Is America Anti-Aniston?

Jennifer Aniston's newest movie "The Switch" opened in theatres last weekend and let's just say that it didn't exactly do well. The film earned only 8 million dollars and was outdone by "Pirahna 3D" and "Vampires Suck". No bueno Jen.

Yahoo ran an article from Forbes.com that talks all about how Aniston's bid to be queen of the romantic comedy is quickly falling short. It mentions that when she plays alongside another (usually more talented) actor, she does great. But when trying to carry a film on her own, she can't deliver.

Let's look at the last few films she's made:
2003 - Bruce Almighty
2004 - Along Came Polly
2006 - The Break Up
2008 - Marley and Me
2009 - He's Just Not That Into You
2009 - Love Happens
2010 - The Bounty Hunter
2010 - The Switch

Not a bad list. But there seems to be a common theme: she plays the same type of character over and over again. She's either the hot wife, the hot girlfriend, or a hot girl who can't quite seem to make love work.

She's Rachel Green. All the time.

Her character on Friends was fantastic. But maybe that's also been her downfall. I can't watch a movie of hers without seeing or hearing something that reminds me of Rachel. I can't move past her in that role. She's been typecast and she's not a versatile enough actress to break out of that. She can't do action, she can't really do drama, so she's left with playing the funny, aloof, kind of ditzy hot girl.

Being typecast isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn't really work once you hit 40 and your characters' lives are mirroring your real life. If we have to read about you in the tabloids wanting a baby or maybe having a baby, I don't also want to watch a movie where this is potentially happening. They talk about art imitating life but come on already...

I also do agree with the statement that her movies do better when she's acting alongside a strong actor. "The Break Up" was great because Vince Vaughn is hysterical. Same with "Along Came Polly" (Ben Stiller) and "Bruce Almighty" (Jim Carrey). "Marley and Me" was a little different because Owen Wilson is not in any way a good actor, but I think it was the puppy that made that movie more than anyone. She's just not a marquis actress. She's strongest in an ensemble and there's nothing wrong with that. So own it.

I'll be the first to say it: Jennifer Aniston is very pretty. But maybe it's time for her to give up on the whole acting thing. She can be a spokesperson and get paid from Friends royalties but maybe her time as America's sweetheart has passed.


Video of the Day 8/30/10 - Um You are NOT on Glee Edition

That show "America's Got Talent" is now in the semifinals I guess.  I first saw this video on an episode of Chelsea Lately which, if you haven't watched that show, you should seriously start.  Hysterical.

Anyway, so this girl starts to sing "Pokerface" by Lady Gaga except she tries to remix it and fails.  But it's not like she came up with her own rendition of it.  No.  This chick decides she is going to sing the version that Lea Michele and Idina Menzel performed on Glee last season.


The worst part was that all of the judges (and Chelsea Handler) all thought she came up with this on her own. And they all hated it.

She did NOT come up with it on her own. Lady Gaga actually does a sick piano version of it herself and then the geniuses at Glee created a duet for Lea Michele and Idina Menzel who KILLED it.

Observe the Lady Gaga version:

Observe the Glee version (sorry the video is kind of crappy but it's the only one I could find):

Come on girlfriend. If you're going to do this version, you'd better work. it. out.

Book Review: Whatever You Do, Don't Run

Whatever You Do, Don't Run
Author: Peter Allison
Number of Pages: 264
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Where I Got It: Library

Synopsis: At age 19, Australian-born Allison headed to Africa for challenge and adventure, planning to stay no more than a year; having found work as a safari guide, he's still there some 13 years later. In this fun, fearless memoir, Allison shares his experiences taking "guests" through the African wilderness, trips that often don't go quite as planned-due especially to the unpredictability of the animals around them.

This book was really great for so many reasons.  It was just a collection of stories and anecdotes compiled by Allison from his time spent as a safari guide in Africa.  Simple to read, I flew through the pages wanting to know what adventure or mishap Allison gets into next.  From suffering a lion attack to watching an elephant he had seen on the savannah for years give birth, each story is filled with just the right amount of humor, suspense, or touching emotion to leave their own imprint while you read.

Allison also manages to work in some completely fascinating facts about the animals he encounters while on safari.  I learned about animals I had never even heard of before and I loved it.

I want to go on a safari now because of this book.  Highly, highly recommended.

Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Coming up next: The Given Day by Dennis Lehane
Set in Boston at the end of the First World War, The Given Day tells the story of two families--one black, one white--swept up in a maelstrom of revolutionaries and anarchists, immigrants and ward bosses, Brahmins and ordinary citizens, all engaged in a battle for survival and power.  Here, too, are some of the most influential figures of the era--Babe Ruth; Eugene O’Neill; leftist activist Jack Reed; NAACP founder W. E. B. DuBois; Mitchell Palmer, Woodrow Wilson’s ruthless Red-chasing attorney general; cunning Massachusetts governor Calvin Coolidge; and an ambitious young Department of Justice lawyer named John Hoover.  Coursing through some of the pivotal events of the time--including the Spanish Influenza pandemic--and culminating in the Boston Police Strike of 1919, The Given Day explores the crippling violence and irrepressible exuberance of a country at war with, and in the thrall of, itself. 

