Today is October 11, 2012. It is the 284th day of the year, and according to Wikipedia (and, you know, math) there are 81 more days until we ring in 2013. On this day in 1890, the Daughters of the American Revolution were founded in Washington DC. In 1910, Theodore Roosevelt (who just so happens to be my cousin a few times removed) became the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane. In 1975, Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham tied the knot. Also in 1975, Bruce Springsteen scored a massive hit with "Born to Run." And in 2012, Weyland Corp. of Prometheus fame, was founded.
Also, today is 10/11/12. Yep, Consecutive Integer Day. In its honor, we've rounded up our 10 favorite counting videos. So, in 5, 6, 7, 8...
Brian McKnight, "Back At One"
Laverne and Shirley Opening Credits
Counting with Bruce Springsteen, from The Ben Stiller Show
Feist on Sesame Street
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant Discuss Time Zones on Extras
Lou Bega, "Mambo No. 5"
Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg, "Dick in a Box"
Coolio, "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)"
The Man Himself, The Count (and a Special Guest)
Oh yeah, and there's this too.
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[Photo Credit: Theo Wargo/PBS]
The 10 Most Awful, Insane, and Horrible D-List Celebrity Pumpkin Patch Photos
Debate Advice for Obama from Hollywood's 7 Most Inspirational Coaches
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’American Idol’ Feud: Stevie Nicks Apologizes for Saying She’d Strangle Nicki Minaj(Celebuzz)
I’m not going to say Jason Sudeikis is about to blow up. After years on SNL and appearances in many movies (not to mention months of a relationship with a bombshell girlfriend), the dude is finally getting his dues. So no, Jason Sudeikis is not on the cusp of greater things. He’s been there, done that; the only difference is that people are starting to pay attention. And it’s about damn time.
Sudeikis cut his teeth in the improv world during the early 90’s, performing in his homestate of Kansas, studying in Chicago and eventually helping found the Second City Las Vegas theater. Another cool random fact? He auditioned to be a Blue Man in the Blue Man Group. Just imagine how different life would be had he gotten that gig. Weird, right?
Anyway, you probably know him best for his work on SNL. Lately Sudeikis has become one of the standouts on the long running sketch show in their post-Will Ferrell years, constantly getting laughs even in the weirdest sketches. He joined the program as a writer in 2003 before becoming a performer in 2005. Along with Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg and Bill Hader, he’s risen to become one of the funniest members of the cast and arguably the most handsome. While SNL has struggled to come up with a good joke on Obama, Sudeikis has got our lovable VP Joe Biden down pat. Then he goes and absolutely destroys a Wolf Blitzer impression that’s more realistic than those weird holograph machine things. And he also manages to deliver a damn good crying Glenn Beck. Combine those impressions with a shit-eating grin and the ability to just melt into any scene and it’s really easy to see why he’s a constant on the inconsistent show.
But SNL will only get you so famous. Movies are where the big bucks are. Actually, let’s hold off on his film career for just a second more. Sudeikis has managed to wring up steady work by appearing in pretty much every great television show currently airing. He’ll also probably be the first person to travel back in time and insert himself in to every great television show ever, but that’s only a guess. He was Liz Lemon’s perfect boyfriend on 30 Rock that had to unfortunately move to Cleveland. He was the gang’s former best friend Shmitty in It’s Always Sunny and has appeared in Children’s Hospital, Portlandia, and The Cleveland Show. Not too shabby a resume.
Ah, here’s where we get to the films! Did you see The Rocker? Of course not. No one did. Well, I saw The Rocker and it’s rather unfortunate that no one else saw it because it’s really not that bad of a movie. Sudeikis plays the evil music corporation guy that every movie like that has and he absolutely kills it. My favorite line in the film he borrowed from fellow SNL cast mate Kenan Thompson: “You’re going to get so much pussy you’ll need two dicks.” It immediately cuts away from the scene for probably two reasons: a) he probably improvised the line and b) his scene partner probably cracked up and ruined the shot. He’s that good.
Remember Hall Pass? Of course not. Sudeikis ran the laughs around supposed funny man Owen Wilson and is really the only reason to watch that movie. Well, him and Stephen Merchant. I mean, even Jenna Fisher looks bad in it! Wow, it’s really starting to seem like Sudeikis is the best part of crappy films and, unfortunately, that’s pretty much true. For example: The Bounty Hunter, What Happens in Vegas and Going the Distance. Seriously, he’s the only reason to watch those films.
But luckily that is starting to change and Sudeikis is getting better roles. In two of the most anticipated comedies of 2011, he’ll star in A Good Old Fashioned Orgy and Horrible Bosses. Again, he’s the not absolute star since Hollywood hasn’t deemed him big enough to carry an entire film on his own, but he still manages to stand out in a crowded field. But while he might not be big enough to top line a blockbuster, he was deemed big enough to host the MTV Movie Awards this weekend and that’s always a good sign.
