Friday, July 31, 2009

What a difference Ade makes

Ok, let's talk about last night's result show. Sorry for the delay in updating about it, but I needed to sit and digest a bit after the elimination.

I'm sorry, but Evan should have gone home WEEKS ago. If he wins this over Jeanine, Brandon, or Kayla, this season will go down in So You Think You Can Dance history as a flop! It'll have great ratings, and some great dances, but will be tainted by the fact that Evan does not belong here anymore!

Ade should be standing up there next week. When we watch Brandon and Evan dancing, I'll always wonder what great routine we're missing out on because Ade isn't there. Brandon/Ade as a partnering would have had such strength and interesting moves! While and Brandon/Evan partnering will probably be good, but just can't possibly live up to the physicality that could have been.

Ok, now that that's out of my system, I do agree with Melissa's elimination. She's so talented and has shown great range and versatility, but she is not at the same level as Jeanine and Kayla. She had a great run on the show and deserved to get as far as she did! Just shows that even an "old" dancer can make it, if they have the skill.

So, next week is the finale! I'm looking forward to the routines the top 3 (and Evan) will perform. I'm also really looking forward to the results show, because the last episode is when they have a few of the best routines from the season performed again. What routines do you think they'll pick? Here are my guesses:
  • Evan/Randi - Mia Michaels Contemporary butt routine - because it's the best of Evan's and they have to give him something to do.
  • Brandon/Janette - this duo have lots to choose from so it could be their Disco routine, the Argentinian Tango, or Wade Robson's thief routine.
  • Jason/Jeanine - Travis Wall's Contemporary routine - one of my favorites of the season.
  • Melissa/Ade - Tyce Diorio's Brest Cancer routine - it's an obvious choice, but they could also pick their ballet routine since it was a first for the show.
  • Kayla/Kupono - Mia Michaels Contemporary - Addiction routine.
  • I'd like them to pick Jason/Kayla's Shane Sparks hip hop routine, but I doubt they will. That was my other favorite from this season.
It'll be interesting to see how many routines will include the top 4. I'm guessing Evan will only be in one, while the others could easily be in 2 or more.

(Image from TV Guide)

Happy Friday!

Dirty Dancing with Charlene Yi and Channing Tatum (what a babe!):
<a href="" target="_new" title="Channing Tatum and Charlyne Yi Cinemash "Dirty Dancing"">Video: Channing Tatum and Charlyne Yi Cinemash "Dirty Dancing"</a>

Sid and Nancy with Zooey Deschenel and Joseph Gordon Lovitt (tangently related to (500) Days of Summer):
<br/><a href="" target="_new" title="Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt Cinemash "Sid and Nancy"">Video: Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt Cinemash "Sid and Nancy"</a>

These are a couple great clips from a small production company that will be rolling these out over the coming months. They get some rising stars to make short parodies of film scenes that are part of our cultural lexicon, most everyone knows these scenes.

Its funny how these clips are generating so much buzz and attention, since plenty of people make scenes like this at home on their camcorders. But, since these are made by already famous people with money behind it to make it look good, they're deemed funnier, wittier, and more entertaining. While I enjoyed these, I'd love to see any homemade ones from youtube, if you guys have seen any.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance: Top 6

Hey guys, we got the video working this week! Here's mine and KT's take on the Top 6. What your favorite dances of the night? Do you agree with our assessment? Let us know what you think about So You Think You Can Dance!

Sorry for that strange background noise. If you turn it down a bit,
it becomes less annoying :-/
I don't know what's the deal with all these video
mishaps in the past couple weeks.

The Replacements

It always bothers me when TV shows or movie series recast important characters midway through their run. The latest example of this is the announcement that Rachelle Lefevre won't be playing Victoria in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. She will instead be replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard. The reasoning for this is, supposedly, scheduling conflicts, but it seems to me that Summit Entertainment just wanted to save themselves some money by casting a different redhead.I can understand why they'd want to do that, from a financial standpoint it makes all the sense in the world. But this kind of recasting can hurt fan loyalty. I'm not a big Twilight person, so I don't take this change to heart. But I'm sure, with this fandom in particular, I'm sure some fans will be upset by this change. What bothers me is that it insults the audience's intelligence that we wouldn't notice the physical changes. Also, the audience always has the other performance in mind so it distracts from the actual show; we're too busy comparing how the different actors treated the same role. At least, these are my problems with recasting mid-role.

Are you guys bothered by this?

Here are a few more examples of recasting:

Terrance Howard vs. Don Cheadle in the Iron Man franchise:

Alica Goranson vs. Sarah Chalke in Roseanne:

Can you guys think of more that bothered you?

