So, I'm sitting in the movies today, watching the coming attractions when I see the cutest friggin' thing I've ever seen in my life. Seriously. As in, "I squeaked so loud people were probably wondering just how old I was" cute.

Wall*E, Pixar's newest creation, is going to be solid GOLD. I guarantee it.

I really do want one.

The Trailers


The Stupid is Catching (Or "Ouija Boards")

It's become my little sister's newest obsession. I have to hear about it whenever I pick her up from her friend's house. Tonight, in fact, she and her friends talked to a bad spirit who hated their friend, who was absent from the get-together, and knew the girl's mother.

I know. My little sister's 17, by the way. One of the most popular kids in her school.

The standards must've been lowered since I left high school.

Ouija has really made me see that the human race will seriously resort to anything in order to obtain the unobtainable. Talking to the dead is something that we've been trying to do as a society since the first person died and the second person got kind of lonely and hoped they could still carry on a conversation, even though the first person had just been killed to shit by a Sabertooth tiger.

Today, it's a pop culture phenomenon. My sister would stop at nothing until she could have this "supernatural instrument", which naturally led to me driving my ass to the Toys 'R' Us nearest to my college in order to get one. Thank you, Parker Brothers. You bastards.

Listen up, kiddies, because Auntie R.C. is only going to break this down for you once:

1. If the dead really wanted to be talked to, believe you me, they would find a way to "contact" you. Like throwing shit around your house. I don't know, I just watched An American Haunting the other day.

2. If a Ouija board was truly an instrument to be used in getting in touch with the great beyond, it wouldn't be made accessible to the public. Or sold in a Toys 'R' Us.

3. If a ghost was going to use that little needle thing to point to letters, your hands wouldn't be anywhere near it.

4. A "bad" spirit wouldn't tell you it was so, unless he/she was a fucking nimrod in life. Wouldn't a bad spirit thrive on deception and mayhem and what have you? Only an idiot would tell you, up front, that it's probably not the best candidate as far as honesty goes.

5. A Ouija board wouldn't cost $24.99 (see #2)

It's fun for a party, but don't tell me all about contacting some douche bag who called your friend the C-word, a word I hate, and expect me to take you seriously. If it was real, a legit practice, I'd be contacting Dylan Thomas to ask if the cirrhosis was worth it.



I love a good satire, don't you? Especially when it comes in the form of a show so smart, so witty, and so reminiscent of the old school Hanna-Barbara shows.

From the genius minds of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim comes The Venture Bros., an animated series about Doctor Venture, a failed scientist fumbling in the footsteps of his genius father, Venture's two idiot sons, Dean and Hank, and their bodyguard, a blood-thirsty government agent named Brock Sampson.

This show is GOLD.

It's always the same formula: good guys + bad guy + conflict = showdown = GOOD GUYS WIN = Cheesy ending dialog + Laughter

Christ, it's like doing FOIL in Algebra.

The Venture Bros. takes this formula and turns it upside down, bringing with it villains that have real problems, razor wit and snark, and a dysfunctional family just trying to get along. The formula is an updated one, packed with plenty of laughs (real ones) and hysterically tragic characters that you can't help but love -- even the villains.

When you're not cracking up over Brock Sampson (voiced by Patrick Warburton)'s complete disregard for human life, or the poor, under-appreciated H.E.L.P.eR robot, or sympathizing with the Monarch's henchmen (who have personalities and bits of back story), you're pitying/laughing with the Venture Brothers and their fumbling attempts to be heroes and please their father, whom is never happy.

The show's animation is fantastic, a hip update of the old ways, and is aided by the old school jazz score (but with a 21st century twist).

The Venture Bros. is a triumph, and I can't wait for Season 3 to come out. Seasons 1 and 2 are available for purchase and I highly recommend them to anyone in need of some quality entertainment.


SPOTLIGHT! And it's on.... Cate Blanchett!

This was a tough one, since I was going to capitulate and do an article on Emma Thompson, my favorite actress in the entire world. But that would have been totally predictable.

Instead, I'm going to focus on the woman who's a very, very close second: Cate Blanchett.

