A World Without Tony Soprano

What would the world be like without Tony Soprano? Unfortunately we have found out with the passing of James Gandolfini yesterday at the too soon age of 51. It can not be understated that Gandolfini was one of the most (if not the most) influential actors ever in television history. Its a fact.

The Sopranos changed the way we watch television. A lot of television was seen as background noise for the casual viewer before David Chase’s series forced the viewer to watch intently to follow his broad storytelling. Would the show have been as good without Gandolfini as Tony Soprano? How could it? His portrayal of the depressed mob boss from North Jersey gave us the original character we always rooted for despite all of his indiscretions. Without the success of Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano who knows if we would have gotten Dexter Morgan, Walter White, Don Draper or Nucky Thompson (even though he was a real guy).

Gandolfini made Tony Soprano who was in most ways a monster, a relatable human being. I can’t help but smile whenever Tony starts singing a random song, because its just so real. The depth of the character is enhanced so much by Gandolfini’s work, who also made us feel bad for an asshole with everything he could want. Tony Soprano at his core was just another guy from Jersey, trying to figure out his problems and live his life, just like Gandolfini himself. The difference being Gandolfini’s humble, calm and sometimes even shy nature compared to Tony’s violent and larger than life persona. He never chased fame, he was a man who just loved his craft.

I will never forget one time I saw Gandolfini in person, a section away from me at a Rutgers Football Game (his alma mater). Everyone noticed him as soon as he walked in, popcorn and soda in hand, his son trailing behind him. He was a hero to all of us yet could not have acted more normal, smiling and waving at all the “Jimmy!” calls before sitting in his seat. He could have probably sat in nicer seats, but that wasn’t who he was.

James Gandolfini made us care about Tony Soprano like we never cared about a television character before. We became a part of his family. Losing him is like losing a part of our family, and I truly cannot recall ever being this saddened by the death of someone I never knew, which speaks once again to his incredible relatability. I feel like I knew him personally because of all that we went through over the course of The Sopranos, his performance is that powerful and helped ushered in an entirely new era of cinema quality television. Unfortunately we will have to get used to a world without James Gandolfini…somehow, but will always remember him for his influential portrayal of one of the greatest characters of all time.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For pushed back…again

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, the sequel to Robert Rodriguez’ 2005 Sin City, was originally scheduled to be released in 2007, the same year that the original iPhone was released. It is now 2013, and the release of the sequel to the adaptation of Frank Miller’s neo-noir graphic novels has been pushed back…again.

After years of being in development, Sin City 2 was set to start production in 2012 with a release date of October 4th, 2013 attached. However, the release date has now been pushed back to August 22nd, 2014. That means it will be just under nine years after the first film was released, and that’s if (a huge if) it is actually released on the new date. Rodriguez’s other sequel, Machete Kills is already coming out on September 13th this year, and he made the original just three years ago.

This happens way too often, audiences miss out on the sequels they actually want for the sequels that are easier for studios to make. Machete was an exciting and fun mainstream B-movie, but can the fun continue for a whole second movie without becoming stale? I’m more than skeptical. Meanwhile, Sin City has an expansive universe with an abundant amount of story lines to tackle, they could easily make it a franchise.

Think about all the sequels that we have gotten and all the ones we have been deprived of. They decided not to do sequels to Todd Phillips’ hits like Old School or Wedding Crashers, but gave us two pretty bad (I’m kinder than most) sequels to The Hangover. Hollywood can’t seem to get planned sequels that audiences want to Zombieland, The Italian Job or Ghostbusters off the ground, but can put out Son of the Mask, Blues Brothers 2000, Babe: Pig in the City, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights and Basic Instinct 2. Just reading the names of all those sequels makes me cringe.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For will hopefully hit theaters on August 22nd, 2014, but will the nine year gap between movies affect it? It almost has to. However, if the sequel is finally released as planned and lives up to expectations, Sin City could easily be turned into the franchise it was supposed to be all along.