So no, Jason Sudeikis is not blowing up. Blowing up implies a sudden burst after an explosive catalyst. Sudeikis has been getting bigger and bigger but people are finally starting to notice. And as his many, many funny appearances on TV and film have proven, that handsome bastard deserves it.
Based on Ian McEwan’s equally stirring novel we begin the story in 1935 on the cusp of WWII. Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) a 13-year-old fledgling writer lives with her wealthy family in their enormous English country mansion and on one hot summer day she irrevocably changes the course of three lives including her own. It seems the housekeeper’s son Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) carries a torch for Briony’s older sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley). And on this warm day it becomes clear she feels the same way; their love ignites. Little Briony who harbors her own secret crush on Robbie witnesses the beginnings of this love affair and not understanding its meaning feels compelled to interfere going so far as accusing Robbie of a crime he did not commit. He is arrested and whisked away eventually forced into the British army but thankfully the two lovers have a moment before he goes to war to reconnect. Cecilia promises to wait for him urging him to “come back” to her once the madness he is about to become immersed in is over. Meanwhile Briony (played in adult years by Romola Garai and Vanessa Redgrave) has grown up regretting every single moment of that fateful day and in desperately trying to seek forgiveness finally finds a path to understanding the power of enduring love. The performances in Atonement are nothing less than captivating beginning with the young Irish rose Saoirse Ronan (who is also set to play the lead in Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones). Since it is primarily Briony’s story Ronan must make the first most indelible impression and set the tone for the rest of the movie--and she succeeds on every level. From the moment you see Ronan’s pale face clear-blue eyes and steadfast gait you immediately recognize Briony’s need and determination to make everything in her life just so. Indeed Briony is a strongly focused child and Ronan so embodies the character an Oscar nomination is almost a certainty. As the 18-year-old Briony Garai (Dirty Dancing 2) does the best she can following such a tough act as Ronan but can never quite match the same intensity. On the other hand Redgrave who comes in at the very end as the much older Briony nails it right away adding her own nuances to a character who has lived a full life. Of course Knightley and McAvoy are no slouches either vividly capturing the passion bubbling up between Cecilia and Robbie then turning around and showing the heartache as their love is ripped apart. McAvoy is particularly effecting as his Robbie must also witness some truly horrific wartime scenes. Actually Oscar nods should come fast and furious for everyone in Atonement. With Pride & Prejudice and now Atonement director Joe Wright may have just established himself as the new James Ivory (of Merchant/Ivory fame). Wright is a real visionary for the romantic period piece expertly delivering truly spectacular vistas. From set design to costumes to cinematography the look of Atonement is at once verdant welcoming and then startlingly grim. The first half of Atonement at the Tallis’ country home is certainly the film’s most defining peppered by an effective musical score which uses the sound of a typewriter like a metronome. Through a soft lens Wright displays the general idleness of summer day at a country home like a sunny floral motif that belies an undercurrent of sweating bodies wilting flowers stagnant pools--and an imminent tragic event. Then once Wright moves with Robbie into WWII he actually paints an even more grim view of war then maybe seen before. The one continuous shot of the historical Dunkirk--a French beach on which thousands of British soldiers were forced by the Germans and then waited to be evacuated--is absolutely stunning and surreal. Atonement does drag ever-so-slightly in the middle especially as Briony trains to be a nurse in London but overall this is a film Academy voters eat up with a silver spoon. Expect to be hearing about it in the months to come.
