Friday, November 13, 2009

Another "Nine" post

I know what you're thinking.... I'm obsessed with this upcoming film.

As much as I hate the Weinstein Co. for pushing back the release date to December 25th, I must give them props for knowing what they are doing. They have only released the tiniest of teases and no actual trailer or full-blown promotion. I seriously cannot take it anymore. The foreplay has been going on forever and I am desperate for the real thing. I am praying that the movie will be as good as I hope it will be. Regardless of the end product, it's going to be a huge movie when it opens.

But enough of me talking about it. Here are two newly released clips from the movie.

First up, Kate Hudson singing.

Everyone on the net has been anxious to hear what she sounds like. Moreover, the musical's original composer (Maury Yeston) wrote an entirely new song for her. You've all heard me rant about Kate being in this movie. Aside from her performance in Almost Famous, I think she is a rather lousy actress who makes bad movies. You know I think she has no business being in this movie. Furthermore, her character originally only sang one verse in the musical and they expanded the role for her.

The first time I heard this new song ("Cinema Italiano"), I hated it. It is glaringly different from the other songs in the score. It is completely out of place (e.g. it sounds slightly Madonna-ish). But, dammit, the song is uber catchy. I have not been able to stop playing it or getting it out of my head. Her voice is surprisingly mature and strong. I still hate Kate Hudson. And I still think this song should not be in Nine's score. But I can't help liking it. *sigh*

What do you think?

Secondly, Penelope Cruz's phone sex song - "A Call from the Vatican."

Aside from Fergie's "Be Italian" number, this is the song that is getting (pseudo) massive promotion. People (myself included) have been dying to see and hear her perform this famous song. I say pseudo promotion because the Weinstein Co. have released tons of stills and silent clips of the performance, but never actually let us hear what it sounds like. Until now.

It's a minuscule clip. A mere 20 seconds of footage. It's a tease of a teaser. And now I am truly dying to see the whole thing!

Before I go, I want to share another current obsession......

I check this blog multiple times a day just to see if there are any updates on the movie. It is an excellent blog that posts everything and anything relating to the film adaptation of Nine. If you are even remotely interested in this movie, I encourage you to check out this blog.


- R

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Journey to the past and a trip back to reality

I am back from my Bay Area road trip.

I spent my last day of work anxiously awaiting my reunion with my old friends. Then, I was so filled with nervous energy that I woke up at 2am. Unfortunately, I had gone to bed only two hours prior and my alarm was set to go off two hours later. I don't think I actually went back to sleep because I was wide awake when I awoke prematurely. When my alarm finally went off around 4am, I simply turned off the alarm and proceeded gingerly to get ready as though it were 4pm.

I made a necessary pit stop before hopping on the freeway. Tank full and a very strong cup of coffee in my hand, I made my way toward LA to pick up Brandon at his apartment. I arrived at his apartment building and found myself all jittery with excitement. It had been over a year since I bid farewell to him in Boston. I don't know if it showed, but I was totally giddy when we got to see each other again and began our long journey to Berkeley.

The one aspect of this trip that I was dreading was the drive to and from the Bay Area. I hate driving and am horrible when it comes to directions. I had imagined us getting lost in some dreadful place or somehow ending up in Mexico (knowing me, I would find some way to end up heading south instead of north and never realizing it). Luckily, Brandon had a GPS that he brought along. I always knew GPS devices were wonderful things, but now I learned first-hand how amazing those little computers can be. It made the trip a simple and painless thing. It is definitely going to be my next big purchase.

I only made a few stops along the way to Berkeley. One stop at a gas station (somewhere past Oxnard, I think) to use the bathroom and buy some nourishment. The next stop was in King City for gas and another bathroom break. We had originally planned to make a stop before that to eat at In n Out, but we ended up driving past it. We could have stopped for food elsewhere, but we were craving Double-Doubles. Thanks to my Blackberry, we knew that another In n Out was 96 miles away from where we were. So we filled the tank and made our way to that In n Out. And it was worth the wait!

From the land of delicious burgers and fries we drove straight to Berkeley without making any further stops. Aside from the traffic we encountered due to the Bay Bridge being closed, we made it to our hotel without any difficulties. We left LA at about 7am and made it to Berkeley around 3pm or so. We could have arrived sooner, but Brandon had really wanted us take PCH. Taking CA-1 and the 101 made it a longer trip, but it was a really nice drive.

