Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Top Movies & TV Shows of 2007

Picking this year's selection of my favorite movies of the year was a pretty easy process because, thankfully, there were quite a few stand-out films that immediately sprung to mind as I sat down to compile my list. I must confess, I did not see as many movies as I would've liked this year ... I heard amazing things about Once, Lars and the Real Girl and, most recently, I Am Legend but I wasn't able to see any of them. But I did see my fair share of flicks this year ... and here are the 10 that I liked the best.

My 10th fave movie of the year was Into the Wild:


I read the book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer when I was in graduate school and then again right before the movie came out and I remembered how much I didn't care for Christopher McCandless and his egotistic attempt to conquer the wild Alaskan landscape. So I went in to see the movie with a big chip on my shoulder ... but everything that I saw on the screen just wiped away my ill feelings towards McCandless and I gained a huge appreciation for the wilderness scenes shot by director Sean Penn. The movie is beautiful and it does much to soften the egotistical nature of McCandless (played by Emile Hirsch) and it won me over. I still think he kinda got what he deserved in the end, but I felt a lot more sorry for the outcome having watched the movie.

My #9 fave movie of the year was 300:


Hello! 300 half-nekkid soldiers running around in front of green screens, successfully recreating an epic historical battle ... and the world was fooled into thinking it wasn't gay porn? What isn't there to love? Frank Miller's amazing graphic novel absolutely came to life in his movie version ... and it was my introduction to Gerard Butler. My only regret was that I didn't see it in IMAX.

Coming in at #8 is 28 Weeks Later:


I am such a fan of 28 Days Later that I was a bit worried that the sequel wouldn't measure up to the original. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that this sequel was better, I think it was a bit more gory ... and depressing. The things that happened to the poor mother in this film stuck with me for days after I saw the movie. The hyper-intensity action scenes were fun and really gross. It was, by far, my fave "horror" movie of the year.

My #7 fave movie of the year was Hairspray:


As much as I feel that the original John Waters version of Hairspray is far more entertaining, I can't deny that the musical version is really, really fun. The staging and production of the movie version of the musical was handled perfectly. The colors, the choreography and the casting really all came together to craft a great movie. My one complaint is John Travolta. His Edna Turnblad was really bad, IMHO. His singing was really, really bad and I wish they had cast someone else in the role who could actually do the part rather than just have a big name.

#6 belongs to Stardust:


I love Neil Gaiman and everything he writes ... but that doesn't necessarily mean that movie versions of his work will be just as good. I am happy that Stardust turned out exactly as I hoped it would. Funny and smart, Neil's characters came alive on the big screen just as I hoped they would. I was hoping against hope that Tori Amos's cameo in the book version would be kept for the movie version but, alas, it wasn't meant to be. Even still, Stardust managed to turn out as a pretty awesome movie all by itself.

My #5 fave movie of the year is The Simpsons Movie:


What can I say ... I laughed from beginning to end of this entire movie. I don't remember ever laughing so much at a movie before ... and the Spider-pig gag wasn't even the funniest joke for me. The Simpsons has been on the air for more than a decade now because the writers for the show really know what they are doing ... the same can be said for the movie. It wasn't the best movie of the year but it was, by far, the funniest -- hand's down.

Coming in at #4, No Country For Old Men:


This movie is all about the writing. I am os in love with Cormac McCarthy's book The Road that I ravenously read as much of his other work after I finished that book. I had read No Country for Old Men before I saw the movie and I became anxious to see how the movie version would turn out. I didn't think the suspense from the book would be salvaged but I was wrong. I was held rapt thruout this entire movie. It's one of those movies that you have to pay attention to, it doesn't hit you over the head with the message and meaning. I remember hearing a few folks grumbling that they didn't "get" the movie as they were exiting. Sad for them, they really missed out on seeing an amazing film.

My third fave movie of the year is Elizabeth: The Golden Age:


Cate Blanchett rules the world. This sequel to her amazing film Elizabeth may not have been as critically acclaimed as the first film but I felt it was just as good. The lush costuming and scenery really made the film for me. Cate's performance was stunning and I am really hoping that she wins an Academy Award for her performance. I'm also hoping they will follow-thru and make a final Elizabeth movie so that she can do it all again.

The #2 movie of year for me is The Kite Runner:


Just as I laughed all the way thru The Simpsons Movie, I pretty much cried all the way thru The Kite Runner. The book is so haunting, so sad, depressing and finally uplifting. The movie amends the tale a bit to keep the overwhelming depression in check. Normally, I'm very upset whenever a movie changes a book's ending but I was SO HAPPY that a change was made in the movie version of The Kite Runner. I'm actually very surprised that more isn't written or talked about regarding this film ... it was the most touching, poignant thing I saw all year.

