Monday, January 23, 2012

Stage Direction: More Shirtlessness

I saw Ides of March, the political thriller where George Clooney and Ryan Gosling attempt to out-hott one another, sometimes in Cincinnati.

It's a pretty good movie, but it could have been spectacular. My thoughts to Clooney, who wrote, directed and starred:

• Ryan Gosling did not have one shirtless scene. Not even during the love scene. Seriously? Bullshit, Clooney. You did that so he wouldn't out-shine you.

• You also didn't have a shirtless scene. Clooney! What the hell is your problem?! This could have easily been added in. Picture it: Gov Mike Morris (that'd be you, George) as presidential hopeful relieves stress by running through Sawyer Park, shirtless. See, easy.

• Cincinnati looked great on the big screen, but I'd have preferred more. "The Oakley Women's Center" got the most play, and that's probably not even a real place. I don't know what I was doing exactly when you were filming, but my guess is that I was in my very cool Cincinnati apartment and was totally available for b-roll. Just sayin'.

I also saw Crazy, Stupid, Love recently, which is a funny and entertaining movie about the messiness of love, marriage, infidelity and new romance, also staring Ryan Gosling. But guess what, Goz gets shirtless in this one.


Rounding out my Clooney/Gosling movie watching season was The Descendents, starring George Clooney once again.

Damn this is a good movie. So nuanced, bittersweet and heartfelt that I didn't even need a gratuitous shirtless scene. I enjoyed all of the surreal, comic-tragic but ordinary moments in this movie. And there are a lot of them.

And Shailene Woodley, the girl who plays Clooney's foul-mouth, rebellious teen daughter, is phenomenal.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bigger, Deffer... Badder

Four years ago when the Patriots played the Giants in Super Bowl XLII, my dad traded-up my parents' 40 inch picture tube TV (I think it even had a dial on it) to 52 inches of pure flatscreen high-defness.

When Brady crushed the Giants, my dad was going to see every pass in all it's plasma glory. 

But somehow, Eli Manning handed suave boy Brady his ass. No one could believe it, least of all my dad.

"I got a big screen TV to better see my team get whooped," my dad said.

He told me the next season that whenever he watched the Patriots play on his new big screen, they'd lose. But whenever he'd watch them on the small, crappy TV in the den, they'd win.

"It's my TV's fault whenever they lose," he said. "It's jinxed. It's not doing right by Brady."

The jinx was forcing him to choose between comfort and his team winning.

(This could also be why the Bengals, my dad's number one favorite team, lost the playoff game recently. He always watches them on the big screen.)

But last weekend my dad decided the tide has turned since that crushing Super Bowl defeat of 2008. The curse, he says, has lifted, thanks to Tim Tebow.

Sunday after the Steelers/Broncos game I called him to see if he watched that 80-yard OT touchdown run. We were both disgusted.

"I've heard all I care to hear about of ol' Tim Tebone," my dad said. "It's gonna be Tebone time on Saturday I'll tell ya, Brady's gonna show that boy how to play some ball, now. He's gonna look up and SNAP, touchdown!"

We continued to find new ways to massacre Tebow's name.

"I'm sick ol' Tim Teboner myself," I said. "It makes me want him to lose. Badly."

And no win would be sweeter, especially for my dad, than to watch Brady take the wind of out everyone's annoying Tebow sails.

But given the flatscreen's curse on Brady, I asked my dad where he will watch the game.

We have to provide the best outcome for our national nightmare of Tebow Mania to be over, I reminded him.

"On the big TV. Brady wouldn't let me down two times in a row like that," he said.

Hmmm... I'll be out Tebowing making snow angels just in case.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tell Me It's Real

Last night I forced Ray to listen to New Edition songs until he agreed to take me to the New Edition Valentine's Day show at US Bank (with K-Ci & JoJo and El DeBarge, BOOM.)

I sang 'If Isn't Love' like I was Ralph Tresvant (even though my voice is lower than his.) I was four seconds away from breaking it down in the kitchen when he relented.

Starry eyed, I recounted how I listened to my 45 of Mr. Telephone Man over and over when I was in the fourth grade. I would play it upstairs, so I could crank it and dance around without my uncool parents hassling me about it.

They don't GET me. I wanted to be alone with Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike.

"I was a sophomore in high school when that came out," Ray said. "I was listening to Van Halen and Ratt… and Black Flag."

But what I heard was, "I loved them just as much as you, Gina, even if I was too old to be into boy bands."

I won't go into the finer points of why Can You Stand the Rain is the best slow jam ever and how many backward slow skates at the Idyl Wyld Roller Palace I lapped to this treasure, but just know if they bust it out Valentine's Day, Ray is getting mashed on.

I might even cry and pretend to pass out and stuff. 

34 days.

(Btw, have you ever heard Auto-Tune sound so smoooooooth. Hell no, you haven't.)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

And Just Like That, It's A New Year!

You know who had the best New Year's Eve kiss ever?

Ray, me and this guy's head.

We spent NYE recounting 2011 over hearty plates of pasta and red wine at the bar at Via Vite, a score by yours truly.

By the time I remembered to call and get reservations everything was booked. The hostesses basically laughed and hung up on me.

No matter. Necessity is the mother of invention, right?

Ray's suggestion when he saw the packed bar was, 'Let's just go to Scary Arby's.' My invention was to scowl at people until they left. Thanks to my keen eye and hovering skills we not only scored two chairs but also - drum roll! - free olives.

We are not afraid to eat olives left by previous diners. (Ok, Ray's not afraid anyway.)

Maybe I'm a jerk for saying this, but I was stunned by how many people were at Fountain Square for New Year's Eve, drinking and toasting and eating cotton candy and popcorn. It was shoulder to shoulder, our own little version of Times Square, but with a Chocolate Lady Statue instead of a ball dropping.

I tried to get crowd shots but instead the first 10 seconds of my video is of the folks warm and cozy staring out of their rooms at the Westin, watching the rest of us shiver. Twenty seconds after the stroke of 2012 you can hear Ray say, 'Come on, kiss me.' We forgot to kiss because I was filming the fireworks Westin. Oops.

Which brings me back to the best New Year's Eve kiss ever... It looks like I'm trying to get away from Ray but actually I was saving our lives. The guy in front of me was practically on top of me. I was afraid we'd all topple over like dominoes. The whole sea of people at Fountain Square, on their asses because I tipped over.

But I stayed steady, my friends. If that doesn't say 2012 is going to be a great year then I don't know what does.