Love

and Other

Drugs

James L. Brooks could take a movie title naming lesson or two from the Jakester.

Bangarang!

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 265 user reviews.

Posted in Anne Hathaway, Celebrity, Film, Jake Gyllenhaal | Leave a comment

Four Night Stand Poster

Wondering why I haven’t been blogging lately? It’s not cause the celebrities have been on their best behavior (ahem, CHRIS KLEIN!) I’ve been busy producing my debut feature-length play, Four Night Stand!

No, it’s not about the microscopically short box office run of Ashton and Heigl’s True Lies rip-off Killers, it’s actually a fun new comedy about one nights stands, and all the shenanigans that surround having them. Here’s the synopsis:

Uptight Danielle and freewheeling Sam meet at a party. They talk, they laugh, they dance, they drink, they drink some more, and they unexpectedly go home together. The harsh morning light of regret shines hard on Danielle who wants nothing more to do with her surprise one night stand. But Sam has other plans. With the help of Danielle’s mischievous sister Michelle, and Michelle’s simple boyfriend Steve, Sam and Danielle try to navigate the tricky waters of turning a night of passion into years of happiness.

Is it pretty much a loose “adaptation” of the Monica and Chandler relationship? Um, yes. So: is it pretty much the thing you always want to be watching, all the time? Um, hell yes.

Also? Everyone in it is really pretty. Like: Minka Kelly and Tim Riggins getting down in an airsteam trailer, post Saracen funeral-level pretty. And there isn’t a more pretty than that pretty. #fact

The play is being produced here: http://www.ruskingrouptheater.com.

If you’d like to come see the show, we have a few weeks left in the run. Here are the details:

Ruskin Group Theatre – Studio Space
3000 Airport Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Fri & Sat: 8pm (thru June 26th)

Tickets: $10

For more info, click HERE.

See you at the theater!

Bangarang!

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 195 user reviews.

Posted in Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Life and Times of The Jay | Leave a comment

Ah, a new day! Got a good night’s rest, blogged about Idol, got frustrated over LOST, I am ready to take on this Wednesday. Time to fire up the old lap top, and see what’s going on in the world…

Michael Vick wants to be a Carolina Panther. Fine, whatever. Obama has a clean bill of health. Good, good, reminds to rewatch Dave for the 47th time. The Olympic ratings were up. Terrible coverage, but good for NBC. Let’s see what the celebs are up to…

Leighton Meester doesn’t believe in marriage. Boring. Logan Lerman to be the new Spider-Man. Duh, knew that weeks ago. Shannen Doherty doing Dancing with the Stars for her father. But who are her asymmetrical eyebrows doing it for? Hmm, what’s this link? “Blonde Beauties Captivate At Vera Wang Event” That looks interesting…

/clicks link

Oh no.

OH GOD!

Reese and Renee… together.

It’s all coming true… just like it was foretold.

We’re headed for a disaster of biblical proportions. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes… The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

Everyone just be calm. We all knew this day would come. To your celebrity bombshelters! Good thing I recently stocked up on Diet Ginger Ale, Entertainment Weekly back issues and an 80-hour TiVo filled to the brim with old episodes of Will & Grace!

See y’all in 35 years, when the bitchface radiation cloud clears… somebody please remember to tape Cougar Town for me.

Bangarang!

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Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 279 user reviews.

Posted in Celebrity, Reese Witherspoon, Renee Zellweger | Leave a comment

Certain actors just NEED to have Oscars. Be it due to their talent, charisma, the roles they play or their longevity, there comes a point in certain actor’s careers when it seems insane they don’t have an Oscar. Like Morgan Freeman before he won for Million Dollar Barfy; go back, didn’t you already THINK he had an Oscar? When you found out he didn’t, it surprised you, right? It’s MORGAN FREEMAN! Voice of God! Step-Granddaughter toucher! Oscarless? Insanity!

Certain actors not having Oscars just sounds wrong (not unlike certain actors HAVING them, ahem Mira Sorvino). Look, I know most awards mean nothing. The actual awards are easily purchased by deep-pocketed studios, desperate to boost the failing box office grosses of their “prestige” pictures. The show itself is nothing more then a poorly disguised commercial for whatever pop culture products need to be pushed near the air date. Actors only show up to pimp those pop culture products (all the more delicious as Award Season is in late Winter when all the truly horrendous movies get released, cough When In Rome, cough… oh, hello Kristen Bell… EVERYWHERE.).