UPDATE via Perez Hilton:

Rachelle's words about the replacement
“I was fully committed to the ‘Twilight’ saga, and to the portrayal of Victoria. I turned down several other film opportunities and, in accordance with my contractual rights, accepted only roles that would involve very short shooting schedules. My commitment to ‘Barney’s Version’ is only ten days. Summit picked up my option for ‘Eclipse.’ Although the production schedule for ‘Eclipse’ is over three months long, Summit said they had a conflict during those ten days and would not accommodate me. Given the length of filming for ‘Eclipse,’ never did I fathom I would lose the role over a 10 day overlap. I was happy with my contract with Summit and was fully prepared to continue to honor it. Summit chose simply to recast the part. I am greatly saddened that I will not get to complete my portrayal of Victoria for the ‘Twilight’ audience. This is a story, a theatrical journey and a character that I truly love and about which I am very passionate. I will be forever grateful to the fan support and loyalty I’ve received since being cast for this role, and I am hurt deeply by Summit’s surprising decision to move on without me. I wish the cast and crew of ‘Eclipse’ only the very best."

For more, check out these articles on E! Online.

The Lorax is Coming

Universal just announced they'll be making an all CGI movie of Dr. Suess's The Lorax. I'm so excited for this! I loved The Lorax as a kid! It's possibly one of my favorites of Suess, and why I became a mini-environmentalist as a kid - always making my parents recycle, going out on tree plantings, cleaning beaches with Heal the Bay, and helping out on fellow scouts' projects to help the environment. I was even on my high school's Environmental Science Bowl team! Well, enough about me, the point is that The Lorax was one of the first environmentally conscious influences on my life and I'm sure the same goes for many people, since Dr. Suess is a mainstay in children's literature.

I'm glad it'll be getting the big movie studio treatment, I just hope they stay true to its roots and don't mess with the story too much. It'll be a while before we see it, it was just announced with no cast yet attached. Universal is hoping for a 2012 release, so just sit tight and maybe reread the book and watch the cartoon in anticipation.

(photo and scoop from Zap2it)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

William Shatner

So the top trending topic on Twitter at the moment is "William Shatner". It's pretty sad that my first thought was that he died, just given the string of recent celebrity deaths. But it turned out to be happy and hilarious reasons why he's trending.

He did a reading of Palin's farewell speech, that is a great poetry reading. Check it out here:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend Movies

This weekend I saw a couple of the new movies out in theaters. I went into both not really knowing what to expect and just really LOVING both of them. Let's break it down:

(500) Days of Summer

This movie has many things that I love: Zooey Deschenel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and non-linear storytelling to name a few. It was a very simple story told in an interesting way. It had a lot of the mainstays of indie films as well, but I didn't feel that it detracted from it at all. It also had a lot of interruptions in the storyline to stylize it and show the fantasy and daydreaming involved in the beginnings and ends of a relationship that I really enjoyed. The random musical number and the expecation/reality scene being the most prominent. Well, in all, I just really loved the movie and highly recommend it to you all. Also, here's the Rotten Tomatoes show's review about it:

Have you seen it already? What did you think?

Whatever Works

This is a classic Woody Allen film, and a good one at that. If you like Woody Allen films (Annie Hall, Manhattan, Bullets Over Broadway, etc) then I think you will like this one. It features his trademark neuroses, all living in Larry David's Boris, and the May-December romances that you come to expect in his films.

Woody Allen actually wrote this script in the 1970s, but when the lead actor he had in mind died, he shelved it until he could find the perfect leading man. He found that with Larry David, and that's why the film is out now. But while it is set in a timeless modern NYC, it still feels very '70s in terms of the relationships and metamorphses tha take place. But the film doesn't feel dated or like a period piece, so it just goes to show you how little people have really changed in the past 40 years.

While the film has been receiving mixed reviews, I really enjoyed it and if you enjoy Woody Allen's paranoia tinged humor, then you'll enjoy it too.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Originality > Tradition (Wedding Edition)

While searching around online for one of the shows I've been researching, I've come across a couple very cute/funny wedding videos that I think more people need to see.

This first one is a great stop-motion wedding invite movie:

I wish I was this creative and talented! What a great way to invite people to your wedding, much more memorable than just a sheet with some fancy writing on it.

This has been making its way through the viral community, so many of you may have seen it already. But I just love it so much!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Results show reaction

Just saw the results for So You Think You Can Dance. Haven't seen the episode so I can't comment just yet. Just want to say that I'm not surprised that Jason and Janette went home. Jason because he just doesn't have the fan following of Evan. And Janette because she was the only lady to not have a stand out dance. She may have even been hindered by Mia proclaiming her as her favorite dancer of the season. The audience might have felt she was safe and didn't need to be rallied around and vote for multiple times. It'll be interesting to see if/when Evan goes home.

UPDATE: Finally saw the episode

I'm very surprised Brandon was the other guy in the bottom 2. But I guess I was going to be surprised either way since Ade had THE number of the night and Brandon delivered a knockout performance as well.

The Hummingbird routine was great, as to be expected. I had seen it before so no surprises there.

I had never seen the full Bench routine, despite having heard of it before. It was a beautiful dance and very well done. Is there a deeper story that they explained in the pre-dance video when it was on the show? I could gather a basic relationship story, but just want to know if there's anything more.

