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Showing posts from February, 2013


The Teaser Trailer for 'The Conjuring' Scared The Crap Out Of Me

Well done, movie trailer editor. Well done.

Without giving away the entire frickin' movie, this trailer for The Conjuring, starring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston, and Lili Taylor, only reveals two key scenes that lure viewers in right away. I made the mistake of watching this while home alone -- with the blinds closed. And yes, I screamed.



@TheFirstEcho


Because This Picture Is Worth Reposting and Speculating Over The Words Exchanged Here

Something tells me the camera (or the person behind it) may have spontaneously combusted shortly after taking this historic shot of Barbra Streisand, Adele, and Shirley Bassey at the Governor's Ball after Sunday's Oscar ceremonies.

@TheFirstEcho


Pop Culture Rant of the Week: 10 Things That Make Me Lose My Faith in Humanity

As much as I try not to dwell on the negative in life -- I mean, seriously, trying to stay positive was a full-time job I did not apply for -- there are times when you just need to let it all out and hold a mirror up to the world to expose all the frustratingly absurd things that are happening around you...

...This is one of those times.

1. Kellogg's Special K recalls their Red Berries cereal due to shards of glass found in boxes. Just when you thought breakfast was safe...Hey kids, you might as well just dive into that Halloween candy before your parents get to it. Wait, who am I kidding? What right-minded child eats Special K? Consider this a warning to soccer moms and any single woman with a gym membership.

2. The headline, "Rihanna Gets Mysterious Butt Tattoo For 25th Birthday."

3. This picture:


4. The fact that there are talented filmmakers who attended the Oscars...and thought the original Woodstock is still in session. In fact, I just don't get guys who grow …


A Recap of the 2013 Oscars...Via Text Messages

The following is text message exchange between yours truly and fellow blogger-commentator (and unforgiving critic) Garytt Poirier during the ABC broadcast of the 85th Annual Academy Awards. Cupcakes were consumed, wine was imbibed, and eyes were rolled during this viewing. Read at your own risk...

G: Solid opening jokes so far by Seth MacFarlane.
H: These bitches My friends are making me pause the DVR. May have to catch up during the first commercial break.

G: Best Oscar opening in years.
H: Watching Charlize and Channing ballroom dance.
G: Jesus Christ, you are ruining this whole thing.

I catch up to the live broadcast.

H: Okay, yes, best in a while. And we will be editing this.


Christoph Waltz wins Best Supporting Actor. Again.

G: To be honest, everybody in that best supporting actor category deserved a trophy, but somebody had to win it.
H: Any could've won.

H: Look, it's Jack Nicholson! Someone should check if he's still breathing.
G: No Lakers home game. That's the …

Me & Mexico: Day 1.5

Back in January I was honored to be invited to attend an all-inclusive stay at the Hard Rock Resort in Puerto Vallarta. I was one of seven writers chosen to experience some VIP treatment, eat amazing food, and even receive a free full-body massage (my travel feature for Instinct Magazine comes out later this summer). The following is the first installment of my personal chronicles in Mexico. 

WRITER'S NOTE: All water consumed during this trip was from bottled sources. (I mean, haven't we all seen the Sex and the City movie?)

February 7 - LAX

The pumpkin scone I picked up at a Starbucks in Culver City at 6 in the morning leaves an odd aftertaste in my mouth as I sit at the gate. Since this is my first trip to Mexico (and my first time outside U.S. borders in eight years) I go over a mental checklist of all the advice and warnings people have given me throughout the past week: Never go exploring alone. U.S. currency is accepted in most places. And again, don't drink water fro…


Fire & Ice: The 2013 Winter Playlist, Vol. 3

Hey kids.

Valentine's Day is over, and you know what that means: the countdown to spring (and my birthday) begins. But before we hang up the parkas and abstain from drinking hot cocoa, there's some winter left in my iTunes library, and it wants to be let out. Below are 20 tracks that are keeping me toasty -- for the next few weeks at least.

