Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Most Iconic Movie?

Obviously the 4 of us have a great love for all things media (media as in books, tv, movies, music-news is another topic not yet breached!). But it had to start somewhere! So my question this week stems from wondering what movie floats around our brains as the one that started us down this path. What movie made you love movies? What movie sticks out in your life as important to you? What movie defines you (in a sense)? What movie is iconic for you?

I first saw Tommy Boy when I was about 14. Honestly, I didn't have the most well rounded childhood when pertaining to music and movies of the time (the 80's). I was exposed to a lot of country and a lot of Neil Diamond and Fleetwood Mac. Newsies is really the only movie I knew much about, I didn't watch any of the big deal movies of the 80's until I was in college. We moved when I was around 13 and I met my (to this day) funniest friend Traci. She and I laughed about everything anyway, so it was only natural that she introduced me to Tommy Boy. She could already quote it when I finally watched it, but we still watched it over and over. It was what introduced me to sarcasm and physical humor and the genius of Chris Farley. "Richard!". There's of course the schmaltzy parts of the movie, but basically I love Chris Farley. He improved the movie exponentially, and I think that movie will be funny forever. Tommy Boy is my iconic movie because of the humor, because I learned to laugh, and because I think it's the first time I realized people in movies are actors as their jobs and real people in their lives, but WOW Chris Farley was good at his job. You would never know of his personal problems while watching, but what you did know is that he knew how to be funny.
Honorable Mention goes to Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and in part my husband and my's (I'm sure the grammar is wrong there somewhere) most beloved actor of all time-Jim Carrey. The guy is freakin' awesome. I'm so glad that this was already one of my favorite movies when I met Ben, it almost sealed the deal that he could impersonate him and could also quote the movie. Jim Carrey is a comedic genius.
To sum up my iconic movies-I love comedy! I love to laugh! And what's different about these movies is there doesn't have to be all the "I'm not wearing any pants, look at my junk for long periods of time, isn't that hilarious" bull%$&* that seems to be necessary in some of the recent comedies. They're just plain funny.

10 Things I Hate About You (Cory)

While I had loved movies before this, I think this was the first movie I endlessly quoted and bought with my babysitting money not only the tape but also the Soundtrack. I actually still love this movie a whole lot and it only got funnier as I got older. I was somewhere between 7th and 8th grade because we were in AZ and Andi Kortsen was still my best friend. I remember doing that whole lets watch my fave movie and I will watch you watch it because I want you to love it as much as me. I also fell hard for Heath Ledger in this movie, as in I am still falling. What can I say it was dry and witty and fun and the first time I found a movie like that. Even as I sit here so many quotes float through my head that are still hilarious. “I want you I need you ooh baby ooh baby.” “I like my Sketcher sneakers but I love my Prada backpack.” “But I Love my Sketcher sneakers.” “That is because you don’t have a Prada backpack.” “I know you can be overwhelmed, and underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?” “I think you can in Europe.”
I watched this movie so many times I could sing along with the soundtrack the day I got it, I could also recite most of the movie in a way that is really annoying to all others in the room. I had to take a 3 year sabbatical from it because it was just too much, we weren’t appreciating each other anymore. I tend to go for a whole lot of funny and some heart in my iconic movies.

Honorable Mention: That Thing You Do! I think we pretty much broke this tape. Indiana Jones still a staple in our household and the coolest professor I have ever seen!

Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgandy - H
Okay I need to start with an explanation because this movie I actually didn't watch until I went to college, and I was a movie lover long before that. So this movie didn't put me on the path to movies per se but it has definitely influenced. If I were to pick the movie that definitely got me loving movies or the one I watched so much of I got sick of it, it would actually be James Bond movies. Let me preface this by saying it's going to get gushy. When I was eight we moved out to Edgewood and got this fancy satellite for our new house. Before this I watched Disney movies but had not experienced the wonders of Spike TV and their Bond marathons. When we first moved into our house, maybe a couple years after once my sisters were gone or mostly gone (Abbey wasn't home much) dad and I would be up late Friday nights watching movies, and Saturday marathons would be on while we cleaned and then again when I got home from soccer. I think I have seen every single Bond movie and it totally kick started my love of those kinds of movies. To this day I will choose an action flick over anything (unless someone else is with me then it's whatev they want.) So that's my Honorable Mention: All Bond Movies.
Second Honorable Mention goes to Gladiator. It's fairly new as well but for me, that movie introduced me to the power that a movie's score can have on a film. Really make or break it. That movie was amazing but the music put it over the top.
Now. My pick. Anchorman. This is definitely top three funniest movies to me ever. I adore it. It never fails to make me laugh hysterically and really there are lines in there that can apply to any situation you're ever going to be in. "I don't know how to say this, but, uh....I'm pretty much a big deal." Here we were introduced to the character that is Will Ferrel. Granted it's been a little overplayed but this is where he shined. His humor was like a reinvention of Chris Farley. Really bringing the fun of SNL to the mainstream. And we cannot overlook the brilliance of being introduced to hilariousness in the form of Steve Carell. "Years later, some doctors will label me as mentally retarded." Oh man I love this movie. And it is iconic for me because it brought me to comedy. Before that I had never really been interested in it. Probably because funny can slip down the line to stupid really quickly for me....But this got me on a comedy kick that I love. Before this the only comedy I can remember seeing and liking was Airplane! After this film I saw the Ace Ventura's, Tommy Boy, all the good ones. It started a Heidi-revolution in movie watching.

