Oscar-Bait Movies? Yes, please

I’m not getting into The Last Jedi yet, but yes, I’ve seen it (three times) and I fucking love it.  I’m so pissed that the music from my favorite trailer is NOT in the official soundtrack though.  WTF, Lucasfilm?

This post today is all about some of the recent movies we’ve seen that are complete Oscar frontrunners, and happily, they’ve all been very good movies!

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

We saw this two weekends ago as it’s getting a bit wider of a release, finally.  Long story short, it’s a fantastically beautiful and sensual movie, which happens to focus on a budding gay romance in gorgeous Northern Italian rustic scenery some time in the 1980s.  Armie Hammer is a hunk of a man and Timothee Chalamet is the more earth-bound guy that gets a summer in Armie Hammer’s orbit.  The gorgeous scenery and slow but sure seduction between these two is captivating, but let’s be honest, this is a complete gay fantasy.  Nevertheless, it’s such a well-done movie that it’s hard not to get swept up into the fantasy. It helps all the performances are amazing, and critics are rightfully talking about one scene/monologue that the father figure has at the end, as it’s quite a stunner.   Funny, erotic, emotional and mesmerizing – don’t be surprised if it wins Oscars this year.

Here’s the trailer:

Next up….

The Disaster Artist (2017)

It’s possible you’ve never heard of the movie called The Room, a justifiably terrible movie made by Tommy Wiseau.  It came out in 2003 and almost immediately jumped into that weird world of cult movies, this one getting the branding of sooooooooooooooo bad it’s good.  Like, I used to say Showgirls was so bad it’s good, but there’s still a lot of decent stuff in Showgirls.  The Room is just bad all around, and in very weird, confounding ways.  Full disclosure:  I’ve not seen The Room, but have seen the scenes most people talk about and I’ve read plenty and listened to the “How Did This Get Made” podcast for it, which had a special guest of Greg Sestero, who is the guy who helped Tommy Wiseau make the movie and co-stars in it with him as “Mark.”

Basically, The Disaster Artist is the tale of how this movie came to be.   James Franco is the director and mastermind of this masterpiece and also stars as Tommy Wiseau, and holy hell, he’s amazing.  Not only is it an amazing retelling of the entire story from Greg and Tommy meeting in acting class up to and including the creation of The Room and its premiere, but the movie is fucking hilarious.  You do not need to have seen The Room to enjoy this movie as The Disaster Artist lets you in on the joke:  Tommy Wiseau is not a human.  It’s not clear at all who he really is or where he gets the money to make this movie, and he’s got absolutely no acting ability.  But Tommy had passion and with Greg’s help and encouragement, they get there.  They destroy their careers in the process, but managed to become infamous.  And here we are with this movie, so I guess it’s the silver lining.

The cast in this movie is thrilling.  Dave Franco, James’ brother, is the co-lead of this movie and does a fantastic job playing the straight man to Tommy.  Dave Franco is also super hot.  A giant assembly of comedians from that crew is also here, like Seth Rogen, Paul Scheer, and Alison Brie.  Amazingly, this movie has every likelihood of getting Oscar nominations and James Franco would certainly deserve one for acting, and who knows, maybe directing?  I highly recommend catching this movie if you can, otherwise you’re just teaaaring me apaaaahrt!!!!

And finally, at least in this post….let’s get to:

Lady Bird (2017)

A very ‘feels real’ movie about a senior in a Sacramento high school who calls herself “Lady Bird.”  Lady Bird wants nothing more than to leave for a New York college but the trouble is that her family can’t afford that kind of college and she’s also a little bit unqualified academically to make it.   So she gets invested this last year of high school to make it happen.  Of course over the course of this year, situations at school and home serve to get in the way.  Saoirse Ronan as Lady Bird is amazing, but it was just wonderful to see Laurie Metcalf as her mother.  You’ll be seeing both of their names likely as Oscar nominees as they both giving stunning performances.  You’d think this is purely a drama from my notes here, but there is a lot of funny stuff to be found in this movie.  And of the three movies listed here, this one had me in tears many times.  Hopefully that’s not a deal breaker, as it’s a movie well worth seeing.  Check out the trailer:

And that’s that.   Stay tuned for my thoughts on The Last Jedi as well as whatever the hell else I can think of to post about.  I have so many pictures still to get through it makes me nervous.  🙂

Some Fun Stuff on Day 2 of 2018

I’m naive enough (still) to think that I can crank out a post every day as a potential resolution.  We all know that is some bullshit, but hey, I’m gonna try.   BTW, the main reason I think I get behind is I have these major ambitions to post giant picture sets and that is a lot of work, at least I make it so.  Anyway, here are some things I stumbled upon in the Internet (h/t to Joe Reid’s list here: https://decider.com/2017/12/19/joe-reid-best-of-2017/) that made me laugh and I need to preserve.

