Friday, July 24, 2009

Twilight Experience - July 23, 2009 San Diego, CA

It isn't a secret I am quite the Twilight fan. I have written about the books (Twilight and Breaking Dawn), the movies (Twilight and New Moon trailer), and been to Twilight-related events and posted about them all. And my handful of regular readers probably already know this, but I write for a Twilight fan blog in my spare time (OK, I have a lot of spare time these days). Anyway, yesterday I attended a screening of the movie where many members of the cast appeared and got the fans a-screaming. If you won't tease me TOO much about how I turned into a 15 year old girl in the process. You can read my full account, along with pictures and video, here.

And just check out the blog, Team-Twilight in general because it is a pretty good one, if I do say so myself. Also, it's on Twitter at @teamtwilighters.

Always the consummate professional:

Seriously people?

No. Just no.

If you love the movie, this will ruin it. If you hate the movie, this is just a perpetuation of the misery.

I love the movie and don't even want to think about this. Gag.

Thanks to Jen who pointed this out the other day :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just something better to look at

This post is for Emily. She is tired of pulling up my blog and seeing those terrible pics of Christian Bale on the set of his latest movie. And since I haven't managed to finish the several posts I am working on because I was so busy watching SYTYCD, here is a picture to take your mind off the last one.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Christian Bale NOT looking so good...

Christian Bale continues his noble efforts to make me think he is gross. And this takes a lot of effort. First, there was that rant last year. Which I really tried to overlook. I did. I am still trying. But then with the release of Public Enemies, he has been interviewed talking about Johnny Depp. Basically, he is such a method actor that he stays in character for months during filming, never interacting with Depp on set. How can anyone resist Johnny Depp? But then, to really take it over the top, he looks like this on the set of his new film The Fighter. Why, Christian, why? I know you don't want to be a heartthrob, but you don't have to make it so hard for those of us who still love you these days.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Book: A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth

I just finished reading A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love & Faith in Stages, an autobiography by the funny and uber-talented Kristin Chenoweth. I already loved Kristen and reading her book jut made me love her even more (who knew that was possible?).

The book covers her life up until this point, including her adoption, how she came to be interested in music and acting, climbing the ladder of success, her relationships, her faith, and her failures. She is completely unapologetic for who she is and what she thinks and believes. I have a new-found respect for her.

But really this book is just a really funny read. Kristin unsurprisingly (and with the help of writer Joni Rodgers) is quite comedic. I laughed out loud while reading. I don't usually read a lot of biographies, but I found this held my attention. She wrote it during the run of Pushing Daisies and before it was cancelled (sniff...), but there really is something interesting to hearing about her personal experiences on stuff like Pushing Daisies, Wicked, and films.

I am not sure how much of my enjoyment of the book was because I relate to her about many things, especially her faith. And my guess is someone who doesn't share her beliefs may not enjoy all the details she discusses about religion and Christianity. But like I said, completely unapologetic for it, and that is a rarity in Hollywood and on Broadway.

If this sounds like something you MIGHT enjoy, then definitely pick it up and give it a try.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

SYTYCD - Top 12 Performances

Tonight the couples all dance twice. I wonder if next week they will split up from their current partners and dance with other dancers. Pretty sure that will happen soon. In the meantime, 12 dances means lots of typing to do. Let's get started. Tonight's third judge is Tyce Diorio.

Melissa & Ade
Dance 1: Disco by Doriana Sanchez
Doriana's routines are never my fave, so I was immediately concerned. However, Janette & Brandon made it through unscathed a few weeks ago. Ade's outfit was WAY too shiney. Technically, I think it was executed adequately but not amazingly and I just wasn't blown away. At all. But I blame the choreo and the dance style to a high degree. Props to Melissa for that split over Ade's head. She fell at the end but nothing too bad. Didn't really affect my opinion of the dance. However, the judges loved it.

Dance 2: Waltz by Ron Montez
This dance was pretty and flowy. I never know what to say about the waltz. I kind of rely on the judges' comments because I always feel lost. This is one of my favorite pairings and I feel sad to see them split next week. Looks like the judges liked it fine but weren't giving a standing ovation or anything...