Our friend Bika was waiting for us at the Downtown Berkeley BART station, so we didn't have much time to rest after getting into our room. I didn't mind though because I could not wait for the Boston trio to reunite. It was so wonderful getting to see dear Bika again. I wiped everything but the present from my mind the moment the three of us were together again. At that moment, as far as I was concerned, I was back in my Boston life. We hadn't gone our separate ways. It was the good old days again. It was as it should be.

We spent the day walking around Berkeley. Showing Brandon some of Cal's campus. Walking down Telegraph Ave.. Going into costume shops to look for last-minute accessories. Nothing wild; just experiencing the city. The big event was later that night. We had bought tickets for American Idiot at the Berkeley Rep. Brandon and I ended up with amazing seats. We sat front row center. The actors were just a few feet from us. It was a good show. Clearly inspired by other rock, youth-oriented musicals like RENT, Hair, and Spring Awakening. It made me want to rediscover the Green Day discography. Eventually, the night came to an end and we said goodbye to Bika.

The next day was spent exploring San Francisco. My friend Leya would not be able to meet us until after 5pm, so Brandon and I were on our own until then. We walked along Market Street. I ate my fill of free samples at the Port's farmers' market. From the Port of San Francisco. We walked along all the piers until reaching the famous Pier 39. Brandon really wanted to see the sea lions, so that's exactly what we did. From there we continued walking all the way to Fisherman's Wharf. Brandon wanted to check out Chinatown, so we took a bus back to Market Street and walked to Chinatown and Little Italy. By then it was time for us to head back to Berkeley to change into our Halloween attire. Brandon was Dexter (television's favorite serial killer, not the cartoon child genius) and I was a fancy cat. What the hell is a fancy cat, you say? I wore some dressy, trendy clothes paired with cat ears and a black eye mask. And that, my friends, is a fancy cat. Lame, I know. But I couldn't think of anything else and never had time to go to my parents' house for legitimate costumes.

We BARTed back over to San Francisco and met up with Leya. I hadn't seen Leya since last xmas. The funny thing about Leya and I is that we never see each other. She's one of my best friends, but we only see each other once a year. We've simply accepted that this is the way it's going to be and it works for us. We are great friends regardless. After meeting up with Leya and making the necessary introductions, we had dinner at Cheesecake Factory. I personally would have preferred a restaurant that wasn't a chain, but Brandon had never been to this restaurant before. Our plan was to party at the Castro and the Mission, but the famous Castro Halloween party was basically shut down ever since some guy shot people at the 2007 party. He ended up killing one person and a huge tradition. Bastard.

We walked around the Castro and Mission, but the city was really dead. After a brief interlude at a bar, we eventually met up with another friend of mine. My friend Ash invited us to a party at a local club, but we didn't end up going. Brandon just wasn't feeling up for it, so we said our goodbyes to Ash. I invited Leya to come back to Berkeley with us, but she ultimately decided to stay in the city. So I bid her adieu until next year's meeting. The night ended with Brandon and I passing out in our room while watching tv.

The next morning we left Berkeley at about 8am. We had originally intended to stop in Santa Barbara, but never did. Since we ended up taking the 5 instead of the 101 home, there were no signs announcing nearby cities. We simply forgot about Santa Barbara and didn't remember until we entered LA County. It was a big "oops moment." We decided that we would have to dedicate a future road trip just to Santa Barbara. We arrived in LA at 2pm. I was going to stick around and hang out in my old stomping grounds with Brandon, but I was pretty tired. I just wanted to get home and collapse on the couch. So I once more said goodbye to Brandon.

It was just three days and they flew by, but what a wonderful three days. The only repercussion was the aftermath of my reunion with my old friends. I was really down yesterday at work. I'm normally very introspective, but I couldn't put my finger on why I was so down in the dumps. Then I realized what was wrong. I chose to ignore the fact that my reunion was only temporary and the impact of having to once again say goodbye to my Boston friends had finally hit me. I hate goodbyes more than anything. They tear me up inside. I really wish I weren't so damn sentimental, but if I haven't been able to break this by now...

Oh well. It was good times all around. :)


- R

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

...the San Francisco treat!

It's official... I am going to be spending this weekend in San Francisco.

I leave Friday and come back Sunday. I thought I would be going alone, so I was almost certain that I was not going to end up going. I have two good friends up there, but the prospect of driving up there and back all alone was a deterrent. It all seemed like such a hassle. A 6-hour road trip by myself sounded so boring. I was so tempted to just stay home.