We’ve seen this before

Remember in 2011 when we all got irked at Hollywood for releasing two nearly identical movies in the same year? In fact those two movies (No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits) even had the same IMDb description for a while until someone noticed and it went viral. And that’s not even close to the first time this has happened. Hollywood has pulled this on us many times specifically in 1996 (Twister/Tornado), 1998 (Armageddon/Deep Impact), 2006 (The Illusionist/The Prestige), and its happening again this year.

Let’s go back to February this year: the Oscars have just wrapped up, Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx are on Jimmy Kimmel’s live after show to promote their upcoming movie, White House Down. The movie’s premise: a terrorist attack on the White House leaves an unlikely but capable “civilian” in charge of protecting and saving the President of the United States. Now wait a minute, isn’t this movie coming out in a few weeks? Nope. That’s Olympus Has Fallen, a film about an unlikely but capable civilian who helps to save the president after a terrorist attack. Only that one is the one with Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman. Wait, so Hollywood is releasing two of basically the same movie in the same year…again?! Yes, and not only that, the two titles are two ways of saying the exact same thing.

Olympus Has Fallen was released on March 22nd of this year (this guy’s birthday), towards the end of the worst movie season of the year: The Post Oscar-Pre Summer Season, which generally runs from January to mid-the end of April, depending on when the first summer blockbuster is released. It is the lowest grossing time of the year as average to below average movies are generally released during this time because they cannot compete at the box office in the more crowded and quality seasons (Oscar and Summer). Think about the movies that were released from January-April this year. The highest grossing was Identity Thief. This is not all to hate on Olympus Has Fallen, which actually did pretty well grossing close to $100 million domestically, it is just a fact. No Strings Attached was released on January 21st and Friends with Benefits was released on July 22nd. Guess which one was better?

Sure, its difficult to say with complete conviction that White House Down will be automatically better than Olympus Has Fallen just because it is being released in June, but the signs are all there. When Friends with Benefits trailers started popping up more than a few people quickly dismissed it as the “other” movie where friends try to have casual sex resulting in inevitable complications. But a deeper look at the two films would tell you different. Right off the bat for a romantic comedy which combination would you rather see? Ashton Kutcher, who mostly just does commercials for cameras and Natalie Portman who usually does dramatic roles OR Justin Timberlake who is generally hilarious and Mila Kunis who does mostly comedic roles? I’ll take the latter anytime. Whose movie would you rather see Ivan Reitman, whose last comedic hit was legitimately Kindergarten Cop OR Will Gluck fresh off of directing Easy A? See what I’m getting at. Add better supporting cast and a slightly larger budget to the comparison and Friends with Benefits is a much more appealing movie, before you even see either and thus became the more successful of the two.

White House Down stars Channing Tatum, who is one of the biggest stars in the world right now and Jamie Foxx coming off of Django Unchained is a better one two punch of front line stars than Gerard Butler, who is still living off of 300 and Aaron Eckhart, who I generally don’t believe in unless he’s Harvey Dent (had to). Does anyone have more experience destroying the home of the President than White House Down director Roland Emmerich? Antonie Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen’s director) certainly does not, especially considering his only above average film, Training Day, came out in 2001. White House Down also has a much bigger budget and a marginally better supporting cast.

The situation is nearly identical to what happened with No Strings Attached/Friends with Benefits. White House Down is destined to be the better and higher grossing film, barring the Steven Spielberg and George Lucas predicted implosion of the film industry happening much sooner than they anticipated. We have seen this situation before from Hollywood and we’ll see it again. It’s on us to decipher which of the two movies will be the one worth seeing.

Even Will Smith can’t save M. Night

The new Will Smith movie that stars him and his  genetically replicated clone son, After Earth premiered in theaters Friday. What’s more interesting than the movie itself (currently a 12% on Rotten Tomatoes) is that even without M. Night Shyamalan’s name in the trailer the great Will Smith could not remove the stigma associated with the once promising director’s name.

