Today’s (Much Belated) Fabulous Image in Cinema: Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal
July 21, 2010

When things get quiet over at this particular corner of the internet, the reality is there’s only person we have to blame, and that person is me.  The only problem with this is that I’m a blame shifter, so when things get quiet over at this particular corner of the internet (at least this time around), it’s Christopher Nolan’s fault.  Seriously, he’s the man behind Inception, and I’m merely the owner of the mind that movie melted, which mean he’s the one who committed the mind crime!  (Get it?!?)  Besides, Joseph Gordon Levitt looking positively dapper (or do I mean Draper?) in a suit and vest will muddle your brain for days like that.  Oh, and the Mad Men Fever obviously isn’t helping my crazy, either.  Anyways, we’re not here to talk about Inception (YET); we’re here to talk about Today’s (much belated) Fabulous Image in Cinema, and Today’s (much belated) Fabulous Image in Cinema is from Notes on a Scandal, so let’s talk about it.

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The Gossip Girl We Know and Love Returned Last Night! Huzzah!!!
May 19, 2009

Just in time for its summer hiatus!  Fiddlesticks!!!  Though I don’t really think I can better express my extreme frustration than this visual diagram:

chuck blair gossip girl

See, like Blair’s inability to wait for Chuck to confess his love for her, such is my inability to wait for Gossip Girl to return next season.  That’s just how good it was.  Soooo good.  Incapable-of-making-complete-sentences good, even, so let’s just abandon all hope of a cohesive recap and discuss the highlights of this fabulous return to glittery trash.

Firstly, there was the moment in this episode when for a hot second we’re all led to believe that Eric’s boyfriend was Gossip Girl, but then after the commercial break we’re told that he’s not; he just happened to hack into her file server, which gives him access to her texts (?). That barely makes sense, seems inspired by one of the bevy of internet-themed thrillers that came out in the mid-1990s when our minds were being blown by dial-up and AOL, and also gave me the “Whaaaa?”-face of the century.  It may have only been a tease, but what a fantastic tease it was.

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Fingers Crossed the Returning Triumph of Gossip Girl is no Flash in the Pan
May 5, 2009

So after taking a pass at reviewing last week’s Gossip Girl on account of the fact that it would’ve pretty much consisted of nothing but different phrasings of “Georgina’s back” and lots of exclamation points (which is something I realize perhaps nobody else but me wants) I can attest that this week’s deserves at least a few words because–if nothing else–Eric has returned for 3 seconds!  And he’s not schilling for Neutrogena as I’d speculated!  Oh, and Georgina’s back, for realsies!  YESSS!!!!

georgina-bitch-back

Though speaking of schills, poor Vanessa seems to officially be CW’s face of Dove products, which let’s not forget is the company that markets itself around ideas of natural beauty, aka the sort of beauty Gossip Girl has precisely no interest in acknowledging.  I for one find Jessica Szohr to be really pretty, so color me shocked that the creators have dropper her but keep bringing out Rat-Nest-Raccoon-Face for the most random things (giving Rufus pep talks and distracting Lily so Rufus finish preparing his proposal dinner was yet another unsubtle nail in the we-haven’t-a-clue-what-to-do-with-you coffin).  

And speaking of Lil’ J, couldn’t they’ve at least found a way to briefly reunite the hag with her fag?  That could’ve been the moment where someone finally bitch-slap some style sense into her, but alas.  Apparently Jenny’s fug, like the city in which she calls home, never sleeps.

Anyways, I’m digressing. Given how ridiculous last night’s episode was, it looks like everybody apparently took their crazy pills in the intermittent time between shows. 

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Gossip Girl IV: A New Hope
April 21, 2009

Last night’s Gossip Girl was rather peculiar.  The Blair/Nate/Grandpa Archibald plot?  A curious plot of deception and double-crossings involving Nate wanting to go to Columbia because he got in on his own, and Blair and Pop-pop Archibald wanting Nate at Yale so Blair could be a socialite and grandpa can still feel in control of the family legacy–except that it turns out that he turned Nate’s dad in to the SEC!  Muy escandaloso!  Perfectly fine as filler, I suppose, except that it tried to act like this was riveting political intrigue; instead, it felt over baked and underdeveloped (particularly in terms of Blair’s turn).  I mean, was there really no easier way than this to keep both Blair and Nate in NYC for the third season?  I’m just going to guess and say there was.

Added to that, the Seder dinner plot line played out like an equally overblown poor man’s comedy-of-errors dinner party.  Dan’s a cater waiter at the dinner to help pay for college, but Lily and Rufus are there and can’t know because Dan has pride!  Eeks!  Serena’s maybe-husband-due-to-a-debauched-night-in-Europe shows up, so Serena pretends she and Dan are back together (don’t worry, she’s not married, but she is totally crushing on her fauxsband)!  Yipes!  Eleanor Waldorf is sick of tradition and just wants to get her kosher eat on!  Gosh!

One particular sequence was shot and edited as if  the director of this week’s episode had just seen the dinner party scene at the end of the original The Thin Man.  All the tight shots of faces and quick cuts in conversation crave to be ZANY, SCREWBALL DRAMEDY!  Sadly, none of it’s particularly compelling.

Then, in the minor plots with characters that are momentarily entirely useless to everyone, Jenny continues to look like a depressed raccoon, but now she has a crush on a total butterface.  Chuck is so dramatically useless as a teenage billionaire that the best the screenwriters come up with is to have him apologize for forcing himself on Jenny from way back in the beginning of the first season.  I’m not saying that the apology wasn’t warranted, but I am saying that this show is clearly running on empty for ideas.  

That all said, I see a light at the end of the tepid tunnel:

HUZZAH!

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Thank Goodness There’s a Three-Week Gossip Girl Sabbatical Now
March 31, 2009

It’ll be a nice opportunity to grow back some of the soul that the past three weeks of this nuclear-grade disaster-bomb have destroyed.  I really hope that Gossip Girl isn’t practicing a scorched earth policy with their soul-killing descent into unrepentant atrociousness, ‘cos seriously, y’all:

gginbedawful1

Given that recapping last night’s Gossip Girl constitutes forcing yourself into a state of post-traumatic stress, I’m going to try to keep this brief.  Hopefully I won’t blackout in a fit of rage before I’m finished writing this damn thing.  Anyways.

In last night’s main plot, the Humphreys and the van der Woodsens decide to team up and throw Jenny a high-society sweet sixteen party.  Jenny’s makes sad racoon eyes because she wants a smaller party because everybody hates her.  Don’t worry, little J, I don’t hate you.  I just hate your outfits.  Everybody does hate her, though, so Serena thinks she’s losing her social edge because Jenny’s birthday is actually about Serena.  Duh.  I hate how I always forget that your birthday is always about somebody else.

Serena secretly starts up the party again and invites her socialite friend/human-shaped-mass-of-awful-with-a-wretched-haircut-and-foul-bangs, Poppy, so everybody at school will thinks she’s cool.  Jenny proves to have a soul as ugly as the dress she wears to her party and invites everyone to the party through Gossip Girl and…oh, let’s just skip to the end.  Really, at this point in the episode, I was wishing I’d baked rat poison or cyanide into my shepherd’s pie so I could end the dreadful suffering.  

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