But the Academy Awards mean something. Having an Oscar is important. Not just for the actors, but for us. We grow attached to our stars, and want to see them rewarded for their work. For whatever reason, we NEED them to have an Oscar, to validate what we know about things being good and things being recognized for being good. Which is why it is painful to know that the following ten actors don’t have one.

10 – John Malkovich
I’ve been studying film for fifteen years, and I have NO explanation for this. Really, John Malkovich hasn’t won an Oscar? Even though he played one of THE defining villains of the 90′s (In The Line Of Fire)? The man has a movie NAMED after him, for Pete’s sake! He’s easily one of the best character actors alive on planet Earth today, and there isn’t a person alive who doesn’t get fired up when he comes onscreen. But no Oscar? He deserves at least two for that fakakta accent from Rounders. “Paey dat mein hees mohney” I say, “Geev dat mein hees Ohhsker!”

9 – Sigourney Weaver
How many fantastic Sigourney Weaver performances can you name off the top of your head? I got to five before blink one. Aliens, Ghostbusters, Working Girl, Gorillas in the Mist, Galaxy Quest. Any coincidence that those are five all-time classics? I don’t think so. Weaver is the classic example of an actress that SEEMS to already be an Oscar winner. She’s been nominated three times, but no dice. Her Working Girl loss stings all the more because Geena Davis beat her. Geena? Davis? I love Charlie Baltimore as much as the next guy, but on her BEST day she isn’t even half a Weaver. Get away from her Oscar, you bitch!

(This is only slightly discounted because of Weaver’s indefensible performance in Avatar. The only thing even REMOTEly artificial in that movie was Sigourney’s acting.)

8 – Gary Oldman
There are a great many crazy things that happen in the world. Fergie just gave the best performance in Nine. The Jets may make the Super Bowl this year. George Bush. But right up at the tippy top has GOT to be the fact that Gary Oldman has NEVER been nominated for an Academy Award. Allow me to use the caps lock for better emphasis. GARY OLDMAN HAS NEVER BEEN NOMINATED FOR AN ACADEMY AWARD. The Professional, True Romance, JFK, The Fifth Element, The Contender, The Dark Knight… yeah, this guy doesn’t deserve one AT ALL. If I was running Hollywood, here would be my first order of business:

The Jay: Lacky, bring Gary Oldman an Academy Award.

Lacky: Which category, sir?

The Jay: EEEEVVVERRYOOOOOOOONNNE!

7 – Julianne Moore
She needs to have one so we can stop talking about how she doesn’t have one. Her Oscar Injustice campaign is even more self-righteous than Kate Winslet’s was, and that ain’t easy. Also? She should have won it for Boogie Nights. Kim Basinger deserved it more that year? For what, nearly ruining LA Confidential? No.

6 – Ralph Fiennes
His presence in a movie trailer practically REQUIRES that “Academy Award Winner Ralph Fiennes” graphic studios love to use so much (because it makes the movie seem better than it is). I personally think he’s never won because people are too afraid to mispronounce his name. If he just spelled it “Rafe” he’d have two Oscars by now, I’m telling you. Demi Moore agrees with me.

5 – Jeff Bridges
The Dude does not abide by his Oscarlessness. Thankfully, this atrocity will be rectified in about eight weeks. Who doesn’t love Jeff Bridges? Terrorists? Not likely, cause he played a kick ass one in Blown Away (not talking about the Two Coreys skinemax flick, I know, I’ve made that mistake before, too) (UPDATE: Oops, was just reminded that Bridges played the good guy in Blown Away. MAN those Coreys are distracting. Let’s go with Jeff’s villainous turn in The Vanishing, then, mmk? Mmk). He’s just SO likeable, SO endearing, SO GOOD, we are willing him to win this year. I love it when a long overdue actor is carried across the finish line by the adoring public. Even when it’s for a movie that is beneath them (see: Pacino, Al – Woman, Scent Of A). Also? There’s a better than good chance he accepts his Oscar totally baked out of his mind.

4 – Robert Downey Jr.
Jamie Foxx has an Oscar and Robert Downey Jr. does not. Which guy was the reason you forced yourself to stake awake through The Soloist, for? That’s what I thought. Also? It’s ROBERT DOWNEY JR. He’s the second greatest living actor in the world (see: #2 on this list)!!! Give him a damn Oscar, already! What does he have to do, act in blackface?

