April 29, 2008

Mulder Hearts Scully

Mulder and Scully posing for a Vanity Fair cover? Or is this one last embrace before they open a can of whoopass on some extraterrestrials?

Believe on July 25.

I know I will.

April 27, 2008

When Bad Movies Happen to Good Actors

Love Hugh. Love Ewan. Michelle...she's okay. This below-average, laughably-scripted mess of a thriller? Not so much.

April 24, 2008

Whatever Happened to F**king Talking?

This is so painfully true - right down the 80s party and the eventual rebound one can find in the aisles of Whole Foods...

April 22, 2008

Summer Movie Preview 2008

Step right up, step right up! Come inside where the AC is blasting, the lights are low and the popcorn is golden and warm...Once again it's time to check your brain at the doors to the multiplex, sit back in your plush stadium seat, and let the mavens of the mainstream tantalize, tease and trick you into oblivion.

The summer movie season is right around the corner (really, it's waiting patiently at that red light while revving its engine), and I feel that it is my duty to let you in on what to expect, to break it down for y'all. The Good. The Bad. And the Punny (yes, I'm talking to you Ms. Bradshaw)...

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - The world's most famous archaeologist dusts off the fedora, pops a few Metamucil tablets and risks dislocating a hip while swinging from the rafters of a Nazi warehouse. His bastard son (?) goes along for the bumpy ride.

Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - British teens inherit an empire. An exotic-looking prince goes to war. And a talking lion comes back from the dead to shell out some advice.

Sex and the City - One last toast to martinis, men and Manolos.

Speed Racer - A family-friendlier Matrix with more color. Matthew Fox becomes the film's Trinity as he manages to dropkick and roundhouse bad guys in a tight leather number.

What Happens in Vegas - ...stays with Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher as lame career choices for the rest of their lives.

The Love Guru - Another nail hammered into the Austin Powers coffin.

Get Smart - Take Michael Scott out of The Office and put him in charge of a covert mission to take down a massive international operation.

The Dark Knight - Fanboys will drool over this sequel of the reinvented franchise while women and critics will silently weep over the loss of one of young Hollywood's greatest talents.

Mamma Mia! - A young bride-to-be (Amanda Seyfried) finds out that her mom (Meryl Streep) was a ho back in the day, and anyone could be her biological dad. Scantily clad Greeks sing and dance amidst gorgeous Mediterranean locales while said bride puts the puzzle pieces together.

Hancock - Will Smith as an alcoholic, deadbeat superhero. Action figure comes with his own bottle of Jaeger and a subpoena from his super ex-wife.

The Happening - M. Night Shyamalan's latest spine-tingler...to be followed by The Continuing and The Finishing.

Wall-E - Disney and Pixar force us to fall in love with the cutest piece of scrap metal we'll ever know (forget that annoying a-hole from Short Circuit).

Wanted - Angelina's much-touted "last action film she'll ever do"...for $15 mil.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army - I know. Who cares?

The X-Files: I Want to Believe - Mulder continues to convince that cynical bitch that freaky shit still exists in the world...and he's not just talking about the appearance of Britney Spears on How I Met Your Mother.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Another archaeologist-and-son team grace the big screen - this time to battle a Chinese baddie who's pissed about not getting a fortune cookie with his orange chicken lunch special.

The Pineapple Express - A stoner-buddy-action flick. Those explosions and dizzying edits are just a part of the hallucination.

Tropic Thunder - Ben Stiller as a hotshot action star who gets tangled up with real-life mercenaries in the jungle. Oh, and Robert Downey Jr...in black face.

April 21, 2008

Just Another Weekend

Weekends in L.A. during the spring are not for the timid.

Drinks are mandatory after work on Friday. A morning spinning class headed by a celeb fitness guru followed by an attendance of a poolside birthday party during the afternoon and a movie premiere at night is to be expected on Saturday. And brunch at any given sidewalk eatery, either in Silverlake or on Sunset Boulevard, is guaranteed on Sunday (mimosas and flip-flops optional).

It is a Southern California ritual with which I have come to familiarize myself, booking yourself bonkers and penciling in every friend, acquaintance and potential foe into your Blackberry/calendar/black suede planner (mine is the latter) during those two days of the week when, in my opinion at least, a minimal amount of errands should be completed and your butt should remain glued to the sofa for several numbing hours.

I, for one, am all for 3-day weekends every week, or at least once a month. We live in the hardest-working country in the world, yet at the same time we are arguably the laziest because of the amount of daily office hours we face, inspiring us to seek the slightest form of escape. Admit it: most of us are procrastination professionals.

I knowingly contradict myself. Like many people I know, I get exhausted from the constant scheduling and incessant socializing, yet I get a high from it whenever I'm thrown smack-dab in the middle of it all. However, I like to think I know when to slow down and decompress, especially whenever my body reacts to all of the run-around with a scratchy throat and lethargic limbs.