I had never seen nor heard of the RamaLama Top 10 group dance and, my goodness, that was amazing!! Such a great dancing. They were so in sync and had great lines that nearly every second would have made a fantastic photo! I definitely want to watch that dance again. Wade is just so talented! I'm glad he's back this season, and hopefully many more to come!

So You Think You Can Dance: Top 8

So, KT and I tried to do our video review, but for some reason my computer would just stop recording after 2 minutes. Not cool! Well, my written comments will have to suffice. I wasn't going to write anything, but so much happened last night that I just have to comment!

  • The first half of the show was technically good, but there was no sparkle or punch that made any of the dances really stick. Even Sonya's dance was just ok, and I usually love her stuff.
  • I thought the pairing of Jeanine/Brandon would have resulted in pure magic, but their first dance lacked chemistry. They had a GREAT 2nd dance that was a very hip-hop infused jazz routine. First dance by the new choreographer and I hope to see more of her in future episodes!
  • It was great to see Melissa/Ade reunited! The first number fell flat. Ballroom was never their strength, always doing jazz/contemporary the best. Their next number will be listed among the best of the series, I'm sure. They danced about breast cancer and it was just so moving and emotional that me and KT both teared up. The judges were so weepy, I can see what some viewers thought they overpraised it, but it was still an amazing dance that deserves every recognition it can get.
  • Kayla/Jason pulled off the best hip hop routine of the season! Finally, Shane Sparks pulls out what we know he can! Their first broadway routine was good, but again lacked that punch that would have taken it to the next level. But that hip hop number was amazing! It was my favorite of the night, even more than Melissa/Ade's contemporary routine.
  • Now, I left Evan/Janette for last because I think that's where they belonged last night. Both of their dances were pretty flat. Janette danced her heart out and sizzled in the numbers, but Evan....Evan just does not belong here anymore. He has personality galore, but he is technically not at the same level. I really wish he would be the one to go home this week, but I doubt it. He has such a huge fan following that I think will carry him through much further than he deserves.
  • Prediction: I think Jason and Janette are the most in danger of going home tonight. Jason had a great number, but he hasn't connected with the audience as much as the other guys have. Janette is a fantastic dancer, but I think that her pairing with Evan could put her in the bottom. They had the least memorable dances of the night and while Evan's fans will likely save him, I don't know if Janette has the same die hard group rooting for her.
What are your guys' thoughts on last night? Who do you think is going home?

(Image courtesy of Fox)

The Race of Mobile Internet

I just read an article all about how users of mobile internet are not those we stereotypically think of. We think of these users as affluent, middle-aged, white men. Well, this is now proving to be wrong. The ethnic group adopting mobile internet the fastest is actually African Americans!
African-Americans the most active users of mobile Internet, they are also the fastest growing group to adopt the technology: the percentage of African-Americans using mobile phones or another type of connected gadget to share e-mail, exchange instant messages and access the Internet for information on an average day has more than doubled since late 2007, jumping to 29 percent, from 12 percent.
While it's surprising, it's great to see that in some areas, the racial divide is weakening and becoming non-existant. Now if only this would happen in all areas.

Not only is the color of mobile internet changing, age is as well. This isn't a big surprise though, since it is becoming more and more normal for teens and young adults to be at the forefront of the technology landscape.

Apparently, while home computers/laptops and monthly broadband charges can be out of the reach of some homes, mobile internet is not a huge additional cost if just added on to an additional phone line. This is how African-American and Latino mobile internet usage is on the rise.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Everyone loves a free meal

I just ate a delicious free burrito from Baja Fresh. In case you guys didn't know, Baja Fresh is giving out free burritos with the purchase of a regular drink, as long as you have this coupon:

Make sure your local Baja Fresh is participating and then enjoy!

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

For a movie not coming out til March 2010, Alice in Wonderland is getting a LOT of buzz! It knows how to utilize social media, anticipation, and just has a lot of great people involved that get a lot of fans interested. Today they released the Teaser Trailer and it just made me even more excited to see the film!

Are you guys excited for this film? I am a huge fan of Tim Burton, especially when paired with Johnny Depp (a la Edward Scissorhands). I think that both of their unique visions contribute to making a film with a distinct vision and voice. March 5, 2010 can't come soon enough!

(found via EW Popwatch)

UPDATE: So I had to update my post not long after posting it because Disney made Trailer Addicts take it down. They've also taken all the versions down from Youtube. I can see why Disney might want to keep it wrapped up until it's intended debut at Comic Con tomorrow, but they should be letting this trailer run free on the internet to create the most buzz as possible! See Mashable for more thoughts on this issue.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What Recession? Apple's Not Feeling It

iPhone sales passed 5 million units sold, for this quarter alone! Apple seems to be defying the odds by not only maintaining their market share, but growing! Apple products are more expensive across the board than other brands, yet it is able to grow thanks to a great brand that people trust.

