October 26, 2016

Enough with the Basic Halloween Costumes: Men's Edition

While most women get criticized for their choices in Halloween attire (sexy kitten, sexy mouse, sexy Freddy Krueger, and this year's most basic, most predictable choice: the inherently sexy Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad), men tend to glide by without anyone batting a carefully applied fake eyelash. But men are just as guilty when it comes to picking a basic costume that they think will get them lucky when the night is over.

And after living through 14 Halloweens in Los Angeles and witnessing the parade of guys, both straight and gay, who strut their stuff on Santa Monica Boulevard on October 31, I have come to the conclusion that there are several costumes that need to be retired (10 in fact). The utter lack of creativity can be astounding sometimes, and someone needs to tell the men of America to step it up a notch in the Imagination Department.

These are the costumes that most guys have tried at least once in their lifetime, and they don't need be worn again. Ever. If you or someone you care about is planning to wear one of the following, do them a favor and intervene. The world and I will thank you for it.

1. A Spartan from 300 - This...is...a costume based on a popular movie from 9 years ago! Congrats on hitting the gym every day and getting those abs to pop, but get over it. There are other inventive ways to prove how much protein you've been packing away since summer ended.

2. A Cop - There's a warrant issued for your arrest. The charges: subjecting Halloween partygoers to your lazy and unimaginative costume. Go ahead, slap those handcuffs on yourself, and throw away the key.

3. Maverick from Top Gun - Wow, you've been recycling what is basically a glorified onesie for several years now. You're a shapeless tool wearing a color that does nothing for your complexion. And wearing those aviator shades at night will do nothing to help your poor vision after downing severals shots of tequila and Jaeger next to the voluptuous French maid (or muscular ninja) you've been eyeing since you entered the bar/party.

4. Sexy Priest - Go straight to church and confess your sins for wearing this horrifically basic costume that screams, "I made no effort this year. I have no imagination."

5. Clark Kent / Superman - This is what happens when you assume chicks dig a guy in glasses with well-developed chests. But what this really is: you wearing a cheap suit with an unbuttoned white shirt revealing the tee you've slept in every night since college.

6. Captain Jack Sparrow (or any pirate) - Wanting to be like Johnny Depp is so 2003. And after all the tabloidy drama he's been through recently, no one wants to be him anymore. Do yourself a solid, retire this look, and save the guyliner for something hotter.

7. A Nerd - This costume is an insult to all genuine nerds out there (and general outcasts in geekdom), and it's a cultural appropriation that usually gets overlooked. It's as if you repeatedly watched Revenge of the Nerds -- a dated reference if there ever was one -- one too many times. And clearly you're trying to be ironic because your well-chiseled torso says the only books you've been hitting are the ones you use to lift as weights.

8. A Baby - Give me a break. You're a grown-ass man. Even though you may act like a man-child throughout the rest of the year, it doesn't give you license to dress like one on Halloween.

9. Football/Baseball/Basketball Player - You deserve to be tackled or pummeled if you're going to just throw on a team jersey and call it a day.

10. Dracula - Last but certainly not least, we have the Granddaddy of Bloodsuckers. Sure, you may argue that this is a classic, a timeless go-to costume, but chances are, you're going to run into at least five more guys wearing the same thing (and they'll probably look better than you). Get a clue.

And finally...

A BONUS BASIC: David Wooderson from Dazed & Confused - To those dudes who idolize Matthew McConaughey, who can't stop referring to a movie that came out 23 years ago, and who will risk donning a tight tee and even tighter pants to show how awesomely douchey they are...NO.


October 20, 2016

REVIEW: 'Moonlight'

Coming-of-age stories usually come packaged in a nice bow, with hardships dealt and lessons learned within two hours of fairly painless storytelling. Those are the forgettable ones. But unforgettable coming-of-age stories, the ones that really stick with you, function on a more visceral, more resonant level, tapping into emotions and ideas that transcend the screen. Moonlight, from writer-director Barry Jenkins, is unforgettable...

Check out my full review of one 2016's best over at ScreenPicks.

October 19, 2016

TRICK'd: The 2016 Halloween Sessions

What's that? You're hosting (or going to) a Halloween party? And you need music to pump up the festivities?

Well then, you've come to the right place.

However, my apologies if you're expecting "Monster Mash" or "Purple People Eater." If you're looking for those, there's a special episode of an 80s sitcom with your name on it.


October 07, 2016

Ana Navarro is Officially My Favorite Republican

Who knew I'd admire and cheer for a Republican this much?

Watch Ana Navarro, a GOP strategist and political pundit, take down Donald Trump after that Access Hollywood tape leaked this week, further incriminating him as a misogynist.


I Competed in My First Ever Posterpalooza

Last weekend I took (ahem) a plunge.

I woke up early on a Sunday morning to drive to the Valley and join a bunch of people I had never met before...only to end up having a blast, surrounded by creative minds, and coming up with ridiculously fun things like this poster recreation of Overboard (above) in which I gave my best Kurt Russell.

Created by my screenwriter-playwright friend Erik Patterson, POSTERPALOOZA has become an annual tradition. (This is its fourth year.) 15 teams gather together in a park and are sent off on a mission -- to recreate as many movie posters as they can within 6 hours. Each team is given a list of 20 films, spread across 5 genres, to choose from.

Giving my best Aaron Eckhart and Jack Nicholson, respectively.

Once all photos have been submitted to a panel of judges (in jpegs on a USB drive, natch), teams can take a break before everyone gathers at night for a party to watch a slideshow of all the entries and eat some grub. (This year we reconvened at The Smokehouse in Burbank -- my first time; must go back.) There, prizes are handed out to the top three teams, awarded for their creativity and ambition -- bonus points can be earned within each genre.

Since I had signed up without forming a team, I was this year's designated Posterpalooza Orphan. Therefore I was placed with a bunch of creative peeps from Echo Park and Highland Park who welcomed me with open arms. It was awesome.

Here are some behind-the-scenes pics showcasing what went down over the course of the day.

Recreating Rabbit Hole.
The People vs. Larry Flynt 

Needless to say, I'm definitely signing up for next year's competition.


Catfights, Cleavage and Carrie-Anne Moss: 'Models Inc.' Turns 25

In the early 90s, as anyone familiar with the oeuvre of uber-producer Aaron Spelling knows, the successful  Beverly Hills, 90210 begat ...