After Earth’s budget is estimated at $130 million, which is not surprising considering its an action adventure film and has Will Smith’s paycheck of $20-30 million to deal with. However, after coming in third this past weekend at the box office with a disappointing $27ish million intake its already looking like a disaster. Especially when you consider that it lost out to Fast Six in its second week (despite its sharp -63.9% drop from last weeks intake) and to the more modestly budgeted magician movie Now You See Me. My point: it didn’t lose out to a big time Superhero movie, it got beat by two movies it was expected to beat. I don’t know why it failed, I really don’t need to know why it failed. Think about it like this: even John Carter, which was a historic flop out grossed it by about $3 million on its opening weekend. The difference: Will Smith should be able to out gross any Tim Riggins movie considering the fact that Taylor Kitsch went from budding star to praying that they make a new Friday Night Lights movie within the last year. So why didn’t it?  As I said before, even Will Smith, the man who turned Hancock, a below average film (at best) into a $624 million grossing movie with just his name and a decent trailer, cannot save M. Night Shyamalan’s career.

Will Smith is unflopable, I would argue that he has never even had one a single flop as the lead actor of a film, until now. Shyamalan is on the other end of the spectrum, this can no longer be categorized as a slump, the guy just can’t hack it. Has a director ever started with this much success and had this much of a decline into nothingness? Find me one. Shyamalan’s first four films: The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and The Village all grossed in the $250-$670 million range, hell even The Happening somehow grossed $163 million (for some reason a lot of people outside the US saw it) to which my natural response is:

Even as those films made money Shyamalan began to wear out his welcome with audiences as his movies became predictable and stupid with their twists. But now  its gotten to a point where Sony purposely left name out of the trailers and advertisements for fear that the audiences stay away (their fears came true anyway). This comes after The Last Airbender was suppose to be three films until Paramount cancelled it after the first one underwhelmed mightily and when his name was openly booed/mocked in theaters when the Devil trailer premiered before Inception. And now having his biggest star he’s ever worked with and safest box office bet in Will Smith he has again failed to captivate audiences. I see dead a career and I’m not talking about Haley Joel Osment’s.

The What If saga continues!

My original “What if” article was far and away my most popular post, thanks in large part to WordPress choosing it for their Freshly Pressed page (shameless shout out in the hopes that they’ll do it again). So why not go back to the well and tackle another exciting “what if” in movie making history: In honor of the release of The Great Gatsby let’s look at how Leonardo DiCaprio’s decision to pass on a role completely changed Christian Bale’s career.

Quick note: I decided to just keep it to one “What if” per post, as opposed to the three in the original and will be posting more soon.

What if Leonardo DiCaprio played Patrick Bateman in American Psycho?

Brent Easton Ellis’ famous novel’s film adaptation took a while to get off the ground. It was originally optioned in 1991 with Johnny Depp set to star as Patrick Batemen, which quickly fell through. At one point David Cronenberg (The Fly) was set to direct with Brad Pitt as the star. However, after a several years Mary Harron was chosen to write and direct.

Harron pushed for Lions Gate to accept her (at the time strange) choice of Christian Bale to play Bateman. The studio only let Harron cast Bale on the condition that she would also cast two big name actors in supporting roles, which she did with Willem Dafoe and Reese Witherspoon (funny considering Bale is a bigger star than both now). However, the studio was still not satisfied and offered the part to a younger, bigger star in Leonardo DiCaprio, causing Harron to leave the project. Oliver Stone was hired to replace her, but when DiCaprio dropped out of the project to do Danny Boyle’s The Beach (a 19% on Rotten Tomatoes) the Wall Street director followed. Harron was rehired with Bale attached and the rest is history.

But what if Leo and Oliver Stone had stayed and made American Psycho their own way? The film would have been completely different, but not necessarily bad. Stone was still a solid director back in 1999-2000 (seriously when’s the last time he made a good movie?) and Leonardo DiCaprio was already on his way to superstardom thanks to all the screaming teenage girls who saw Titanic twenty-seven times each. Would the film have been as good with Leo as the lead? Probably not; Bale’s performance brings the film to a new level. However, American Psycho would have instantly turned Leo from talented teen heartthrob to a legitimate and respected actor who can play a dark character such as Bateman. The female youth of America would be screaming and crying in a very different way at the sight of Jack Dawson chopping up the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars. What does this mean? Leo doesn’t do The Beach (a good thing) and gets more offers to do serious Oscar level roles earlier than 2002 when he and Scorsese collaborated for the first time with Gangs of New York. DiCaprio squeezes in an extra Oscar nomination from the Academy for American Psycho or another role right after, and maybe, just maybe, they see fit to give him the gold statue one of the four times he’s nominated.