Truth be told, I'm not entirely sure when I first saw Ms. Blanchett, but I can certainly name a plethora of movies she's been in and tell you how much I love them. Cate has an old Hollywood quality to her, the classic beauty she possesses and the confidant yet sensual way she portrays her characters. Never once have I ever been disappointed in her performance in any movie. She has that innate talent that is instilled in kids from the UK since birth. (See: Sean Biggerstaff's Spotlight Segment)

Although the fact that she's Australian shouldn't throw you any.

I remember watching Elizabeth I and thinking to myself, "Wow. There are no words to describe this woman; they haven't been written yet." Not one moment went by that I didn't 110% believe that she was Elizabeth I, not some actress portraying her. She was cool (like 'ice', not 'awesome'), she was genuine, and she was almost ethereal in her beautiful gowns and her commanding voice. Whenever I read Elizabeth I's Speech to the Troops at Tilbury, I hear Cate's voice resounding through my mind. In fact, I read it in class and tried to inflict Ms. Blanchett's authority into it -- I can tell you right now, even though I was praised for my handling of the piece, I didn't even come close.

Cate has the Midas Touch, without the 'unable to hug or eat anything' thing. Everything she touches is gold. Whether it's playing the impossible part of an Elvin queen (Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings movies), or a harried teacher having an affair with a student (her Oscar-winning role as Sheba Hart from Notes on a Scandal), or even 3-minute cameos in comedies (Jeannie, Nicholas Angel's ex, uncredited in Hot Fuzz), she commands the screen with such aplomb and grace, it's like reading The Faerie Queene. She's Gloriana (which is an interesting coincidence, since Spenser wrote The Faerie Queene in tribute to Elizabeth I, a role played twice by Cate).

I have yet to see The Good German and I'm dying to see I'm Not There, the biography of Bob Dylan, a movie in which Cate's portrayal of Dylan stole the show. Critic Anthony Curtis praised her performance in "The Chronicle of Higher Education" : He especially praised Cate Blanchett. "[H]er performance is a wonder, and not simply because, as Jude Quinn, she inhabits the twitchy, amphetamine-fired Dylan of 1965-66 with unnerving accuracy. Casting a woman in this role reveals a dimension to the acerbic Dylan of this era that has rarely been noted. Even as she perfectly mimics every jitter, sneer, and caustic put-down, Blanchett's translucent skin, delicate fingers, slight build, and pleading eyes all suggest the previously invisible vulnerability and fear that fueled Dylan's lacerating anger. It's hard to imagine that any male actor, or any less-gifted female actor for that matter, could have lent such rich texture to the role."

That's right. Cate Blanchett, in short, is amazing, and one day I can only hope to meet her. Or, in the extreme of my fantasies, write a role fitting enough for her.

Here's to you, Cate. Never stop making movies. NEVER. Show all these "up and coming" wannabes who they're dealing with.


Holy Preggers, Batman!

Now that finals are over, I have an entire month to post as much as I goddamn well please! Aren't you all glad? I thought so.

This weekend will hold much for me in the way of cinema. There's Sweeney Todd, Tim Burton's adaptation of the play to the big-screen, which is bringing in some fantastic praise from critics (who I don't tend to listen to as much anymore ever since they kinda panned The 5th Element, so fuck 'em), Juno, with my girl Ellen Page, National Treasure 2, which I want to see only because I saw and enjoyed the first one, and maybe Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.

And despite Gerard Butler being in it, forget P.S., I Love You. There's just something about Hilary Swank that makes me want to take a page out of Eddie Izzard's book and go put babies on spikes.

However, as excited as I am for this sudden burst of cinematic goodness, these movies aren't what's getting everyone all up in arms. How sad is it when some 16-year old crazie goes and gets herself preggo by some kid who looks like he's lived in California all his life, rocking the ganj?

Yes, I'm of course talking about Miss Britney 2.0 Jamie Lynn Spears.

What is with the Spears family? Do they have a genetic predisposition toward the Stupid gene? I don't get why another girl with everything she could ever want -- a highly-rated show, a big fan following, and a bright future -- would just throw it all away for some unsafe sex. At 16.