We've got a beautiful piano ballad, some 90s throwbacks, a country duet with a "Dirrty" girl, and Jordin Sparks channeling her inner dancefloor diva.

If you're just dying to sample each track, click over here to visit my Spotify channel. And enjoy.

1. "Change" by Churchill
2. "Carry On" by fun.
3. "Nuclear" by Destiny's Child
4. "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars
5. "Just A Fool" by Christina Aguilera feat. Blake Shelton
6. "Almost Home" by Mariah Carey
7. "That Love" by Darin
8. "Is This Love" by Alex Gaudino feat. Jordin Sparks

9. "…


What That 'Downton Abbey' Finale Says About British and American TV

WARNING: Spoilers ahead.
The reactions to last night's third season finale of Downton Abbey clearly demonstrate the difference between British and American television (and some of their audiences). Yes, that final scene was heartbreakingly frustrating. How could a beloved television drama kill off a beloved character moments after cradling his newborn son and kissing his star-crossed lover? (If you've ignored my above warning and haven't guessed by now, Matthew Crawley kicked the bucket).

But exec producer Gareth Neame recently explained to Entertainment Weekly how and why things had to unfold they way they did.

Any follower of British TV should know by now that the actors on these international shows generally don't stay on for long; their contracts are just written that way. It's the standard for television actors across the Pond. Just look at BBC Three's Being Human (I still strongly believe the American version pales in comparison). The first three seasons m…


What Valentine's Day Means in Social Media

Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

Tis the day when my eyes turn into cartoon hearts at the sight of a box of truffles and a chilled bottle of Chardonnay.

It's also a day for funny memes for anyone who finds February 14 to be a ludicrous Hallmark-produced holiday designed to make people feel insecure about their social status.

I actually celebrated last night by treating myself to a bed of roses and some sexy music....and by "bed of roses and sexy music" I mean "sitting on my couch covered in popcorn while watching Skyfall on Blu-ray."

@TheFirstEcho


Janet Jackson's 'If' Turns 20 This Year

13 is such an impressionable age.

My first year as a teenager didn't involve any experiments with drugs or booze. I wasn't traumatized by a family scandal. I didn't hang with "the wrong crowd." I just watched a lot of TV.

Turning 13 also heralded a big change in my life: I had been given my first CD player. Suddenly, my musical horizons broadened. Gone were the days of listening to cassette tapes of my mother's Michael Bolton, Kenny G, and Carly Simon albums. I was finally able to transition myself out of jamming to adult contemporary hits and start listening to some of the more popular tunes my peers were blaring on their headphones.

In the summer of 1993, Janet Jackson released her highly anticipated new album -- and her highly sexualized new image. Janet, her fifth disc, churned out several iconic hits that helped musically define the 90s. "That's The Way Love Goes" became the eptiome of bedroom slow-jams. "You Want This" was an em…


Tis the Oscar Season...

Speeches are being drafted, red carpets are being shampooed, and Hollywood Boulevard is about to be shut down. Brace yourselves.


Just Me, A Bottle of Merlot, and 'The Muppet Movie' on Netflix

After hosting my 16th Monthly Movie Night (tonight's double feature: Pitch Perfect and Bring It On -- I was aiming for a Girls Just Wanna Have Fun theme), I find myself having survived my first 24 hours without cable TV.

It is nearing 1am, and after loading up the dishwasher and putting away the tortilla chips and salsa, I find myself staring at a freshly picked Netflix queue on my TV. No more late night talk shows. No more channel surfing until I land on a random reality show on Bravo about loud bitches and the gay men who love them. No more scrolling through my DVR recordings and debating whether or not to watch Sophie's Choice for the first time...or that BBC America drama I could never get into.

There's a bottle of merlot sitting on my coffee table. There's a movie from 1979 starring Kermit the Frog that I haven't seen since grade school...

And my finger is about the pull the trigger (on the remote control, not a gun...sheesh).

Good night.

@TheFirstEcho