If you hadn’t noticed yet,my blog has been neglected these past few months. Originally it was because I was writing about 2,500 words daily on Sarah Palin’s Alaska,and trust me that is not an easy task. Once Sarah and her pose exited my cranium,it was then taken over by my new full-time position. And now I am in a mad dash to my wedding day,so I have been just a bit preoccupied with stuff I never thought I could care about it – like linens,undergarments,table arrangements and what types of hand lotion will be in my bridal suite. For anyone out there thinking about celebrating their nuptials with a small event for forty people or forgoing the party all together and eloping,I cannot recommend it more. My fiancé and I have been together for nearly ten years and we have fought more over the course of planning our wedding than we have for the duration of our entire the relationship. While I am extremely excited to marry my loving and awesome fiancé,in front of my family and friends in my favorite dress,it has been one stressful situation after the other. When I am not perusing the 30k wedding blogs for inspirations on tablescapes and photo booths,I am worrying about said tablescapes and photo booths. Many of my friends who have already gone through this process assure me that no one other than you really cares about anything else other than drinking booze and dancing with the couple on the special day,but it still doesn’t remove the stress of it all. And unfortunately my love of procrastinating hasn’t helped much. Oh sure,I think it would be a great idea to plan 20 – 25 centerpieces less than two weeks before the big day –OF COURSE that is the smartest plan! Recently,I cut out any media,like reality TV,that focuses on weddings as to remove the dreaded “did I make the right decision” question that pops into my head every half hour about the most mundane details of my special day. But,I am elated for the one exception to this rule is BRIDESMAIDS that will hit theaters this Friday!!!
The critically acclaimed film starring Kristen Wiig,who co-wrote the screenplay,and Maya Rudolph,directed by Paul Feig and produced by Judd Apatow seems to be more than just your average comedy based on the craziness that will ultimately surround your wedding day. With Feig and Wiig together,I cannot wait for what I can only assume will be one of my favorite films ever. This week we will look at the previews,reviews and what it means if this film scores big at the box office. In the meantime,let’s check out the latest trailer for “Bridesmaids.”
So what do you think? Will you all be joining me at 12AM on Friday to see the first screening of Bridesmaids and make it number one this weekend?
Taylor Kitsch doesn’t seem to be having any problems shaking his “Friday Night Lights” character Tim Riggins despite playing the high school footballer for five seasons. With looming tentpole films like “Battleship” and “John Carter of Mars” on the distant horizon,he has been able to move past his beloved character and find his own space on the big screen. His latest film,“The Bang Bang Club,” which premiered last night at the Tribeca Film Festival,finds Kitsch starring alongside Ryan Phillippe and Malin Akerman as a photojournalist dedicated to covering the atrocities that occurred during the end of apartheid in South Africa. Playing the affected and drug-addicted real-life Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer certainly seemed like a huge departure from lovable bad boy Tim Riggins,but to Kitsch,the role just seems to be another journey of character discovery. I had the chance to sit down with Kitsch for a bit while promoting the film,and he was more than happy to chat with me about the transition from TV to film,what it’s like to work with the likes of Peter Berg and Oliver Stone and what drives his varied career choices. And my nervousness from sitting across from literally the most attractive being I have ever seen in real life didn’t kill me,so read on……
Eager to discuss his work with Peter Berg on “Battleship” and his excitement over being directed by Oliver Stone in the upcoming “Savages,” Kitsch also discussed—just a few hours before it happened—the casting of “The Bourne Legacy.”
What brought you to the film “The Bang Bang Club”? Everything. The story was powerful and it was honest. These people just lived it. And I thought the script was incredible. This is a story about people who were left behind and it’s important not to forget about history. This happened only 15 years ago,within our lifetime,which is crazy.
