Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Secret, Sinister, & SEXY origin of Smurfette

The Smurfs 3D movie opens this weekend and in addition to starring Neil Patrick and Hank Azaria, the most famous face attached to the film is the face you don't see, Katy Perry (whom I love) as the Smurf's token sexpot, Smurfette.

A lot of people may NOT know the actual CONTROVERSIAL origin of Miss Mini-skirt, wherein there were a lot of hidden (or NOT-so-hidden) messages! The Smurfs were originally an all male society. In the cartoon and comic strip, in attempt to exploit the Smurfs' weakness, the evil wizard Gargamel created Smurfette, the first FEMALE Smurf, to infiltrate Smurf village and eventually cause their demise. "Women as the root of chaos and the downfall of a fully functioning social order"? Hmmm ...

It was also speculated that Smurfette was included to either a) debunk any "homosexual" speculation the "village of shirtless blue men" may have aroused or b) to act as a draw to the young female demographic, strictly as a marketing - consumer standpoint ... Whichever notion makes you less uncomfortable :)

And the fun doesn't end THERE! Smufette was initially born with nappy black hair, wearing a poor-girl's dress. She was the creation of Gargamel and was evil at the core, so that should be represented in her appearance, right? And although intrigued by her "femaleness", the Smurfs weren't really feeling her at first. It wasn't until Papa Smurf purged her of evil and made her pure and good, did she become the blonde knockout that the other Smurfs fell in love with. Message?


I love it!
Plus it was the 80's, so ... What're you gonna do, right?

You can watch the full episode here!



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Friday, July 29, 2011

a Phat trip back to the 90's for a Bit!

Small milestone here, but this marks the 100th blog post of EWLYD!!! For those of you that have been along for the ride, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your support, appreciate your readership, and assure you - the best is yet to come!

Of varying topics I considered discussing for the 100th, I decided to go with something I discovered this week that also spotlights my most formative decade - the 90's ... This week was the debut of the "new" program block on Teen Nick called "The 90's are All That".

From 12-2am every weeknight, Teen Nick airs some of the most decade defining Nickelodeon shows from the 1990's. The teen-sketch comedy All That, followed by Keenan and Kel, (the 1st spinoff vehicle), the timeless and beloved Clarissa Explains It All, starring a Pre-Sabrina Melissa Joan Hart, and the most grounded and relatable cartoon of all time - Doug.


Full on nostalgia, you can't HELP but smile out loud ... The 90's Fashion ... listening to TLC sing the All That theme song ... Rapping along with Coolio on the opening credits of K&K, knowing that in 15 years the world will only remember ONE of those K's ...  Teen life and comedy before "smart phones" and "the Internet" was ever a thing...

video
(What did Ferg-face just say?! ... FYI: Cowboys & Aliens opens in theaters this weekend!)

An incredible decade, with an outstanding crop of shows selected for the lineup ... With so many more STILL that I can't wait for them to reintroduce. Are You Afraid of the Dark ... Salute Your Shorts ... Welcome Freshman ... Hell, even the cheesiest teen soap ever, Fifteen, starring a young Ryan Reynolds (it was as much fun as it was painful to watch) And does anyone remember Roundhouse? It was one of the launch shows for SNICK - aka Saturday Night Nickelodeon. Corny as HELL, but I wouldn't mind curling up on the Big Orange Couch to check it all out again. 
... And Doug. Can never EVER get enough Doug.

If you didn't have anything to watch this summer, or a reason to stay up till 2am every night? - Now you do.

and just in case you forgot how it goes ...



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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Awkward - Is it Really?

MTV, the network which was once the very definition of pop-culture and all things edgy and young, seems to be throwing WHATEVER at the wall lately, just to see what sticks. Best strategy? Time will only tell. So let's just discuss the latest offering to be slapped on our viewing plate, even though it might be a bit Awkward ...

Simply put - Awkward is excellent. I rolled my eyes during initial previews of the show. Leave it to MTV to try and make satire out of the premise of "a teen girl suicide attempt". But if it helps encourage you to watch it, the main character Jenna, played by the adorable Ashley Rickards, doesn't ACTUALLY try to kill herself. After some poorly worded venting online and a freak slip and fall in the bathroom with pills and other incriminating contraband strewn about, the world assumes the worst. She is here on branded as "That Girl" and now, no longer "invisible", has to navigate a new school year with all judgmental eyes on her.