Bidding farewell to a coworker over some drinks at Culver City's Saints and Sinners kicked off my weekend two Fridays ago. I worked up a nice buzz, thanks to a bottle of Rolling Rock, and it lingered as I met up with friends to catch the latest edition of Pathetic PG-13 Remakes, Prom Night.

Nutshell review: Brittany Snow, while inevitably generic in all of her blonde-scream-queen glory, pisses of a predator and pays the price on that specialest of nights during her senior year. Her friends become fresh meat for the chopping block while trapped in a luxe hotel, a cop on the outside barks orders at his nerdy partner, and the dull denouement is filled with one too many fake-out scares (how many times can they pull off the same close-the-mirror-and-he's-right-behind-you tactic).

In other words, we enjoyed the hell out of it - mostly due to the audience's reactions and screaming variations of "Stupid bitch, get out of them high heels and run the other way!" At least the ending didn't include a shameless and vapid attempt to leave room for an inferior sequel in which a new unrelated set of characters could be inventively picked off one by one. Please spare us. We're already mentally prepping ourselves for the onslaught of 80s horror remakes that are to come.

The rest of the weekend flew by - Saturday morning writing session at Insomnia Cafe (a top-secret screenplay collaboration) with one Mr. Corey Moore, a pit stop at the Beverly Center to empty out an H&M store credit (there's nothing like shopping for summer clothes on a gorgeous spring afternoon), and a game night at Andrea and Blake's in Santa Monica. Sunday: A Hot in Hollywood brunch-meeting in Coldwater Canyon followed by preparations for an 80s-themed prom thrown later that night at a bar in Silverlake, where I proudly took over the DJ booth, donned some headphones, and spun a little Tears for Fears and Rick Astley for a crowd of 60.

This past weekend I had planned to stay in and do absolutely nothing (I had been out three out of the five weeknights prior). However, one last hurrah was called for on Friday. Cocktail party at 5:30. Special screening of Kiss the Bride at the Regent Showcase. Afterparty at East/West. Followed by a birthday party in Venice. I scratched out the last two due to the congestion and cough that hit me once I exited the theater. Saturday: an oil change which lasted longer than I thought, making me late for a long-overdue lunch at Kings Road Cafe with Rachel, and then a little window shopping across the street at Blueprint where I found a great deal on a designer leather bookcase.

Later that night: It was just me, some pizza, beer and a Quentin Tarantino movie. Throw in some crotch-scratching, and I could have been the perfect Al Bundy incarnate. Sunday: more of the same...Me. On the couch. Under a blanket. The Sci-Fi channel. The Jane Austen Book Club. A nap. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. More fast food for dinner.

I savored every minute and strongly suggest everyone do the same once in a while. There's nothing like celebrating the great indoors with a chenille blanket and a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich while soaking in the drama of an English period piece on BBC America (Sign #15 of How I Am Turning Into My Mother).

Decompression complete.

Be excellent to each other.


April 15, 2008

Something Good Indeed

I knew the Running Man would come back...

Utah Saints get sonic makeover in "Something Good '08". Brit director Eran Creevy brings on some insane choreography and hysterical visuals.

April 14, 2008

When Bloggers Wikipedia Themselves

Apparently I'm an abandoned mass of land frequently defecated on by desert farm animals...

April 09, 2008

TRAILER PARK: Iron Pants Edition

Recently announced Hot in Hollywood host America Ferrera co-stars in this summer's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2...you know, the sequel to that girly novel adaptation that made a bunch of money three years ago?

The girls, er ladies, are back. By the looks of the irresistible trailer (below), which makes the whole thing seem a little Sex and the City Lite, more pants are worn, more boys get shirtless, more gorgeous locales are visited, and more life lessons are inevitably learned as romance blossoms around them. Just might be the guilty pleasure of the summer for the 25+ crowd.

But before you overdose on all that estrogen, overdose on some...well, testosterone. A second Ironman trailer has been released, and Robert Downey Jr. kicks more ass with his supersuit and supersarcasm. He's a weapons developer who gets held hostage, gathers some scrap metal together and then beats the living crap out of the bad guys who done him wrong - all while flirting with Gwyneth Paltrow (yeah, she's actually doing an action pic now - say goodbye to those fake British accents) and exchanging glares with Terence Howard and a bald Jeff Bridges. Get blown away May 2:

April 03, 2008

Got '4 Minutes'?

The video has dropped.

Timbaland opens in front of a ginormous digital clock. Human body parts dissolve. And Madge and JT jump over used cars and supermarket checkout lanes.

She's blonder and more exfoliated/botoxed than ever, and he's at his scruffiest. Get through it all, and you'll be treated to some cool choreography, a warped, faux-Fred-and-Ginger little number straight outta Step Up 2 The Streets:

Okay kids...thoughts?

My Big Screen Debut

...as a glorified extra. I later throw flowers at Tori Spelling in another scene (No Photoshop, I swear):

What was my motivation here in this scene? I'm still trying to figure that out.

Several dear friends of mine have put their blood, sweat, tears and other bodily fluids into the making of this charming romantic comedy.