Meanwhile, Bale misses out on his breakout role and never gets to be the star he is today. He never gets the chance to drop the “E” in Bateman and become…well you see where I’m going. He doesn’t get cast in Batman Begins, The Prestige or even The New World (fun fact: Bale is in Pocahontas and The New World, two VERY different films based on the same story) and never gets his supporting role Oscar for The Fighter. This affects Christopher Nolan’s career as well. Without Bale even as a consideration for Bruce Wayne, Nolan is stuck choosing between Joshua Jackson (Charlie Conway), Eion Bailey (who?), Hugh Dancy (WHO?!)  Billy Crudup (Dr. Manhattan), Cillian Murphy (Scarecrow), Henry Cavill (the new Man of Steel) and Jake Gyllenhaal (prettier than his sister) all of whom auditioned but did not get the part because of Bale. None of these actors would have worked out as Bruce Wayne, especially not in the way Bale did. Nolan’s Batman series never takes off and maybe he never gets the opportunity or the budget to do Inception. However, one thing is for certain, Christian Bale should be a huge fan of both Danny Boyle and The Beach for stealing Leo away from American Psycho. In fact, he should have thanked Boyle and Leo first in his Oscar acceptance speech, because he probably does not even get an invite to the ceremony without their “help” and definitely would not be able to get a reservation at Dorsia.


Hey, Aren’t You That Guy? From That Thing?

The spotlight does not last for long for everyone, especially Hollywood actors. Some get on the cusp of superstardom and never fully make it there, while others can disappear completely. However, some actors do not even get that chance as they simply never become that famous for one reason or another and don’t become household names. Let’s take a look at three actors who probably should be more famous than they are:

Cary Elwes

Cary Elwes has some impressive credits to his name. He was the lead in the Rob Reiner classic The Princess Bride, he’s Robin Hood in the always funny Robin Hood: Men in Tights (man, I miss Dave Chappelle) and he’s the guy who cuts his own foot off to escape in the original Saw movie. To go along with those Elwes has had supporting roles in Liar Liar, Twister, Days of Thunder, Glory and Francis Ford Coppola’s take on Dracula. So the question is:

Why isn’t he more famous?

Family Guy actually beat me to this, but it is something I’ve always wondered for years. Princess Bride and Men in Tights are both movies that the general public loves; they are both highly re-watchable and are still shown on TV all the time. The original Saw is also one of the best horror movies I have ever seen, and that is not an understatement. Honestly though, Jim Carrey’s character in Liar Liar might have said it best: “he’s kind of, Magoo”. There’s nothing that really excites a viewer about Cary Elwes, especially his name. Is it pronounced “elves” like Christmas or “El-Wis”? I still don’t know. The fact is that Elwes is (was) the perfect star for a movie with a strong ensemble cast, as in his three big hits, a solid supporting actor and not much else. Key example: he’s the lead in The Crush (also known as Alicia Silverstone’s first movie) without much in terms of a supporting cast and the film BOMBED. I’m talking 13 million total domestic gross bomb. Yuck.

Romany Malco

He is commonly referred to as “the black guy from 40-Year-Old Virgin”. But Romany Malco (his actual name) has worked consistently for years. Malco was a supporting character in the hit shows Weeds, and had starring roles in the absolutely terrible Love Guru, and the surprise hit Think Like A Man.

Why isn’t he more famous?

He falls into a category I made up called “Everyone else from this hit movie is famous now but me”. Just think about every other main actor in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. When the movie came out in 2005 even Steve Carrel was not necessarily a big name. But besides that, you have an almost unrecognizable Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Jane Lynch, Elizabeth Banks, and even a pretty funny cameo from a young and at his fattest Jonah Hill. All those actors have much bigger careers and are more generally known than Romany. Hell, even Mindy Kaling and Kevin Hart with their one scene each are both more famous. Out of all those characters in the film he’s just as funny in my opinion, but he simply just never got the roles or the exposure that the others did, and thus he is not as famous.