And the timing of the film’s release with the conflicts and yesterday’s passing of Tim Hetherington in Libya? Yeah,still very relevant. Which is great though and I think it deserves it. And even the apartheid shouldn’t be forgotten. There’s things like this and other events that can be swept under the rug quite conveniently,and I think this [film] will raise awareness not even with the current events,but just at this time it’s still relevant of the struggle and this going on,not just in Africa,but all over. Literally. In the movie,filmed in Johannesburg,the race of the photographers,whom were all white,gave them access to places. Kevin (Carter,the photog Kitsch portrayed) was said to be ashamed to be white. Was the atmosphere that tense where you could understand where the photographers were coming from? Or did the set provide you with enough shelter? I think you want to be exposed to it. I think when you take,personally,when I take a job like this it’s all or nothing. You are going to do whatever it takes to put you in that moment. Recreating those scenes. Recreating Ken Oosterbroek’s death on the actual site. Working near or on these killing fields. Working in these townships. Being surrounded with people that marched and voted that you see how relevant it is to these guys. Being on set and people coming out and trying to shut it down because they are not ready for it to be made. One woman came out during the filming of the scene where Kev thinks a body is still alive and she thought it was quite real. Like we had said,it hadn’t happened that long ago so it’s still very visceral to all of these people. How as an actor do you mentally prepare for a role like this? I do anything I can. You shed the weight and I didn’t know this,but aesthetically I had to,personally to play Kevin honestly and it felt like a no brainer,there is no debate. I knew even getting the role,when I was still in the mix,like they were waiting to tell me and I knew that this is what I had to do and this is how I am going to do it. It needs to be done. I can’t have the body of the Riggins and play this role. And I had him,I was doing it. How was it getting back to Riggins after this? Not fun. I mean I loved being able to eat again. Those little things. Speaking of Riggins,how was it working with Peter Berg once again on “Battleship”? Love it. We’re very close and there is a lot of trust there. I think trust is everything on any set and he’s just a guy who lets me take risks. I can trust the guy and it allows me to be free and go. He has my back,and he won’t let me fall and that’s a huge thing as an actor. Believe it. I can imagine joining a film that is based on a board game that you would need to trust the director? I understand that there is an uphill battle. There are all these predisposed ideas about what it is. But there is also the consensus of the challenge like alright let’s surprise these guys with something and I think we’ve done that. I think there’s a lot of things people won’t expect within that film. Pete is a very good storyteller. Watch any of his films,he’s never going to have just a pure explosion kind of film. There’s always a beat to that and that was the reason I took the role – to work with Pete again. You’ve had great luck with directors – Berg and now ‘Savages’ with Oliver Stone? How is it to work with him? I can’t wait. It keeps you honest man. I am excited to prep because they day I wrap up reshoots on “John Carter of Mars” is the day that I begin prepping for ‘Savages.’ It’s a very conscious thing you do,you surround yourself with great people making great films and being a part of these processes is hard enough. You just want to give your best and grow through each experience. I’m excited I can’t wait. It’s going to be something I have at the end of my career where I have worked with some incredible people already,and I’m 30. It’s great. How do you make the transition from a beloved television show,playing an iconic character,to films and separating yourself from Riggins? It’s all about choice. It’s all about what you gravitate towards. I don’t think I want to be that conscious of it. Obviously you get a couple of offers to play a guy exactly like Riggins and hopefully I will keep throwing you guys curve balls my whole career where you cant really put me in a spot. That’s where Kev and Rigs and John Carter… and it’s very conscious of challenging myself and taking a risk.
Lastly there was a exchange about “The Bourne Legacy” which ironically didn’t go his way,but you wouldn’t have thought that if you talked to Kitsch yesterday afternoon. Kitsch was inevitably asked,what about the rumored role in Tony Gilroy‘s upcoming ‘Bourne’ film which will now likely star Jeremy Renner as of last night. “What about it?” was his sly response when asked about the role a few hours before Renner was announced. “We have no news now,[but],” he paused with a sly,cocky grin,“There will be some sort of announcement soon.”
Of course there’s always the possibility that he could have a supporting role,hence the winking smile. Who knows? “The Bang Bang Club” hits theaters in limited release this Friday. It is also available now on Video On Demand. My review of the film was also posted on The Playlist,as was this review.
As a TV junkie and social media strategist,I love a great branding. And since I am resident of New York City,I am usually face-to-face with branding all day,every day beyond my internet and television courtesy of the omnipresence of ads here. Most of the time,if I missed something on Twitter,I will catch it while waiting for the subway,so when I saw USA Network’s new Character Approved advertising on my local subway platform I became intrigued as to what the ads were promoting. My TV junkie self noticed that most of the photographs in the ‘Character Approved‘ads were of influential people not necessarily associated with the cable network’s programming,so I was interested in learning more about the project when my friend posted it to her Tumblr. ‘Character Approved’is a play on the tagline ‘Characters Welcome’USA Network rebranded itself with a few years back during their post-Monk success with a few original programs,like White Collar and Royal Pains. The new project looks at twelve individuals who have affected culture,like founders of Foursquare Naveen Selvadurai and Dennis Crowley,singer Janelle Monae and filmmaker Davis Guggenheim,along with actors,global engineers,architects and designers. The project supports these cultural efforts and milestones while it triggers us into thinking about their characters being noteworthy individuals too. I really appreciate the rebranding this network underwent a few years ago with quality programming and must-see characters,and I love that they are celebrating culture tastemakers and revolutionaries that a typical cable viewer might not be aware of. The past few years has led to a really interesting showcasing and mixing up on media,and its awesome to see folks “getting”what is really noteworthy nowadays. Similar to the efforts of Sundance,IFC and Current networks,USA seems to understand there is a life outside of standard TV and is now incorporating it within their digital plan.
