Music Video Of The Day: Inner Smile by Texas (2001, directed by Vaughan Arnell)


Happy birthday, Erin Nicole!

That’s right!  Today is Dazzling Erin’s birthday!  One of the reasons why I love working on this site is because I get to work with my sister.  Not only has she always been there for me (which is not as easy as you might think) but she’s always willing to listen to my ideas, no matter how crazy they are, and I know I can always depend on her to either help me make those dreams come true or to patiently explain to me why it might not be a great idea to try to schedule a new film review to post every minute over a 24 hour time period.  (That was originally my plan for Halloween until I was gently reminded that would amount to 1440 posts in one day.)

Along with doing artist profiles, Erin is also usually the person who picks our artwork of the day.  (Val Troutman was inspired by Erin’s artwork of the day to start our music video of the day feature.)  She’s also an excellent photographer in her own right, as you can find out by cliking on this link!

I picked today’s music video because it’s for a song that’s prominently featured in a film that Erin and I absolutely love, 2002’s Bend it Like Beckham.  The video for Inner Smile features Sharleen Spiteri, the lead singer of Texas, doing her best Elvis Presley impersonation.  The video itself is disguised to look like one of those Elvis documentaries that occasionally pop up on PBS but, if you watch it carefully, there are hints that we’re not actually seeing Elvis.  (Keep an eye on the belt that Sharleen holds up at one point.)

This video was directed by Vaughan Arnell, who has been directing videos since 1984!  (On the imvdb, he’s credited with 49 videos in total.)

As is noted at the end of the video, this video was actually filmed in front of a live audience with Sharleen in full Elvis costume.

Also, I know someone’s going to say that the main reason that I like this song is because the group is named Texas.  Well, sure, that’s definitely not a bad thing.  However, the band itself is Scottish.

Enjoy!

What Lisa and Erin Watched Last Night #149: Pretty Little Addict (dir by Monika Mitchell)


Last night, the Dazzling Erin and I watched the latest Lifetime film premiere, Petty Little Addict!

pla

Why Were We Watching It?

Yesterday was all about sisterly bonding time!  Erin and I basically told the rest of the world to get lost and then we spent the entire day hanging out together, talking about life, pondering the great questions of the universe, and laughing.  In fact, we probably spent more time laughing than pondering the great questions of the universe.  We also chased a chicken out of our backyard!  (He belongs to one of our neighbors.)

And really, what better way is there to bond than by watching a Lifetime movie!?  When my friend Trevor informed me that Pretty Little Addict would be premiering last night,  I knew that there was no way that Erin and I were going to miss it!

What Was It About?

It’s about a pretty little addict!

Her name is Jennifer (Andrea Bowen) and she has just lost her father to cancer.  To deal with her sorrow, she drinks.  Meanwhile, across town, Colin Brown (Keenan Tracy) is excited because he’s received a scholarship to run track in college.  Colin’s entire future is pretty much set and it all looks great, assuming that he never loses the ability to walk.

As fate would have it, Jennifer and Colin end up at the same party.  And, when a drunk Jennifer attempts to leave the party, she accidentally runs over Colin.  Colin is crippled and Jennifer is ordered to check into rehab.

While Jennifer is trying to get sober, Colin’s brother, Alex (Scott Lyster), is looking for revenge.  Alex is mentally unstable and has a drinking problem of his own.  He also has a long and violent criminal record.  When he discovers that Jennifer is in rehab, he gets a job working for the vending machine company that just happens to service the machines inside the rehab facility.  Soon, Alex is flirting with Jennifer while also trying to manipulate her into giving up her new found sobriety.

Meanwhile, Colin’s family is making plans to sue Jennifer’s mother…

What Worked?

One thing that you can definitely say about Pretty Little Addict is that it had its heart in the right place.  It sincerely did attempt to use its melodramatic storyline to say something meaningful about addiction and the struggle of recovery.  Both Scott Lyster and Keenan Tracy gave good performances and I also liked Morgan Taylor Campbell in the role of Jennifer’s paranoid roommate.

