Sex and the City 2: A Review Saturday, May 29 2010 

Yesterday, PJ and I saw Sex and the City 2. We both loved the series and the first movie, so we were looking forward to the new one. Each of our heroines is facing a problem: Carrie is worried that she and Big have lost their sparkle; Miranda is being silenced by her boss; Samantha is going through menopause and is worried about what it’s doing to her libido; and Charlotte is scared that her husband will have an affair with their bra-less bosomy nanny. Along the way, Anthony and Stanford get married, and the “girls” get an all-expenses paid trip to Abu Dhabi.

Here’s the trailer:

I enjoyed the movie, but everything we’ve heard about it has been negative. Reviewers have routinely been calling it one of the worst movies of the year. In writing about it, I recognize that I want to say two somewhat contradictory things about it.

First, Sex and the City 2 is not exactly the caricature that reviews are making it out to be. Lisa Swarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly, for example, complains that, with the exception of Miranda, “not one of the fashion friends lifts her head out of her luggage to get a clue” (June 4/11, 2010, p. 95). Accordingly, Swarzbaum presents a satirically simplistic summary of each woman’s storyline. As she writes, “Charlotte is upset that motherhood is hard; Miranda is upset that she is unappreciated at work; Samantha is upset that she can’t outrun menopause.” But her darts are really aimed at Carrie, who’s problems she sarcastically reduces to being “upset that she’s got everything.”

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It’s Complicated: A Review Saturday, May 29 2010 

Last night, PJ and I finally watched It’s Complicated from Netflix. We both love Meryl Streep, so we should have been anxious to see it, but we’d heard so many mixed to bad reviews of the movie that we weren’t sure we’d enjoy it. Streep plays a Martha Stewart-type named Jane who becomes involved in an affair with her ex-husband, Jake, played by Alec Baldwin, who married “the other, much younger woman” after his divorce Jane 10 years ago. Comic mayhem ensues.

Here’s the trailer:

Contrary to some of the advance buzz, PJ and I both really enjoyed this movie. One of the criticisms we heard (from a friend) was that Jane’s life is too perfect. In particular, she lives in the perfect house and has the perfect job as a chief who owns her own bakery. While it’s true that Jane lives a life a luxury, I don’t see why this would be a problem. After all, movies are often an escapist art. And some people do actually live the life that Jane has.

Second, we heard that Jane laughs too much, which is also rather silly. She does laugh a lot, but in scenes in which it totally makes sense. As the trailer suggests, she laughs while she drinking with her girlfriends and she laughs while high with her architect/boyfriend. So, under the influence of alcohol and/or pot, she laughs a lot. Seems rather easy to believe to me.

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Tell Me You Love Me by Leela James Wednesday, May 26 2010 

I saw Leela James‘s new album, My Soul, on iTunes and immediately felt that it was just the kind of album I would love. So, I surfed over to YouTube and watched the first of her videos to come up, “Tell Me You Love Me”:

I liked what I heard, so I sampled the tracks on the album and decided to download it. So far, I love it! This is exactly the kind of music I love, neo-soul. James reminds me a little of early Tina Turner crossed with Anthony Hamilton. Listening to her also reminded me that I want to download Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings’s new album too.

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Be Mine: A Review Saturday, May 22 2010 

Last night, PJ and I watched the 2009 movieĀ  Be Mine on DVD. (In fact, I think it was a straight-to-video movie — is that what the “V” means on http://www.imdb.com?) It stars Dan Selon as Mason, a college senior who has never kissed a boy. The movie is told in flashbacks: we see how he met the guy he’s just married and how he went from never-been-kissed to totally in love. Here’s the trailer:

We tried to watch this movie once before, but the DVD was defective. The few minutes we saw the first time made us wonder if it was worth trying again. Overall, I’d say that Be Mine is a likable romantic comedy, but it feels more like the pilot for a sitcom than a movie — it’s all set up with very little dramatic/comedic action.

Basically, Be Mine follows Mason as he sees a guy he thinks is cute, admits that he’s never been kissed (much less had sex), and meets up with the guy again at a party that night. All of this is told in flashbacks; we learn right off the bat that Mason has married this guy, Reiley, played by Jared Welch.

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Satisfied by Woody Pines Wednesday, May 19 2010 

After seeing Woody Pines live over the weekend, I decided to make one of their songs, “Satisfied,” my song of the week. It’s a great little song about being happy where you are. Here’s a live version I found on YouTube:

I’m looking forward to the band’s return to Athens next weekend (May 28). PJ and I are going to go (they’re playing at Casa Cantina) as are a couple of our friends. It should be a lot of fun.

“Satisfied” is off the new, 2009 album, Counting Alligators, which is great. I can’t find the lyrics for this song, so I’ve added another video of the band after the break.

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Nelsonville Music Festival 2010 Sunday, May 16 2010 

Yesterday, PJ and I spent the late afternoon and evening at the Nelsonville Music Festival. We’ve been to the festival twice before, the first time to see Iris Dement, one of our favorite artists. Last year we saw Willie Nelson at the festival. We were extremely excited to have the opportunity this year to see Loretta Lynn, but there were also a number of other acts that we wanted to hear.

We arrived at the festival around 4 o’clock. The first thing we did was find a good spot for our lawn chairs so that we could see the stage when Loretta Lynn appeared later. Our favorite local band was already playing, so we also got to see their set:

These seats put us near enough to see well without being too close. Last year, the sound system wasn’t amplified enough; this year there were no problems with that, so I didn’t want to be so close we couldn’t hear each other talk.

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Favorite Videos of 2009 Monday, May 3 2010 

After an incredibly busy two months, which put me way behind on blogging, I finally have a few minutes to finish my best-of posts for 2009! I’ve already listed my favorite movies, albums, and singles/tracks from 2009. Now I’ll list my favorite videos.

2009 was definitely the year of Lady Gaga. She became a full-fledged video artist, especially with her videos for “Paparazzi” and “Bad Romance,” my favorite videos of the year:

These songs are both great pop/dance songs, and the videos are, in my opinion, the best of the year. With “Paparazzi,” Gaga established herself as an artist who wants to tell stories with her videos, and with “Bad Romance” she took another step towards visual artistry. No one else is as interesting as Gaga at the moment.

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Is Chad White the Hottest Man in the World? Sunday, May 2 2010 

Back in November, I posted a little homage to three of my favorite Brazilian models, Arthur Sales, Rodrigo Calazans, and Edilson Nascimento, all of whom are smoking hot. But today I’d like to make the case for Chad White as the hottest man in the world.

This video, which I first saw on We Love Guys, perfectly sums up the argument for why Chad White is undeniably one of the hottest guys in the world:

There are several things that I particularly like about Chad White.

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