Thursday, October 28, 2010

Break It Down!

Today while having lunch, I did something I vowed I would never do once my kids started school full-time (and NO! It is not get drunk on wine on a school day. Shame on you for dreaming of it, Laura.) I watched a kids show. On my own. When no kids were around. I know, right?

The show in question was, Yo Gabba Gabba, and here comes the worse part: I loved it, loved it, loved it!

After viewing, though, I have become convinced that it was conceived by an ambitious burner which is worth noting because they are a rare breed. A rare breed, indeed. Damn, now I'm rhyming things. Yo! Gabba, Gabba has all the things I enjoy: indie bands, fantastic dancing and songs about not biting your friends which, for my money, is the sort of lyric that has been a long time in coming. Also, the fashions are off the hook, they do the disco roll properly and they use the term "break it down" in the correct funky functional context. Nuff said.

More importantly, though, I think the lead and I look slightly alike.

I know that many of you frown on TV viewing during the day but my justification for it is that when I was younger, I used to watch The Price is Right with my babysitter, Louise Duguay. She was cool, made the best Kraft dinner of anyone before her or since and could guess the correct retail price of almost anything without going over. And we worshipped her because of it. How can you develop these traits if you don't watch a little useless boob tube mid-afternoon? Just sayin'.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Longing for Lines? I Think Not!

There was a fantastic article that appeared in yesterday's New York Times that lamented how there were so few memorable lines in movies nowadays. In it, the writer asked a few well-known film scribes to list a few from recent films, just off of the top of their heads. And - Gosh darn it!- if they weren't stumped! It made me wonder whether, at the end of the day, our fearless reporter had really sampled the correct group. Isn't this more of a movie fan type of question?

My suspicions were confirmed a few moments later when I noticed that the ol' comments section in the "paper of record" had started to heat up. When I checked back 3 hours later there were 203. And counting.

Listen, I would be the first to admit that there is a lot of movie dreck out there but are you trying to tell me that there have been no lines that haven't hit the zeitgeist? Pu-leeze!

Here are just a few:

Squirrel! (Up)

What's a liger ? (Napoleon Dynamite)

Those aren't pillows!!! (Planes, Trains and Automobiles)

I drink your milkshake! (There Will be Blood)

I'm not the guy you kill. I'm the guy you buy...(Michael Clayton)

Call it, Friendo. (No Country for Old Men)

Mmm Hmm. (Slingblade)

I'm the cautionary whale. (Juno)

Anything to add?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yet Another One to Explain to the Kids...

It is almost impossible to sit still while listening to this song. My kids can't get enough of it and I can't help singing with the original lyrics.

They, however, know the song as, "Forget You". As Cee Lo, himself would say, "Ain't that some shit."

For my money, this song could not have happened to a more talented guy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

25 Films Your Kids Should See Before They Turn 25

A few years ago, I wrote a piece for a local newspaper that attempted to be a primer for establishing the love for good film in the lives of your kids. It was a inspired by the list that the American Film Institute had come out with in 2005 listing 100 of the best films for children. Though they claimed to be the "ultimate" list, some of the selections seemed to confuse children's films with films with children in them.

And so, I created a list of my own, which I have updated for you here. It reflects what I have come to love about movies and it was screen-tested by the toughest critics I know: my kids.

The criteria for the list was simple: each film had to be artful in some way, have a strong story to convey and be able to keep kids engaged for its entire length. No small feat. A few are box office hits, others may leave you scratching your head but all are worth watching. With your kids or without.

The Essentials

1) The Triplettes of Belleville (2003)
2) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
3) Babe (2001)
4) Babies (2010)
5) Etre et Avoir (2002)
6) The Wizard of Oz (1939)
7) My Life as a Dog (1985)
8) Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998)
9) Lord of the Rings (2001)
10) Whale Rider (2002)
11) Toy Story (1995)
12) Spirited Away (2001)
13) Star Wars (1977)
14) The Black Stallion (1979)
15) Breaking Away (1979)
16) To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
17) Paper Moon (1974)
18) Edward Scissorhands (1990)
19) The Princess Bride (1987)
20) It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
21) Sounder (1972)
22) Kes (1969)
23) A Day at the Races (1937)
24) Raiders of the Lost Ark
25) The Incredibles

Did I miss anything?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spaghetti Tacos...For Reals.

Would you eat this?

Apparently, across our fair and messed-up continent, children are requesting that their parents prepare this for their next meal. It started with an episode of the kids series, "iCarly", in which the lead's older brother, Spencer, makes dinner. He slapped red-sauce-coated pasta into a hard taco shell and Voila! A foodie phenomenon was born.

Spurred on by reruns, Internet traffic and good old-fashion word of mouth, spaghetti tacos are apparently all the rage (particularly if you're under five feet and still live with your parents). Cooking blogs and web-sites are filled with recipes, a Facebook page has sprung up with more than 1200 fans and several cooking shows on the Food Network are planning on working them into their show rotations.

What could be more unappealing?

Well, besides actually having to make them, you mean?

What gives, people?

Is this Festivus for the tween-set?
What's next, chocolate with peanut butter?

Let's stop the madness.