And my choice for the #1 movie of the year is Beowulf in IMAX 3D:


I saw Beowulf in regular 2D and didn't really find it all that remarkable. I saw it again in IMAX 3D and was completely blown the eff away. I kid you not, it is the coolest movie I've ever seen in my entire life. The IMAX 3D makes all the difference in the world. The movie is good but you really cannot appreciate it unless you see it in IMAX 3D. One day, all movies will be this amazing ... but Beowulf is where it all begins. I cannot stress enough ... see this movie in IMAX 3D while you still can ... it will blow your mind away ... more than any other movie this year.

The Top TV Shows of 2007:
  1. Dexter: By far, Dexter is the best TV show on the air right now. The writing is excellent, the acting is excellent and Michael C. Hall as Dexter is excellent. I became a new fan of this show just this year. I watched all of season 1 in one afternoon and then never missed an ep of season 2. I'm not a huge fan of pay cable series shows but I will be a Dexter fan until it goes off the air for good ... which I hope is never.
  2. The Hills: I hate to admit it, even still, but I could not get enough of The Hills this season. I tried to resist but it was futile ... the crazy drama of this third season was just too much to deny. Whitney's faces, Justin Bobby and the She-Spencer?! This season had me hooked from beginning to end ... AND we get to enjoy bonus eps this Spring! The show may be fake as hell but so is Dexter. I heart them both!!!
  3. Heroes (2nd Half) Lost (2nd Half): I figure if you take the second half of Heroes and the second half of Lost you have yourself a pretty good season of TV. Lost almost went to shit in its third season but it managed to do a 180 in the second half of the season (which aired this year) ... the same thing happened to Heroes. The producers tried to get cute and change the shows too much and the audience got pissed ... and vocal. In the end, both shows were salvaged because the producers listened to the audience. I just hope the producers of 24 will be listening to the audience when it returns in 2008.
  4. Gossip Girl: This was the best new show of the year. Gossip Girl is a success cuz they kept it simple ... cast pretty kids, make them fight and sleep with one another ... throw in some backstabbing ... and then make them all make up again and voila! You've got yourself a hit! I'm sold.
  5. Moonlight: Some Vampire TV shows are really good (like Angel) and some are really bad (like Blood Ties) so it could've gone either way with Moonlight. I'm happy that it turned out to be a good Vampire show with some great characters and some interesting storylines. I got hooked pretty quickly, which is telling since the show airs on Friday nights and I never stay home to watch TV on Fridays. Moonlight has the potential to be on the air for a while ... I hope that more people pick up the show when new eps return cuz I'm gonna want many more seasons of Moonlight.
  6. Pushing Daisies: Pushing Daisies has to be the most inventive show of the year. It's a little bit Amelie and a lotta bit Big Fish but on the small screen. Any show with Swoozie Kurtz is Aces in my book (and she's only a small part of the show). I'm interested to see how long Pushing Daisies can run for ... the show seems a bit limited to me in that the over-arcing storyline isn't very prominent. I hope the producers have a plan to make it more central to the show ... this series is too inventive to meet an early end.
  7. Project Runway: Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors and weekly bitchy drama generated by no-name diva designers = hit show. Granted, there isn't as much drama this season as I'd like, I do have faith that the show will get even better.
  8. LA Ink: I never had any interest in watching Miami Ink but something about Kat Von D fronting her own tattoo shop seemed intriguing to me. I watched one ep and then had to watch the previous 4 that I had missed ... and then never missed an ep since. I just love the show ... and I really want Hannah to do my next tattoo. I'm on a list somewhere ... I'm hoping to get 'er done sometime in 2008. The show is such a hit, tho, I can understand why the waiting list is so long.
  9. Flipping Out: This show was so annoying and yet so amazing ... I couldn't help but watch. That Jeff guy is a total freak ... is it wrong that I loved watching him scream at his employees week after week after week?
  10. America's Most Smartest Model: This reality TV competitive show is just pure genius. I know there are new model shows coming out because this one was such a hit but the idea to make pretty people also compete in intelligence challenges is PURE BRILLIANCE. This has to be the best show that many people missed seeing. I'm glad I didn't miss it!!