Undercover Blues- Kara
It seems like one of the main criteria for this iconic movie title for all of us is quotable lines, and for me, "Undercover Blues" is it- I saw it first at a middle school youth group sleepover.  Two of my friends from back then still quote this movie with me, our favorite lines being:
"Do you know who this is?"
"No, but you have a really sexy voice!"  (Lots of fun to call each other and start conversations this way!)
Another classic- "Cute baby!  Is it a boy or a girl?"  "Gosh, I hope so!" 
The premise of the movie is Kathleen Turner and Dennis Quaid are a married couple who work as spies for the government, but they've had a baby and they're trying to be a normal family by going on extended maternity leave to New Orleans, where of course they find themselves in the middle of some big international espionage situation.  Oh, another great line, Dennis returns from a walk with the baby with the stroller completely destroyed and tells his wife he got in a knife fight with would-be pickpocketers outside the hotel.  "You took our baby into a knife fight?" his wife asks, to which he replies, "It was a fair fight, two of us, two of them."  Love this movie!  Throughout the movie, they wear the same pair of pajamas- Dennis walking around in the bottoms and Kathleen wearing the top of course, and I've often threatened to buy my friends' pajamas so they can reenact those scenes with their spouses.
I have several honorable mentions, most importantly Gettysburg, because I'm a huge history nerd and this movie showed me how well historical movies can be made.  Historical accuracy can be achieved without sacrificing entertainment value and can bring the past to life about as well as anything I've seen.  It also taught me about the power of music in movies, since I can still picture the scene where Robert Lee (played by Martin Sheen) rides through the troops before he sends them to their deaths in Pickett's Charge just by hearing the first few notes of that score.  Also, this movie (and the book its based on, Killer Angels) introduced me to two of my favorite historical figures- Joshua Chamberlain and James Longstreet.
Back in the comedy region, two other classics for me would be Fools Rush In and 10 Things I Hate About You.  These were some of the first movies I saw multiple times in the theater, and like Cory said, I purchased both the movies and the soundtracks.  I actually bought both of them on DVD recently because I don't think my old VHS tapes will make it much longer and the idea of not having these movies in my collection is a bit unsettling.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

500 Days of Summer

Not what I thought but better…
- This is totally late I pretty much forgot I wrote it so lameness on my part.

My sister came with me to see this indie film because I always feel I am not hipster chic enough to see these movies.

This movie is about a greeting card writer who meets a girl and they date, her name is Summer. The movie hops around from different days of the 500 days of Summer (the girl not the season). So we see the whole relationship like it got cut up and then mixed- like a delicious salad. Including how Tom deals with their breakup after thinking she was the one (this happens pretty early and is pretty well known so not a spoiler). Including how different he sees her pre and post breakup.

Sounds like a downer but it’s not. You not only get to see their entire relationship but also a lovely side of LA, and Summer’s wardrobe is really cute, plus the music is great too. And I am not into Joseph Gordon-Levitt (huh 3 names again) but by the time I left this movie I totally loved him.

It is just a cute little movie about something we will all go through or have.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

Well of few of my favorite songs at least. Okay I'm a single girl. Literally. I rarely ever get cds, usually only if Abbey has bought them and I steal them. So I amass a collection of singles and would like to share my current favs.

*Boys Like Girls - 'Love Drunk' Okay this song is just straight up awesome. The chorus is fantastic and fun and the best to sing out loud at the top of your lungs! "I used to be love drunk, but now I'm hungover. Love you forever..... but now I'm sober." Love it!

*Nelly Furtado ft. Flo Rida - 'Jump' This song is just fun. Fun.

*Lady Gaga - 'Beautiful, Dirty, Rich' "We want it all, but we got no money". Who doesn't identify with that? Another song that's just fun to listen to and sing with.

*Taylor Swift - 'You Belong With Me' Sweet little Taylor Swift just knows how to write a love song. So cute.

*Cascada - 'Evacuate the Dance Floor' Want a good song to listen to in your car with the windows down and loud? Or one to dance to? This is it.

*Keri Hilson - 'Knock You Down' She's got a really good voice and the song is just a good thing to remember, with all types of love. It might knock you down but just get up again.

*Priscilla Renea - 'Dollhouse' Another good "mad at the world" song. The last line is the best though; "Glad I kept my receipt".

*Owl City - 'Fireflies' Such a cute catchy melody and just lets you escape to your childhood when all that mattered was the fireflies telling you what to do.

*Jay Sean - 'Down' Okay ignore the cheesetastic part about a guy telling a girl he loves her and asking "are you down". Just skip that part and move on to the part about "you'll never be lonely, even if the sky is falling down". And remember the down down down part all day when you're singing this in your head.

There we go, my current favs.

Friday, September 18, 2009


This week's weekly question stems from the magnificent array of "beautifully defined" leading men we find in Fall Tv. Except we're going old school on this one and are having a throwback to our youth. And honestly who doesn't love reliving those care free days when you could lounge around simply thinking of the dreamy guy you would one day grow up and marry...

Who was your first TV or Movie crush? And we're going legit crush here, like you watch the show just for them, compare all other boys to them, etc.