3 – Annette Benning
It wasn’t too hard coming up with men for this list, but the women were tough. The Academy is actually REALLY good at spreading the love around to all the A-list actresses. Cate, Nicole, Reese, Renee, Catherine, Kate, Julia, Meryl, Halle, Penelope, Helen, Angelina and Charlize all have one. Which makes Annette Benning not having one seem beyond dumb. Is it because she married Warren Beatty? Is she being punished for making The Siege? Somebody please give me a reason why Caroline Burnham is Oscar-less. Watch this clip:

That’s not one of the Best Actresses in Hollywood? Don’t you dare to lie me!

2 – Matt Damon
Matt Damon is the best actor working today. He is the best actor currently alive. These are the facts, and they are indisputable. Has Matt Damon EVER been ANYthing less than believable? Has he EVER not been fun to watch? Has he EVER not been the best thing in his movies? Tom Ripley, Jason Bourne, Linus Caldwell, Private Ryan, Will Hunting, Loki; I remember his character’s names! And those aren’t even his BEST performances! Courage Under Fire, The Departed, The Informant, Syrianna, Rounders and Stuck on You are equally good. Not to mention the time he made out with Grace Adler on the couch (‘Thanks for the tea. And aay.”). Matt Damon can do no wrong. And yet he can’t BUY an Oscar. I love me some Jeff Bridges. Stick It is my steez. And I am telling you: Matt Damon’s performance in The Informant was the best thing put to celluloid in 2009.

1 – Tom Cruise
Throw away everything you know about Tom Cruise’s personal life. Throw away the Katie Holmes, the Suri, the Scientology, the homosexuality rumors, the sham marriage to Nicole Kidman, the mis-aligned front teeth. Put it all in the trash (this is not me impersonating Clooney in Up in the Air, just btdubs). Now take a look at Tom Cruise. What do you see? You see the Greatest Movie Star in the History of Cinema, don’t you? That should be rewarded, shouldn’t it?

Tom Cruise doesn’t just carry movies, he IS movies. Paramount can’t even SHOW a movie script to someone until Tom Cruise has passed on it. His face is BUILT to be projected on 50-foot screens. His body is a perfect screen body: pigeon-chested, stout and malleable. His intensity is magnetic. Hell, his hair is a bigger movie star than Ryan Reynolds will EVER be. Tom Cruise was designed to be a Movie God. His brilliance and success was pre-ordained. And yet? He has never been rewarded for his work.

Jerry Maguire, Born on the Fourth of July, Magnolia, Rain Man, Vanilla Sky; ALL of those performances deserved Oscars. And if Sandra Bullock wins for The Blind Side, then Tom Cruise should have won for A Few Good Men. Want more? What was the funniest performance in 2009? Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder. #fact

Does anyone do blockbuster performances better? You don’t love Tom in Top Gun? He isn’t ANYthing but riveting in Minority Report? You’re telling me you have enough control over your body to LOOK AWAY from Tom in Mission: Impossible? No. You’re not saying those things. Because those are things no one says!

If George Clooney has an Oscar, Tom Cruise should have an Oscar. If Jack Nicholson has THREE, Tom deserves at least one. Nicolas Cage has an Oscar and he’s a crazy person. So why doesn’t Tom have one?

There will be a time, maybe fifteen years from now, when Tom Cruise disappears for 30 days and comes back with a movie. Something small, something personal. And he will be so good in it that we have no choice but to hand him the Academy Award for Best Actor. The standing ovation for that announcement will set endurance records. And we will all look back at his resume and wonder what took so damn long. He’s only been the Biggest Movie Star in the World for 40 years. He’s only TOM CRUISE.

I mean, isn’t that what the Academy Awards were invented for? So that we can give Tom Cruise an Oscar and everyone can be happy about it?

Here’s the thing: I’m a simple man with simple needs. I want things to be good, and I need people to love those things. These ten actors are good, and I want the Academy to start loving them. Because I will not live in a world where Hilary Swank has TWO Oscars, and these fantastic people have NONE. I won’t do it. I just won’t do it.

Bangarang!

(Follow me on Twitter @jasonamatthews)

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 296 user reviews.

Posted in 2010 Academy Awards, Celebrity, Hilary Swank, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman, Oscars, The Coreys, Tom Cruise | 37 Comments

This is a list of the 40 movies of the last ten years that affected me the most. They aren’t the “best” movies by any stretch of the imagination (Even the stubborn narcissist in me can’t call movies 22, 23 or 27 “good”), just the ones that moved me, entertained me, and enlightened me. They are the 40 movies I will remember, and care about, from the 2000’s.