What makes Awkward good is that it reinvents many of the usual teen comedy/drama cliches. Jenna is an "underdog", but she and her friends aren't COMPLETE outcasts as to make the whole exercise unbelievable. It has fun with the high school stereotypes - i.e. - the "Jock" that Jenna is smitten with is basically a clod, which Jenna isn't blind to, yet the show makes no excuses or justification for her affection towards him. The cheerleaders are evil, of course, but the head cheerleader, Queen Bee, and biggest bully, is a actually also the "fat girl", who's riddled with her own insecurities, using that energy to make life miserable for Jenna.


Refreshingly, Awkward doesn't take itself too seriously, which is something I always appreciate. Moreover, it isn't trying to create any grand enlightening social statement on the teen class system. It's just having fun. The adults (who're usually a total wash in these MTV shows) are kooky without being clueless, and Jenna, herself, is cute, sarcastic and conscious, but without being all too obnoxiously self-aware.

Icing on the cake? It's only a 30 minute show. Glad MTV got the memo. Check out Awkward, Tuesdays @ 11 pm.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Back in Black

It's the debut of Rebecca Black's eagerly anticipated follow-up to her Youtube Mega-hit Friday! The new single is called My Moment and it actually premieres on Entertainment Tonight tonight ... But rather than make you sit through the entirety of that show, you can just check it out here!

Oh, and just how IS the new song? ...
As awesome and catchy as Friday? Not on your life.
Auto-tuned like crazy? You better fuckin believe it!

Take a look & listen!
(I miss Pato ...)



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Sunday, July 17, 2011

a LONG night in New York ...


On weekends in NYC, after the AFTER hours, when the bars and clubs have long thrown you out and the rising sun is reminding you to take your ass home, people are accustomed to seeing just about anything. This, on full display in front of Grand Central Station this morning at 5am, was NO exception. Regardless, it's always fun and enjoyable sight to behold so I thought I'd share.

Can you BELIEVE there's a 70% off sale at Banana Republic?!
I know! Right?!


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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Juan de los Muertos - I'm dying to go see it!

I said it before, I'll say it again - EJ LOVES Zombies! Thus, with new episodes of AMC's The Walking Dead still a few months away, I've been chewing at the bit for something to satiate my appetite for the undead! ... In walks this trailer for a FANTASTIC looking movie entitled Juan de los Muertos.


Translated to Juan of the Dead, the film is billed as "Cuba's first horror movie" and is written and directed by Alejandro Brugues. It is very much fashioned in the same vein as British zombie hit Shaun of the Dead, fusing the impending zombie-apocalypse with comedy. It's a winning formula, proven over in other zombie movies like Return of the Living Dead part 2 and most recently, one of my all-time faves - Zombieland ... So I SERIOUSLY can't wait for this one!

No release date yet for Juan de los Muertos, but check out this trailer to whet your whistle!

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Voltron remake is NOT the cat's meow ...

You may have heard, you may have not - there's a NEW Voltron force in town! For those that loved the classic 80's cartoon of freedom fighters piloting legendary magical lion robots, this is big news.

"Car Voltron" had its appeal, but nothing beat the Lion team, and although there have been some remake attempts already, (none of which ever really took off) cartoons nowadays push the boundaries of edginess that allow grownups something to appreciate. So would this, the latest 80's throwback getting the "new millennium" treatment, be anything to roar about?


In a word? - Hardly. It's a watered down, bland imitation of the 80's original, seasoned with all the 90's character cliches that you can stuff down a Male 12-17 year-old throat.

In the original version, all the characters were different but they were ALL endearing and devoted soldiers. Fighters cut from the same mold. Now? Pidge has glasses so he's the computer geek. Hunk is the big, therefore brainless oaf. Lance is the cavalier rebel who keeps Keith, the boring 1-note leader on his toes. And lastly, there's Allura, "the girl". Completely flawless, thus lacking any real dimension, she serves as the underscored competing love interest for both Lance and Keith.


They dropped the awesome iconic victory theme for an updated auto-tuned ear-wreck, and also added 3 extra obnoxious teen cadets to the team, who are nothing short of cringe inducing. The stories have been exhausting, with even a half hour feeling like an eternity.

The only interesting updates are the fun new configurations. Black Lion, the leader, has always been the Voltron head. However, they have now discovered how to change things up and form Voltron with DIFFERENT lions at the center (check out Red Lion as the head in the top pic), which gives way to new Voltron abilities. Cool! But, unfortunately ... that's all that this show's got.

You can see for yourself (or not) as the new Voltron airs on Nicktoons, Thursdays @ 8:30pm.

FYI - the new Thundercats remake comes out soon, so you may as well just wait for that!


