Hey remember that one time people Mad Men'd themselves on facebook?

I'm totally late to the Mad Men game (currently in the middle of season 3), so I'm putting it on my blog so it's less lame(?). Obviously I would bring a gun into Sterling Cooper to show how I really feel about the place, but since I'm a lady I'm wearing my gloves and pearls. I'm just sorry there wasn't the option of a lawnmower.


So this has been stuck in my head all morning

"Let the River Run" by Carly Simon

Does this mean my job interview today will go well? Will a handsome nerd be there? Will Joan Cusack be my trashy best friend? I can only hope.


Live blogging Purple Rain (1984)

Tonight's the night I watch Purple Rain for the very first time.

0:20 This is already brilliant.

1:22 I love a good concert in a movie. Also, Prince is a tiny man.

2:20 This man in a tank top and shorts must the comic relief. And this troubled broad with a ton of cash must be our leading lady. PRINCE ON A MOTORCYCLE.

3:30 Dapper looking man getting into a car.

5:00 The present day of fashion is the first time I really think people will look back and be just as embarrassed by what they were wearing as the 1984 depicted as this film.

6:15 Broad is looking to be a singer/dancer at some club. Is this Burlesque? Her name is apparently Apollonia


8:00 The dapper looking man has a terrible band.

9:22 Love at first sight between Apollonia and Prince? Prince is so creeper standing behind her in sunglasses.

10:28 And Prince the stalker is gone.

11:05 Oh great. Prince lives in an abusive home. Also, that's Prince's voice?

13:15 This blonde is a stellar actress. She gives Prince a tape of some guy's music.

13:40 Luckily we get to watch Prince's band practice with two dancers. The synthesizer is magic.

14:23 Dapper looking man is some sort of cartoonishly villainous club owner.

15:14 His bodyguard is named Jerome. A baseball bat just appeared out of nowhere to shove a woman in a dumpster.

15:40 Prince just stole Apollo's outside the boot anklet. Is this flirting? Awwww yeah. Prince's signature guitar just made an appearance in a shop window.

17:00 The dream couple are driving around the countryside. Prince has a decent looking smile to go with his highly reflective sunglasses.

18:47 Prince's lackluster "Oh" is my new favorite response to people's hopes and dreams.

19:25 The acting in this film is stellar. And now Prince is trying to haze Apollonia into "the biz."

20:17 And now stripping down and skinny dipping into a lake, but it was the wrong lake and now he's driving away! Oh-hohoho. Incorrigible. At least Apollonia has a nice rack.

22:07 Now Prince is doing that douchey "just as you try to get on he moves away" thing. And then he says, "Don't get my seat all wet."

23:10 Oh no! Dapper man has his eye on Apollonia too. Excellent.

23:50 Ugh, there's a "Who's On First" level non-joke happening.

25:26 Prince apparently didn't listen to his bandmates' song because he's a control freak. Prince is demonstrating fabulous disinterest. IS HE VENTRILOQUISTING?

27:20 I guess the whole band is pissed at him now.

28:05 Prince talking to some sort of pop-up monkey is kind of endearing. And now he's going to listen the his band's song.

29:20 "Your lips would make a lollipop too happy." Oh.

30:40 Dapper man is continuing to be super gross at hitting on Apollonia.

31:12 Oh good, the Revolution is back onstage, and Prince is at the keyboard. Apollonia is totally feasting on Prince with her eyes.

33:16 I love how Foppish Prince is. I also love that he has ladies in his band.

34:50 I love how screamy he's getting right here. Apollonia looks like she's about to cry. Prince is writhing around on the stage. Um, she is crying?

36:40 Now Apollonia is the stalking one.

37:47 Prince's parents are sexying the couch. How old are these two supposed to be?

38:54 Apollonia is checking out Prince's room. And he sneaks up behind her and screams, and now he's Chris Angel?

39:34 They're listening to a girl crying backwards with a drum beat. It sounds orgasmic and it's weirding me out.

40:23 Oh good, they're finally making out. Ahahaha. There is a lot of groping.

42:04 Awkward morning after kissing.

43:01 Prince walks in on half his band practicing some other music. Prince is a giant douche.

44:00 Dapper Man is sitting in a car and is gross, but he's offering a song and dance. He laughs at her getting help from Prince. She blows him off anyway.

45:23 Apollonia takes up Dapper man on his offer, but not before demanding a guitar.

46:00 Prince is listening to his band's song with his eyes closed with his dad yelling at his mom. He's not going to make it through the whole song yet again while his dad rants about why he beats her up.

47:55 Prince is looking super androgynous in that tank top, um, if you ignore the chest hair.

48:30 Andy like magic Apollonia appears in the window with a gift. IT'S THE GUITAR HE WANTED! Tender moments.