But I just got a text from my Boston friend currently studying in LA saying that he would be able to accept my invitation. So now I won't be going alone, which is great. But the real treat is that it will be a Boston reunion because we'll be meeting up with a another Boston friend who lives in the Bay Area. The three of us lived in the same building during our time in Boston and became very close.

Brandon and I will be driving up to Berkeley on Friday morning. Brandon has heard many a good thing about driving on PCH, so we'll be taking the scenic route up to Nor Cal. Once there, we'll meet up with Bika. We will be spending the day in Berkeley and then seeing American Idiot (the new Green Day musical based on their hit album of the same name) at the Berkeley Rep. The next day we'll be spending it San Francisco with my dear friend Leya. Halloween in San Francisco should be great! Now I just need to come up with a last-minute costume. Any ideas???

And that will be that. A short weekend, but I'm sure it will be a fun one.

I'm so excited!


- R

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dying. Seriously. I'm dying to see this movie!

The Weinstein Co. pushed back the release of Nine to December 18 because they hate me. They did, however, finally release something other than the teaser trailer (which ended up being the actual official trailer) for film adaptation of the movie Nine. I talked all about the upcoming film version and the actual music in a previous post, but I just had to post this video.

To be perfectly honest, it doesn't reveal much of anything new. But it does give a glimpse at the film's opening mixed in with previously shown rehearsal footage. Though I like the instrumentals they use (reminiscent of an orchestral warm-up), I do wish they use the original overture for the opening. It's a unique (as far as I know) overture and a Nine signature because the entire overture is an a capella composition for the women in the cast -- "Overture della Donna."

But enough from me. Enjoy the following video and yearn with me for this movie's release date.


- R

Thanks to Trailer Addict for this video.

Monday, October 19, 2009

You make me feel so young

I'm back, folks!

Forgive the hiatus. I've been busying fulfilling my lifelong dream of climbing Mount Everest and just got back from... er... wherever Mount Everest is.

Ok. So that's a lie. But I have been out living life.

It seems that I have neglected being young and carefree since leaving student life behind me. Back when I was spry and full of youthful vigor, I would go out and be the life of the party. Now I'm 24. I'm practically decrepit.

I recently told a friend that I am past my prime. 2007-2008 were the years I was at my peak. I was the wittiest and most entertaining person people knew. People liked having me around. I felt rather beloved. But that is all over.

The way I put it... for one brief shining moment I was a grape prime for the picking. I had the potential to become a fine wine. But instead I withered on the vine. I shriveled up and became a raisin. And I hate raisins. Next stop: prune. Raisins become prunes, right?

Lately, however, I've been changing. Yes, I work all the time and have started reviewing again. But I am making having some fun a priority.

My co-workers have become my new group of friends. I've been seeing a lot of one girl in particular. She has reintroduced me to the world of debauchery. For example, one night we drove to West Hollywood for a night of bar hopping. We got to The Abbey (one of my favorite bars in LA) around 11pm or so. Drank and danced a while, but then left to find other bars. We left LA around 2:30am and I got home at around 4am. I slept for 3 hours and then got up to get ready for work. It was insane for me to have such a crazy night when I knew I had to open the next day, but I did it anyway. I was half-asleep and still a bit drunk when I arrived at work, but it was all worth it!

My recent escapades, though less wild (and by less wild I mean that we stayed in Orange County), have been just as fun. My activities have ranged from closing down bars to catching a late flick.

It may sound silly to you, but I had seriously forgotten that life can be fun. I am enjoying my life at the moment. It is becoming a healthy (well, arguably healthy) mix of work/responsibility and fun.

I truly believe that that's what has been missing from my life. It is the reason there have been so many gaps between posts on this blog. I had lost my creative muse and found it increasingly harder to write. But these new friends and experiences have refreshed me. In the words of Romeo, I am "new baptized."


- R

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Roger Federer????

I'm sure we all get physically compared to someone.

Perhaps it's someone you know like a friend or a family member. For example, I've had friends tell me I look like my friend Brandon. Aside from one picture in which we kinda... sort of... slightly resemble each other, I still cannot see the resemblance between us.

Or to a third party (e.g. "You look just like my friend ________!").

