Much like the swine flu and the impending invasion of Susan Boyle copycats on reality TV, the summer movie season is upon us, and there's nothing that can stop it. Although there may not be enough greasy popcorn to inhale during the imminent onslaught of over-commercialized flicks that will be vying for our attention, it will be interesting nonetheless to see what will stick and what will crash and burn Michael Bay-style. After all, there are no men made of Iron here. No Sex, less cities. And there isn't even a fedora-wearing archaeologist in sight...
Here's a list of some sure-to-be recession-proof flicks y'all can enjoy during the sweaty months to come along with what you can expect after forking over twelve dollars to that pimply-faced teenager behind the counter at the box office:
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE - Hugh Jackman dons a tattered wifebeater, slashes his way through some bad guys with an equally ripped Ryan Reynolds by his side and trades quips with a manicure-deprived Liev Schrieber.
STAR TREK - Sylar grows some pointy ears. Uhura struts her hot ass around space. And James T. Kirk strips down to his skivvies. Will Gene Roddenberry be spinning in his grave or applauding a valiant effort by mastermind J.J. Abrams?
ANGELS AND DEMONS - Tom Hanks thankfully cuts his hair and runs around Italy with another photogenic babe in order to lift the curtain on yet another secret those Catholics have been hiding for centuries. And Ewan McGregor plays a priest. Sadly, altar boy jokes have been omitted from the script.
TERMINATOR SALVATION - Christian Bale may be top-billed, but don't expect the short-tempered dark knight to be the main focus of the film. Word has it Sam Worthington's titular robot is the one to watch in McG's latest addition to his action oeuvre.
LAND OF THE LOST - Will Ferrel tells Matt Lauer to suck it and then suckers the chick from Pushing Daises (Anna Friel) and the dude from Tropic Thunder (Danny McBride) into a journey that takes them back in time, forward in time and through a parallel universe trippier than that island Matthew Fox is stuck on.
THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 - Denzel Washington gets his workday totally ruined by John Travolta, who holds subway passengers hostage and tortures them by playing Staying Alive over and over.
YEAR ONE - Jack Black and Michael Cera star in this prehistoric farce about cavemen and the silly things they'll do for a chick. Also known as Dude, Where's My Wooly Mammoth?
TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN - Shia runs from more alien robots while nursing a much-publicized and real-life hand wound (DUI much?), and Megan Fox flashes more of her midriff in Michael Bay's fx extravaganza.
THE PROPOSAL - Sandra Bullock taps into her cougar potential, creates a faux romance with her too-hot-to-be-true assistant (Ryan Reynolds) and manages to get felt up by Betty White. We know where this one's going.
PUBLIC ENEMIES - Johnny Depp ditches the pirate hat and Christian Bale ditches the cape to play a game of cat-and-mouse in this 1930s gangster epic. Michael Mann directs. Yawn or yay?
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE - Harry and the rest of Hogwarts enter a full-blown war with That Guy Whose Name Can't Be Muttered in the sixth and flashback-heavy installment of the most successful franchise in movie history. This boy-wizard shit just doesn't get old.
BRUNO - Sacha Baron Cohen dons some tight pants, a killer lisp and continues to embarrassingly expose the ugly sides of American citizens. And that's a good thing. Very good.
FUNNY PEOPLE - Judd Apatow moves into James Brooks territory with this seriocomic ensembler surrounding Adam Sandler as a stand-up comedian who's got only a few months to live and do the stuff he's always wanted to do. So, he strikes up a bromance with a pre-svelte Seth Rogen and takes off on his mission. Kind of like The Bucket List, but with better writing (we hope).
H2 (or HALLOWEEN 2) - Rob Zombie picks up the bloody pieces after his first reimagined ode to slasher Michael Myers and subjects pretty young thangs to more torture and mayhem. Somewhere Jamie Lee Curtis is putting down the Activia and shaking her head.
THE HANGOVER - Bradley "The Perfect Asshole" Cooper and his buds hit up Vegas for a bachelor party and experience the worst morning-after ever. This thing has a sleeper hit written all over it and could be the best comedy without the name Apatow anywhere near the credits. And that Mike Tyson cameo? Amazing.
G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA - Another line of action figures from the 80s gets the big-screen treatment. Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller and Dennis Quaid fill out the uniforms and work some CGI artillery courtesy of Mr. Stephen Sommers. I hear the uncut version includes a scene in which The Baroness crashes a Jem and the Holograms concert and full-on makes out with Pizzaz in a hottub.
JULIE & JULIA - Doubt stars Meryl Streep and Amy Adams reunite, albeit in different time periods, in a movie about the iconic Julia Childs. It's not a biopic, and it's not a time-traveling tale. However, something tells us you won't want to watch this on an empty stomach.
500 DAYS OF SUMMER - Indie darling Joseph Gordon-Levitt falls in love with Zooey Deschanel, gets his heart broken and then proceeds to get his Michel Gondry on and create his own dream sequences in order to escape the heartache.
And there we have it. May the best overblown-budgeted piece of celluloid win the title of Biggest Movie of the Year, and may we all do ourselves a favor and pass on the disaster that will be Dance Flick.