49:20 Prince gives her one of his earrings. Close up on all the creepy clowns and masks in his room. And then Apollonia says she's going to join Dapper Man (Morris's) group. AND HE SLAPS HER. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. I love to see the cycle of violence continue.

51:45 Blahblahblah everything sux. The ladies in his band didn't show up and now he's hearing about Apollonia's new band. Oh hey! His band might get fired.

52:30 Cue "When Doves Cry." Brilliant.

53:03 Sexy time flashback in a haystack? When did this happen? Everything flashback? Whatever. I like a good montage.

55:10 I love that Prince is James Deaning, but in the most 80s androgynous way possible with a swirl.

56:40 Prince's dad is playing tender melody on the piano. Apparently his songs are "all different." And he doesn't have to write down music, so he's better than Prince?

57:00 Awkward girlfriend talk with dad.

58:30 Prince is shirtless and sweaty with a mask for his next performance. I find myself not repulsed by this look.

59:50 Um, suggestive of a blow job much?

61:50 Yes! "Darling Nikki."

63:19 Apollonia is pissed off at this song. Is it supposed to be about her? Prince is humping the stage. Excellent.

64:30 Prince yelling "Fuck off!" is adorable. "Like father, like son." BURN.

66:00 Apollonia 6. Good, they're a classy group with garters, corsets, and diamonds. "Sex Shooter." Brilliant.

68:20 Prince is totally stressing about being fired because the Apollonia 6 is apparently great.

70:00 Prince is terrorizing a drunk Morris and Apollonia. "Get on!" And she does.

71:30 They're making out, but it's no good. Apollonia is drinking, Prince knocks it out of her hands and then tries to beat her up, but then doesn't and she's still wearing her slutty outfit, and she throws his earring back at him. Wow.

74:00 Prince's dad shoots himself? His mother's in tears. And there are lots of flashing lights and policemen.

75:35 Prince is hyperventilating and now swinging at things with a baseball bat. I LOVE THIS EMOTING SO MUCH.

78:35 Prince finds a stack of his father's music HE WROTE DOWN. And now he's shirtless again.

78:25 Apparently he memorized the opening bars of his band's song from the intro and is embellishing it on the piano?

79:30 Morris's band the Time is performing again. And there is more stupid dancing happening.

81:25 The Time is annoying band. The Revolution looks pissed. The guy with a John Waters mustache looks even grosser than usual.

83:35 The Revolution is back onstage, seemingly to claim their right to not be fired. Awkward silence. Coughing. Dedicating a song to his father. IT'S HIS BAND'S SONG.

84:23 And of course they all know how to play it from that zero times they've ever practiced. Whatever, "Purple Rain" is kind of an awesome.

88:10 I love the emotive guitar solo. The Revolution is killing it.

90:25 I love the awkward kiss on the cheek Prince gives the girl who wrote the song.

91:20 Prince runs off stage and takes off his jacket. TOO MANY EMOTIONS. TOO MUCH APPLAUSE.

92:06 Apollonia is there and kisses him as he heads back on stage to thunderous applause. He grabs a tambourine and tosses it in the audience.

92:50 "I Would Die for You." Why don't I own this album?

94:00 Prince breaks it down onstage in the midst of a montage of...stacking his father's music and putting them in boxes. Organization is sexy.

94:55 He finds his earring on the floor and throws it--Apollonia is there to catch it! And now we get to watch them make out again.

95:55 Also, I love that there's a guy in the band that's always in scrubs. I'm noting this because Prince is feeling himself on stage, and I don't know what to say about that.

97:30 And the music keeps on coming. I guess they finally decided to stop pretending this was anything but an excuse to watch Prince sing his music.

98:30 Morris is screaming in the audience with the rest of the people. Looks like he's not fired?

99:40 He has a hat now. This song is kind of crap, but Prince is working the stage. SHIRT IS UNBUTTONED.

100:20 And it ends in a freeze frame with the credits rolling and a mix of a bunch of music I'm assuming is on the "Purple Rain" soundtrack even though I don't recognize all the music. Brilliant.

Guys: It's hard to screw up a music biz movie. As long as the songs are half decent, you can montage the crap out of it, and I will watch it and love it. Purple Rain has a barely coherent plot, but it's not like we even need to follow it. We already know the story by heart. Brilliant. Also, this movie was filmed in Minneapolis. Perfection.


cheerful cynicism's quick guide to the films directed by Quentin Tarantino

Guys, I finally watched all of Quentin Tarantino's film. In other words, I have earned a butt ton of pop culture-reference capital. Granted, it's not every film he ever wrote, starred in, and whatever, but just the ones he directed (the whole thing of). I figured that's good enough for now. Anyway, in case your knowledge is incomplete, this is a terrible place to start. However, it is a decent place to steal half-assed critiques.

1. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Great small film that takes place almost mostly on one set except for flashbacks and that opening diner scene in which we're forced to listen to Quentin Tarantino analyze pop culture. However, it remains an engaging film without a lot frills.

Nice suits, boys.

2. Pulp Fiction (1994)

Eric Stoltz is in this movie. That's the level of random that occurs throughout this film. I guess it's supposed to be cool because it's nonlinear, but it's kind of hard to care for a film when it's non-linear without a central character/plotline. I might need a second viewing to decide if I actually like it or not. However, Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta are a fantastic duo.

Cereal: great choice.

3. Jackie Brown (1997)

Pam Grier is fantastic; I could watch her do anything for 2 hours and be entirely interested. Luckily, this film also has a decent crime plot to move everything along. Plus the seemingly random subplots make more sense than in Pulp Fiction. Also, excellent soundtrack.

Pam Grier and Robert Forster: surprisingly endearing almost coupling.

4. Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 (2003-2004)

Ladies kicking ass Samurai style. That's all you really need to know. More? Nerd up on influences on Wikipedia.

How good was this fight scene at the end of Vol. 1?

5. Grindhouse: Death Proof (2007)

Too much Truffaut influence. Honestly, the first half the movie contains what in any other film would be maybe the first 15 minutes. The love of the mundane goes on forever as we follow some really boring women followed by a group of less boring women who ultimately kick ass in a decent car chase scene which I guess is kind of redeemable. Apparently it's supposed to be a B-movie, but I'd rather watch its gruesome companion film Planet Terror a thousand times because at least Naveen Andrews is in that. I honestly don't get what Tarantino was trying to do here.

Random boring woman's foot, of course.

6. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

This film might be perfection. All the performances are spot on (I'll just gloss over Eli Roth's awkward "acting"), the cinematography is gorgeous, and the suspense is delicious. Also, killing Nazis and the music of David Bowie.

Christoph Waltz: #1 villain.


Smiles and Malick

The New World (2005), specifically the extended cut, is simply way too long to take in as a whole unit, but beautiful enough to be taken in chunks. Each quiet montage with hushed narration is magical. It also manages to capture the fascinating exoticism of discovering Native Americans without feeling so noble savage/kitschy that I feel like I'm watching the movie equivalent of this pillow I got for Christmas a couple years ago while singing the middle school choir classic "Shoshone Love Song":

Thanks, sister!

Anyway, like I said before, there are whole montages of this film that are perfection, quietly building the love between Pochahontas/John Smith, naturally developing the relationship falling apart and turning into the warring middle portion, and later the Pochahontas/John Rolfe relationship. How Terrance Malick stumbled upon fairly subtle with this content is a mystery--I'd think we'd all like to forget the Disney version--but I admire the work.

I started taking screen captures of some of my favorite moments in the film and just ended up finding all the moments where a character genuinely smiles. This seems like a rarity in films--especially art films. Why is no one happy ever? Don't filmmakers realize that tragedy is best highlighted by contrasting it with true joy? Anyway, out of all filmmakers, Terrence Malick manages to capture what looks like spontaneous, happy moments.

Look at John Smith's genuine smile after some good solid male bonding.
Can we also talk about how I find Colin Farrell attractive in this movie? I think it has a lot to do with the naturalistic acting style used throughout the film.

Young actress Q'orianka Kilcher's smile is just radiant. Her youth plays well in this film, giving Pocahontas a naivety that allows the story to make sense.

Doing stupid crap like dumping water over each others' heads and finding it fun: young love in a nutshell.

I love this moment when the English allow a "natural" to tour their fort because he's "mad". This is his reaction after hearing a canon go off. BOOM.

Meeting after a long absence, Pocahontas still smiles even though things are different.

This is the part where I want Pochahontas' sassy gay friend to pop out and say, "Look at your life, look at your choices: your family has already disowned you, but you can still have some dignity. Stop kidding yourself that this is going to work with John Smith." This, however, does not happen and heartbreak ensues for, like, at least an hour, evidenced by the lack of smiles to capture.

Oh, hey John Rolfe. He likes Pocahontas/Rebecca's intriguing questions about the world, and he closed-mouth smiles about it. I have to say that Christian Bale's smiles always seemed a bit more studied than the other leads'.

Finding joy in nature again.

Awkward proposal smile.

Delightful fall-in-the-mud, romcom-style smiles, except this moment plays better than it does in most romcoms because it breaks up more serious moments to effectively shows their relationship developing.

Kilcher manages to act beyond her 14 years and provide a motherly smile.

Relieved smile. (Yes, I'm counting it.)

I'm-still-in-love-with-you smile.

Um, I had to include at least one completely lovelorn look from Mr. Farrell. He's surprisingly good at it.

Oh yeah, and this awesome shot happens toward the end.