One More Bust

It's only been about a week since the bombshell news broke that 16-year old Jamie-Lynn Spears is pregs and the tabloid magazines are already going after her full-force. I can understand how sensational stories with bold, shocking headlines sell magazines but it seems a bit too early to me for the mags to be going after the poor girl (and her mother, Lynne Spears) so harshly, so quickly. Xmas is deffo over ... now it's time for the claws to come out. Here are the covers of the new issues of US Weekly and Star magazine:


US Weekly seems particularly scathing in their attack on mama Lynne Spears ... tho, they do have a point. I expected folks to speak ill of Lynne Spears and her mothering skills (particularly when you consider how effed up Britney Spears turned out ... and now Jamie-Lynn) but their point about how the pregnancy story was sold (to a different tabloid, I might add) for $1 million dollars it's a valid one. It seems like it was a matter of, Oh shizz! This is horrible news ... the least we can do is make money off of it. Additionally, OK! magazine has already bought the rights to photograph JL and her new baby once it's born ... it does sound like shady biz. Tho, US Weekly can't get all that hight and mighty ... had they been able to buy the story and subsequent photoshoot they wouldn't be calling her out like this (OK! magazine would prolly be doing it). Star magazine, on the other hand, isn't aiming their guns at Mama Lynne ... they're going after JL herself. In their new issue, the magazine is making the claim that Casey Aldridge isn't the father of the baby ... he is merely being paid by the Spears family to say he's the father to hide the fact that an older executive on JL's show Zoey 101 is the actual babydaddy: The father of Jamie Lynn Spears baby is NOT boyfriend Casey Aldridge, according to shocking reports from the U.S. News that Britney's sister was pregnant at 16 - under the legal age for sex in the U.S. - forced 18-year-old Casey into hiding. But now Star magazine insists that the teenager may not be the dad - and that Spears' friends and family think it is an older man who would face statutory rape charges. Friends have said that Jamie Lynn was no longer even seeing Casey - and family members told Star that they believe the real father is a much older executive at her children's TV show 'Zoey 101'. "Casey is being paid off to be the family's fall guy while the real father remains unidentified," Star magazine insists. They say the real reason is that an older man could be charged with statutory rape if revealed to be the father of an under-aged girl's baby. But in Jamie Lynn’s home state of Louisiana, Casey would escape charges because a 16-year-old can legally have sex with someone less than two years older than her. Conveniently, Casey falls under the bar by just 26 days. "The man many suspect is the father, however, would face charges and probably prison time if he were to come forward and admit he had sex with her," Star magazine states. The magazine quotes "two separate Spears family insiders" who believe the father is someone who works on Jamie Lynn's kids' show. "Jamie Lynn has been working on Zoey since she was 13," one of the sources said. "In Hollywood, little girls grow up fast, and she is no exception. With everything that has gone on in her family, she needed someone to look up to. But the man she found seems to have completely taken advantage of her." Another family source added: "Some of us have doubts as to the legitimacy of the claim that Casey is the father." Even Casey recently posted on his own MySpace that he was feeling "blah" about his love life, and added: "Me and Jamie are over ..." In fact, Star claims he had a pregnancy scare with a different girl and had to confess to Jamie Lynn. "Casey is a serial cheater who has lied to Jamie Lynn time and time again," a close friend told the magazine. "This past spring, he was forced to tell Jamie Lynn that he'd cheated on her and gotten that girl pregnant." In fact, Star even insists Casey was openly dating yet another girl at the same time as he was supposed to be romancing Spears. "Yes, my sister is dating Casey - they've been dating for a while," said Kevin Seals of his sister Whitney Seals ... No matter who the father is, insiders believe the pregnancy will be the death knoll for Jamie Lynn’s burgeoning career. It will leave them terrified that she will prove to be the new Britney - and also that Nickelodeon, the TV channel behind Zoey 101, will be terrified of ruining its clean-cut image. Dang! This Star report has everything ... lies, betrayal, illicit/illegal sex and another woman girl! They are deffo coming out with guns blazing ... and this is only the beginning. It's going to be a rough pregnancy for JL Spears. She has done a great job of hiding out (as has Casey ... they should give Britney some tips) but she cannot hide forever. I understand that there is a huge paparazzi bounty on her head for the first pic of her since news of her pregnancy broke. See folks, this is why it's very wise to practice safe sex -- they should teach this JL Spears lesson in school. [Source, Source]

Just when you thought that 2007 was just about finished with its run of DUI arrests, Mischa Barton gets the last one of the year in, just under the wire. Hollyscoop broke the story first that Mischa was busted for DUI early this morning and TMZ confirmed the report, adding a bit more information:


Sources tell Hollyscoop EXCLUSIVELY that actress Mischa Barton was arrested in the wee hours this morning! She was handcuffed and arrested at 2:46AM last night and booked at 3:10AM. Mischa was arrested on the corner of La Cienega and Santa Monica Blvd in Los Angeles late last night in her white Range Rover for Driving Under the Influence and driving without a license. Her bail amount is set at $10,000 TMZ adds that Mischa was also charged with possession of narcotics, is currently still in custody and that her Inmate info documentation posted online calls her Mischa Burton. LOL! She is so forgotten that folks can't even get her name right. Poor Mischa ... it's a bummer that she has to go to such lengths to try and get publicity and then she can't even get proper credit for it. We've seen photos of Mischa smokin' fatties while driving before ... I wonder what sort of narcotics she got busted with. [Source, Source]

In happy news, it is being reported and it has been confirmed that Fergie Ferg and Josh Duhamel have "recently" gotten engaged after being together for about 3 years ... which, I suppose, is good news and bad news:


They are known to bring good luck in the new year, but one Black-Eyed Pea got lucky early. After 3 years of dating, Fergie and Josh Duhamel are engaged, his rep confirms to PEOPLE. "Fergie called a lot of her girlfriends today to tell them the news," a source close to the singer told PEOPLE. "She said they don't know what kind of wedding they want yet, but that she is the happiest girl on earth." The Las Vegas star's rep would say only that they got engaged "recently," but not on Christmas. I suppose congrats are in order for the happy couple. I suppose it's to be expected that this would be the next step for them ... as much as I've been hoping and praying for a break-up, they still continue to be happy with one another. Rats. All kidding aside, I am very happy to know that true love really can flourish in a place like Hollywood. [Source]

In other engagement news, it turns out that Tiffany New York Pollard (who struck out twice on the reality dating show Flavor of Love and once on the first season of her own show I Love New York) has finally found a man to marry in George Tailor Made Weisgerber ... who she chose as the final winner at the end of this season's I Love New York 2:


Tiffany "New York" Pollard -- the outspoken star of VH1's hit reality show I Love New York 2 -- is going to become a Mrs. after all, PEOPLE has learned. Pollard, 25, weeded through 20 eligible bachelors in season 2 of her dating reality show before she finally found a keeper. Her Mr. Right? "Tailor Made" (real name George Weisgerber), a 32-year-old retail planner from Queens, New York. Weisgerber proposed on the Dec. 17 finale, but Pollard turned him down, saying she wanted to wait 24 months before making any decisions about marriage. "I respected that," Tailor Made told PEOPLE. "I cherish her. She’s what I need." On season 2's reunion show that airs Jan. 6, he proposes to her again and, this time, "she says yes," a source told PEOPLE exclusively. "They are madly in love. They are a great couple" ... Weisgerber, who was separated while taping the show and is currently finalizing his divorce, admits he "always had a crush" on Pollard, and thought it fate when casting for season two began. "She needs a guy who will treat her right and respects her and values her for who she is", he told PEOPLE recently. "Our personalities complete each other. I cherish her and want to cater to her every need. But I'm not a doormat. We have a good balance." Uh, pardon my skepticism but I have a hard time believing that this engagement will really go anywhere. It's not that I doubt the sincerity of love won on a reality TV show but there is something about "Tailor Made" that seems not up to par with "New York's" tastes. I don't think he makes enough money, despite all those expensive gifts he got for her on the show. It seems to me that this "engagement" might lead to a different sort of reality TV show for VH1 ... after all, look at what fake engagements did for the MTV show The Hills. [Source]

Ruh-ro! The entire Hilton family is vacationing in Maui, Hawaii this week doing everything they can to enjoy a luxuriously expensive holiday ... which might not be the wisest thing to do anymore. 80-year old Hilton patriarch, Barron Hilton, has just announced that he will be donating 97% of his fortune to charity upon his death ... which is pretty bad news for Paris, Nicky, Barron II and Conrad II and the other Hiltons who've been looking forward to their inheritances:


Photo credit: Splash News

Paris Hilton's future bank account has just taken an enormous hit – on account of her grandfather. Barron Hilton, the 80-year-old son of the founder of the worldwide hotel chain that carries the family name, has earmarked 97 percent of his vast fortune – nearly $2.3 billion – to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, to help the homeless with housing, find safe water in developing countries and assist other good causes around the world, it has been announced. To Barron's heirs – who include Paris – will go the remaining three percent: some $69 million, which is said to be taxable. According to calculations by New York's Daily News, Paris, who once foresaw a $100 million inheritance, is now likely looking at $5 million. In a statement, Barron Hilton said that his father, Conrad, had set the example and bequeathed 97 percent of his money to the charitable foundation, which the elder Hilton founded in 1944, "and I am proud to follow my father's example." Oh snap! I hope Paris socked away some of the money she made from her hit video tape 1 Night in Paris ... she might need to be a bit more thrifty with her funds from now on. [Source]