Kayla & Kupono
Dance 1: Contemporary by Mia Michaels
Mia's choreography was about addiction, where Kupono is the thing that Kayla is addicted to. And Kupono had a personal connection with the theme. I really liked it. A lot. And I think you could really tell during the dance that they were both really emotionally invested in the dance. The "addiction" idea REALLY came through as you could see Kayla trying to get away and Kupono's control over everything she did. It was so sad, but I loved it. Kupono is finally living up to still being here. For several weeks, I thought he wasn't good enough, but this (along with last week's vamp-dance) is proving me wrong, yet again. I will agree with Nigel that I felt like Kayla's face was hidden by her hair. Would have like to see the emotion on her face that was peeking out here and there.

Dance 2: Broadway by Joey Dowling
Joey's routine is a love-at-first-sight story. The idea was cute and i really liked the choreography. They were not always together but for the most part I really enjoyed it. I am not sure that I thought the energy of the dance was matched with the song from West Side Story. The judges had mixed opinions. Regardless, this pair should NOT end up in the bottom 3.

Caitlin & Jason
Dance 1: Foxtrot by Tony Meredith & Melanie Lapatin
I liked the jazzy style the choreographers gave the dance. And I thought Jason was more enjoyable to watch. He had a little swagger to his steps. But I was overall just a bit bored with the dance. Not so much their fault, but how do you follow a Mia contemporary routine with a foxtrot and expect high marks. The judges weren't jumping out of their seats for the dance but were satisfied with the performance.

Dance 2: Lyrical Jazz by Mandy Moore
I say it every time. I love Mandy Moore and so I put a lot of pressure and expectation into her dances. Was it me or was Caitlin smiling a little too much for this dance? Jason looked amazing. I have really grown to like him. I felt like he out-shined Caitlin, but overall I enjoyed the dance and thought it was pretty to watch. It was just missing something, I think. And the judges felt similarly.

Jeanine & Phillip
Dance 1: Russion Folk Dance by Youri Nelzine & Lilia Babenko
Oh no, when they said this duo would be dancing this style, I had a bad feeling. Phillip has an AMAZING solo but is just not that great at the other styles. I was right to be concerned. It was very awkward. Jeanine looked great. But poor Phillip just doesn't have the chops. Cheers to the show for adding a new dance style. All that said, I am sure it was a very exhausting dance and I give them credit for getting through it. I also credit the choreographers for adding in steps and designing the dance to allow Phillip to do some hip-hop-looking moves. The judges didn't like it but I think they just didn't like the new dance style and there wasn't much else to say.

Dance 2: Jive by Tony Meredith & Melanie Lapitan
Phillip is a sailor who has been out to see and is home to see his love. You know what? This was better than I expected. I just hae low expectations for Phillip and I thought he did a pretty good job on the steps. Both had great energy and Jeanine looked great. The judges loved it.

Randi & Evan
Dance 1: Hip Hop by Tabitha & Napoleon
This detailed dance is a story about a couple expecting a baby. Randi was better at the hard hip hop moves than Evan. Neither is a hip hop dancer and you can tell. It wasn't amazing dancing. But the story was fun and I just love these two anyway. I think they are popular with fans, too, so I am guessing they won't have any trouble making it through even thought it wasn't their best performance. The judges liked it.

Dance 2: Samba by Pasha Kovalev & Anya Garnis
YEA!!! Pasha!!! Oh how I love him. I like Anya, too, but I LOVE Pasha. I really wanted them to pull this off well. And let's face it: If Pasha and Anya were performing this routine, it would have been super hot. So much of this style is attitude, and I am not sure that these two have the attitude it requires. The tricks were fun. The moves were fine. But the sex appeal wasn't there. Maybe it was a lack of confidence. So it wasn't my favorite of their dances. The judges felt it was not quite there. Even though I didn't feel this was their night, I don't really expect them to be in the bottom 3.

Janette & Brandon
Dance 1: Argentine Tango by Leonard Barrionuevo & Miriam Larici
I have enjoyed the Argentine Tango in the past (remember Ivan & Allison's -- so good). Janette looked great, danced amazingly, and exuded the sex that this dance requires. And Brandon was a good partner. but I wasn't crazy about how stiff he seemed. And his steps didn't seem perfect for me. However, all three judges gave them a standing ovation and Mary did plenty of screaming. I mean, good grief they loved it! It was good, but just didn't blow me away like that.

Dance 2: Jazz by Wade Robson
Lots of stories behind the dances tonight. This one is about a couple of thieves. Wade's routines are hit-or-miss for me. Wade really loves Roisin Murphy songs on this show ("Rama-Lama" and "Night of the Dancing Flame" were both used in season past). I really loved this dance. It was fun. Very vaudeville and cartoony. Well-executed but more just well choreographed.