As my friend Ken says, it boggles the fucking mind.

I really hope Jamie Lynn wakes up one morning, takes a look at her swollen belly, and realizes that she may have ruined the lives of hundreds of young girls who look up to her. The interview she gave to OK! Magazine gives off the impression that it's okay to get pregnant so young, as long as you're up front about it to your parents and the father of the child. Um, wrong message to send to impressionable, young girls. Every time I see a picture of her with a big grin, I want to shake her and ask her if it's sunk in yet just what lies ahead of her.

/end rant

Anyway, kids, listen to your Auntie R.C. and remember: USE A CONDOM. TWO, IF YOU MUST. AND THE PILL. I don't care if your minister says it's against the law of God; God ain't the one building more pews for your spawn to sit in.

Movie reviews this weekend, as well as a new Spotlight article.

"Protection is for pansies!"




Everyone knows the premise of the film: Robert Neville is a brilliant scientist, but even he could not contain the terrible virus that was unstoppable, incurable, and man-made. Somehow immune, Neville is now the last human survivor in what is left of New York City and maybe the world. But he is not alone. Mutant victims of the plague -- The Infected -- lurk in the shadows... watching Neville's every move... waiting for him to make a fatal mistake. Perhaps mankind's last, best hope, Neville is driven by only one remaining mission: to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus using his own immune blood. But he knows he is outnumbered... and quickly running out of time. (Written by Warner Bros. Pictures)

The film is an adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 novel of the same name, and the premise rang similarly: Neville is the only survivor of an apocalypse caused by a pandemic of bacteria, the symptoms of which are very similar to vampirism.

I had high hopes for this film, and it did have its good points. The special effects that were used to make New York look post-apocalyptic were phenomenal. Will Smith did an outstanding job as Neville, the last person on earth, and carried the film by himself with great aplomb. And the German Shepherd that played his dog, Sam, should have its own category in the Golden Globes: Best Animal in a Supporting Role.

However, the rest of the film was terrible. It was improbable, it quickly became formulaic at the arrival of two new, unfleshed characters (one which was annoying and the other completely useless), the zombies were something out of a bad video game, and the film never delved into the new psychology of the zombies, which weren't brainless cannibals, but organized -- they even had a leader! Nothing was said on them, even with the one Neville was studying.

The film's ending was disappointing, as were the final words of the voice-over. I walked out once again disenchanted with the movie industry, as well as a screenwriter's ability to transition a story line from novel to film.

My recommendation would be to save your $10 and wait until it comes out to video.

I give I AM LEGEND a 2 out of 5.

On another note, the film came with the trailer for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Hell-oh, Ben Barnes! ♥


Girl Talk: not just for females anymore! (Music)

I was getting made up for a photo shoot when my friend, the photographer, asked if we could listen to some music. At my hearty consent, he brought iTunes up and began playing a series of remixed songs that were all set to an incredibly catchy beat. Amazed, I listened carefully and was able to pick out at least 10 songs I knew out of each.

Girl Talk is Pittsburgh mash-up musician Gregg Gillis. He specializes in sample-based remixes, in which he uses at least a dozen elements from different songs to create a "new" song. Seriously. I'll sit there and be like, "THAT'S GENESIS! OMG THAT'S GWEN! AND THAT'S KANSAS! AND THAT'S THE PETSHOP BOYS!"

He plays many shows in clubs, and I almost got to go to one but couldn't due to the FLU. Stupid virus, ruining my life.

Night Ripper is his most recent album, 16 tracks, all amalgamations of rap, pop, old school rock, and grunge. They're amazingly catchy and very fun to work out to. When I was stuck in the Overlook Hotel, I'd listen to them every day on the treadmill. It's a fun album and never gets old, especially when you're constantly discovering the songs in the mixes.

I highly recommend Girl Talk to anyone looking for something bouncy to listen to when exercising, running, or on the highway and in need of something fun.


The Golden Compass: The Review

So, after my mother took me out to dinner I took myself to the nearest Showcase Cinemas and saw the 7:30 showing of The Golden Compass. Going in, I wasn't sure what to expect, having not read the book (I wanted to wait to read it, that way I wouldn't be disappointed).