It opens in select theaters on April 18 (translation: artsy places in big cities).

April 02, 2008

Party Like It's 1989

Break out the hair primper.

News of an NKOTB reunion is upon us...

NSync, take note: Start booking your arenas for 2018.

April 01, 2008

28 Years Later

I can be so full of shit sometimes.

After throwing myself a rather successful birthday party at the Beverly Hilton last year (poolside bar, customized playlist, free room on the fifth floor), I had pledged to keep 2008 low-key and intimate, the guest list small, perhaps some grown-up cake and cocktails at my comfy apartment.

Who was I kidding?

At the beginning of the month I decided to go big once again, eyeing the Stone Rose Lounge at the Sofitel for my annual soiree. I discovered a connection at the concierge desk via a coworker and promptly sent out an email introducing myself and describing the kind of blowout I wanted to host. More than a week after that email, I received a voicemail from one of the bar's event managers. In the message the words "bottle service" and "requirements" were thrown around, and all that meant to me was more stress and hassle, especially since I am now one of the co-hosts and promoters for Hot Mix, a series of monthly cocktail parties thrown at different venues throughout the city of Los Angeles (for those of you who just joined us, I never shy away from a plug every now and then). Enough energy was being put into that, so why not try a low-key birthday? No lines. No pretense. No bar guarantee.

In other words, get toasted at home.

Birthday Watch 2008 kicked off Saturday night with 30 of my closest peeps at the apartment - cake, cocktails and a little Super Mario action on my old-school Nintendo. The wonderful, thoughtful, fantastic Jennifer got me a cake to resemble my First Echo banner, my own personalized red carpet complete with velvet rope (seen above). My bedroom was transformed into the game room where guests revisited Excitebike and got reacquainted with Level 2-1 of Super Mario (third brick in, 8 coins collected). In Matt's room a life-size, blow-up donkey, left over from past celebrations, waited for the blindfolded to pin some tails on its ass.

It was very 1988.

To celebrate the actual momentous day in history, last night I had a table reserved at the Spanish Kitchen in West Hollywood. Bring on the mojitos and enchiladas. I also made a conscious effort to take a Pepcid AC tablet before I left the house (does anyone know if they're looking for a spokesman?).

And now, dear readers, this is the part where I indulge in some obligatory, birthdaytime self-reflection...

At the risk of sounding trite, while I tread in the Sea of the Late 20s I look around and start to notice a new wave of youngin's making their way into L.A., a town famous for obsessing with the New, and they're filling up the lowly positions I once claimed not so long ago. Alas, I feel frickin' old - and a little worried. This new generation is moving in, and I feel the need to move to a better spot. The Born-in-1986ers are quickly catching up and entering the "real world," armed and ready to dominate every nook and cranny of this industry. I'm starting to hear and feel the rumbling of a major shift in the universe. And it's a little unsettling, I'm not gonna lie to you.

It can be easy befriending these fresh faces, their naive hopes both contagious and cute, but then there's the risk of being trapped, left behind while the rest of your class graduates, and you suddenly become Sean from Felicity, the loser 31-year-old hanging out with friends nearly a decade younger than him. But then again, you can become the teacher, guiding these newbies through the muck and telling them that it will all get better in time. That shitty starter job you dread every morning, scooping coffee grinds for some prick in a suit while muttering under your breath that this is not what your college degree was for? It'll get less shitty - instead of a prick in a suit, you'll be answering to a passive-aggressive higher-up who's going through a mid-life crisis.

And of course there's the option of getting older friends. They make you feel younger, and you make them feel younger. Win-win.

Slight panic can accompany late-twentydom. There's the expectation to make a certain annual salary before the big 3-0 hits. There's the expectation to settle down with a significant someone (the term "partner," in my opinion, has become overused and overly PC nowadays). There's the upsetting realization that parents are not the able caregivers they once were; mortality is suddenly a grim reality as more candles pile up on the cake.

To the fortysomething-and-above crowd, pardon the banality of our worries. But with the rate at which societal pressures seem to seep into the mindsets of younger age groups, I wouldn't be surprised if psychiatrists, twenty years from now, coin the term "kindergarten-life crisis" to describe the emotional upheavals of 5-year-olds...

Where was I? Oh, yes...

Thank you once again to everyone who showed me some lovin' during these past three days, from the hysterical e-cards and happy wishes written on my Facebook wall to the complimentary wine and calorie binges. I feel ridiculously lucky to know all of you, and I am throwing some big love right back at ya.

And let's all give thanks and praise to those who matter most: Tatsuya and Sandy Mitsuzuka, for there never would have been so many memorable celebrations, there never would have been so many cherished friendships, there never would have been a First Echo, had they not delivered one spectacular bundle of joy 28 years ago.

Forever a Toys 'R Us Kid,


Celebrating My 17th L.A.nniversary with a Bang

The impact, like many impacts, was sudden. I heard the crunch of metal, not as loud as those bang-ups you see in the  Fast and Furious ...