Audio Reviews
Heat by Bill Buford: Tells the story of a writer who decides to become a chef in the kitchen of Mario Batali.  This was an okay audio book.  Not very memorable though and I had to rewind a lot.  Plus the author's voice was kind of weird and all the talk about the Italian food kept making me hungry.

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink: A 15-year old begins a love affair with a woman twice his age, they separate, then he is reunited with her when she is on trial for some WWII crimes.  Fantastic story and this audio book's narrator, Campbell Scott, was really great.  


I Swear...

...if the onset dating between the Glee cast members ruins the show, I will not be pleased.

(Sidenote: Naya, you go girl.)

Glee returns in only a few short weeks and I of course have been reading all the rumors and some of the spoilers. Does this ruin the show for me? Nope. Because spoilers don't give away this magic:

So like I said, there's going to be a lot happening on the next season of Glee. But is it too much? I'm not gonna lie, I get a little bit worried that they're going to try to make every episode bigger and better and more performance oriented than the last and it could lose a lot of what makes it an incredible show.

Attention spoilers ahead.

First and foremost, much like the Madonna episode, there is going to be a Britney Spears-themed episode. But unlike the Madonna episode, Brit will actually make an appearance on the show. That is awesome. However, is this necessary? How does this flow in with the storyline? Apparently they go to the dentist or something, get hopped up on novocaine, and then hallucinate that they are singing Britney Spears songs.

Don't get me wrong... they're calling it a tribute to Britney's most fabulous days and I for one love me some fabulous Britney. "I'm a Slave 4 U" was my JAM in high school.

But I don't want Glee to go down the path of just episode after episode of karaoke-ing the hits of different celebs. A Madonna episode, a Lady Gaga episode, now a Britney episode? Obviously I know that at the end of the day they will work. it. out. because they are Glee. I mean anyone who can turn a Lady Gaga song into something I want to belt out in the car every day on the way to work is mega-talented.

It's always been such a well-rounded show that had a fantastic storyline that was complimented by even more fantastic singing. And I don't want it to shift to become fantastic singing and every once in a while there's a glimpse of a storyline.

Yet, something still tells me I will be completely and very very pleasantly surprised. It is Glee after all. Consider yourself warned LTD fans... there will be a Glee explosion come mid-September.

Video of the Day 8/27/10 - Awesome Cover Edition

What could make Beyonce's "Single Ladies" an even better song? A remake by Sara Bareilles...


Video of the Day 8/25/10 - Snuggarific Edition

If this doesn't make you want a Snuggie, then nothing can...


Book Review: The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Number of Pages: 543
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Where I Got It: Library

I read this book in high school as required reading, but use the term read very loosely as I did my usual wait till the last minute then skim like hell to get the general gist routine that allowed me to squeak by.

Hailey told me I should go back and read it as this is one of her all-time favorites, if not her number one fave, and she has great recommendations so I tried it. And am I ever glad I did.

The story is about the Price family who move from Georgia to the village of Kilanga in the Congo in 1959 as their father, a devout Baptist minister, has taken a job as a missionary. As the family tries to acclimate to their new and completely different lifestyle, they also must deal with the political ramifications of the Congo moving toward democracy and independence from Belgium.

The story is told from the point of view of all five women in the Price family: the mother Orleanna and her four daughters Rachel, Leah, Ada and Ruth May.

The writing is absolutely beautiful. While the family is struggling collectively to adapt to their new situation, each individual character has their own inner struggles to deal with. They each evolve completely differently and each have their own completely different realizations about who they are and where their life is headed. Kingsolver makes each character their own complete person, even down to 5-year-old Ruth May.

I think this book is one that you will either love or hate and I loved it. It made me laugh at certain points, it almost brought me to tears at one point, and I got a mini-history lesson out of it. At times it was a bit too long. But everything about it is really genius. Too much to describe or try to explain... you'll just have to find out for yourself.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (for being a bit too long)

Coming Up Next: Whatever You Do, Don't Run by Peter Allison
Peter Allison took a trip to Africa at the age of 19 and never left. In this memoir, Allison shares his stories as a safari guide and his encounters with the African wilderness. From charging lions to drowning his jeep in a lagoon full of hippos, these hilarious true tales takes you to where the wild things are and introduces you to a place where every day is a new adventure!


Video of the Day 8/18/10 - Can You Do This? Edition

Apparently all I want to blog about are videos. Oh well, they are awesome videos.

Another great submission from Ashley. It's a little lengthier but worth every second.


Video of the Day 8/12/10 - SYTYCD Finale Edition

Tonight, a winner will be announced on So You Think You Can Dance and let me tell you it is a tight race to the finish. All three finalists are amazing dancers so it will be very interesting to see who comes out on top.

