Thursday, June 25, 2009

SYTYCD

This is a So You Think You Can Dance post. If you don't give a darn, you are dismissed. We'll catch you next time.

So...last night's show. I was thoroughly unimpressed. Toni Basil is one of their worst judges in my opinion and I'm really getting tired of Mary's screaming so I was fast forwarding through the judging portions for the most part. Here is my take on the dancing:

Karla and Jonathan: Hip Hop (Dave Scott)
I'm sad to say after last week's gorgeous routine that these two offered up the weakest dance of the night. I think Jonathan is cute as a button and impressed me last week, but with the hip hop...ai yai yai. That was....not good. Karla was okay, but I wasn't even invested enough in the choreography to sit still through the whole thing. I went to let Cassidy inside towards the end and didn't feel like I missed anything. I fear Jonathan may be leaving us this week.

Asuka and Vitolio: Jazz (Mandy Moore)
I just cannot get excited about these two. I haven't so far liked anything they've done and kind of can't stand Asuka. I know! I'm a terrible person! I'm sure she's a very sweet girl but she bugs. While she's not everyone's cup of tea, I usually really dig Mandy Moore routines but this one was for lack of a better word, boring. For starters, Pat Benatar is not the easiest music to dance to, and when you add uncharismatic dancing it makes for a forgettable routine.

Melissa and Ade: Rumba (Tony Meredith)
Finally, a good dance. I just love these two. I'll reserve judgement until I see them do hip hop, but I'm getting close to declaring they can do no wrong. They're both beautiful dancers and handled the rumba with maturity and strength. Bravo.

Janette and Brandon: Hip Hop (Dave Scott)
Nice! To be fair, I thought this was a better choreographed piece than the first one, but on top of that the dancing was terrific. I'm not sure I was totally on board with the whole 'rocker' thing Janette was instructed to do, but she danced well and Brandon really surprised me. I thought Phillip was the only one left on the show that could pull off hip hop but I'm happy to say I was wrong.

Kayla and Kupono: Viennese Waltz (Jean-Marc Genereux)
Technically proficient as far as I could tell. I like Kayla a whole lot better without Max and I like Kupono, I've just never been blown away by a Viennese Waltz on this show aside from Danny and Lacey in the season 3 final 4.

Randi and Evan: Contemporary (Mia Michaels)
As much as I dislike Mia as a judge for her rudeness, she's my favorite choreographer. She's been responsible for my favorite group routines from each of the past 3 seasons and has rarely misfired on the competition pieces. So add Randi and Evan to the mix, who are two of my favorites, and you've got a great routine. And anything that inspires Cat to exclaim: "Zoot Alors!" has to be the best of the night:


Yeah I thought the butt thing was weird, too

Caitlin and Jason: Paso Doble (Jean-Marc Genereux)
I do not understand the tongue bath given these two by the judges. I thought everything about this dance was too big. The music, the costumes, the choreography all seemed to overwhelm these dancers. Add their total lack of chemistry to the mix and I don't know how much longer we'll be seeing these two.

Jeanine and Phillip: Broadway (Tyce Diorio)
I've never been a fan of the broadway routines on this show. I have nothing against broadway style in general, but it never seems to come across as strongly on this small stage. This one was done to *"Moses Supposes" from Singing in the Rain (one of my all time favorite movies) and contained a couch as a prop in an homage to the film. Aside from the impressive stunt of Phillip clearing the couch lenghwise with a running jump, it was just cute and ok.

*I once did a tap dance to this song in 9th grade and hated this song with a passion until I saw it in the movie.

Should go home: Phillip and Asuka
Will go home: Jonathan and Asuka

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Paul Blart: Best Picture?

So I guess starting next year the Oscars are widening the Best Picture race to include 10 movies.

I have mixed feelings about this and will have to wait and see how it plays out. On one hand, it could make things more interesting. I did a post pre-Oscars this year about how annoyed I was that the nominees seemed to be limited to "awards bait" films released within a month of the end of the year cut off date, alienating anything premiering from January through November. I was especially irritated that The Dark Knight and WALL-E were overlooked. Having double the number of nominees could open the door for bigger movies that have increasingly been dismissed as summer fluff.

I'm wondering if this development also means they are considering UP for a Best Picture slot this year. The addition of the Best Animated Feature in 2002 gave the Academy an excuse to exclude any animated film from the Best Picture race, no matter how impressive the film. This particularly irked me last year when WALL-E was snubbed and I will be similarly peeved if UP is overlooked come January, especially with 10 available slots. UP is by far the best film I've seen so far this year, and I would even go as far as to say it was slightly better than WALL-E.


I would be happy if you nominated me. Squirrel!

I do have my reservations, however. It is curious that this change is being made in a year with so few great movies. We are finally feeling the effects from last year's writer's strike with a dearth of quality films. I wonder come awards season if the Academy will be scraping the bottom of the barrel for nominees.

It also makes me wonder, even if this was a year chock full of good flicks, if increasing the size of the playing field could dilute the award altogether. I've often felt the Golden Globes suffer from this problem even as they separate their top prize into "Best Drama" and "Best Musical or Comedy" categories. The Oscars have no such plan to split Best Picture into categories and I'm wondering how it will look to see something like "Schindler's List" up against something like "Mamma Mia!".

It's still too early for me to form an opinion on this development so I'll have to reserve judgement until next February after the big show. I just hope this doesn't mean I have to stay up for a 6 hour broadcast just to see clips from all the films.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Puppy Summer Camp

Jason is off to London until the end of next week, so we're keeping Cassidy for a while. I'm trying to come up with some camp activities for the girls (Lucy and Cassidy) but it's a little hard to do archery or crafts when you lack opposable thumbs. Maybe we'll take them swimming this weekend.

We started off pretty well last night, with Miss Cassidy only waking me up once at 4 this morning for a bathroom break. That was fine other than I for some reason could not get back to sleep for a while afterwards. Maybe because I couldn't get Duran Duran's "Rio" out of my head, which is strange because I haven't heard that song in months.

I was a bit worried about how Cassidy and Jeff the Cat would get along for 10 days. I brought out the baby gate for the stairs last night to give Jeff a refuge, but he stupidly refuses to stay upstairs. Cat + curiosity = dead cat.

So far, so good, however. To my astonishment, Cassidy actually allowed Jeff to drink from the watering hole this morning:


Dogs and cats, living together!

Anyway, I hope Jason has a great time in Europe (he's spending a couple of days in Paris as well) and comes back sporting a monogrammed beret and/or a barrister's wig. It's going to be awfully quiet in the comments section for the next two weeks.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day/ Happy Anniversary

This morning I had my parents over for breakfast in honor of Father's Day and their 40th wedding anniversary, which is also today. I'm glad my parents live so close now so that we can do these things and not just send cards in the mail.

My dad is great and since everyone loves lists (you do, you love lists), here's a list of 10 reasons my dad is awesome.

1. He taught me to ride my little red Schwinn
2. He would take us on 'hippo rides' in the pool when we were little (this involved hopping on his back and getting submerged when we least suspected it)
3. He took us on lots of road trips
4. He taught me to canoe and fish and to appreciate the beauty and serenity of the outdoors
5. He taught me never to give up
6. He taught me to love to watch football
7. He taught me the art of the bad pun
8. He made sure my life was VERY WELL documented
9. He taught me bravery in the face of pain
10. He gave me a kidney


Dad, after discovering Ryan, Doug, and me in his cabin in Minnesota on his 60th birthday where he had no prior knowledge of our attendance and where we were hiding in a room pretending to be bears or really large racoons. Did I mention he's a good sport?

Happy Father's Day, Dad! Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!