What Did Not Work?

Good intentions aside, this is one of those films that just never really seemed to come together.  It felt uneven and strangely paced and, even by the standards of Lifetime, the plot was full of obvious and glaring holes.  Alex’s plan seemed unnecessarily complicated.  Considering that he was an alcoholic, he could have just as easily checked himself into rehab and then he would have had much easier access to Jennifer than he did as a fake deliveryman.  It would have been a lot less trouble for him as well.

From the start of the movie to the end, Jennifer was a fairly unlikable character.  Even after she got sober, she never really seemed to understand just how much damage she had done.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I rarely drink so there was a definite shortage of “Oh my God!  Just like me!” moments.  However, I did cringe a little when the rehab patients had to engage in a trust exercise that deal with being blindfolded.  That’s because, in high school, I took part in a similar trust exercise.  My friend Jennifer was blindfolded and I was supposed to catch her when she fell backwards.  However, I’ve only got a three-minute attention span so, by the time she actually started to fall back, I was no longer paying attention and I kind of forgot to catch her.  Whoops!

Lessons Learned

Don’t drink and drive, which is actually a pretty good lesson.

What Lisa Marie and Erin Nicole Watched Last Night #74: California Dreams 3.12 “Harley and the Marlboro Man” (dir by Patrick Maloney)


Last night, my sister Erin (a.k.a. Dazzling Erin) and I watched a very special episode of California Dreams, “Harley and the Marlboro Man.”

Why Were We Watching It?

If you follow me on twitter, then you may have noticed something last night.   Whether it was just that I was having a long day or the fact that I’ve been somewhat manic since December, I was a neurotic mess.  It all started when I tried to change my profile pic on twitter and I discovered that apparently, twitter has changed the way that they do profile pics and, as a result, this really great picture of me had to be cropped and then it ended up looking totally tiny on screen and this led to me trying 30 different profile pics in just 15 minutes and none of them looked good in tiny twitter form and I was just getting so frustrated and … well, you get the idea.

Fortunately, my wonderful sister knew how to calm me down.  She suggested that I distract myself from obsessing over my profile pic by watching something either on TV or online.  And what better to watch than an episode of a mediocre 90s sitcom!?  Unfortunately, as much as I tried, I couldn’t find any episodes of Saved By The Bell: The New Class to watch.

So, I watched yet another episode of California Dreams instead.  And since it was her idea, I forced Erin to watch it with me!

What Was It About?

Lead guitarist, motorcycle enthusiast, and leather fetishist Jake (Jay Anthony Franke) is entering a motorcycle contest and his Uncle Frank shows up to help him out.  Frank, it turns out, taught Jake  everything Jake knows about being cool but — gasp! — Frank smokes!

And soon, Jake is smoking too.

DOUBLE GASP!

What Worked?

This episode is part of a proud television tradition.  Every show that’s aimed towards younger viewers has to have at least one episode where one of the characte’s takes up smoking and ends up getting ostracized as a result.  This episode of California Dreams is almost a prototypical anti-smoking episode — i.e., the character is inspired to smoke by an older role model, all of his friends are shocked and scandalized to discover that he would even think of smoking, a lot of statistics are awkwardly stuffed into the script (“Did you know that 89% smokers started smoking between the ages of 15 and 27?”), and the older role model is eventually punished with lung cancer.  This episode of California Dreams hits all of the expected notes and it does so far more efficiently than Saved By The Bell: The New Class did.

To be honest, Jake is a pretty silly character with his heavy leather jackets and his perpetual scowl but, in this episode, Jay Anthony Franke gives a fairly good performance.

Up until things got serious with Uncle Frank, this episode had a lot of camp appeal.  There was something oddly endearing about how scandalized everyone was over the fact that Jake was smoking.  I also found it interesting that it only took 6 or 7 cigarettes for Jake to turn into an addict.  Seriously, even I — with my asthma and everything else — smoked more than 7 cigarettes back in high school.  And I never found myself madly pacing back and forth while craving my next fix.

