daisy to the death of the ever-so-annoying mistress Myrtle, I pictured everything so vividly. It's just a beautiful story and I recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it via English class. 

Oh, and don't forget the symbolism...

Anywho, I'm looking forward to reading it again. I haven't read it since sophomore year English class, but it's obviously stuck with me if I can remember this much about the story (and more, which I evidently didn't feel like throwing in here). I usually can't remember what I did yesterday or the day before and occasionally, I have senior moments when I honestly cannot recall what was said and/or done five minutes ago. And some kids think their parents are/act old?

This reminds me, I keep leaving my copy of Survivor at work...

In other news, this season's fall prime time line-up is a joke so far. I watched Glee last night and I wasn't too impressed. A few things here and there made me chuckle, but otherwise it wasn't really my cup of tea. I also didn't even watch the Pilot, so I'll admit, I was just a teensy bit lost. The thing with the balloons and the erections was kind of weird to watch with my little sister. 

Anyway, I'm not really one to venture into watching new shows. I usually see advertisements for one that I end up "dying" to want to watch, I watch it, love it, follow it, see it end and then watch all of its reruns over again and so on and so forth. Fun stuff, really.

I hope this season of Gossip Girl is as impressive as last season. I remember the plot of one of the last episodes of the season was a near carbon copy of a current situation I was in (minus a few details here and there). It was weird, but it sure was easy to follow and understand. It was one of the first times I ever actually felt bad for Serena. On a regular night, I don't really give two shits about Serena and how model-esque and beautiful she may be.

I really like Blair. I seem to sympathize with her a lot and I find myself relating to her more often than not. Even in the books she's my favorite character. 

I also used to like Little J too until she bitched-out on everybody. Now she's Queen Bee or something. I liked her went she was cute, innocent and infected with the fashion bug. Now she's got bleached out hair, wearing those God-awful harem pants with ankle boots and heavy eyeliner. Ick. I respect her risk, but she turned out looking more like a Los Angeles hipster as seen in Mark "The Cobrasnake"'s photographs more than anything else.

There's just a serious lack of originality, which is what I was getting at with "this season's fall prime time line-up is a joke so far." It's not just in prime time television, it's fucking everywhere. I'm drowning in a sea of recycled ideas. Recycling is only good for the environment when it comes those old soda bottles sitting under your brother's bed or that heap of peanuts surrounding last Christmas' snow globe. It's NOT okay for television, books, movies and music. Especially not music. 

Now that's originality, my friends.

I suppose that's all I have so say for now. Of course, I'll be back shortly with more shit to complain about. Ta-ta.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Come on Eileen

It's been a while since I last wrote something on here. I can't remember where I left off exactly, but I know much has happened since then.

Let us begin with my review of Evan Rachel Wood as the Queen in True Blood: *smiles* She was amazing, as usual. The role's juicy and perfect for her and I honestly don't know anybody who could pull off a young, malicious vampire queen quite like she could. Unless a young Helena Bonham, no, now's not the time for that. 

Even as she fed on a girl's leg and had blood dripping down her chin, she still looked absolutely fabulous. 

I also recently purchased Pretty Persuasion and then, obviously, proceeded to watch it. I'd been reading about the film for quite sometime courtesy of IMDB (they should be sending me a check for endorsement). Already being a fan of ERW, I picked the movie over a copy of Almost Famous

In case you're wondering, I did enjoy the movie. However, the ending was completely depressing and upsetting. The final scene was ERW's character Kimberly Joyce, crying. And that was it. What started out as a funny independent film turned out to be a sad bummer. The audience discovers as the film progresses (I'm going to spoil this for everyone because I highly doubt any of you have ever even heard of it, let alone are going to go out and buy the movie and view it) we discover that there is a reason for Kimberly's cynical, sarcastic and bitchy behavior. Her father's an all-around creep (excellently portrayed by James Woods, creep extraordinaire), her step-mother is about ten years older than her (and she's about fifteen), and her biological mother basically neglects her (seen in the scene where Kimberly has a five second conversation on the phone with her, before she abruptly cuts her off and says she had to go). 

Anyway, after a slew of bullshit insanity ensues, we learn that the real reason Kimberly falsely accuses her drama teacher of sexual harassment is because her best friend Brittany's new boyfriend once "belonged" to her. Once he found out that Kimberly had engaged in anal sex with a supposed "loser" at school, he called her a few offensive names and they broke it off. She destroyed quite a few lives over a boy.

GIRLS: DO NOT LET A BOY RUIN YOUR LIFE (and then let that cause you to ruin about 20 other people's lives).

Life lessons aside, I've been listening to Blink-182 a lot lately. They used to be one of my favorite bands but alas, my tastes have changed (and I happen to think for the better). I know that they're on tour now (although some of the dates have been postponed due to DJ AM's tragic death) and I've also heard that they aren't what they used to be. That's for sure. I think that happens with a lot of bands.

It even happened to Death Cab for Cutie. After Plans, I feel like they really aren't what they used to be. They're one of my favorite bands but once they signed to a major label, it was different. I still respect them as musicians and I'm not going to bash their newer stuff, but I'm just not feeling it like I used to when listening to Lack of Color, Tiny Vessels or Lowell, MA. 

Well, instead of sighing over these changes, I've discovered a new redhead I've taken a liking to lately. Her name is Alison Sudol (aka A Fine Frenzy). I realize that her song "Almost Lover" was on Top-40 lists and such a while back but I tend to disregard Top-40 songs. But just recently, I listened to "Almost Lover" and the song really touched me. I can relate. And there's two things I look for when listening to music: if I can feel what they feel and if it can musically move me. I have to say, Frenzy did a fine job at doing both. The lyrics are sweet and sad; they'll make sense to anybody who's ever been in a long relationship with unrequited feelings. 

"My back is turned on you
Should've known you'd bring me heartache
Almost lovers always do"

Brings a tear to my eye! So here's a little redheaded magic for you.

I think that's about it for now.

Oh, I nearly forgot. I have a job. Yay me.