For more hard figures, check out this article.

I just got my iPhone a week ago and I'm totally in love with it! While it's a big cost, I was lucky enough to get it as a grad gift. I've had some time to play around with apps and I'm loving the Lose it! app. It's a pretty boring app, but it's so helpful in terms of keeping track of my diet and exercise. I'm also addicted to Rolando, a fun game that utilizes the gravity function of the phone. Other apps I use all the time: Twitterific, Facebook, and Shazam. KT uses Labyrinth and The Price is Right a lot.

One type of app that I wish there were more of: Movie/TV Studios. Right now, the only one I've really found is Sony Pictures, where they have trailers and news for their films. I also have the Sci Fi Wire with updates on all sci fi news and projects. I wish there were more out there like this! I would totally use a Warner Bros. one to follow updates on Chuck and Harry Potter!

Well, hopefully this is about to change. Movie studios are starting to realize the marketing potential of the iphone and blackberry. We keep these phones on us at all times, it's the perfect way to get ads to us at any time of day. Movie studios are just starting to pick up on this idea: Bruno apps where you can touch him to get him to talk dirty to you, Harry Potter app where you can play with a wand and put your face in The Daily Prophet. While these are great, I wish more studios would have one app for all their projects like Sony Pictures does. I would PAY for a Disney/Pixar one!

Would you guys pay for a movie app? Or what other apps do you feel are lacking?

(photo and more info at The Wrap)

A Miracle Chocolate!?

Apparently, the Swiss have been working hard to come up with the best chocolate, ever. It won't melt in your hands, and it's low calorie! Supposedly with all the taste of a regular chocolate, but there's no way to tell until I get my hands on some.

This chocolate won't melt unless it gets hotter than 130F! The only thing that causes it to melt in your mouth is the enzymes in our saliva. Pretty crazy! M&Ms may have to think of a new slogan if all chocolate will soon be this high tech.

Not only is it melt-resistant, but it has 90% less calories than regular chocolate! Are you kidding me? This CAN'T be real! Where can I buy this?!

For the official story, check out the TIME article here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Motion Posters: The Next Norm in Movie Marketing

With advertising moving more and more online and digital, it's no surprise that Motion Posters are starting to crop up. I'm actually surprised I haven't seen more! They're much more engaging than pop ups and definitely no where near as annoying. Here are a few neat motion posters:

flash required

I can't find the embed code for this one, so click here to check out the Terminator Salvation Motion Poster.

Things People Like

One of the funniest sites is Stuff White People Like. Here's an example of one of the many things White People Like:

#11 Asian Girls
"95% of white males have at one point in their lives, experienced yellow fever. Many factors have contributed to this phenomenon such as guilt from head taxes, internment camps, dropping the Nuclear bomb and the Viet Nam War . This exchange works both ways as asian girls have a tendency to go for white guys. (White girls never go for asian guys. Bruce Lee and Paul Kariya’s dad are the only recorded instances in modern history)..."

Well, today I found another similar site that is pretty funny. Things Marketing People Like!
It's a smaller niche than White People, but I think it can still be appreciated by anyone. It's also predominantly picture/video based, so it's a much faster read than SWPL. Here's an example of a funny posting:

Instant messaging each other when they sit right next to each other:

UPDATE: Haha, just found this via Mediabistro:

Stuff Unemployed People Like

How appropriate in today's economic climate!

#118 Finally Finding the Remote:
"The TV is a magical device, but without the remote control there’d be no way to change the channels from their entirely-too-familiar couch crevices. So when it comes time to switch between the crappy daytime television shows that the unemployed have scheduled to watch every day, being unable to find a remote leaves the unemployed feeling utterly helpless..."

I think the commenter says it best "sanity can be hard when you're jobless", so get some help by knowing your not alone and getting ideas on what other unemployed people like!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Harry Potter IS King!

(I'll be updating this post as the figures come in)

Midnight figures just came in and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince made $22.2 million dollars in one night! It beat out The Dark Night's old record by roughly $4 million! If the film can keep up this pace through the weekend, I have no doubt it'll beat out Transformers 2 and The Dark Knight to become the king of the domestic box office.

Photo and figures from E! Online

UPDATE: 2:45pm

Nielson just released a handy chart to compare all the HP and Twilight media! Check it out here!

UPDATE: 7/16 10:30am

Looks like HP juuuust missed breaking Transformers 2 opening-day record. Ticket sales slowed in the evening, in comparison to the midnight screenings. Seems like many HP fans that waited the 6 months since Warner Bros pushed back the release from November to July didn't want to wait any longer than they had to. This puts weekend estimates at just under $200 million. I'm still hoping for a turnaround once the weekend hits, but it seems unlikely. At least Harry Potter should have better legs than Transformers 2, since fans will likely see the film again, or wait to see it, in IMAX or IMAX 3D.

Harry Potter made $58.38 million dollars yesterday. For more info, check out this LATimes blog post.