David Koechner

I always forget his name, but when I mention him to anyone all I have to say is Champ Kind or Todd Packer and they know exactly who I am talking about. Koechner’s career is surprisingly impressive other than Anchorman and The Office. He has had at least solid roles in Talladega Nights, the underrated (maybe I just think that?) Let’s Go to Prison, Waiting and Paul, all of which are at least reasonably successful films.

Why isn’t he more famous?

Similar to Malco, he too has found himself filed in the category of “Everyone else from this hit movie is famous now but me” after Anchorman. Will Ferrell was already a known commodity with Elf and Old School under his belt already. Steve Carrell was still just that guy from Bruce Almighty. And hey wait, isn’t that the guy who hooks up with his stepsister at the end of Clueless? Yes, that’s Paul Rudd under that long hair and mustache combo, an actor who had two separate breakouts: First in the aforementioned Clueless (he’s actually the most successful of all the young actors in that movie) and then again with Anchorman, 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up in a four year span. Even in small supporting roles you have Chris Parnell before he was Dr. Spaceman on 30 Rock, a young Seth Rogen with two or three lines, Fred Armisen pre-Portlandia, and even Danny Trejo before everyone knew him as Machete. All of those names are more recognizable than David Koechner even though he had a much bigger role in the film. Tough luck, maybe Anchorman 2 will finally get Koechner to household name status, but for now he’ll have to stick with dying in Snakes on a Plane and Final Destination 17 or whatever.

Netflix has too many options


Talk about a first world problem. Netfilx has been a powerhouse in the Video On Demand world for some time, as they have forever changed the way we watch movies and television. I mean think about it, in the near future (if it hasn’t happened already) kids will not even know what “Blockbuster Video” is. Instead, thanks to Netflix there is an endless amount of entertainment at our fingertips for just $7.99 a month. However, Netflix growth has also come with a major issue: there are simply too many options on it.

Let me give you a scenario I constantly fall into with Netflix nowadays:

You’re hanging out with some of your friends; you decide to watch something on Netflix, and the dialogue goes something like this.

Okay, awesome we have so much to pick from. Why don’t we watch something from the Instant Queue? Nah, we can watch those anytime, lets check the New Releases! I don’t know if I want to commit to a full movie, lets watch a TV show. How about a documentary? This one looks good, how about this? I don’t know doesn’t really interest me, let’s watch something funny.

Suddenly you realize it’s been twenty minutes and you’re no closer to finding something to watch then you were when you sat down. It is maddening. This can happen when you’re alone too, particularly when going to bed. You are probably going to pass out as soon as you put something on anyway, but still there is the urge to pick something that you really want to watch. There are all of these options, but there’s very few that really jump out and say “watch me!” It’s a problem of excess; too many choices are being thrown in our faces at once and quality options are sometimes overlooked in the abyss of Netflix titles.

The Netflix collection grows bigger everyday, as this issue is not going anywhere. Competitor HBOGo might not have the depth in movies that Netflix has, but their concise selection is generally higher quality with titles being added and subtracted a few times a month. Netflix changed the way society watches movies, but might need some changes of its own, if it wants to continue to be top dog in the expansive Video On Demand environment.

The Academy spreads Oscar wealth

Last night marked the eight-fifth year of the Academy Awards, with Ben Affleck’s Argo taking home the Oscar for Best Picture. The ceremony had its first tie (Best Sound Editing for Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty) since 1994, and just the sixth tie in Oscar history. The tie was just one of the many Oscar history rarities included in last night’s ceremony.