Jack Kelley - 'Newsies' (Heidi)
The first time I saw this movie I think I was five or six. I had no idea what was going on honestly. I watch it now and realize the political statements in that movie were so far over my head I didn't even realize that they were there. I did however know that Jack Kelley was there. I am pretty sure I watched this movie more than a hundred times and not only all the lines, but all the songs by heart. We had the movie recorded on a video cassette (ya it was that old) and I would patiently fast forward through 3/4 of the video before even getting to Newsies. And even then it sometimes wouldn't work and I would have to start all over again. But I was persistant and never gave up or forgot Newsies.
My family has a tradition that on Christmas Eve you get to open one present. Usually you open the one that you knew what it was, it was maybe a little lame, so that you have all the good presents for Christmas day. The Christmas after my 8th birthday I KNEW that my sisters had gone together and gotten me the Newsies soundtrack. I ripped into that present Christmas Eve despite Abbey's extreme annoyance that I was ruining the fun of Christmas. I did regret it a little, but I did not for one minute regret having that cd. I still have it today, complete with the well-worn pictures from the movie. I considered framing the ones of Jack Kelley.
There is a reason I keep referring to him as Jack Kelley instead of the somewhat more well-known Christian Bale. That reason is that until I was in high school, I did not realize that it was Christian Bale or that he was in any other movie. But when I did I think I watched every single movie of his. This crush has stuck with me and still enriches my life today. I can still remember myself avidly sitting in front of the tv singing along with him and hoping that one day I could go to New York and meet him.
*And I apologize for stealing Abbey's....next week with your question you can steal mine.*

Jonathan Taylor Thomas- "Home Improvement" (Kara)
First off, big thanks to Heidi for reminding me of one of my all-time favorite movies! I am now singing "Open the gates and seize the day, don't be afraid and don't delay . . ." I hunted for the soundtrack awhile back and couldn't find it (maybe its on iTunes?) One of the best gifts my sister Meg has ever given me was "Newsies" on DVD! Lately I've been finding a bunch of my favorite childhood movies on DVD (for very cheap too!) at Target. My two best purchases this summer in that category were "Trouble With Angels" (Hayley Mills, you must see it!) and "Troop Beverly Hills." Shelley Long's best acting role. Ever.
But on to the weekly question, once again I am extremely lame and have been thinking for several days now who my first crush would've been, because I really don't think I had a good one. We weren't really allowed to watch much TV as kids, and I didn't do any of the cutting out posters and putting them on my walls or anything because I'm a huge nerd. We did, however, watch "Home Improvement" as a family, every Tuesday night without fail, so I think the first celebrity boy I would've been aware enough of to count as a crush was good ol' JTT. (And total sidebar, but why did all the boys in that show go by three names? JTT, Brad the oldest was Zachary Ty Bryan, Mark was Taran Noah Smith.) I even saw the classics "Man of the House" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" in theaters. During the holidays, ABC Family does their 25 Days of Christmas movie marathons where they show all those fabulous holiday movies, and I did sit down to watch part of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" the last time it was on! Somehow I remembered the acting being much better when I was in middle school . . .
Laurie- Little Women (Cory)
OK I am sure I crushed on many an animated fellow: beast post transformation, Eric from Little Mermaid, G.I Joe, etc. But I think in my little 5 year old heart I knew that was not possible, so I started to think about my first true crush and while there was a Luke Perry phase but that was later. And I am pretty sure Johnny from Dirty Dancing crossed my mind once or twice but I more so just thought he was cool, I mean he had a leather jacket and his own place. The first crush I can remember was actually also Christian Bale, but from a different movie (don’t worry me and Heidi already worked out this issue I traded him for Clive Owen). When I was 8 or 9 we had just gotten cable and we had free HBO for a while, well I knew how to use the VCR and pulled my little butt out of my bed at 6 am on a lazy summer morning. To this day if I get up early for you it is pretty much love. Found the blank tape I had requested from my momma and started to tape Little Women and who was there but their rich neighbor Laurie.
I remember being really mad at Jo for casting him aside and then even madder because she married that old dude who in my mind could not compare to Laurie (even with a name like that) who had loved her so much. Laurie also did some shady stuff but I could see no bad in him, well Christian Bale is still pretty un-ugly and has gotten even better so I consider this crush a good investment.
STOLEN! Plus Robin from Batman & Robin (Chris O'Donnell)
Heidi totally stole my crush!!! When she told me we were doing this question, he was the first that popped into my mind. He was the first boy I ever heard sing whose voice really spoke to my heart because it sounded so good, plus he is/was gorgeous. I mean d a m n, who else does the "brooding" look better and make hearts flutter while doing it? Ok Jack Kelley, I will do whatever you say and think is important because your soul searching look into my eyes did all the convincing. And Kara stole my other crush too, Mr. JTT. I didn't ever put up pictures in my room either (the New Kids on the Block phase completely passed me by too, although looking back on it, I should've caught it merely so I could catch the Marky Mark phase, because whoa. Mark Wahlberg is also crushworthy), probably because I feared embarassment from my dad, but I did secretly pine for JTT. I liked him also because he was the funny one and could pull it off without a hitch unlike TNS or ZTB who were pretty dorky. Ok, now on to my own personal crush, cocky Robin in Batman & Robin. As I look back on this movie, what in the world was George Clooney doing as Batman? I can't picture it anymore and have it be un-comical. But anyway, Robin was just cute. I think that's all I thought was man, he is so cute! Chris OD would probably not be pleased that all I think of him is that he is cute, but he sure is. He isn't a bad boy at all, he isn't particularly "funny", he's just cute. But cute is good, it does have it's place! This crush sounds rather lame, but cute is really important in your list of crushes! You always have the bad boy crush (Cam Gigandet HEtothefreakin'LLO ), the rock star crush (Tyson Ritter *duh* or Josh Todd of BuckCherry seen here don't judge, the guy literally makes me swoon), the dork crush (Breckin Meyer in Can't Hardly Wait), the real-life crush (um, Ben, duh, for the past 9 years!!!), and the cute crush. Chris O'Donnell is cute.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Hurt Locker

A hack into this movie.