Off to purchase tickets to Wolverine,
Caught this while watching Chelsea Lately, and I just had to pause and rewind the DVR to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me.
Valerie Bertinelli, I got one word stretched out in two syllables for you:
I need to get off this couch.
Valerie Bertinelli, I got one word stretched out in two syllables for you:
I need to get off this couch.
I usually take it as a bad sign when a memoir or an autobiography opens with a description of how the author's parents came to be, where they came from, how they overcame adversity, and ultimately, how they met and created the magnificent human being who has now laid out his entire life for you to read, analyze and potentially adapt into a cable television series.
I would think it has become a bio cliche to start one's life story that way.
Instead, I would appreciate more the writer who starts his life journey at random, in the middle of a juicy situation, from deep within an emotional place, frozen in a singular moment that will shape his life from here on out.
My memoirs, as one would expect, shall be punctuated by pop culture references, mostly musical. The soundtrack to my biopic would be a rich catalog of songs from the 1990s and 2000s with perhaps a prologue's worth of tunes from the 80s.
Thanks to the handy website, JoshHosler.biz, I've been able to travel back in time to see what was at the top of the charts on and around my past birthdays.
Let us look back...
2008 ... "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis
2007 ... "Glamorous" by Fergie featuring Ludacris
2006 ... "Temperature" by Sean Paul
2005 ... "Candy Shop" by 50 Cent featuring Olivia
2004 ... "Yeah!" by Usher featuring Ludacris & Lil Jon
2003 ... "In Da Club" by 50 Cent
2002 ... "Ain't It Funny" by Jennifer Lopez featuring Ja Rule
2001 ... "Angel" by Shaggy featuring Rayvon
2000 ... "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child
With the exception of last year's hit, every #1 song during my birthday (in retrospect) from the past decade has been a relatively stinky piece of poo, and it makes me worry about the direction in which the current state of pop music is moving. Yes, Usher's "Yeah!" was indeed a catchy clubbanger, but that was pretty much about it. And "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child? I'll take Beyonce, Kelly and Michelle's "Bootylicious" any day, any time.
As for the #1 tune dominating the charts during my birthday this year? It's Flo Rida's "Right Round," and although it samples Dead or Alive's popular single from the 80s -- which should automatically qualify it for a slot in the Blasphemous Music Hall of Fame -- I can't help but blare it in the car on the way to work.
1999 ... "Believe" by Cher
1998 ... "All My Life" by K-Ci & JoJo
1997 ... "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" by Puff Daddy featuring Ma$e
1996 ... "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion
1995 ... "Take a Bow" by Madonna
1994 ... "The Sign" by Ace of Base
1993 ... "Informer" by Snow
1992 ... "Save the Best for Last" by Vanessa Williams
1991 ... "Coming Out of the Dark" by Gloria Estefan
1990 ... "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles
This had been the decade during which my obsession with mix tapes took a hold of me (I hadn't burned my first mix CD until the fall of 1999, thanks to the techie who lived down the hall from me in Warren Towers at Boston University).
I tend to associate Vanessa Williams's piano ballad, "Saved the Best for Last," with drives to Long Island with my father in his blue Chevy Corsica. He had once worked for a small telecommunications company in Great Neck and belonged to a YMCA-esque sports club that had an indoor pool I'd get to enjoy on winter weekends. Anything by Ace of Base takes me back to 8th grade dances and birthday parties thrown by the spoiled princesses who populated the hallways of New Rochelle Catholic Elementary. And any collaboration between Puff Daddy and Mase flashbacks me to hot summer days in Rye working at Playland Park and Beach.
But let us focus on the Now...
Moving away from the low-key, "let's stay in" theme of last year, I started celebrating Year 29 (gulp) with as many people as I could at the wonderfully vibrant Stone Rose Lounge at The Sofitel on Saturday night.
This year's original party venue, Palihouse in West Hollywood, was just too damn hot for my celebration...Long story made short: Manager advised me to come with my 50 guests as a walk-in, manager got laid off, and every square inch of the place got booked with private parties. And I found out about all of this on the night before.
Needless to say, I panicked, but only for a minute because thankfully I had backup.
The lemon drop martinis were perfect. The music was entertaining yet questionable. And the company was the best an attention-whoring birthday boy could ask for:
THE ACTUAL DAY:
I trekked out to the Happiest Place on Earth to take advantage of their free birthday admission special. Happy, indeed. And here is where I'd usually go over, in detail, the sunburn I received while waiting in line at Space Mountain, the ginormous turkey leg that made me and Erica ill just before plopping down in a gondola at It's a Small World and the absolutely adorable baby ducks that waddled with their mother across Main Street, protected by their own Disney security guards who bumrushed any obnoxious tourist that got within four feet of the precious creatures.
And here's where I would beam over the night's wonderful dinner at the Melrose Bar & Grill with 20 of my closest friends, how delectable the salmon was, how thoughtful the gifts were (Really? A customized and framed anime portrait?) and how much love I felt in that candlelit room, surrounded by laughter and smiles...
But I'm just too damn exhausted.
I thank and cherish everyone who celebrated with me here and from afar.
Here's to next year (I'm already brainstorming themes), and here's to another memorable chapter for the memoirs.