Argo was the presumed favorite for Best Picture after overtaking Lincoln in the last few weeks before the show, and it won. However, besides Best Picture, Argo only captured two other awards, for Original Screenplay and Editing. While that’s nothing to slouch at, it is interesting how much the Academy spread the Oscars around this year. Check out this year’s breakdown:

Life of Pi: 4 (director, cinematography, visual effects, original score)
Argo: 3 (picture, editing, original screenplay)
Les Miserables: 3 (supporting actress, make-up and hairstyling, sound mixing)
Lincoln: 2 (actor, production design)
Django Unchained: 2 (original screenplay, supporting actor)
Amour: 1 (foreign language)
Silver Linings Playbook: 1 (actress)
Zero Dark Thirty: 1 (sound editing)
Beasts of the Southern Wild- 0

Since the Academy changed its Best Picture format from five nominees to ten in 2009, there have been one or two films that take the majority of the awards and four films (all three years) who have gotten shut out with zero awards. Here’s a breakdown of those years:

*Best Picture Winner

*Hurt Locker: 9
Avatar: 3
Precious: 2
Up: 2
Inglourious Basterds: 1
The Blind Side: 1
Up in the Air: 0
District 9: 0
An Education: 0
A Serious Man: 0

*King’s Speech: 4
Inception: 4
Social Network: 3
The Fighter: 2
Toy Story 3: 2
Black Swan: 1
True Grit: 0
127 Hours: 0
The Kids Are All Right: 0
Winter’s Bone: 0

*The Artist: 5
Hugo: 5
The Descendants: 1
The Help: 1
Midnight in Paris: 1
Moneyball: 0
War Horse: 0
The Tree of Life: 0
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: 0

Although Argo won Best Picture, it failed to win the most Oscars of the night as Life of Pi won four awards. This has not happened since 2004, when The Aviator won five awards and Best Picture winner Million Dollar Baby only won four. Argo also became just the second Best Picture winner since 1977 to win only three total Oscars, joining 2005’s Crash. Both Crash and Argo failed to win any acting Academy Awards. The similarities do not end there. The last time that the Best Director and Best Picture awards were not given to the same film was also in 2005. You might be asking, well who won Best Director in 2005 then? The same guy who won last night, Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi director, Ang Lee. Hmmm, interesting.

Whether or not the Academy got their choices right is debatable every year, however this year’s results have validated their choice to have more than five nominees for Best Picture. If four nominees are getting zero awards each year then there are too many nominees. However, this year was first time since the switch that only one Best Picture nominee got shut out from awards. While no film is all together perfect, nearly all of the Best Picture nominees had aspects about them that were deemed Oscar worthy, something not seen since the change. This does not speak to Argo’s weaknesses necessarily, but rather the depth and diversity of this year’s Best Picture nominees. The Academy was not shy about spreading the Oscar love this year, except to Steven Spielberg, who is now 2/7 in Best Director nominations, and 1/8 in Best Picture nominations, making him (statistically) one of the biggest losers in Oscar history. Something tells me that Spielberg’s four going on five (five?!) decades of dominating Hollywood is a nice consolation.

You’re Drunk Jules

Can you believe that it’s been nearly six years since the premiere of Superbad? I don’t know about you, but that sure makes me feel old. But I am not here to talk about how fast these years have gone, instead let’s focus on two of the main actors in Superbad. No, I am not referring to Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, whose careers will forever be compared because of their co-starring breakout roles in the film (Jonah has the edge because of his versatility, despite Cera’s early lead). And no I am not referring to Seth Rogan and Bill Hader, although Rogan’s career has continued to flourish and Hader has become much more of a household name since the film. For all the McLovin fans out there I’m not even talking about Christopher Mintz-Plasse either (who in my opinion will never completely break free from the iconic role). Instead I want to take a closer look at the vastly different careers of the two leading actresses in the film, who play the characters of Becca and Jules.

If I asked you: “Who played Jules in Superbad?” You would probably respond with something along the lines of “oh that’s easy, Emma Stone.” And it is easy, because Emma Stone was a small part in the aforementioned film and is now a bona fide Hollywood superstar.

Now if I asked you: “Who played Becca in Superbad?” Now that’s a much harder question. The answer: Martha MacIsaac. Wait, who?! You know the girl who in the TV show Emily of New Moon (just kidding, I have no idea what that is and neither should you).