What can you say about a movie that is about a bomb diffuser in Iraq that is not already implied? Intense is the word I would use. This movie is not for the faint of heart because it will keep it pumping the whole way through. They are not so many people in this movie and it does not need them. The main focus is the team of men who are sent to deactivate bombs all across Iraq.

Jeremy Renner is James the new guy and also in charge, he is the guy that actually deactivates the bombs. He plays this part well but you don’t realize all the subtle things he has done until the end of the movie that make this character.

Anthony Mackie is Sarborne the second in command who wants to do what James does. He tries his best to keep James in line and everyone safe.

Brian Geraghty is Eldridge young and unsure and in Iraq you should be. He is the green kid.

All of them do a great job in this character study and it will be a travesty (If I had a virtual fist that would slam on a virtual desk I would insert it here) if we don’t see them in other movies.
This is the kind of movie I like to see with my dad because he can answer questions like how many shots can you get off an AK-47 (imagine bringing a guy home to that). While also discussing if the guys he knew were really like that. You want to see this movie with someone so you can talk about it with after and what you think of James reckless or just functioning?

What did I see? A movie where a man with some demons was doing the best he could to cause the least damage whether by the bomb, to himself, his family, his team and the men around him.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Getting to Know You …

Getting To Know All About You…

Recently Abbey was talking about music & the Hacks and then I thought oh I would really love to have us all do concert reviews. Because I love to read them since you cannot make it to all the shows you want. Well then I started to think about the other Hacks and all the questions I want to ask them like what was their first CD, first concert & the first movie they cried at? So after all the Hacks voted we decided to do a weekly question where we all answer and take turns asking so here is the first question:

What is the best concert you have been to and why?
Coldplay in Glendale, AZ Last November - Cory
I could pretty much gush/write about this concert for days that is how good it was so I will try to keep it short. By some weird luck Coldplay cancelled an earlier date and rescheduled the Glendale concert for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. My sister claims it was meant to be since we were already traveling to AZ to celebrate with cousins. It turned out to be their last American stop on that concert tour. They had some opening band from TX and a visual art thing where animation was linked up to a DJ at the show which was all ok but we only had eyes for Coldplay.

Out they come and this is what I remember they were all really talented all of them played, sang and had written these songs and it showed. When they sang Viva la Vida the entire stadium sang the chorus and they stopped playing. To this day and many years from now I will still be able to close my eyes and here the stadium sing that song. During Lovers in Japan they played a cute little Japanese film and they dropped paper butterflies on the entire crowd later. (Side note that is why their free live CD has a butterfly on it, you can get it at their website.) Chris Martin ran all over that stage and even played a little piano out front for a while.

Here is where they really set themselves apart though, ok the Glendale Arena is basically a bowl and there is a floor, the sides of the bowl and the rim. My sister and me were in the sides of the bowl. About 2/3rds through the concert Coldplay disappeared and suddenly came out a side door to play on a small stage that was constructed a section over from us, basically half way up into the seats. I remember looking at my sister with this face like wow Coldplay is 12 seats away from me and she pretty made the same face back. They made some jokes about how they are sorry if we never wanted to be that close to them, but they like to give all their fans a really good show. And then played a few songs acoustically sounding great, went back down to the main stage and played some more. I will stop here or I will write a whole book.

This concert was amazing though I joke about how even if God forbid Coldplay gets awful for some reason, I will always love them because of this great concert and night they gave me and my sister. Not even the Spaniard in front of me with too much cologne, who kept giving me bad looks for singing along too loud could wreck that concert for me.

Fall Out Boy - My Sophomore Year in college, also Glendale, AZ - Heidi
I haven't been to many concerts, so I thought this decision would be easy, but it actually wasn't. I had to take into account a lot more than the music to decide. Which is why I picked this concert. I love Fall Out Boy. Their music is on I think every single one of my playlists on my ipod. I listen to them all the time. I was really excited for this concert. Not only for Fall Out Boy, but also because Hawthorne Heights and All-American Rejects came with them.

The venue actually wasn't that good, we were at the Coyotes Stadium in Glendale and they were are one end, so you kind of had to look down your aisle to see the stage, but I was okay with that because you really couldn't deny the energy of a bunch of young people screaming at the top of their lungs Dirty Little Secret. It also gave me plenty of people watching gold, with all the little grunge teenagers who think they know something about life to the girl wildly swinging her sweater around her head. The latter girl was really the best because she didn't know how close she came to dying at the hand of Abbey, Megan, Ben, or myself as she whacked us in the head...

The energy in this concert was really awesome. The feeling that you get at any concert where everyone knows all the words is amazing, but truly screaming songs that, let's face it, are angry songs, is really exhilarating. And Fall Out Boy brings the screaming. But I didn't enjoy FOB as much as I LOVED All-American Rejects. This was where I first realized that Tyson Ritter was a beautiful human being and I haven't regretted that realization a day since. This completely cemented my love of both AAR and FOB and my workouts thank them for that!