Character Approved:Honoring 12 Cultural Trailblazers documentary will premiere tonight at 11PM on USA. Will you check it out?
Early on in the flawed Happythankyoumoreplease,Sam Wexler,played by Josh Radnor,the center around which the film spins,is informed that the novel he is desperate to get published is “just kind of,well kind of” meh and ironically it is also the most on-point review of the film. Happythankyoumoreplease was written and directed by the How I Met Your Mother star,which might explain the lack of real plot and the suspiciously enormous New York City apartments owned by artists with part-time jobs in this indie romantic comedy. Radnor plays a struggling writer who accidentally kidnaps an eight-year-old black boy—Rasheen (Michael Algieri),who is left behind on a subway car—while rushing to have his dreams crushed by a publisher giant (cameo courtesy of Richard Jenkins). Sam decides to keep Rasheen around and care for him,which is apparently easy when you have no job,nor a book deal. His two closest friends are Annie (Malin Akerman),who suffers from alopecia,and Mary Catherine (Zoe Kazan),who is just insufferable;two women with seemingly nothing in common except their worrying over Sam. And in even further unbelievable plot developments,Sam finally gets the courage to talk up an attractive bartender,Mississippi (Kate Mara),while Rasheen is peacefully asleep on his couch,and to avoid the stigma of a one-night stand has Mississippi sign a contract “to move in” for the next three days.
Standard ‘Generation Lost’arguments are brought up and debated in “Happythankyoumoreplease,” like lack of life direction,the merits of marriage and what to do when you have a foster kid illegally living in your apartment,but nothing is ever settled. Even the ever popular Los Angeles vs New York debate,fought between Mary Catherine and her live-in boyfriend Charlie (Pablo Schreiber) when he has the opportunity to score a production deal on the West Coast and Mary Catherine is troubled as to how she could give up stocking art supplies for a living. But nothing –not the LA vs NY debate nor the fact that Sam seems fairly disconnected with reality –is resolved by the film’s end.
The pleasant surprise in Happythankyoumoreplease is the performance given by Malin Akerman. Generally relegated to the blonde bimbos and hot chick roles,Akerman delivers the only real performance among the bunch. She tackles both alopecia and scummy ex-boyfriends with a genuine grace and her budding relationship with Sam #2 (Tony Hale) is a wonderful look at a real-life courtship. Unfortunately,Happythankyoumoreplease isn’t able to succeed mainly because Radnor jam-packed what could have been a fun tale of three friends dealing with the intrusion of adulthood,similar to Reality Bites with some oddball New York mini-version of The Blind Side.
Regardless,the film’s flippant attitude towards realism presents a film unique in which a happy ending for all of those involved can be achieved. The quality and look of the film is spot on and manages to showcase the real New York,even if the plot won’t. For a first effort,Radnor was able to stay on message,as he had wanted to create a whimsical happy-go-lucky flick,but let’s hope that the next time around he fights for more character and plot development instead of settling for a story and a film that,like Sam’s novel,is “just kind of”.
This weekend’s Saturday Night Live,hosted by Miley Cyrus,was probably the best of the season. I wasn’t sure what to expect other than the obvious appearance of Vanessa Bayers’hilarious impression of Miley and her successful Cyrus’show skit,but everyone was magic this weekend. Not sure why I worried about Cyrus hosted the show since Disney-raised folks like herself,Justin Timberlake,Christina Aguiliera,Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan are magic when it comes to hosting SNL.
Miley wasn’t afraid to touch upon the media’s obsession with her having a meltdown,and she got a chance to show off both her comedic and vocal chops,and bravo to the writers for really taking advantage of her talents. One of the best parts of the show had to be ‘The Miley Cyrus Show’and Cyrus playing Justin Bieber,which was pitch perfect. I have to hand it to this girl for not only being comfortable playing against an impression of herself,but also taking on one of the lightning rods for tweens nowadays.
The Strokes did a great job as the musical guests too,and it was nice to hear some new stuff from one of my favorite bands. This weekend’s show also reminded me about the new strength this show and its cast have. Overall,it was a stellar performance from Miley and I hope it helped folks see the performer in a different light. And maybe Hollywood would like to cast in her comedies,since that is apparently her strength,as opposed to hokey tween driven romances.