First up is this comedy duo that has thus far made 3 videos of famous “power couples” and holy shit I’m dying at how funny these are.  I also kinda love how much she (Sudi Green) reminds me of Maya Rudolph and how hot and gay he (Matt Rogers) is.    The first video in the playlist below is Caesar & Cleopatra, but is followed by the Evil Queen / Magic Mirror and then by Britney / Justin.  So good.

One show that came out on Netflix last year (2017 was last year, craaaaazy) was a reboot of One Day at a Time and it’s fantastic and hilarious, this time centered on a Cuban-American family in Echo Park.  The updated theme song by Gloria Estefan is catchy as all get out, but in advance of Season 2 (coming out later this month), they did an homage to the original theme song and credits:

If you have Netflix, do yourself a favor and watch the first season of One Day at a Time.   You’ll thank me later.

Other shows to keep in mind if you’ve got an open schedule that we’ve been ripping through and loving and I’ll likely revisit in later posts:

  • I Love You America (Hulu):  From Sarah Silverman who gets real and funny about all sorts of issues we are experiencing in our country.
  • Mindhunter (Netflix):  This show is intense and awesome and set in the late 1970s and way better than I expected.  Set amidst the FBI trying to wrap its head around how to understand and capture serial killers.  Some great performances.
  • Future Man (Hulu):  A show that pushes so many of our pop-culture sci-fi buttons and has super charming leads in Josh Hutcherson, Eliza Coupe, and strangely/weirdly hot Derek Wilson.  Funny, action-y, and just fun.
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon):  Holy shit this show is fantastic.  Set in the 1950s, it focuses on an UWS Jewish woman whose husband leaves her and she ends up finding out she’s really good at stand up comedy.  Kinda modeled on Joan Rivers, it’s just an overall fantastic cast and show from the woman who created the Gilmore Girls.

In the next bit of random, here’s a clip from the recent critical hit movie, Call Me By Your Name.  Larry & I saw this last week and it’s marvelous and very much a gay fantasy, but damn if it isn’t captivating nonetheless.  The clip below is just a gander of the hunky Armie Hammer dancing – enjoy:

I think another post will be needed to get into the many recent movies we’ve been seeing….and yes, I’ve seen The Last Jedi three times so far and I like it even more each time.   PORGS FOREVER.

“This is not going to go the way you think!”

I can not get enough of all the trailers that have been released for The Last Jedi.  Ask Larry.  I watch them endlessly.  And the long wait from the last scene of The Force Awakens with Luke Skywalker to show up but not say anything is just about over.  It’s almost time to see the damn next movie!!!  Happily, as I posted about earlier, we have tickets for 3D IMAX on Saturday, but then PwC also is providing its employees a screening of the movie this Thursday night, so yeah, we’ll be seeing it twice.  So excited!!!

Porgs!  Poe!  Leia!  Luke – evil?  Luke – not evil?  Rey – evil?  Snoke – menacing!   And Luke’s line in many of the trailers which spoke to me from the get-go:  “This is not going to go the way you think!”   I figured that was a hint from Rian Johnson about the movie.  The early buzz from the screenings supports that, and they’ve all warned in non-spoiler terms that by all means, go into this movie without knowing anything of the story.  The internet blackout will definitely be in effect for me starting….maybe Wednesday?

Anyway, to make it easier for me, I’m going to link to all my favorite The Last Jedi trailers here:

This first teaser had very little in the way of giving us much to go on, but the whole “the Jedi…must end” was one hell of a way to end it.  Preparing all of us for some shit to go down.

The music in the Official Trailer is so damn good.  “This is not going to go the way you think.”  Leia and Kylo Ren’s connection.  Snoke’s “Fulfill your destiny.”  SO PUMPED.