On a personal note, this episode calmed me down and I’m thankful for that!

What Did Not Work?

Hey, it was California Dreams.  Even the stuff that don’t work are a major part of the show’s appeal.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I have severe asthma and it was even worse when I was little.  As a result, my mom was always very protective of me and my poor, little lungs.  If anyone lit a cigarette anywhere near me, mom would always tell them to put it out because, “My daughter can not breathe.”  She also told me that I shouldn’t ever be around people who were smoking and, most importantly, I should never smoke myself.

Of course, that worked when I was little but then, as I grew up and I went through my whole rebellious phase, I found myself fascinated with both cigarettes and the people who smoked them.  Don’t get me wrong — I thought smoking cigarettes was a dangerous habit and I was too obsessed with dancing and too paranoid about my asthma to ever do anything more than take an occasional defiant puff but, at the same time, I still loved to watch certain people smoke and, whenever I dated a smoker, I always loved the way they tasted whenever I kissed them.

So, for once, I found that I could not relate to the character of Lorena in this episode of California Dreams.

Lessons Learned

Strange things calm me down.

What Lisa and Erin Watched Last Night #63: Bring It On (dir. by Peyton Reed)


Last night, my sister Erin Nicole (a.k.a. Dazzling Erin) and I watched the classic 2000 cheerleading movie Bring It On on AMC.

Why Were We Watching It?

Seriously, how can you not watch Bring It On?

Back in high school, while I was doing my goth ballerina thing, Erin Nicole was a cheerleader and, though she denies it, she pretty much was Kirsten Dunst back then.  Anyway, Erin usually refuses to watch Bring It On because she says she had already had to sit through it a few hundred times by the time she turned 17.  For this reason, I always make it a point to let Erin know when Bring It On is on TV and to try to trick her into watching it with me.

But last night, to my surprise, she was the one who saw the movie listed in the guide and started watching it because, according to her, there was nothing else on.  (Personally, I think Erin was feeling nostalgic but she denies it.)  I joined her shortly after the movie started and, according to Erin, I spent the next two hours jumping around and acting all hyper.  That’s not quite the way I remember it but Erin’s the cheerleader so I’ll take her word for it.

What’s It About?

Torrance (played by Kirsten Dunst) is the new captain of her high school’s cheerleading squad and is determined to lead them to yet another national title.  However, Missy (Eliza Dushku), a new member of the squad, reveals that the squad only won those titles by stealing routines from an inner city cheerleader squad.  Torrance now has to create an original routine while dealing with her cheating boyfriend (Richard Hillman) and flirting with Missy’s brother (Jesse Bradford), who looks a lot like Paul Rudd and is skeptical about whether cheerleading’s really all that important in the grand scheme of things.

What Worked?

Let’s just come right out and say it: Bring It On is one of the greatest high school movies ever made.  It’s fun, it’s funny, and best of all, it’s real.  The film’s director, Peyton Reed, the film’s writers, Jessica Bendinger and Stephen White, and the film’s cast all perfectly capture just how important the little dramas are when you’re a teenager.  The film even manages to say something very important about issues like race and economic inequality.

Plus, as Erin and I both agreed last night, Jesse Bradford is HOT!

According to Erin, she has flashbacks and starts laughing uncontrollably  whenever she hears the line “These are spirit fingers!”

What Didn’t Work?

It all worked.  Seriously, if you can be critical of a film like Bring It On then you’re probably taking life too seriously.

“OH MY GOD!  Just like Erin!” Moments

Last night, I finally got Erin to admit that she liked Bring It On because it reminded her of her cheerleading days but Erin added, “But I wasn’t as bouncy as Kirsten Dunst is in this movie.”  To that, I can only smile and say, “Whatever,” because, as everyone knows, the Bowman Girls are always bouncy.  That’s a part of our charm.

Lessons Learned

If you’re going do it, then bring it!