Um... I have several... (Abbey)
In my earlier life I frequented concerts, but there are a few that have stuck out, so I will list them. I can't pick just one! They're all good for different reasons:
Depeche Mode, summer of 2001. I got the tickets from my then bf Heather, she couldn't go so she gave them to me for my bday. The only downside to the concert was that I went with this guy named Joe who weighed less than me and was so nice that he was terrible company. He also didn't know any of DM's songs, and really, that is inexcusable! Even if they aren't your favorite you MUST know them at least a little bit if you were born in the early 80's. I have always loved DM, and it was cool to see a group that used to be super huge.
Stevie Nicks, summer of 2000, Albuquerque. I went through a phase in high school where old music was the only good music (I was rather odd, looking back on it). So when Stevie Nicks came to town, where else would I be? She did a few songs of Fleetwood Mac's, and since I was raised listening to Fleetwood, naturally it was pretty flippin' amazing.
Nelly, winter of 2003, Glendale. This is on the list because I got a major contact high that night and Nelly also rode around flying through the air in a very large tennis shoe (might only be cool because of the contact high part). Also, Nelly is really my favorite hip hop person, his songs totally just make me want to dance.
Acceptance/Panic at the Disco/Hello Goodbye/The Academy Is, sometime in 200something Heidi's fresh year at college. We went down to the concert in Tucson primarily to see Acceptance. The headlining band was Panic, but they were barely well known at all and it was the first time I'd heard them really. Acceptance never really got huge, but I LOVE ACCEPTANCE. They will make my soon-to-who-knows-when-come list of songs that make me shed tears because of their beauty. Panic obviously was awesome, as were the other two, it was a super fun concert (except this is close to when I was getting "old" and I was really damn tired on the way home).
Heidi's previously mentioned concert. Um, Tyson Ritter is beauty defined. And All American Rejects are just plain funcool. Funcool is my new term for songs that make me happy and sing really loud and act dorky whilst driving in my car. Funcool. And FOB is super cool even though I will not ever understand the titles of their songs. Hawthorne Heights was there too, except they scream a bit too much for me and I really only like one of their songs.
BACKSTREET BOYS!!!! Phoenix, sometime in 2006. Ok, you may not think any less of my husband for this. Ok? Not allowed. My husband is attractive and very cool and sings very very well. Ben liked BSB and N'Sync because he sings so well and lets face it those guys can sing. And I really like BSB's latest (4 years ago) CD. They sing well ok? Do yourself a favor and take a listen on iTunes, yes it's rather corny but it sounds good.
Carrie Underwood, Glendale, November of 2008. I was preg with Dev and I went with my very fun niece Brittain. Let me just say, this was maybe the best concert I've ever been to performance-wise. Little Big Town was there opening, and they were super good. And Carrie really really can sing and she puts on a fab show. I enjoyed myself immensely!!!
Ok, I'm done even though there are several more I could chronicle for you...

Best Concerts?- by Kara
Okay, here's the thing, my late addition to this post is because I'm totally lame and haven't been to that many concerts, so I honestly can't even think of what I'd say the best one I've been to is! How sad. And its highly likely that no one else has heard of the bands I've seen in concert because most of them were Christian bands my sorority sisters and church friends were into during college.

One of the most moving experiences I've had at a concert was when I saw a Christian group called "Ten Shekel Shirt" on the library lawn at Oklahoma State during college. They were a very new group then, and a few hundred of us came to the concert so it had a very intimate, worshipful atmosphere to it. Some of my favorite songs today are ones they played at that concert. My favorite group to see live is Newsboys, another Christian band (but perhaps a few more people have heard of them!) but they put on an amazing live show. I've seen them in several concerts where there's a billion other bands involved and they're the last one, so I'm always exhausted but always stay to watch them do this spinning drummer thing. Their lead singer can also play drums, and at least once during the set they do this thing where a part of the stage rises, and the lead singer and drummer do this amazing drum duo together, with the stage rising, tilting and then spinning. They throw their sticks to each other and I've never seen them miss a beat. Its awesome!

And I'll throw this one in even though its not technically a concert, but it will make me seem cooler in Heidi's eyes at least! I went to school in Stillwater, OK, also the hometown of the All American Rejects, and before they were all kinds of famous they played Thursday night shows at a bar called Mike's College Bar on what we called The Strip, so I'd heard them there a few times before "Swing, Swing" ever played on national radios. I heard them a few years later when they came through Phoenix (or technically Glendale I think) for some huge music fest who's name I can't remember right now that I took my youngest sister and her friends to. I was reminded that they are fantastic live, even better when they have a budget for their shows, and that Tyson Ritter has perhaps one of the filthiest mouths I've ever heard live.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Say it out loud, it makes sense. I'm excited I get to be first because that means that people can't steal my review! Haha. So the last week or more I've been holed up work in a lab all by myself. Which means that I get to play whatever music I want! So I put Pandora on Kate Voegele and went about my day. And here's what I've come to realize. There is not one song of hers that I don't like. She has two cd's out and I absolutely love both of them. She has a gorgeous voice that I can listen to all day long. And even better she has a good mix of upbeat songs about love, songs about hating love, and really slow songs that just calm you down. That is my favorite part because I often find that some artists have all of one kind of song, and while that kind of song is good, it's just too much. So I totally recommend both of her cds A Fine Mess, and Don't Look Away.
And she's totally a throwback to One Tree Hill, which although she's cheesy I totally love her on it because she doesn't take people's drama. So go Kate!