My favorite of the “shorter” teasers.  The music, yet again, is amazing.  Luke on the Millennium Falcon.  “Darkness rises…and light to meet it.”  HELLS YEAH.  This is the one I watch most often to get that buzz going.

Here’s where we started getting a lot more new footage, especially around Finn and Poe.

oooooo….way more with Luke and Rey and what looks like Rey losing control.  What ever is going to happen out there on Ahch-to?

Delicious line reading by Phasma of “so good to have you back.”  And I can’t help but cackle with glee when Chewbacca swats aside the Porg in the Millennium Falcon and you hear that quick “sqweek!”  Another of my favorite teasers.

A fantastic assortment of BB-8/Poe moments and one of my favorite moments which includes a Porg smashed up against the window.

Oooo…update as I found some more with additional footage I’d forgotten I’d seen before but couldn’t find in videos:

That’s a lot of new stuff to see!!!!

Then here are some of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ videos that have been officially released.  Some are quite amazing and might give away locations and such, but they’re edited well enough to I think minimize getting spoiled too much:

This one is great to see some more scenes with Carrie Fisher and of course the very last moment:  “It’s a Wrap!!!”

This one just came out and I was stoked to see it was partially filmed in Dubrovnik!

This last one is just fun as Anthony Daniels is still rocking it as C-3PO and now is the mentor to others playing droids.

This post is a long way of saying I can not believe Episode VIII is about to be released!!!!!  We just rewatched Episode VII this past weekend (after starting the process of buying the house) and it is still just as fantastic as ever.  The only bittersweet thing is Carrie Fisher dying after filming 8.  I can only imagine what the plan was originally.

A New Home Awaits Us in Summer 2018

Yet again, a few months or so without an update, and I have little in the way of an excuse except much like before, I’ve not been all that motivated to post.  Plenty of pictures have been taken and fun adventures enjoyed, but the days when I thought people read this site are over.   Yet I do enjoy having a log to look back at, and so with that in mind, a big ass life event is occurring:  Larry & I are buying a house!

Yep, we put a deposit down yesterday on a home that is getting built as we speak.  It’s in the community called TheGlenLA – you can visit their website here:   http://www.theglenla.com/.  It’s located in ‘The Valley’ which is a shock to both you and me as I’d never have guessed I’d buy a home there…but, when the price is right, you can get something new and to your liking, and you don’t have to spend a shitton of money to renovate it the way you really want it…it’s hard to sniff.  Happily, Valley Glen is right next to North Hollywood, close to Burbank, and just north of Ventura Boulevard, so there’s lots of cool things for us to do.

We’re buying the “Home Plan #2” version, which suits us really well.  It’s bigger than the #1 plan, but not as big as #3.  Normally I’d be like buy as much as you can afford, but the main variation in #3 is that there are 2 guest bedrooms and a Master on the bedroom floor rather than just one guest room.  For our needs, we really don’t need 2 guest rooms.  Anyway, here are the floor plans from the website:

Floor 1
2nd Floor
3rd Floor
Roof Deck

Here are some videos we took while walking through the model home of Plan #2 as well.  Marvel at how photogenic and magnetic we are on video!

Walking Through the 2nd Floor:

Walking Through the 3rd Floor:

Walking on the Roof Deck:

There is a lot of time between now and when we actually get to move in to the house.  Expectations are that we’ll move in around August 2018, meaning we’ll have to extend our lease at our apartment for another 6 months.  Not the worst thing, I guess.  Also will give us time to continue saving and increase our down payment.   As of now, we look to be able to hit 20% down which is a-freakin’-mazing.

Almost immediately, we will need to make some design decisions too!   That’s the cool part about this whole experience, as we can get it customized to how we want it.  Options of course cost money, but there are some things like flooring and electrical systems that make sense to get done the way we want now before having to rip apart walls later on.  The first appointment, for electrical, is this Friday!  CRAZY.

Anyway, here are some pictures we’ve taken from our various trips to the site.  Expect more pictures as we continue visiting the site and stress unnecessarily about things out of our control!