10 Random Things I Am Thankful For in 2011


Hi out there!  Did everyone have a good Thanksgiving?  I know I did.  Now, I know that some people will say that this has been a disappointing year in entertainment.  Steve Carrell left the Office, Whitney Cummings got a sitcom, and — while I’ve truly loved a handful of films this year, it’s hard to ignore the fact that 2011 has yet to produce anything close to a Black Swan, A King’s Speech, or even a Social Network.  Instead, the best films of the year have been ignored by both audiences and critics while good but definitely flawed films like J. Edgar are being touted as being the best was can hope for.  Even Pixar failed to tug at our heart-strings this year.

However, I think we’re running the danger of giving too quickly into negativity when it comes to considering 2011.  No, 2011 is no 2010.  But there’s still a lot to be thankful for and below are just 10 examples of some things that, as 2011 reaches its conclusion, I’m thankful for.

10) This.

9) The time I have left with Community.

With The Office current flailing about in its attempts to establish a consistent post-Carrell identity, I have a new favorite sitcom and its name is Community.  Now in its third season, Community has truly hit its stride and Joel McHale is, of course, to die for.  So, naturally, Community has been yanked from the mid-season schedule while NBC continues to heavily promote shows like Whitney.  This is indeed the darkest timeline but I know that I will continue to tweet things like #savecommunity, #6seasonsandamovie, and #NBCSucks for as long as it takes.

8 ) A second season of Game of Thrones

With the current season of Dexter getting bogged down in its attempt to make a villain out of Colin Hanks and the Walking Dead remaining a flawed masterpiece, the 1st season of Game of Thrones is now the unquestionable highlight of an otherwise uninspired season in television drama.  I can’t wait to see what happens in season 2.

7) Higher Ground

Vera Farmiga’s directorial debut is probably one of the best films that you’ve never seen. 

6) Black Swan is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

5) For that matter, so is the original, non-American, non-Hollywood, non-David Fincher, non-Daniel Craig, non-Rooney Mara Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy.

4) Shame is rated NC-17.

What does this mean?  It mean the Full Fassbender.

3) Hanna

This intriguing and criminally underappreciated postmodern fairy tale remains my favorite film of 2011. 

2) Oscar Isaac

Seriously.  Love him.  I still love to imagine him shouting, “And I declare him to be an OUTLAAAAAAAAWWWWWWW!” whenever I’m annoyed at being stuck in traffic.  You know what else I love?  Listening to him as he sang over the end credits of Sucker Punch.

1) And finally…

I am thankful that I have the greatest sister ever!  You may know her as Dazzling Erin and, if you’re on twitter, you can find her under the name TakeSumE.  However, for me, she will always simply be my best friend and my older (but only by 11 months) sister.  Yesterday was not only Thanksgiving but it was also her birthday!  Now, for those of you who don’t know, Erin is not only my sister but she’s also a talented photographer, a great cook, a wonderful roommate, and the greatest guardian angel that anyone could possibly ever hope to ask for!  And on top of all that, she’s hot too.  Happy birthday, Erin Nicole! 

It's Erin Nicole!

If Lisa Marie Determined The Oscar Nominees…


With the Oscar nominations due to be announced this week, now seems like a good time to indulge in something I like to call “If Lisa Marie Had All The Power.”  Listed below are my personal Oscar nominations.  Please note that these are not the films that I necessarily think will be nominated.  The fact of the matter is that the majority of them will not.  Instead, these are the films that would be nominated if I was solely responsible for deciding the nominees this year.  Winners are listed in bold.

Best Picture

Animal Kingdom

Black Swan

Exit Through The Gift Shop

Fish Tank

Inception

The King’s Speech

Never Let Me Go

127 Hours

Somewhere

Winter’s Bone

Best Actor

Patrick Fabian in The Last Exorcism

Colin Firth in The King’s Speech

James Franco in 127 Hours

Andy Garcia in City Island

Ben Stiller in Greenberg

Best Actress

Katie Jarvis in Fish Tank

Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone

Natalie Portman in Black Swan

Noomi Rapace in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Emma Stone in Easy A

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale in The Fighter

Aaron Eckhardt in Rabbit Hole

Andrew Garfield in Never Let Me Go

John Hawkes in Winter’s Bone

Ben Mendelsohn in Animal Kingdom



Best Supporting Actress

Elle Fanning in Somewhere

Rebecca Hall in Please Give

Chloe Grace Moretz in Kick-Ass

Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit

Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom

(That’s right, everyone.  It’s a tie between the youngest nominee and the oldest nominee.  Don’t you just love the Oscars?)