And because I don't want to make another post and I definitely have to get this one in before Abbey does, Rob Thomas' new cd Cradlesong. Honestly I was TOTALLY against this cd, right from the start because Her Diamonds was totally overplayed and I just didn't like it. Then I found out it was written for his wife who has cancer and I felt completely awful. But then Abbey sent me the entire cd and now that I have listened to it. I totally love it. 'Natural' is a little weird, his voice get's all smoky and fake like Christian Bale when he's Batman....but other than that I completely love it. And the title track 'Cradlesong' is so sweet it makes me want to die, and then find a boy who will sing it to me and cry. It's that good.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


The "fall" is here, warm up the Tivo!! It's like I can finally breathe again after being underwater once fall TV starts. Summer tv is great for the 5 shows I Tivo'd, but man I love me some fall TV. I must make this quick however, I have a little rugrat upstairs locked in her room kicking the wall signaling me to let her out of the pen and another one wants a bottle. Sheesh, these things are so needy! You can totally tell where my priorities lie, right? Duh, my children!... I'm not negletful, TV/blogging/music is just that important. Oh yes, I am adding music to our list of things we review as it truly is my passion, even above TV and pop culture. I will establish myself now as the music guru of the h.a.c.k. group, even though I will prob get slapped in the face by someone who knows more than me. But in all seriousness, I love music so I'm adding it. But I digress. Since my time is short, I'm making lists (they pale in comparison to Cory's lists) of what I watched over the summer, what I plan to watch this fall, and also some music joy. Ah yes, I digress again. I am the resident not-ever-watched-tv-phenomenons. I have never watched nor will ever watch:
There are others, but they aren't nearly as big of a deal. No offense to those of you who adore and are addicted to these shows. I tried to watch Prison Break and follow it (and I did successfully for 3 seasons), but goodnight I got tired of things always going wrong. It felt like Mr. Bean all over again, but more attractive (yes, thank you) and more dangerous. And I hate Mr. Bean.
Summer TV (don't judge now, I had to find something to pass the time)
*First and foremost is WIPEOUT. How awesome is this show? First because it is one of the 3 shows my husband chooses to watch with me (he really would be a lot more involved in my life if he sat and watched TV as much as I do...). Second, the announcers John and John. I know they have time to write this stuff, but it is pure comedy gold. And third, I could SO do this! I just feel deep within my heart that my calling and maybe only talent in life would be doing ridonkulous obstacle courses and totally rock it. I'm so not even joking. Some of you might think you can save the world, feed the hungry but I? I can do obstacle courses.
*Burn Notice and In Plain Sight. Duh. I know Kara detailed why we love these two shows, but I need to add. Ha-loo, Michael Weston is the new Jack Bauer, and I love him. And Fiona totally made the name Fiona cool again, because we all know Shrek's wife did nothing for the name (me and Cameron Diaz are not friends). In Plain Sight graced me with my favorite line ever:
"All you supposed happy people walking around really need to take a closer look at your lives". Nuff said.
*Amazing Wedding Cakes. I actually despise all of the people on this show, they are all weird or nuts or rude, but I love love love cake shows. I can't get enough of them. In my fantasy life, I rock at making cakes.
*SYTYCD. Not sure if I'll watch this fall though, it's a tough call. It's my summer show and I'm a little miffed at it for butting into my fall line-up.
*Real Housewives of NJ and some of Atlanta. I love NJ even more than OC, but Atlanta is insanity and real people do not behave like this ever, no matter how much fake money they have. And if they were in my restaurant, I would so kick them out.
*The Soup. Um Joel McHale makes me LOL. And this is another Ben watches with me, and we both sit on the couch and giggle hysterically. Joel McHale has brought us closer together. Joel McHale for President!!
*Loads of HGTV and DIY, since we have so much money and have so many projects to do around our house. You should see my house, it is a veritable DIY showpiece! Just kidding. That's only in my head.
Fall TV
Really my daughter is getting beligerent, I must hurry, so details later....
*Law & Order: SVU
*90210 (I so wish that real HS was like this, don't you? Not. Was HS all about sex? I didn't think it was totally completely all about sex sex sex but maybe I missed something huge and glaringly obvious)
*One Tree Hill
*Private Practice
*Grey's Anatomy
*Ugly Betty (I must have some shows that are not drama)
*So looking forward to watching Southland for the 1st time
*Fring sounds interesting Cory, totally adding it!
*I'm sure there's more but I can't remember them all right now...

And again, I am running short on time, bah! So for now, go to my other blog and listen to my current most favorite song by Seether. I know, I know, it is a butt rock group, but this song is fantastic. Thank you Ben for introducing it to me. Sometimes, music is a religious experience for me. I get choked up (literally, tears are shed), I feel warm and fuzzy inside, I feel excited and I feel happy. This song is what is doing that to me currently. Maybe later tonight I will do a list of songs that have moved me in such a way, but I might get overwhelmed with the fabulosity of it all and just keel over and die.
And last, but not least, h.a.c.ks forever! We are awesome. And I love that our initials spell hack, because me and my fam's initials spell bakd. Kind of a let down, especially when I realized it spelled baked like a cookie (not a druggie) immediately after stenciling it on some wall art.

Hack Into 90210 and Melrose Place

No it is not the 90’s....

So I really do not even know what to say about these 2 shows last night but here are some of the thoughts that crossed my mind… Oh and SPOILER ALERT!!!


  • It is hard for me to believe that Annie is downward spiraling in an oxford shirt and blazer. And wow lay off the moms.
  • That Teddy kid is 30 no way he is 16 or 17.
  • Silver I don’t like when you act this way because you are bipolar and I don’t know if you are really being dramatic or on the manic side of your disease?
  • Naomi seriously your dating an old dude, really? That guy has more wrinkles than a prune.
  • I love when HS students dance in synch at parties/dances
  • I want those shoes, and those ones and prob those ones too.
  • Elizabeth Rohm what are you doing to your skin to look so good? (She was the mean older lady at the club) I haven’t looked that dewy since I was 8.
  • Oh Annie, how far you have fallen.

90210 was pretty entertaining I am curious to see how these girls will run that school. And I really love Navid so I tend to let a lot slide. Plus I have already made the investment of one season.