So whatever happened to Becca’s career? I honestly do not even feel comfortable writing her real name when I refer to her, because Becca is the only role she will ever be known for. But enough bashing her, lets take a look. Her first movie post Superbad? The remake of Wes Craven’s directorial debut, The Last House on the Left. Sure, the movie is over the top with its gore but definitely scores points for having Aaron Paul in it (bitch), and is not the worst horror movie I’ve ever seen. The problem for Becca is that she has the unfortunate role of the character that gets killed first; meaning her overall screen time in the film is very limited. Even though that worked out pretty well for an unknown Johnny Depp in A Nightmare on Elm Street (another Craven film that got re-made), Becca has had a lot less luck. Since Last House, which premiered in 2009, Becca has not been in a movie worth noting, which is just plain sad.

Meanwhile, her female counterpart Emma Stone has exploded. Think about the movies Emma Stone has been in since 2009: Zombieland, Easy A, Friends with Benefits, Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Help and The Amazing Spider-Man. That’s an incredible run of hit movies in a row. Honestly, it’s not even fair to compare these two actresses, but it still interesting to think how opposite their careers have gone, considering how similar their roles in the film were. Maybe, Emma Stone is just the perfect combination of sexy and cute. (See what I did there?) Either way, let’s give it up for Becca/Martha, the actress who made the phrase “blow-jay” popular for a short time. Speaking of which, whatever happened to the “Kyle’s Killer Lemonade” girl?

The NBA’s Double Standard

Carmelo Anthony has been suspended one game for almost (I stress almost) coming to blows with Kevin Garnett the other night after a hard fought battle between the Knicks and Celtics at the Garden. While Carmelo’s actions were not the most gracious, the fact is that nothing came of it– no punches thrown, no physical contact, nothing. And yet he has been suspended. Meanwhile let’s take a look at Kevin Garnett’s track record:

Christmas Day 2011:

Kevin Garnett misses the game winning buzzer beater on opening day of lockout-shortened season. Does he shake hands and walk off the court? Of course not, he instead grabs Bill Walker (Bill Walker?) by the throat and shoves him, simply because he is a sore loser. That seems at least fine worthy, right? According to the league offices Garnett deserved neither a fine nor a suspension for an unprovoked assault on a below average player.

January 2011:

The Phoenix Suns are cruising to victory over the Boston Celtics, Channing Frye goes up for a three pointer and Kevin Garnett flicks his fist towards Frye’s man region, scoring a direct hit. A literal low blow. Garnett gets ejected from the game for the most cowardly move a man can make when hitting another man, but does he get suspended or fined by the league? Nope.

November 2012:


Kevin Garnett goes up for a routine lay-up and ex-Mr. Kardashian aka Kris Humphries fouls him to prevent the easy bucket. Not only does Garnett completely flop by falling to the floor from a light foul (seriously, I got hit harder than that playing middle school tennis) his punk partner in crime Rajon Rondo takes a break from bumping referees to try and start a brawl with Humphries over absolutely nothing. And where was Garnett during all of this you may ask? He can be seen clearly tripping Humphries (who is already outmatched several Celtics to one Net mind you) to make sure he falls to the floor. Does Garnett face penalty? If you’re reading this I think you get the point: No. The worst part? Garnett has the audacity to claim that Humphries is the one who has “always been out of control” and who has “always tried to play the tough guy”.  Is Kevin Garnett sure who he’s even talking about? Kris Humphries, a tough guy? You’re kidding KG, right?

These are only three of many instances of Kevin Garrett, who has said he is not “thuggish or anything like that,” being . . .”thuggish.” While being an enforcer is certainly a role on any NBA team, there has to be consequences for repeated physical altercations with other players. Carmelo Anthony was out of line for trying –not succeeding–to get into a fight with Garnett after the game, however, the fact remains that suspending Melo is a complete double standard when it comes to punishment handed down from the league offices. They love suspending Rajon Rondo, but how much can Kevin Garnett away with before he gets suspended? Does he have to punch a player square in the face during the game, or would that not be enough? Carmelo Anthony will miss Thursday nights Nationally Televised game against the Indiana Pacers, David Stern seems more likely to fine himself $250,000 (as he did to Gregg Popovich) for making that game less meaningful than he is to suspend Garnett. I guess anything is possible.