Monday, November 30, 2009

October Round-Up - 2009

I spent most of October worrying about my cat, and spending a lot of money at the vet, so I didn't do much else. As a result, this round-up is rather brief.

(Tori is doing quite well now, by the way, but it was very scary there for a while, with an insane amount of peeing everywhere, because she had a UTI, and then a really scary seizure, which I'm still not sure the cause of. Most likely culprit was probably some of the medications she was being given. But now she seems back to her old (and I do mean old) self, albeit with one fang a little shorter than the other. NO idea how that happened!)

Movies Seen: Thirteen, with one in a theater. That one in a theater was "Paranormal Activity," and I'll admit to being totally duped into seeing it, based on the hype, and the fact that "The Blair Witch Project" is still one of the scariest movies I've ever seen, and this movie, of course, shares a lot with that one. Alas, it was not scary. Yes, I jumped a few times, but it did not succeed in building up any sort of dread, and was actually kind of boring since the set-up--the couple goes to sleep, the camera rolls, and something spooky happens--is repeated over and over again. I really, really wanted to like it, but it failed.

Which leads to the best movie I saw last month, another horror movie, and a much more effective one: "House of the Devil," which I saw via Amazon Video on Demand. Now, it's not a movie for people who want a lot of action in their horror, as it is, essentially, all build-up. It's set in the early '80s, and is made to look like a movie that might have been made back then, but not just so the director can make fun of the era; he's paying tribute to the horror films of the '70s and '80s, but not in any satirical way. I won't discuss the plot, except to say it's your basic babysitter in a scary place set-up, and Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov are residents of that scary place. I think it's still available on Comcast OnDemand, and Amazon, and is coming out on DVD in February.

(And let me just add, it was really awesome to be reading some reviews of the movie on the Friday night before Halloween, thinking to myself, "Oooo. I wanna see that!" and then being able to watch it right then and there. These are magic times we live in.)

As for the worst movie, that would be "Year One." I don't know why I keep renting comedies that I know are going to suck. I need to stop that.

Books Read: None! Well, I didn't finish one, but I did spend most of the month reading one that was actually very short, which is sad. But I'll have to talk about it in the next round-up.

Fancy Dinners Out: None!

Live Shows Seen: None!

Shoes Bought: OMG, none!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmastime Is Here, Happiness and Cheer

If you read my daily posts on the SFGate Culture Blog, I'll be listing a lot of Christmas specials in the coming week. But if you don't (and why is that, exactly?!) here's a handy list of what's coming up this week.

Monday: "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" at 8 P.M. on ABC.

Tuesday: "The Year Without a Santa Claus" at 7 P.M. on ABC Family, and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" at 8 P.M. on ABC. Edited to add: Tonight's Obama speech means you'll have to wait two weeks for "Charlie Brown." It will air on December 15th.

Wednesday: "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" at 8 P.M. on CBS.

But that's all you'll get from me right now. Check the Culture Blog every day for more!

And here's a clip from "Rudolph" to tide you over. (Spoiler alert! Major plot point revealed in this clip!!!!!)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gobble Gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I begin this holiday a bit disappointed. I was so hoping some TV station out there would air "Blood Freak" today, since it really is the perfect Thanksgiving film. It's a pro-Jesus horror movie about the dangers of drug use, and tainted-turkey eating, and how a combination of the two can turn you into a horrific man-sized fowl in search of blood. Really, is there any other message more meaningful today?

Here's the first 10 minutes. Alas, the really good stuff doesn't happen until further in, but perhaps it will encourage you to add this sucker to your Netflix queue, and stat.

As for other Thanksgiving Day TV viewing, go on over to the Culture Blog for my rundown of today's (other) essentials.

Have a great holiday, everybody!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ra-ra-ah-ah-ah, Roma, ro-ma-ma, Gaga, ooh la la!

Not to turn this blog into a Lady Gaga fansite or anything, (although, WHY THE HELL NOT?), but I just wanted to post these clips from her appearance on "The Jay Leno Show" last night. (And by the way, have you watched that shite recently? OMFG, but it is some awful stuff. I mean, fine, his interviews with celebs are OK. But his attempt at comedy and sketches? PAINFUL.)

First is her performance of "Bad Romance," in which she wears a jacket that reminds me of an old SCTV sketch that parodied Joan Crawford's heavily shoulder-padded heyday.

This is her sit-down with Leno. I love her answer to the question about what rumor about herself most upsets her.

Also, a realization I came to last night: She's younger than Britney Spears. By 5 years. That really kind of floored me, especially after seeing this interview on Fuse. Now, it's a long one, and probably only of interest to big fans, but I think it's pretty great. Sure, she comes off as pretentious at times, but I just appreciate that she has the intelligence to even aspire to pretentiousness. Can you imagine someone like Britney talking about her music with such self-awareness? Or even rationally discussing gay rights?

Understand, I still love me some mindless pop trash. I just really appreciate Lady Gaga bringing a little thought to the whole process. And some damned catchy hooks.


Monday, November 16, 2009


I've been sick. It started Wednesday night, and probably reached its peak yesterday, when my cough turned into something I might hear from my neighbors, and I managed to sleep away most of the day because I didn't have the energy to do much else.

I think the worst has passed, but I want to assure you that I did NOT take this whole thing like a man....

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Well, I Guess Sundays Can Go Back to Sucking Now

Season three of "Mad Men" has come to an end, leaving me no reason to look forward to Sundays anymore. At least until next year.

I won't get too spoilery, but I felt the episode managed to take the story in a direction that almost every fan probably wanted it to go, without seeming like it was pandering. And it perfectly set-up season four, for which I CAN NOT WAIT!

Here's a clip of Matt Weiner and some of the cast talking about the finale. Needless to say, don't watch this if you haven't watched the episode yet!