Melrose Place

  • Ashlee whatever whatever go back to singing or maybe raising your baby just a thought.
  • Bright Eyes song yeah!
  • Max from Greek! And you should not hesitate to answer that question after 5 years.
  • Oh I sense some unrequited love for Jonas (?) by the mean blonde chick.
  • I want those shoes, and those ones and prob those ones too.
  • What a sleazy producer in Hollywood bollocks!
  • 5 Grand and you will do that, here is an idea get a Student Loan!

Melrose Place gets 2 more weeks and if no improvement it gets deleted from the DVR. Its seems like they made this checklist of what they wanted but forgot to add oh I don’t know some character development and intertwining story throughout. Hot cars check, evil older lady check, club scene check, cool pop music check, struggling artist check, small town girl who may be sketchy check, and dead girl in pool check.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Top 10 TV Shows I am Excited For This Fall

Some old and maybe new faves...

1. Glee: September 2nd. how do I describe a show that has so many parts to it- like a liger a new breed? Equal parts serious, dramatic, musical, large part farce and all around funny. About a High School’s Glee club, but these kids can sing & dance. Lead by a misfit teacher with no funding in a could be happier marriage to his retail addicted wife. This group of outsiders form the Glee club and it doesn’t look like the rest of the school likes them or the club that much. Their music of choice? Here is a sampling of what I have heard so far Amy Winehouse, Kanye West and Journey.

2. Vampire Diaries: September 10th. Yay more vampires (sarcastic voice and fist pump) but this guy made Dawson’s Creek. So it is bound to be full of angsty- hot teenagers dealing with their urges, those urges just happen to be drinking your blood not being secretly in love with their best friend. Oh and don’t forget the small town aspect, along with an evil brother who does not even try to fight his urges, and a hot girl with her soul at stake. What can I say I will be tuning in, and unlike with Dawson’s I won’t even have to make sure my little sister is not around. “Cory your sister cannot watch these things,” mom.

3. Fringe: September 17th. Did you see the double Dawson reference above, yes I will admit it I started to watch this show because I love me some Josh Jackson, have since The Mighty Ducks. It is about Fringe Sciences telepathy, spontaneous human combustion, etc. Involving a mad scientist, his genius son, an FBI agent with some history, a maybe evil corporation, their various cohorts in the FBI, and a handful of other bad mad scientists. I have a lot of really smart friends/live around the corner from 2 sets of National Labs, and they’re not making lipstick, so for me a mad scientist is quite probable. The idea that a person could tap into a little more than that 10% of the brain we are all using and do these things makes sense to me. How much more could this kind of person notice, create, how crazy could would it drive them, and what would they do with it? A smart show that requires weekly watching, but it is worth it, heck even my dad watches it (if you knew him you would see this as a compliment). Oh and J.J. Abrams helped to create this show enough said.

4. Southland: September 25th. A grown up Ryan Atwood from The O.C. !!! A gritty, real look at the cop’s life in LA. This show is not for kids. It is well done, the stories are compelling, the characters are brought to life and it is always original.

5. Dollhouse: September 25th. Joss Whedon! He pushes it too far on occasion but he does more good than bad and keeps you watching. There are dolls they live in a house. The dolls are blank people who have signed their life away for whatever reason (we slowly find out). They then get imprinted with new personalities based on what engagement they are going on (think of an unwilling Sydney Bristow). They have handlers who take them on their missions and watch over them. Throw in a curious federal agent and all kinds of characters and you get The Dollhouse. It’s complicated but not as much as Fringe.

6. Amazing Race: September 27th. The best reality show out there, it has been around forever for a good reason. Here is how it works a set of teams of 2 travel around the world in a race where they have to complete challenges along the way. While all of that is very interesting the best part is watching people adapt, react and get through everything with their partner, the other teams and in a foreign country. Throw in a host who is always calm and polite and this is a show your whole fam can watch on a Sunday night.

7. Gossip Girl: September 14th. Another show not for the kids, most of these are not actually. Completely gratuitous, but you get to see NYC, great clothes and uber rich prep school kids interact. A world otherwise I would never see. Granted it is probably exaggerated or maybe not? But it is a pure guilty night soap pleasure. Plus this year most of them are going off to college.

8. Chuck: February 2010. I know not really fall but this show is so good you should catch up now. Created and ran by the same guy who did The O.C. this show is as funny as that one was. Chuck Bartowski works at Buy More (think Best Buy), in the Nerd Herd (think Geek Squad). But oh wait this is TV, so not only does Chuck work there but he has the entire CIA central main frame downloaded into his head because he is actually really smart. So he gets taken on missions to see if he can flash on bad guys and provide intel to his 2 handlers. Handler #1: Casey he loves America and not Chuck (I think deep down inside he does). Handler #2: Sara a hot blonde with mad skills. Plus his family, his Buy More coworkers, and the mad skill he recently obtained (won’t wreck that for you) and you get this excellent show.

9. Friday Night Lights: February 2010. Another early bird, but you need to catch up and watch this show. Based on the movie that was based on the book that was based on the real town. This show follows the high school football team the Dillon Panthers in a small town Texas. We see the coach and his family, all the players, their families, the booster club, locals and pretty much the whole town. What can’t I say about this show it is amazing. Original, great writing and good acting. Deals with small town politics, racism, touchy subjects and growing up and getting out of this town in a completely believable manner. Oh and did I mention there was football!

10. Community: September 17th. Joel McHale from The Soup stars in this comedy about a shady lawyer who has to go back to college at a community college. I have attended a public university and community college and there is a difference, not good or bad but it is different. He forms a study group with questionable motives & members and we watch the shenanigans unfold. And here is something for the vintage SNL fans—Chevy Chase also starts.