Update: 7/17 11:30pm

Thursday: HP6 made another $22 million on Thursday. This brings its 2-day total to $80 million! While it could be better, that is still pretty damn good. My new estimation - $180 million through Sunday. I'd prefer my first estimation to be true, but it doesn't look like this film has the momentum the hype and midnight showings suggested.

Update: 7/19 10pm

Weekend: Overall 5 day total for Harry Potter 6 made just over $159 million! While that in itself is considered a huge success, it definitely did not live up to the expected weekend gross after the huge buzz and record-breaking midnight take. When it broke The Dark Knight record, it showed all the promise of breaking the Transformers 2 5 day take. But, it turned out that it was just the hardcore fans who couldn't wait any longer after than they already had from the 8 month WB delay.

It's an impressive haul, and in line with Order of the Phoenix. It seems like it hasn't gained many new fans since the last movie, but when you have such broad international appeal, it's hard to get any bigger. To bring this back to a previous topic, it'll be interesting to see Twilight's opening in November. I'm sure it's going to be bigger than first one, since more people have read the books because of the success of the first movie. Now it will have all the rabid fan girls who see the movie 5 times in one weekend, as well as the new fans.

UPDATE: 7/20 5:25pm

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince conjured a record-breaking $396.7 million in global box office over its five-day opening weekend, according to a Reuters report. That figure -- including $159.7 million in the U.S. and a whopping $237 million in international gross across 84 markets -- tops Spider-Man 3's worldwide opening record of $381.7 million, set in 2007." (via Entertainment Weekly)

HP is truly a global phenomenon! This is where it leaves Twilight in the dust. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Clips of the Week

I'm thinking this will be a new thing for every friday: I'll post a few clips from things I found interesting that didn't really fit into any of my other blog posts.

1. Watcha Say Remix by Jason Derulo
This is KT's song of the moment, and I have to admit it's pretty damn catchy.
I love the song that it samples (Imogen Heap's Hide and Seek), and this adds
the more radio friendly, catchy hip hop hook.

2. Harry Potterthon

I'm a huge Harry Potter fan (as if you couldn't tell) and this video is

3. My favorite dance from this week's So You Think You Can Dance
Jeanine blew everyone away. Now that she has a partner that
can keep up with her technically and doesn't overshadow
her personality, she's a force to be reckoned with.

Those are my favorite random clips from this week. Anything I missed that you guys
want to share?

Online shopping is about to get so much better!

So, I don't know about you, but I hate shopping for clothes online. It's super convenient, you get the best deals, you get more options, but I just don't like to buy clothes without trying them out. I recently bought some very cute clothes online from Forever 21, but have to return some of it because I'm one size in shirts, but apparently a different size in jackets. It's annoying and troublesome to have to return something because it doesn't fit right, where if I had bought it at the store, I would have known immediately that it wouldn't fit.

Well, the solution for this all-too-common problem is just around the corner thanks to technology! This company Zugara has developed software so you can virtually try on clothes using a webcam. Here's the demo video if you want to check it out:

[via Digitally Approved]

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Emmy nominations!

Emmy nominations were announced this morning at the bright and early hour of 5:30am PST. So when I woke this morning, a lot of stuff had already happened! This year they expanded the main categories to include 6-7 nominees, instead of just 5, which provided for some new twists. Some of my highlights from the Emmy nomination list:

  • How I Met Your Mother (one of my favorite shows) in Best Comedy.
  • Family Guy (a good one, but not a great season) in Best Comedy. It's the first animated show to be nominated since The Flintstones! Crazy!
  • Neil Patrick Harris in Best Supporting Actor - Comedy. He has a pretty good chance of winning now that Jeremy Piven was snubbed. It's going to be a great HIMYM night between the noms and NPH hosting! I'm looking forward to it.
  • So You Think You Can Dance was nominated for FOUR choreography awards! I'm pulling for Bleeding Love by Nappytabs. Kind of worried that they'll split the votes and leave the musical number from the Oscars as the winner. I guess we'll see.
  • This isn't a surprise, but it's still sad. One of my favorite shows (maybe of all time), Battlestar: Galactica, was snubbed in its final season. Sci fi/fantasy shows get no love. See: Buffy, Angel, Firefly, any Star Trek, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and even the HBO smash - True Blood.
  • Chuck was nominated for an emmy! Not a major category, but definitely better than nothing. Best Stunt Coordination.
For a full list of nominees go here.

And here's that dance routine:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance: Top 10

Alright, this a test run guys. This is me and KT, my boyfriend, with our opinions on tonight's episode of So You Think You Can Dance. You can tell KT is way more comfortable in front of the camera than I am. Which is good, since he wants to be a sports anchor and I want to be behind the scenes. Oh well. Watch, enjoy, then tell us what you thought of the Top 10 dancers!

(Yeah, we're big SYTYCD nerds) :)

Lessons on Surviving the World

You know, you can learn pretty much anything on the internet. Just a quick google search will find you the answer to any question, you just have to know your keywords.