It's easy to understand why Barron Hilton, Sr. might want to donate his fortune to people who could actually benefit from his money rather than give it away freely to his seemingly ungrateful and deffo undeserving grandchildren ... like, his namesake grandson for example. Here are a few pictures from Barron Hilton, II's Facebook profile showing the world exactly why he doesn't need to inherit any more money than necessary:


Pills, booze and mysterious smoke ... little Barron really is following in his big sister's footsteps. Don't these kids really do the Hilton family name proud? [Source]

In other celebrity kids news ... here is an adorable picture of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie taking their adopted children Maddox, Zahara and Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt out for a family day at the movies to see Waterhorse:


Curiously, tho, little Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, the only natural borne kid of the Brangelina bunch, was not in attendance. It seems like little Shiloh gets carried around in public every once-in-a-while and then she gets put away for a few weeks. Can she really be that bad a little girl? [Source]

Here are a few pictures of Nicole Richie and her babydaddy Joel Madden doing some shopping earlier this week, presumably before Xmas since they were loading up on wrapping paper:


Photo credit: Splash News

It won't be long now before Nic/Joel will be welcoming their own little bundle of joy. Nicole's bump watch is entering the last phase ... [Source]

... while Jessica Alba's bump watch is still getting underway in phase one. Here are pics of Jessica taking her nominal bump out for a shopping trip at The Grove this week:


Photo credit: Splash News

I suppose it's too much to hope for Jessica to crack a smile every once-in-a-while ... unlike Vicki B. (who is robotically incapable of showing emotion) Jessica chooses to have a sour look on her face all the time. It's such a pity ... she has such a beautiful smile. [Source]

Maroon 5's Adam Levine ran into Courteney Cox's David Arquette at a recent LA Lakers game this week ... check it out:


I had no idea that Adam was a big Lakers fan ... I might have to get my booty down to the Staples Center when I get back to LA so that I may have my own run-in with Mr. Hawtness Levine :) [thanks Georgette]

Lindsay Lohan, who I love, continues to plague the world with her desire to keep wearing leggings, which I hate:


Photo credit: Splash News

Adding insult to injury, L. Lo's new thing is leggings made out of spandex! I love the girl, I just wish she's move on to a different fug fashion trend to beat to death. [Source]

Yikes. A little over a week ago I posted pics of Michael Jackson hanging out in a Las Vegas bookstore where it looked like his face was falling apart ... like it was being held together with band-aids or post-it notes. Now, we may have an explanation as to what the hell was going on there:


Michael Jackson has been forced to undergo emergency surgery after his lip burst and collapsed, according to reports. The singer was photographed trying to conceal his bandaged and plastered face while on a shopping trip in Las Vegas, but now the reason has been confirmed. His five-year-old son accidentally smacked him in the face, causing the problems with his upper lip, it has been revealed. A source said: "He was whacked in the face accidentally by his younger son Prince Michael II while playing around and part of Jackson's upper lip collapsed. That mishap led an hysterical Jacko to make a beeline for the plastic surgeon for a bit of quickie repair work." Jackson's spokesperson denied that he had undergone any surgery yesterday. It's no wonder that Michael Jackson's face is falling apart ... he goes to plastic surgeons who use post-its to hold his face together. He really should go see the person who worked on Vicki B. I'd prefer a robotic Jacko to a collapsing one. [Source, Source]

And finally, here are a few really uberhawt photos of Gossip Girl heartthrob Penn Badgley from a new photoshoot:


Woot! It's been a while since we've found a new dude to obsess talk about 'round these here parts. I know that many folk are going ga-ga over the other GG hottie Chace Crawford but I'm deffo on Team Penn!! [Source via ONTD!]

Les News:
Boo. It seems as if I *just* got home to Detroit and now I'm already on my way out. Things with Tracey and Z didn't work out yesterday afternoon (which was a huge bummer) but Mark and I did manage to keep our sushi date at Little Tree in Royal Oak, MI last night. I really love going out with Mark, just the two of us, because we can talk about anything and it's all good. I am so happy that he and Sarah are happy together cuz I really like him for her (and vice versa). After Mark and I ate 'til we nearly burst (and after I got to meet Pink reader Melissa at Little Tree), Mark and I went for a walk down Main Street for window-shopping and coffee in the brisk Michigan Winter weather. Mark is a very good friend ... I'm glad we were able to squeeze in our dinner date.

This afternoon, I'm hanging out with my parents before I fly off to be with David in NYC. Soooooo ... I have tons to do ... but I'll be back later on with my Top Movies/TV Shows of 2007 picks ... and I'll be comin' atcha from NYC tomorrow! I'm out.