The hope is that reading this list will help you to learn more about Jason Matthews (aka “The Jay’). It shouldn’t be an exercise in bashing my taste. Cause we all like some really bad pop culture (hey Keanu!), and no one should be judged by their guilty pleasures. The idea is not for me to tell you what to like or what you should think. I’m not making a case that my list is any better or valid than any of the other indulgent Best Of The Decade lists (which all suck) that are overloading the Internet right now. I didn’t pick these movies to make you think I’m some cool, with it know-it-all. Frankly, all that doesn’t matter to me.

I’m simply saying, for me, these were the ones that mattered. For whatever it’s worth.

40 – Mean Girls

Was the catalyst for the rise (and fall) of Lindsey Lohan: failed actress, successful tabloid whore, ginger person; introduced the world to Rachel McAdams; tried to make “fetch” happen. This movie had a lot going on.

39 – Collateral

Tom Cruise is more fun to watch as a villain. Consider: Magnolia, Interview with a Vampire, Tropic Thunder, Vanilla Sky. Wait, he wasn’t the villain in Vanilla Sky? But then why was he trying to eat my soul with his mis-aligned upper teeth, serial killer mask and frightening intensity?

38 – High Fidelity

Lloyd Dobler grew up, got way into music and became a manic-depressive. A happy ending? Not quite. But it did result in a smart, hyper-literal movie with Tim Robbins getting a long-deserved beat down, totes supes CZJ side boob, Lisa Bonet singfucking us some Peter Frampton, Jack Black being actually funny instead of the not funny he’s become, the obliges John Cusack standing forlornly in the rain shot and maybe the hottest sex scene of the 2000’s (starring, shocker, Tim Robbins).

37 – Juno

Is it obnoxious writing? Yes. (I considered writing ‘honest to blog there, but didn’t really want to throw up on my keyboard, so you know.) Is Ellen Page too precocious by half? Correct. Is what the movie has to say kinda offensive? Pretty much. But I can’t take away the amazing work done by Jason Bateman, Jen Garner (her scene in the mall is a killer) and Allison Janney. And any movie that makes its male lead a Cross Country and Track star is all right by me.

36 – Old School

“He’s gonna do one!” Nuff said.

35 – Unbreakable

The best comic book origin movie that you didn’t realize was actually a comic book origin movie ever. I miss M. Night’s fastball.

34 – Atonement

If only for the score, the library sex scene and BRIIIIOOOOONNNNYYY! Also? Everything else about this movie.

33 – Moulin Rouge!

I can sing both parts of Elephant Love Medley by heart, nine years later. That has to count for something.

32 – Sideways

I hated this movie for a long, long time. And I can’t forgive the movie for causing a fungal rash of sad bastard men movies to be made (mostly all starring Paul Giamatti or PSH, obvs). But the movie got people into wine, my favorite hobby, and shined a light on Santa Barbara Wine Country, my favorite place in the world. And despite my issues with the story, THIS is amazing writing:

“I like to think about the life of wine. How it’s a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing; how the sun was shining; if it rained. I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it’s an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I’d opened it on any other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. And it’s constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks, like your ’61. And then it begins its steady, inevitable decline. …And it tastes so fucking good.”

31 – The Queen

A stunning picture, credits to credits. Gets extra credit for making me want to do to horrifyingly sexual things to a septuagenarian. (What? Helen Mirren is HOT. #fact)

30 – The Bourne Ultimatum

For the Waterloo Station sequence alone.

29 – Mission Impossible 3

Secretly the best action movie of the decade. And easily one of the best action movie teasers of all-time.

28 – Pride and Prejudice

The film that made me turn the corner on Keira Knightley. It’s a beautiful adaptation, has the most sweeping camera work, and the ensemble brings it with powerful yet subtle acting. Loved this movie.

27 – The Perfect Score

A perfect 80’s teen movie, twenty years too late.

26 – The Blind Side

The best movie of 2009. And it’s not even close. Saw it in theaters twice, cried both times. The best work Sandy has ever done, and she’s done a lot of great work. Hollywood doesn’t make movies like this anymore, but they should.

25 – Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Shane Black at his sardonic, quippy, violent action best, RoDoJu bringing the funny, Val tapping into his Real Genius performance, AND Michelle Monaghan topless? How was this movie not a GIANT success?