A Hell of a Weekend

We partied like we were 25, and damn, it was fun, but utterly exhausting.  I highly recommend doing this maybe once or twice a year.  Then go back to normal regular weekends.  🙂

Up first, we were invited to longtime friend Ken Basin’s wedding up at Saddlerock Ranch in the Malibu mountains.  Many of my good friends were also attending as obviously Mila is going to be at her brother’s wedding, as well as many others that I love.  We knew it would be a boozy affair, so we Uber’d there (and let’s just say, Uber drivers can be very good or very bad….), got promptly lost (Uber driver not so great today) as we got dropped off at the wrong location within the complex, and started walking around based on vague directions from staff who have no idea where weddings are held on the premises.  The pictures here are of that random walk, which happily ended when a car driven by some other guests had the unlucky happenstance of going where we were – but lucky for us.  We all found our way to the right place and we managed to get to seats just shortly before the ceremony began.  D’oh!

The wedding itself was absolutely beautiful.  The weather couldn’t have been better, what with it being mid-October.  But it’s of course been a ridiculously hot week for us with temps in the 100s this week, so our trend of having very late LA summers continues on.  Anyway, that wasn’t quite the case on Saturday, so it was great.

Highly recommend, if you can afford to, a wedding here.  Beautiful vistas, gorgeous lighting in the trees, good food, and just a spectacular venue.  It being a Jewish wedding, there was of course the hora to dance to, and of course, I did.  I also managed to roll my ankle at the very end of the dance as it was a packed dance floor with 300 guests, a hardwood dance floor that I managed to find the end of with my right foot and landed poorly.  Happily, it’s just rolled/sprained and not worse, because as of today, it’s mostly back to normal.

Lots to drink, lots of dancing with close friends and loved ones, some good food (not enough to keep me from getting hammered), and a great party all led to us not getting home until 1 in the morning.  LOOK OUT YOUNG FOLK!

Saturday, Oct 21, 2017 – Ken & Lisa’s Wedding @ Saddlerock Ranch

We were primed to be hurting on Sunday, and while it certainly wasn’t as bad as it could have been (I’ve been WAY HUNGOVER before, believe me – this past Sunday was nothing like that), it was certainly one of those days that could have been spent sleeping in a lot more and then do something lazy.  But we had more plans today, as we were going to celebrate Mom’s birthday with a lunch and then follow that up with a birthday celebration for Nicki & Carey in Silver Lake.

We got ourselves ready to go and off we went to Arcadia’s Westfield shopping center, which looks so freakin’ different than the Santa Anita Fashion Show mall I grew up with and had my first B Dalton Booksellers job at.  Unrecognizable.  Anyway, there’s a Cheesecake Factory there now so we met up with Mom, Stacie, and Trent for a good lunch.  As much as I can sometimes look down on Cheesecake Factory for being ‘just a’ chain restaurant, they are always packed for a reason:  the food is pretty damn good and it’s not a bad price.  It was a nice lunch though catching up with everyone and slowly but surely feeling like a human again.  Happy Birthday, Mom!

Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 – Birthday Lunch w/ Mom

Larry & I then had to figure out just what we were up for in terms of the Silver Lake birthday fun.  We were both exhausted and the idea of wine at the time didn’t sound appealing, nor did the follow-up oysters restaurant.  But there wasn’t an option of not going, so we stopped at home first to take a sanity break, and then it was time to call an Uber to take us to Silver Lake.  God bless Uber – it makes going places where the parking is horrible not so awful.  The flip side is that the hesitancy to drink evaporates as there’s no reason to be cautious.  So while we didn’t just decide to get blitzed, we certainly did have rosé while having a freakin’ blast at Silver Lake Wines.  It’s a fun place as while it is a wine store, you can also have them open the wines and serve it to you while hanging out.  And so yeah, we did that.  A few hours later, we all then went over to L&E Oyster Bar for some follow-up food.  I passed on oysters as ew, gross, but they did have cheese plates and bread and that was delicious.  It wasn’t enough for dinner though, and by around 7pm, I was starting to need more.  So with Carey, Rekha, and Megan, we left the group and headed just a bit further south to Silver Lake Ramen, which OMG is so good.  We had to wait for about an hour though, and happily a bar is next door, The Thirsty Crow, so yeah, more alcohol.  Dude, we were rockstars this weekend.  No idea how we made it through it, although Monday admittedly was a rough day to wake up to!

Birthday Wine with Nicki & Carey in Silver Lake

And that was our weekend.  I’ve been remiss in showing the many pictures from our exciting other weekends…so I will endeavor to do that as well.  Let’s see if I’m more successful this time than every other time I say that!

Another hobiebarnes.com beckons you…