The movie was okay for the most part. The special effects were decent, but it was the acting that really shined. You know how in some movies, it's the cinematography or the script? This time, it was the acting.

For the six and a half minutes that he was on-screen, Daniel Craig rocked. He commanded everyone's attention, even when he wasn't yelling or giving the Council the 007 Glare. Nicole Kidman came to life for once and put in a stellar performance as Marisa Coulter, the head of the Magisterium, who was simultaneously sweet and poisonous... and had a real douche bag of a monkey for a daemon, or animal spirit. Sam Elliot was a cowboy... literally. He was SO good, what with his drawl and his jack rabbit daemon named Hester and his very shiny gun and his greasy hair and Gregory Peck eyebrow-mustache. Ian McKellen was BOMB as Iorek Byrnison, the armored bear, with his strong voice. Every time he got angry, or spoke, I was like, "bitch is gonna die."

EVA GREEN. I want to be you when I grow up. Why are you so pretty and so talented and pretty?

And last but not least, Dakota Blue Richards. She was fantastic as Lyra Belacqua, the protagonist. This is her breakout role and I do think that after this trilogy is done we shall be seeing more of her. I hope we do. She was the right amount of petulant and sarcastic and brave, never afraid to take charge of a scene, even among veteran actors. She was comfortable and genuine, and reminded me a little of myself when I was younger. You know, running through fields and talking to animals and hanging out with old men and gypsies on dirigibles.

However, as fun and fantastic as the acting was, the movie was terribly rushed. I do know some about author Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, and even without reading the three books I could tell that his characters lost their nuances and the plot was simplified in order to appease a two-hour limit, which is a shame, because I would have loved to have learned more about the characters and the world. A lot of people complained that it was hard to keep up and that they didn't understand some of it. Understandable. Some things definitely got lost in translation while filming this.

But for an adaptation, it could have been worse. It was okay, although not as well thought out as the Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings films.

Go see it, though, if you've got 2 hours to spare and want to see two polar bears kick the ever-loving shit out of each other. And while you're there, kick a Catholic. They're protesting kids going to see this movie because they're afraid the kids will read the books and become atheists. That's right, Catholics, let's not allow our children to read. Have them turn on The Real World, instead.

I give The Golden Compass a 2.5 out of 5.

Bitch is crazy!


Go see the Atheist movie! It opened today!


Tin Man was... kinda like lead.

Well, I watched the 2-hour premiere of SciFi's new miniseries, Tin Man, which is a darker spin on Frank L. Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The premise was interesting: Tomboyish D.G., played by Zooey Deschanel (whom I love), gets whisked into the O.Z. (Outer Zone), where evil sorceress Azkadellia (Kathleen Robertson) is searching for the Emerald and will use whatever means to get it. D.G. is accompanied by Glitch, the former advisor to the former queen whose brain was stolen, Raw, a humanoid lion who is empathetic as well as clairvoyant, and Cain, a former "tin man" or police officer whose family was taken from him.

Unfortunately, the premise, save for performances by Alan Cumming as Glitch, was really the only shining point of the program. The special effects were mediocre at best, and the script made me want to gouge my eyes out with a spork.

It makes me sad that this is kind of meh. I love Zooey, and I think she's a fantastic actress. The role of D.G. would have been perfect for her if only the script had been better.

Azkadellia is horribly cliché; she's every wicked sorceress you've ever seen, and aside from being able to suck the life out of people she's not all that terrifying. She really can't walk in the boots she's wearing, either.

I'm going to try and stick with it, because maybe it'll pick up, but I was so unimpressed that this might be finished for me.

Good try, though, SciFi. Maybe next time you'll get a better screenplay.



SciFi's original new series Tin Man premieres tonight at 9pm.

I can't wait.

Be sure to watch it! I'll post thoughts about it tomorrow!


To those in the northern part of the country....

... I write this letter on your behalf.

Dear God,

It's 19 degrees.

Cut the shit.

Freezing/possibly dying of hypothermia,