Or you could even be compared to a celebrity. The celebrity comparison can really go both ways; it can be a compliment or an insult. If you're lucky, you are told you look like an attractive celebrity. I've been told on multiple occasions that I look like Wilmer Valderrama, specifically as Fez on That 70s Show. I do not consider this comparison a compliment in the least. Being compared to a douchebag playing a stereotype is not flattering.

Yesterday at work, however, I got a new one. I was helping a family of 5 and one by one they began telling me how I look like Roger Federer.

"You look like someone," says the patriarch.

"Ummm.... I do?" I reply.

"I got it! You look like Roger Federer. Yes, that's it. You look like Roger Federer."

"You do!" says Daughter #1. "You totally look like Federer."

"The tennis player?" I ask incredulously.

"Yeah! You look a lot like him," says Daughter #2.

"Well... thank you. I suppose," I say with an awkward smile.

Later that night I told my dad about this alleged resemblance.

"They said I look like Roger Federer. But isn't he Swiss?"

His response: "He is..... but... hmmm... huh..... yeah."

"Yeah what?"

"I guess you do kinda resemble him. I wouldn't say you look just like him, but I could see some similarities."

I looked him up on Google Images and, honestly, I don't see it.

For one thing, my nose is not nearly that big. At least, I hope not. Also, I don't think my eyebrows are that nice. But I suppose this picture bears some slight resemblance to me, particularly when I grow out my hair. We kinda smile the same; our cheeks cause our small eyes to look even smaller.

But women seem to find him very attractive, so I guess I will take the comparison as a big compliment.

And you, dear readers? Have you ever been told you look like someone -- celebrity or otherwise -- and just can't figure how or why?

If so, do tell!


- R

Friday, September 4, 2009

An unwelcome homecoming

Seeing as I finally got some time off from work, I decided to head over to my parents' house for some much needed alone time. My parents wouldn't be coming home until the weekend, so I had two days all to myself.

After an hour-long drive in the heat that won't seem to go away, I pulled up to that oh so familiar driveway. I bid the remote to open the garage door. I begin to slowly drive in. But I stop. Something is wrong.

There is a bit of a mess. Stuff has been knocked down. I drive in an inch more, but once again come to a sudden stop.

I see a shape on the ground. There is something in front of the door leading into the house. My mind races with ideas as to what the shape is, but I can't quite discern its identity. I have a feeling I know what it is, but I really don't want to be right. I take off my sunglasses to get a better look at the unidentified object. Then my suspicions are confirmed.

It's an animal. It had yet to move, but I was still unsure that it was actually dead. I finally turn off the car, but still don't want to get out of the vehicle. Like I said, the animal could just be sleeping.

I eventually get out of my car. The animal blocking the entrance to my house is... er, was an opossum. A juvenile opossum, to be exact. It looked dead. But what to do? I did what any 24 year old man would do in this situation.

"Mom! There's a dead animal in the garage!"
"What? How do you know?"
"I'm looking at it!"
"Well, how did it get in?"
"How should I know? I don't live here."
"Just pick it up with something and dispose of it."
"Are you insane!? I'm not touching it! What if it isn't really dead? What if it's just... umm... playing 'possum?"
"Throw something at it."

I throw some balled up napkins at the opossum. Nothing.

"It didn't move."
"Then it's dead."
"But what if it's really good at pretending it's dead?"
"Oh just pick it up with a broom or something and get rid of it."
"Can't I just leave it here for you to dispose of it?"
"You are NOT leaving that carcass in my garage! Now man up and dispose of the giant rat."

I hang up the phone and stare at the dead body before me. I must have stood there for at least 10 minutes before actually doing something. Finally, testosterone returns to me and I take action. I grab a broom and prepare to transport the dead animal to the garbage. But first I poke it a few times just to make sure it is really dead.

After several pokes I conclude that the opossum is definitely not going to suddenly rise to its feet and viciously attack me. I take the broom and carefully try to slide it under the body. Unfortunately, it doesn't go as smoothly as I would have liked. I continuously drop the opossum and toss it around. I find myself apologizing incessantly to the dead body.

"So sorry."
"Oops! Sorry!"
"Oh god, I'm sorry."
"Ack! Sorry."

After what seemed like an eternity I manage to dump the body into our garbage. My dark deed was at last complete and I could put it behind me.

I confess that a large part of me was tempted to merely back out of the garage, walk into the house through the front door, and pretend that there was not a rotting corpse in my garage. I could easily have left the body for my parents deal with. I was certainly tempted.

At least now I have an interesting story to tell my co-workers.....


- R