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Monday, July 11, 2011

Tatt-2.0

Ok. Tattoos are cool. We all know this. People have been sporting ink on their person since the dawn of time. So how can tattoos now take the next leap forward in this, the digital age that we live in? Animate the HELL out of them!

Sounds UNpossible? Well it ain't. A can of of spinach along with a rush of adrenaline used to be the ONLY thing getting that tank or battleship on your bicep moving, but these days? We require the more scientific approach. Get your Smart Phones ready, people!

Matrix Codes,  (those composition notebook looking squares) I dismissed as useless tech arriving in the U.S. too late in the game, and just another outlet for unwanted ads in my phone. However, Paris based tattoo artist, Karl Marc, found a way to incorporate those Matrix Codes into his designs to create original works of art, and one of the coolest and most innovative things I've seen in a while!

Check it out!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Transformers: 3rd Times the Charm?

I'm one of the biggest Transformers fans there is. That should be stated immediately. However, it made me INSTANTLY more critical of any additions to the franchise than, say, the casual viewer. Thus? I've hated every Transformers movie Director Michael Bay has made. Even calling them "movies" would be a stretch. They were nothing more than 2 and half hour CGI effect stunts w/ loud noises & sexy Megan Fox. Calling them "popcorn flicks" is just a convenient cop-out, giving a pass for being crap ... Suggesting that just because a movie has big action and effects, it's therefore not to be judged harshly for having nothing else. Bullshit.


So I watched Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Was I impressed? Yes. Very much so. Michael Bay said that this film would be different, cuz this time he would focus on "story" ... which is like a Chef, after serving your 1st 2 meals, saying - "Ok. For the next meal I'll actually focus on how the food TASTES." Really?! ... Anyway, Bay HELD to that promise with much of the 1st half of the movie centering around Sam, played by Shia LaBeouf, trying to take to "regular civilian life", after having saved the world twice alongside the Autobots. Things then evolve into an interestingly elaborate plot, hatched by the evil Decepticons, to conquer the Earth and destroy the Autobots, and Sam is forced to join the fight once more.

A lot involved government secrets about the Space Race of the 60's and the U.S. moon landing. You can see the fun they had mixing historical footage of the Apollo 11 shuttle, President Kennedy, etc., with nice cameos such as Buzz Aldrin and Bill O'Reilly as themselves.

Naturally, Michael Bay also did what he does best - HUGE action and explosions. When he started blowing things up, he didn't stop, much to the dismay of Chicago. The 3D was as good as anything else out there right now ... "better", in a lot of cases, and the newest addition - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, as Sam's girlfriend Carly? Excellent. Ok. She's hot. And I expected her to be just as flat and bringing nothing to the film as Megan Fox did in the 1st 2, but that wasn't the case. She's immediately a better actress and was at the center of the relatively genuine and truly relatable drama that Sam had to deal with throughout.


the rating system:

  • Loved it - one of the best movies I've seen in a long time and worth every cent of the ticket price. I can't state enough how much u need to go see this movie ...

  • Liked it - it was an enjoyable flick for the most part and I'm glad I watched it. Will I run out to buy it when released on video? ... Probably not.

  • Leave it - ranging from the truly forgettable to the "wait a minute ... that didn't make any sense" in the 1st 5 minutes after I leave the theater. Basically - a whole lotta nothin.

  • Loathed it - a movie that literally makes me ANGRY after I exit and for days and weeks after. Angry that I wasted my time and money, and angry that such a piece of shit was ever made and that people actually received payment to do so.


  • The Verdict?

    Liked it.

    It was actually close to "Loved it", with this ranking as one of Michael Bay's best works. But Transformers was always about "Transformers", with "humans" being only a minor part of their story. These movies suffered from making humans far too integral with way too much screen time, but Dark of the Moon finally made some of that time interesting and valid, offering the humans some varying dimensions. Much props to newcomers Frances McDormand as tough as nails Agent Mearing, and Patrick Dempsey as the awesomely slimy Dylan, a qualified rival for Sam.

    The Decepticons never get a chance to shine with their individuality in the movie as they do in the cartoon, making the awesome addition of Shockwave to their ranks, a HUGE waste. However, Leonard Nimoy, as Sentinel Prime, did NOT go unnoticed nor unappreciated. (He was Galvatron in the 1986 animated film)

    TF3 is close to being a great movie, but still falls a bit short and has to settle on just being "pretty good". Still, its one of the better big Summer films this year, and EASILY the Best of the 3 Transformers live action flicks to date.