Well, I just found a great resource on life lessons: Surviving the World

Here's an example:

There's plenty more where that came from. Just check out the site and click random. No need to go in order, there's no real storyline to follow.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Harry Potter vs. Twilight

With the Harry Potter release tonight at midnight, it's got the world abuzz with anticipation. Harry Potter is set to be the most successful movie franchise ever, and we've still got 2 more movies after this one! But one new concern is whether Harry Potter will continue to succeed now that there's a new hot teen drama on the scene, one that feels a bit more grown up.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is when the young wizards and witches start taking notice of each other, romantically. You have crushes and dating and a fair bit of "snogging"! However, this is strongly encroaching on the niche Twilight has set up for itself - the sexy side of teen interests. The books have already started the battle, but Harry Potter is still winning with 60% of all 9-11 year olds in the US having read the books. But as they grow up and hit 13-15 and older, the romance and angst in Twilight take hold. Check out this article in the Wall Street Journal for more facts and figures on the matter.

While Twilight crashed on the scene with its $70 million opening weekend, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is poised to be the biggest movie EVER, hopefully beating out Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and maybe even The Dark Knight. It has the potential to break all the records: PG rating makes it fun for the whole family, IMAX and IMAX 3D screenings, and the foundation of one of the best selling book and movie franchises in history. If Harry Potter doesn't come out on top, I honestly don't know what will. My 5 day box office estimate: $205 million, beating out Transformers $200.1 million. I'd guess higher, but it's going to suffer from the lack of IMAX theaters it has until it takes over all the ones Transformers occupies until the week after next.

Photoshopped image from The Geek Files. Movie posters come from The WB and Summit Entertainment.

So readers, which is your teen epic of choice? Do you think Harry Potter can top Transformers?

Cupcake update

So every month at work we do "Employee Appreciation Day" where there is some type of sugary goody to celebrate all the bdays and work anniversairies in the office. Today, because it was one of the head honcho's bday, we got Sprinkles Cupcakes! As I mentioned earlier , I've never had Sprinkles before because it's smaller in size than Crumbs. Well, I'm impressed.

I just had a Key Lime cupcake that was delivered to our office. It was so fresh and moist, just a great cupcake! Sprinkles doesn't do the jam/cream filling that Crumbs does, but it just made it a cleaner eating experience, which I could always use help with!

So, after finally having had a Sprinkles cupcake, I can see why their store is always so cramped. It's delicious! I really recommend it. Although, if debating between Crumbs and Sprinkles, I think I'm still going to pick Crumbs.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The wonders of Internet TV

Just a heads up, Hulu is going commericial free for the next 6 hours, thanks to a sponsorship via McCafe. (BTW McCafe is amazing, I prefer their coffee to everyone else's but Coffee Bean).

So, in honor of this auspicious occasion, I'm putting up a couple clips from my favorite shows. I hope you like them!

How I Met Your Mother:

Arrested Development:


You can check out full episodes at Hulu.

Also, this is a Hulu celebration, but if they don't have a show you're looking for you should check out these other sites:

The WB

The Hunt for Good Fro Yo

As many of you already know, I LOVE frozen yogurt. I love frozen yogurt even more than I love cupcakes. Now, I haven't been able to find a handy dandy map of fro yo places in LA like I did with cupcakes, so we'll just have to make do with my reviews.

My all time favorite is Yogurtland. With 16 flavors, 32 toppings, and 5 syrups (at least) this has the best overall selection I've come across. It's a chain, so you can find Yogurtlands all over LA (and maybe America?) These are the ones I've been to:

Little Toyko: great selection of toppings, including some Asian ones like Mochi and Lychee that you don't find everywhere. Open til midnight everynight, which is great for it's very USC heavy crowd. Free parking lot to boot! A great find near downtown LA.

La Brea: standard Yogurtland, but no seating to speak of. That's because it is not much bigger than 10ft squared. And parking was horrible, only 6 spaces for the 5 businesses in that mini shopping center.

Sawtelle/West LA: Has the same awesome selection as Little Toyko. Parking can be annoying at busy times, but I live walking distance away so it's not an issue for me. This is one of the few that has water (with fruit in it!) easily accessible and readily available.

There's also Pinkberry. It started this whole trend by has fallen to the wayside in favor of DIY/pay by the ounce places like Yogurtland. The plain is too tart for me and the selection of 4 flavors is never enough variety. Why pay $4 for a small one flavor, 3 topping here, when you could pay $0.30/ounce for as many flavors, toppings, and sauces you can fit into your cup?

Cherry on Top: This one actually isn't in LA, I stopped in at the one in Mission Viejo. It had the same set up as yogurtland, but even more topping options! If this one wasn't so far away, I'm sure I'd go all the time.

Golden Spoon (Torrance): Delicious and simple. Their flavors are more traditional, but taste better and more like ice cream than yogurtland's. I recommend the Heath Bar or Cake Batter.

