Monday, May 29, 2006

Movie Mondays: High School Musical

If you were a child of the 70s and 80s, you can probably still sing every word of "Summer Lovin". And if you love musicals at all, you've probably snapped your fingers along with the Jets. So it should come as no surprise that Disney has put their own stamp on the high school-themed musical with the (aptly named) High School Musical.

The story's about Troy, the school's star basketball player, and Gabriella, a new transfer who happens to be a hotshot at Science. Both end up singing karaoke together at a party and realize that they love to sing -- and possibly love each other. They DARE to audition for the school musical, which ticks off drama queen Sharpei. It also upends the social structure of the school.

The movie's predictable and at times poorly done but it's taken off among the preteen set. I recently watched a handful of neighborhood boys grab basketballs and do an impromptu performance of "Get Your Head in the Game" from the first half of the movie. They were then joined by girls and all performed the end number "We're All in This Together" complete with dance moves.

What IS great about this movie is that it combines the best elements of Grease and West Side Story but without the violence, racial tension or bawdiness. And the best part is the moral at the end of it all: Don't change just to make people like you. Be yourself.

(and to hell with the drama queen...)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Blogger trouble

I keep trying to post here and things aren't coming up. Trying to update soon.

Dollars and Dinosaurs

All six people in my family went to see "The Pink Panther" yesterday and managed to spend only $9. Yes, we discovered a dollar theater ($1.50 actually) nearby. While there, I spoke to the usher in the almost-vacant establishment and asked if it was always like that early on Sundays. He replied that it was always a ghost town no matter what day or time but he'd heard it picks up during the summer. He then posed this question:

Who wants to see movies that have been out forever, when they can rent cheaper in about a month?

That's a fair question. We could wait to rent "The Pink Panther" and spend $1-3. But there's just something about seeing things on the big screen. It's not just the large sights and sounds but the smell of popcorn, the camarederie of shared laughs, the stickiness on the floor... Well, it's worth $1 per person.

I hope dollar theaters aren't going the way of the dinosaur because of DVD's. I hope they stick around so that seeing a movie is within the grasp of the average family. Cause sometimes you just want to leave home.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Geek Culture: The Doctor Is In

Doctor Who is one of those shows that I never got into. Until now. SciFi Channel is airing the newest series which began on the BBC last year. It still features the same time-traveling sounds, the same theme song/ending and the same character. But Doctor Who has finally come into its own, or maybe I've finally grown up enough to enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Car Crashes Galore

Allstate's spokesman (President Palmer) walks at normal speed around a car going in slow motion. He casually talks about insurance discounts as he steps past the hood. Suddenly the car speeds up and rams into a truck! The airbag instantly goes off as the car crumples. The spokesman, looking amused, tells us that Allstate gives a discount to safe drivers.

While that commercial is surprising the first time it's viewed, the new VW commercials are traumatizing to anyone who's been in a wreck. They are filmed from the inside of the car where, depending on which one you see, two or four people are having a conversation. Without warning, the audience sees an accident from inside the car. In one which is eerily remniscent of the last accident I was in (in which a pickup ran a stop sign), a truck comes barreling into the passenger door while the poor passenger is laughing and talking. The next thing you see is the people standing outside the car looking at it gratefully and the words "Safe Happens" pop up on the screen.

Apparently quite a few people are angry about these commercials, especially people who've been involved in really bad wrecks. None of mine were horrible, thankfully, but they still gave me nightmares for a few days. I can only imagine how bad it is for those who've lost friends or loved ones.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


So in an effort to bring you Same Stuff, Smaller Screen today, I was taking a look at Amazon's hot DVD list and the imdb list of new releases. And I've realized that more and more people are buying DVD's of TV shows. Some make sense. I'm not going to see Firefly in syndication anytime soon. But others, like the multiple seasons of Friends, don't. Friends is on easily three times a day. Why do people buy this stuff?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Laser Cats

Because everyone loves lasers. And cats.

SNL's Laser Cats

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sunday Pot-luck: Taco Town!

Saturday Night Live keeps re-airing this commercial spoof so I figured I'd share it with you. Perfect commentary on what's going on in American food lately - we want it all and we want it now!
Without further ado...

Taco Town!