What else do I watch So much: The Office, Lost , How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Rachel Zoe Project, One Tree Hill, Bones, Greek and so much more my DVR should go on strike.
If you want a complete list of premiere dates check out Entertainment Weekly online they always have the most complete premiere list.
If you love this top 10 and want more check out this site too: http://bonustoptens.blogspot.com/

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hacking Heroes

So. I'm late to this bandwagon. I realize that. But here I sit, somehow unfortunately addicted to Heroes. I fought hard not to watch this show. Really hard, almost as much as I fought against watching Lost. Althought I made it longer with Heroes. I gave in. And now, for the past week I have been stuck watching Heroes because I now am invested. It's kind of a double edged sword getting invested in something...at least for tv shows that is. Especially when they are 23 episodes to a single season. BUT, a review. So the show is not exactly a new concept, genetic evolution, but it's presented in a really different way. It's these ordinary people's lives and that's why it's so easy to get sucked in. And you just want to know if they save the world. A definite drawback to this show though, is that's it's like Lost and 24 and all those other shows that suck you in, you really can't miss an episode or you'd have missed something vital. But Cory has not had to stage an intervention for me yet. I told her that if I missed class, then we would need one, but that hasn't happened yet and I have one more day before class starts. And all I'm guaranteed on Netflix is the first season, after that I have to go a disk at a time which definitely helps obsession.
Am I glad I got talked into it? Yes, because now I get to have an opinion on Heroes, and I always love having more opinions. I caved to peer pressure, I know, but it was fun. And I got to indulge in the REAL reason I wanted to watch. I have a total crush on Zachary Quinto. He's pretty much my dream. And not just because he's good looking. Because he is. But his voice. I have a real thing for voices and his is awesome. And he's a bad guy and who doesn't want that?! Milo Ventimiglia is also good, but he would be better if he cut his hair.... This show is good enough that I can overlook the fact that Hayden Panettierre bothers me. So that's a plus for me. We'll see if I stick with it after the first season, but so far, definitely good if you have the 20 hours to put into it....as I apparently do.

Friday, September 4, 2009

First Up to Be Hacked- Fall TV Shows!

It's fall! Or so I'm told- here in Arizona its still well above 100 every day, so I'm not really feeling the fallish vibes yet. Thus I must over celebrate the traditions and events that mark the coming of fall for normal places in the world, and one of my favorites is the start of the new fall TV season!

I have to say, however, that this summer's TV schedule was awesome. I discovered ABC's "Wipeout" this summer, which I'll let Abbey hack in detail because its one of her favorites, but it proved entertaining to both me and my two year old daughter, so that's a thumbs up! I also realized this summer that all of my current favorite TV shows are on the USA Network- "Burn Notice," "In Plain Sight," and "Royal Pains" were must-sees for me this summer, and as a result I also started to get into "Psych." "Burn Notice" is a fave for both my husband and me, him because he watches absolutely everything Bruce Campbell does (and I do mean everything, which means I have to watch everything too which means that there are at least 40 hours of my life somewhere that I'd like back). This is the first thing Bruce has done that I equally enjoy, but my favorite character is Fiona. You gotta like a chic who's barely 100 pounds but as lethal as they come. I love "In Plain Sight" because its filmed in Albuquerque, my hometown, and thus all the scenes are shot in places I love and dearly miss. And "Royal Pains" is just ridiculously funny. Divia and I would totally be friends- you know, if she were a real person.

So what will replace these shows this fall? How will I possibly fill these three empty hours I now have? I suppose I could work on my lectures for my classes, or get cracking on those two articles I'm supposed to write, or turn my dissertation into a manuscript . . . or I could watch "The Office." Yep, I'll watch "The Office." Best comedy on television. I'm hoping that "Community" will be equally as funny- I love Joel McHale (anyone who's made their living making fun of reality TV stars is okay by me) and Chevy Chase in a sitcom is worth a try. I'm also going to give "The Middle," with Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn (the janitor from "Scrubs") a try, I'm a big "Scrubs" fan so I want to see their actors continue to do well, and he was one of my favorite characters. This is also why I'll watch "Cougar Town," since its created by Bill Lawrence. TV Guide says there's a cringe for every laugh, but we'll see. Courteney Cox usually plays self-depricating really well.

I've never been much for TV drama, although that constitutes the majority of the television landscape right now- I tend to like my television escapist, sarcastic and amusing. The standout exception to this would be "24," another show I watch with my husband, but that's definitely still escapist entertainment, even if some of the crises are disturbingly real possibilities. But its not back until January. So do I need any TV drama to fill up my evenings this fall . . . ?

First Things First

First I must explain the address of our blog. If I could have, I would have made it H.A.C.K-ycritics, but since that isn't really possible in a url address, I had to listen when blogspot told me "You will take what we give you!" (NFL commercials anyone?!) Whoa back on track. HACK happen to be all of our initials and hack was the only word I could make out of it, and ironically it happened to fit. Even though we're really not hacks, we are actually amazingly awesome at what we're trying to do here. Also, while my name is first, that's not saying anything! I promise hahaha. I love these girls!!! So here's what we're doing.
We are great connoisseurs of media. The television shows, the movies, the books, and the people. We love it all. And while we sometimes question the validity of our existance when we watch and read this much, we really do love it, and even more than that, we love to talk about it. We like to analyze the archetypes of the movies, how well the actors act, how well writers suck us into their worlds, all of it. And we want to share. One because our opinions are really just that important and awesome, and two because we're girls. We like to share our opinions. This last definition explains the rest of the address, the '-y' part. So we're not professionals, we're just people who like to be entertained, we're just critic-y or critic-ish. We're just here to have fun and share some of it with you.