Penguins: Offers great low-fat, low-carb options that do not exist at yogurtland. Great options for those watching their weight.

And lastly, another great one that isn't really in LA. 21 Choices (Old Town Pasadena): It's like Coldstone's with frozen yogurt! They update their site each day with the flavors they have so you know if they'll have your favorite or not. Worth the trip out to Pasadena if you're grabbing dinner or shopping out there too.

Alright, I've just made myself hungry so that's it for now. Got any good fro yo recommendations? Or what's your favorite flavor?

TIME agrees with me

Twitter can ruin a movie's box office. My last post focused on this, and now TIME has started the week off with a similar article. Check out their stance on the issue: "BrĂ¼no could be the first movie defeated by the Twitter effect."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bruno is a perfect example!

So just yesterday I talked about the power of twitter and other social media tools when it comes to movie box offices. Well, the latest weekend box office figures are in and it perfectly exemplifies what I was talking about.

Bruno had an aggressive marketing campaign starting months ago. It used traditional marketing like trailers and tv spots, but also used Sascha Baron Cohen in a way that only he can do - late night guest spots in full character to stir up controversy and media coverage. He even staged that bit at the MTV Movie Awards where he falls ass first onto Eminem. It was smart marketing and got everyone talking about the film. But marketing only gets you to your opening weekend, and now just to opening day.

Bruno opened to a really strong $14.4 million on Friday, and the industry all thought this would lead to a huge opening weekend nearing $40 million. However, the intake for Saturday had a huge drop off! Word of mouth undid all those millions spent on marketing.
Twitter/Facebook have spoken and they did not find Bruno funny, it was too offensive, and not really satirizing as much as making Bruno the joke and laughing at gays. At least, that's what some people feel.

Here are a couple lackluster responses, just from doing a quick twitter search:

While these aren't scathing reviews, they're not exactly encouraging you to go out and spend $12 to see it.

This weekend's box office does not bode well for Bruno. There's no guarantee it will fail, there are many a number of unforeseen reasons Saturday and Sunday's numbers could have been so low compared to Friday's strong start. But all signs are pointing to Bruno dropping out of theaters faster than originally planned. It will still be profitable, it just doesn't seem to have the legs to be a box office smash hit like Borat was. If the decline keeps going at this rate, I'll be surprised if it makes over $150 million.

(original box office numbers and photo can be found here.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Impact of Social Media on Movies

Word of mouth is always an important factor in a movie's success, but today it's becoming THE factor. Before, the opening weekend of a film would be huge and then the drop off the next weekend would be influenced by word of mouth. However, with the rise of facebook status updates and twitter, the first day of the film's release is really all that marketing affects. Everything else relies on the audiences' reaction. While this article has some interesting points, I think it gives too much credit to social media on certain films. For example, Land of the Lost was critically panned before it opened. I know critics don't have as much clout as they used to, but sites like Rotten Tomatoes use an aggregate of critic reviews to rate films. And UP, just by being a Disney/Pixar film, already had a stamp of approval. Disney continues to be the only true brand in film. No one thinks "Oh, a Universal film! I have to see it!" But people do feel that way towards Disney and especially Disney/Pixar.

But while it's flawed, it is becoming increasingly true the more popular social media sites like twitter and facebook become. Before we told only a handful of people what we thought of movies. Now it's posted online for everyone to see at once. I know I update my twitter about pretty much every movie I watch. And new movies are almost always a trending topic on opening weekend.

Do you believe in the power of twitter?

Breaking: The Green Lantern

Well, that was fast! Looks like Ryan Reynolds will be The Green Lantern. I know he'll be good, but I still think Bradley Cooper could have brought something new to the role. And Justin Timberlake could have brought his fan following. Oh well, I know Ryan Reynolds will be an awesome Hal Jordan. I'm a major fan of his (and his body haha).

[via io9]

Cupcakes galore!

This is an amazing map of all the cupcake places in Los Angeles.

On this list, I've only been to a handful.

Yummy Cupcakes (Santa Monica) - interesting flavors, some that I haven't seen at the bigger known shops. It's a small, cute shop. It's conveniently located at the end of 3rd St. Promenade, so if you're ever around there I really recommend going.

Crumbs (Beverly Hills) - usually not too busy as Sprinkles is just down the block. Crumbs is my favorite cupcake chain; you just get such huge cupcakes for the same price you get a normal sized one at Sprinkles. However, their huge size is why one cupcake here sets you back roughly 750 calories! My favorite: Brownie or Strawberry Banana.

Crumbs (Larchmont) - same quality as Bev. Hills, but out of the way. It's surrounded by a bunch of eateries though so if you're ever out there for dinner you should definitely stop by.

Sprinkles - I've never actually had a Sprinkles cupcake, and I'll tell you why. I just can't justify spending $4 on one normal sized cupcake, when you can walk a block further and get a massive one for the same price. Plus, this place is always so cramped and crowded. I just feel its way over hyped.