As the fifth year at Hogwarts begins most of the wizardry world is having a hard time believing Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has returned further propagated by the Ministry of Magic who refuses to recognize anything evil is brewing and blames all the hullabaloo on Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). The Ministry even interferes with Hogwarts business by making Ministry employee Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor whose outwardly sweet demeanor hides a sadistic streak a mile wide. She thinks the children should only learn about the Dark Arts “theoretically” and tortures all those who disagree. But the Voldemort threat is a reality and Dumbledore has re-formed the Order of the Phoenix a group of witches and wizards that prepares to battle the Dark Lord. Harry is unfortunately being kept in the dark for his protection of course even as his connection to Voldemort grows stronger and he’s royally peeved at being ignored. Urged on by Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) he forms his own order of Hogwarts students called Dumbledore’s Army to teach them what defenses against the Dark Arts he has already learned. Oh yeah Harry also shares his first kiss but make no bones about it—love is the furthest thing on Harry’s mind when the crap hits the fan. War is imminent. Everyone steps up their game in Order of the Phoenix. Radcliffe Watson and Grint have shed their adolescent whininess and aw-shucks goofiness to give their characters the greatest depth so far. They are forced to grow up pretty quickly in Order with little time for any playfulness and the three actors handle the seriousness with aplomb. Of course both Radcliffe and Grint have already ventured out of the Potter world—Radcliffe shed more than just adolescence on stage in a production of Equus while Grint lost his virginity in the indie Driving Lessons--and their extra experience shows in Order. Also good are Matthew Lewis as the usually clumsy Neville Longbottom who shows his mettle in more ways than one and newcomer Evanna Lynch as the slightly off-kilter Luna Lovegood who proves to be a loyal member of Dumbledore’s Army. But the kids have to keep up with the talented adult cast especially Oscar-nominated Staunton (Vera Drake) as Umbridge. The veteran actress’ interpretation of one of J.K. Rowling’s nastiest characters so far in the Potter lore is spot-on down to the pink wool suits and irritating twitter “ahem” she uses when she wants your undivided attention. Helena Bonham Carter also makes an impression however over the top it is as the evil Voldemort follower Bellatrix Lestrange. Does she ever want to look pretty onscreen? Then there’s the laundry list of Brits whose time onscreen may be short but is nonetheless memorable including Alan Rickman as the sneering Prof. Snape; Gambon as the wise but flawed Dumbledore; Gary Oldman as the kindly Sirius Black Harry’s only real family; and of course Fiennes as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. His late-in-the-game appearance once again throws you for a loop. It stands to reason that at five movies in moviegoers would have a favorite Harry Potter flick by now. Those who love those Triwizard Tournament special effects might feel The Goblet of Fire was the best; or Prisoner of Azkaban for its time-bending action. Yet The Order of the Phoenix may be the one movie that speaks directly to the fans of the books. Without as much wide-eyed wonderment or wizardry flash the story is still chockfull of compelling details that are absolutely pivotal to the continuing Harry Potter saga. Screenwriter Michael Goldenberg (Peter Pan) and director David Yates (HBO’s The Girl in the Café) manage to wade through this volume of information and cut successfully to the chase with great effect. Yates who has signed on to do the sixth movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince even shows an affinity for action in the final dramatic confrontation between good witches and wizards and bad ones. But overall Order of the Phoenix may leave audiences not as well-versed in the novels a little itchy for some good old-fashioned wand-waving and Disney special effects. Thing is it’s just going to keep getting darker and darker for Harry and his crew. The days of happy fun playtime are over.
Loosely based on the (rather lame) 1960 Rat Pack film dashing understated-but-cool thief Danny Ocean (George Clooney) orchestrates the most sophisticated elaborate casino heist in history less than 24 hours after being released from jail. In one night Danny's handpicked 11-man crew of specialists--including an ace card sharp (Brad Pitt) a young-but-masterful pickpocket (Matt Damon) and a demolition genius (Don Cheadle)--will attempt to steal over $150 million from three Las Vegas casinos owned by Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) the elegant ruthless entrepreneur who just happens to be dating Danny's ex-wife Tess (Julia Roberts). To score the cash Danny will have to risk his life and risk his chance of ever reconciling with Tess. But if all goes according to his intricate nearly impossible plan Danny won't have to choose between his stake in the heist and his high-stakes reunion with Tess. Or will he?
The star wattage in this movie could solve all of California's electricity problems in one fell swoop. George Clooney easily passes himself off as suave mastermind Danny Ocean playing the role with understated class and elegance. Brad Pitt takes a similar arc as Rusty though he's slightly more dispassionate and professional than Clooney's visionary Ocean. Matt Damon is convincing as the inexperienced-but-talented pickpocket who's essential to getting in the vault. And Julia is simply Julia--glamorous and charming a smart cookie who is being wooed by the evil ruthless (and anal-retentive) casino mogul so elegantly portrayed by Andy Garcia. Affecting a Cockney accent and attitude Don Cheadle's portrayal of the demolition expert is a tour de force. Carl Reiner is absolutely hilarious as Saul Bloom an aging old-timer who comes out of retirement to infiltrate the casino as a debonair arms dealer. Elliott Gould Bernie Mac Scott Caan and Casey Affleck round out the cast nicely with inspired performances especially Gould's and Mac's.
Soderbergh cemented his reputation last year as a director of serious weight when both Traffic and Erin Brockovich were nominated for the Best Film Academy Award and garnered him two Best Director nominations---an unprecedented feat. Ocean's Eleven marks Soderbergh's departure from the serious to the seriously fun. This is one of the most stylish most elegantly filmed movies I have ever seen. Not only are all the actors beautiful but so are the locations clothes and shot selections. The speed and pacing of the flick belie the movie's length; Soderbergh clearly had fun making this movie. He shot this film very intimately often allowing the camera to stay close on the actors a tad longer than expected which lets their personas shine through--thus their personalities draw you into the movie as much as the caper itself. It's not often you see a movie where the direction has as much wit and cleverness as the plot itself. Ocean's Eleven makes no pretense to be something other than a jaunty cheeky exhilarating heist movie. So while the plot's not too deep all is forgiven considering the level of acting and direction.