Cat announced that the duos will break up after tonight, so I was right! But I am curious to see how the dancers will fare with other partners.

Fave Pairing of the night: Brandon & Janette
Fave Dance of the night: Tied between Kayla & Kupono Contemporary and Jeanine & Brandon Jazz
My guess for Bottom Three: Melissa & Ade, Caitlin & Jason, Randi & Evan
Going home (sniff sniff): Caitlin and Ade? I just don't like to see them go home.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

SYTYCD - Top 14 Perform

Tonight is the night, people. The night that this season is finally going to suck me in and get good. I have been waiting all season for it to happen. I am now willing it to happen. Now let's get to it!

Tonight on the panel with Nigel and Mary is the one and only Mia Michaels. This is good because her opinion is actually interesting (unlike Toni Basil last week...), but bad because that means she isn't choreographing any dances this week. Mia fesses up that Brandon has officially changed her opinion of him, but I can't help but feel like she has to say that so it looks like she is giving an unbiased opinion... Now for the dancing.

Janette & Brandon - Cha-cha by Jean-Marc & France Genereaux
I enjoyed their hip hop last week. Let's see how they pull off the sassy and sexy cha-cha. Before I get started with the dancing, let's discuss Janette's hair. Sean says it looks like Luke Skywalker from the first Star Wars movie. I forgive her because the hair looked good during the dance. And she looked great! So good I didn't even notice Brandon but I guess that means he didn't screw that up. I ignored the fact they they must really have to work on chemistry. Just guessing it doesn't come easy for them. Just sayin'. I thought this was great! Smokin' hot, I say...

Kayla & Kupono - Contemporary with Sonya Tayeh
This is their second week dancing together. Their waltz got them through last week but I don't know if Kapono is strong enough to stay around for long. Fingers crossed it works. If anyone can pull off a "vampire" theme (the most popular thing around right now), Sonya can do it. And she used a song from the Twilight soundtrack. A certain group of tweens will be voting no matter how good the dancing is. But I won't worry too much because I actually enjoyed the dance. The choreo was really interesting, with jerky ballet-looking moves and a bunch of freaking-out-turned-dance-moves. I think Kapono proved me wrong about being strong enough to stay. Good for him.

Randi & Evan - Broadway by Joey Dowling
I liked this routine because it felt different from most Broadway routines we see on the show. It was quirky and fun. Not my fave of the night but I thought they did a pretty good job. The judges were disappointed with Evan, again. This has happened before, but I think they are not in danger of going home.

Jason & Caitlin - Pop Jazz by Brian Friedman
Let's see if B-Free's choreography will be better this week. And his dance is about an alien procreating with an earthling. Yikes. But OK. This dance had a role reersal where the woman really leads the dance. I was distracted by Kaitlin's costume but really enjoyed Jason during the performance. Not sure how I am feeling about this. I don't think the judges like the choreo as much as they have to say they like it. I think that was the problem more than the actual performers.

Jeanine & Phillip - Hip Hop by Napoleon & Tabitha
N&T decided to attach the dancers with a chain. It is supposed to be a metaphor for their partnership on the show. Just looks hard! Phillip gets to use his popping skills for this dance but I feel like his abilities might just make Jeanine look like she can't do it as hard. I spent the whole dance worrying they were going to fall. So I guess the chain could be a distraction, but I really like what it adds to the dance. I enjoyed it. It was fun and different.

Melissa & Ade - Classical Pas de Deux by Thordal Christensen
This is a Romeo & Juliet dance. I SO loved last year's pas de deux with Katee & Will. I was excited to see Melissa do something that is more in her true style. I had high expectations for her. And she looked beautiful and flowy, but I was impressed with Ade. Maybe not technically amazing, but I thought he was really present and dedicated. I enjoyed it (but it wasn't as good as last year...). Here is the video of Will & Katee. Spigunk!!

Carla & Vitolio - Quick Step by Jean-Marc & France Genereaux
Kiss of death! Too bad for Carla and Vitolio. I am just waiting to hear what the judges. I just don't know what to say about it technically. I loved her dress change. And the dance looked fine to me. But what do I know? The judges liked it and said, "What kiss of death?" But even though it was good, will it get them through on Thursday night?

OK, so my guess for bottom 3:
Randi & Evan
Jason & Caitlin
Carla & Vitolio

Going home: Caitlin and Vitolio? No idea. Just a guess!

And just a follow up on what I said earlier. Tonight's show was really good. I am sucked in a little bit more but not sure it is enough. We'll see as we progress some more this season.