KT and I are going to try a new one out today, thanks to that handy dandy map! What are your favorite cupcake places? Or to those not in LA, what are your favorite cupcake flavors?

I'm a Comic Book Movie Geek

Hello, I'm Kristal and I'm a comic book movie geek. I make the distinction between comic book and comic book movie, because I've only read a handful of comics. I much prefer the comic book movie with its thrilling action scenes and special effects, that are still rooted in a compelling plot and characters, over other action movies. (*cough*Tranformers 2*cough*).

The latest comic book movie to hit development is The Green Lantern - one of my favorites from the Justice League cartoon (again, I reiterate, I'm a geek).

So, who's going to play the famous Green Latern? Right now, the frontrunners are Justin Timberlake, Ryan Reynolds, and Bradley Cooper.

My personal choice of the 3 would be Bradley Cooper - he's an attractive rising movie star, with the talent to pull of comedy (Wedding Crashers, The Hangover) and drama (Alias, that wonderful show). This could be his break into the A-list.

Ryan Reynolds would be great, but he's got his own comic book franchise in the works with Deadpool. Does he need this one too? I'd rather he do Deadpool and alternate that with stuff like The Proposal. You know, to keep the ladies happy. If he were to take on both franchises, I doubt he'd have much time for different projects.

I'm still surprised that JT is on this list - I thought those rumors months ago were just that, rumors. I know he's done some acting before (he was surprisingly good in Alpha Dog) and he has the comedic chops to pull of Hal Jordan's lighter side. But this article brings up a good point - JT has massive appeal, and can bring in the ticket sales. As a comic book movie, it would already bring in a large male audience. JT would help cover the female side of things. I'm a girl who loves these types of movies, so I'm sold. But for the girls who aren't that big in to action flicks, this might be the clincher that brings them in.

According to MTV, their holding contracts ended Monday, so hopefully soon the studio will have to make a decision if they want to have enough time to make the December 2010 release date.

Also, here's an awesome fan made trailer for Nathan Fillion as The Green Latern. I love the guy (Firefly is one of my faves), but he does skew a bit too old for the part. Great trailer though!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Scary thought...

I've lived in the greater Los Angeles area since I was 4 years old. I lived through the Northridge earthquake of '94, that was the biggest natural disaster to hit US soil until Hurricane Katrina. It's because of this memory that everytime we have a small tremor, I worry that it's just the prelude to something more. Seems like I'm not the only one who thinks this, and now there's a study to back it up.

Is the "Big One" coming?

Luckily, technology and architecture has greatly improved since 1994. These small tremors could serve as a good warning system, allowing evacuations to start early enough for people to get out of those areas most in danger. Also, all buildings have been brought up to a new code, so they can better handle the shaking of the earth.

We can all do our best to be prepared too, by knowing earthquake safety.
1. During an earthquake, the safest places to be are under a table or in a door frame. Make sure you stay away from windows or mirrors as they may shatter.
2. If you are inside, do not go outside of the building. The windows may blow out or tree branches could fall.
3. Have an earthquake emergency kit: flashlight, space blanket, water, and maybe even some dehydrated food. Actually, here's a complete list of what to put in your kit:

in CA, earthquakes are really the only natural disaster we have to worry about. So be prepared! (That's the girl scout in me showing...)

UP flying high in the box office

Disney Pixar just tweeted that UP is now the 5th highest grossing animated film of all time. You can see the list here.

While this is a huge success, you have to take into account two major differences between UP and all other animated films on this list. UP was in the 3D, adding as much as $2/ticket to the admission price. This list also does not account for inflation. So while UP is #5, it is far more likely that Aladdin (one of my favorite disney movies) sold more tickets even though its at #12. These two facts show that while UP is a huge success, it is not THE Disney movie of all time. That title goes to The Lion King for traditional animation, and Finding Nemo for computer animation, which has become the norm.

Now, if you haven't seen UP, I highly recommend that you do. It's a surprisingly touching tale of an old man finally figuring out what a true adventure is. I've seen it twice already, once in 3D. While the animation is amazing, the 3D did not make a huge difference for me. If the $2 difference is an issue, which it can be during these economic times, feel free to skip it and just see it on a regular screen. But see it.


Hey everyone, welcome to my latest endeavor!

So at the moment, it's my job to search the internet all day. I'm looking for mentions of clients in blogs and news articles, but I usually end up finding a lot of other things that I find interesting. I usually post a link on twitter or share it on facebook, but that doesn't allow me to comment on the article myself, or say just why I found it so interesting. So here's my blog to fulfill that purpose!

Posts will probably cover anything from social media, entertainment, to health and anything in between. I'm not limiting this blog by trying to focus on too narrow a scope, plus I'm pretty sure I need to find my "voice" still.

So welcome! If you follow me on twitter (@kristal_bailey), you'll know when I update instantly. Hope you guys enjoy what's to come!