In honor of the grand finale tonight, this video is of the champion from two years ago, Jeanine, who I basically want to be. She performed what I think is one of the most memorable and beautiful solos ever. Hope you like it as much as I do.


DOUBLE Video of the Day 8/11/10 - Go Team Go Edition

Shoutout to Ashley for sending not one but two amazing videos.

First up I don't see how this could ever have failed.

And secondly, we've got spirit, yes we do. We've got spirit. How 'bout you?


Video of the Day 8/6/10 - I Want One Edition

Shoutout to Ashley for today's video.

I want one!


Alternate Endings to The Bachelorette

So Monday night was the season finale of The Bachelorette which seems to last like six months or something. Seriously it's the longest show ever. But Ali made her choice and ended up telling Roberto she picked him out on some island in the middle of the ocean in Tahiti. Roberto proposed (shocking) with a giant diamond ring that I'm sure he didn't pay for and Ali said yes (shocking).

I have tuned in to a couple seasons of The Bachelor, then got sucked in to The Bachelorette because they use a contestant from The Bachelor as the new bachelorette. But I do have to say that I'm starting to not be a fan of the franchise. Here's why:

1. Watching 25 guys get wasted and look like dbags as they try to woo the girl is awful TV. However, watching 25 girls throw themselves at a guy is way more entertaining. With The Bachelor, it's so much fun to watch the psycho girls come out of the woodwork. Like the one who knew every detail of Jake's life before even getting selected for the show.

2. The girl that is picked as The Bachelorette is way too pretty, nice, successful, etc. all the time and it pisses me off that they whine about not being able to find love.

3. The show is becoming more and more unrealistic. I read an article that said that the bachelorette will give the producers an idea for a date, like baseball... which sounds like fun. Go to a Dodger game, have a Dodger dog and then watch them get swept by the stupid Giants. Nope not on The Bachelorette. Instead they are flown to Yankee Stadium and have A Rod or someone give them private batting lessons. Then they make out on the pitchers mound. Which leads me to my next point...

4. Way too much making out. Literally it takes up a good 75-80 percent of the show. Making out is fun to do, not fun to watch.

So now that we got that out of the way, Ali picked Roberto which I guess nobody wanted her to do. Personally, I thought the other guy was way better looking and apparently he was "such a nice guy". So I present to you my alternate endings for how the show should have ended on Monday.

First of all, it was very anticlimactic because I had to read for a week straight all about the "shocking" decision Ali was going to make and the "unforgettable" season finale that was coming up. What went down was neither shocking nor unforgettable.

You know what would be? If she didn't pick either one. I so thought this was going to happen. She kept saying she felt so much pressure to pick someone. Well first, that should be a given because the purpose of you being on the show is to pick a guy at the end of it. But I just got a vibe that she was going to reject them both. She did not. So that's alternate ending number one.

Alternate ending number two: she picks one of the guys, but the guy doesn't propose. Instead he tells her he just wants to go have a normal relationship and just date her for a little bit. Let's look at the facts here. You've just spent two months sequestered away from reality flying all over the world, literally, competing with 24 other dudes to win this girl. You've told her everything under the sun, you've pulled out your best moves and you're in the most romantic settings in the world.

It's incredibly easy to get swept away by all of that. So at the end, I think it would say a lot about the guy if he said "I do really love you, and now I just want us to try and live our life together before we then jump into the world of wedding planning and marriage." Watch Glee together. Get in arguments about whether your coworker is or is not actually annoying. Go see a damn movie. Do something normal. Just be a couple. Because how much do you really know about this person you've just picked to spend the rest of your life with? Yes you know that Roberto will "guard and protect your heart" but do you know what his favorite cereal is or that he likes smooth peanut butter and not chunky? Then it also won't be as shocking when things go wrong and you're not only breaking up but you're also calling off an engagement. Maybe this is why the track record is so bad with this show. The couple gets back to real life and they can't function. I just think it's the little things that really go into making a couple mesh together and all of the grandeur of the trips and the challenges and all that gets in the way.

Now I can't take full credit for this but it is an awesome idea created by Joe and me. (No James and Phil not that Joe... trust me)

So I guess the shocking part of this finale was that she voted the other guy off before he even came to meet her on the secret island. She went to his hut in Tahiti and broke up with him there. I will say this is way classier than what they've done before which is literally that she lets the guy she doesn't want tell her how amazing she is and how much he loves her and, if I remember correctly, he even gets down on one knee and proposes. Then she goes "Oh you should stand up now" and destroys him.

Here's what would have been awesome. The guy she didn't pick leaves. He grabs his suitcase and goes and gets in the car and does his testimonial or whatever.

Meanwhile, she gets dressed in her fabulous beautiful dress and goes out to her island and waits for Roberto. Roberto shows up in his suit, she tells him how he's the one she picks and isn't he so excited?!

And then Roberto says: Bros before hoes though baby. I'm out.

Can you imagine what "After the Rose" would look like then?