Best Director

Andrea Arnold for Fish Tank

Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan

Danny Boyle for 127 Hours

Sofia Coppola for Somewhere

Christopher Nolan for Inception

Best Original Screenplay

Animal Kingdom

Black Swan

Fish Tank

Inception

The King’s Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay

Never Let Me Go

127 Hours

Rabbit Hole

Toy Story 3

Winter’s Bone

Best Editing

Black Swan

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Inception

127 Hours

Somewhere

Best Cinematography

Black Swan

Somewhere

True Grit

Twelve

Winter’s Bone

Best Art Direction

Black Swan

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One

Inception

The King’s Speech

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Best Sound Mixing

Black Swan

Inception

Secretariat

Stone

Toy Story 3

Best Sound Editing

The Expendables

Inception

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Secretariat

Toy Story 3

Best Costume Design

Black Swan

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One

Robin Hood

The Wolf Man

Best Original Score

Black Swan

Inception

Machete

127 Hours

Tron: Legacy

(Yes, I know that the Academy has ruled that the original score for Black Swan is not eligible to be nominated.  However, these are my nominations and I make the rules.)

Best Visual Effects

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One

Inception

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Splice

Tron: Legacy

Best Makeup

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One

Let Me In

127 Hours

Splice

The Wolf Man

Best Song 

“Better Days” from Eat Pray Love

“Bound Together” from Burlesque

“Dear Laughing Doubters” from Dinner For Schmucks

“Sticks and Stones” from How To Train Your Dragon

“You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me” from Burlesque

Best Documentary Feature

Best Worst Movie

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

Restrepo

Winnebago Man

Best Animated Feature

How To Train Your Dragon

A Town Called Panic

Toy Story 3

(Again, I am aware that the Academy ruled that A Town Called Panic isn’t eligible and again, I don’t care.)

Best Foreign Language Film

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Sweden)

Mother (South Korea)

OSS 117 – Lost in Rio (France)

Police, Adjective (Romania)

A Prophet (France)

(While the Academy considers one submission per country for this award, I’m simply using it to recognize the best foreign language film released in the U.S. last year.  Or, at least, the best one that I got a chance to see.)

So, since I love lists, here’s a final tally of films by nominations:

10 Nominations — Black Swan

9 Nominations — Inception

7 Nominations — 127 Hours

5 Nominations — Somewhere, Winter’s Bone

4 Nominations — Animal Kingdom, Fish Tank, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The King’s Speech, Toy Story 3

3 Nominations — Exit Through The Gift Shop, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Never Let Me Go, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

2 Nominations — Burlesque, How To Train Your Dragon, Rabbit Hole, Secretariat, Splice, Tron: Legacy, True Grit, The Wolf Man

1 Nomination — Best Worst Movie, City Island, Dinner For Schmucks, Easy A, Eat Pray Love, The Expendables, The Fighter, Greenberg, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Kick-Ass, The Last Exorcism, Machete, Mother, OSS 117 — Lost in Rio, Please Give, Police, Adjective, A Prophet, Restrepo, Robin Hood, Stone, A Town Called Panic, Twelve, Winnebago Man

0 Nominations — The Social Network

And lastly, here’s a tally by imaginary Oscars won:

5 Oscars — Black Swan

2 Oscars — Toy Story 3

1 Oscar — Animal Kingdom, Burlesque, Exit Through The Gift Shop, Fish Tank, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Inception, Never Let Me Go, 127 Hours, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Somewhere, Tron: Legacy, Twelve, Winter’s Bone, The Wolf Man

0 Oscars — The Social Network

(One final note: A big thank you to my sister, Erin Nicole Bowman, who created the banners used in this post.)