24 – Zoolander

The movie I have quoted the most this decade. It isn’t a particularly good movie, but there’s not a person I know who doesn’t, every so often, cough lightly in public and say “I have the black lung, pop”.

23 – Taken

“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”*

*Gets extra credit for being the only time I went to the Bridge Cinema and didn’t have the worst movie-going experience in my life. What is WRONG with those people? Take your idiot conversations, text messaging and general hooliganery OUT of the theater. There are people trying to watch Liam Neeson kill foreigners here!

22 – The Core

Quite possibly the dumbest disaster movie Hollywood has ever put out, and that includes the one where Dennis Quaid runs away from weather, but I can’t help but love something that knows how stupid it actually is. And I can’t help but be charmed by a movie that has its hero pitch a full-on temper tantrum AT his love interest. That takes balls.

21 – Iron Man

The most fun of any blockbuster in the last ten years. Gets props for casting RoDoJu right off of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, when no one thought he had a Franchise in him. Made Gwyneth Paltrow fun again (no easy feat). And the scene of Stark testing out the flying mechanism in his workshop is an underrated special effects stunner.

20 – Minority Report

If for this scene alone:

You may weep now.

19 – The Aviator

As someone who has fought (and occasionally won) the battle of obsessive-compulsive disorder, I can relate to this film on a molecular level. And I could watch Leonardo dress down Cate Blanchett every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

“Don’t you ever talk talk down to me! You’re a movie star, nothing more!”

18 – No Country For Old Men

Was the Best Picture in the best year for Best Pictures of the decade. And putting this here means I get to link to my Javier Bardem Oscar post, one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. Done!

17 – Ocean’s Eleven

A compulsively watchable flick, the best star cast of the decade, an instant TNT New Classic and just plain, good old-fashioned fun. Brad Pitt eating in every scene, the wink wink lame ‘happily ever after’ kiss at the end, Julia emailing in her performance, “Whisky and a whisky”, the all of the everything that is Topher Grace and Matt Damon FINALLY making me like him (if not so much his pig nose).

16 – Catch Me If You Can

Some of the best work Spielberg has done in two decades, and it all feels tossed off, making me love it all the more. Haunting, genuine work by Christopher Walken (not easy at this point, if you think about it), the best knock knock joke ever, a game Tom Hanks, my favorite opening credits of the decade and Leo being Leo. There’s something about D-Cap’s work in the 2000’s that hit me hard. He played guys missing answers and trying desperately to find them, which I heart. You’ll notice that starts to be a recurring theme from here on out.

15 – Punch Drunk Love

A mesmerizing movie, if only for the pillow talk.

14 – Mr. & Mrs. Smith

The schadenfreude alone qualifies the movie for Best Ever status. Smith has no business being good, considering its troubled production, and the fact that the movie could have just put a close up on Brangelina’s faces for two hours and called it a day and we would have ate it up, and yet it is. Very good, in fact. The Brad on Angelina fight was fantastic, the freeway gunfight with Truths Revealed sequence was electrifying (“Art?” “History! It’s reputable.”), Vince Vaughn was stellar, Adam Brody got beat up (counts for a LOT), and I can’t get enough of Brad telling Angelina she “looked like Christmas morning”. I’m on Team Aniston, for the real, but this movie almost makes up for her trauma.

13 – Bring It On

The Citizen Kane of cheerleader movies. Also, the only movie Kirsten Dunst has EVER been likable in. And, um, hello, Eliza Dushku in a bikini, washing cars. My work here is done.

12 – Kill Bill ½

Part 1 is ultra-badass, Part 2 is exhilarating filmmaking. Would rank higher if QT had taken out the anime sequence (not interested, thanks), reduced the time Uma was trapped in a coffin (my greatest fear), and eased back on the foot fetish. We get it, Uma has great toes! Can we get back to the swords and exploitation now?

11 – The Notebook

I get that I’m a guy and therefore shouldn’t have this on my list. But you can’t tell me this wasn’t a seminal movie of the decade. That it didn’t change things. You can’t. Gosling and McAdams were the most watchable lovers in any movie of the last ten years. Period. I loved this movie the first time I saw it, and when I rewatched it again for this list, you know what I found out about my love for it? It wasn’t over. It’s still not over!

/makes out with this movie in the rain

10 – X-Men

I saw this movie in theaters five times, maybe the most I have ever seen any movie in the theaters. The movie is not without issues: the ending is small, Halle Berry is atrocious, Anna Paquin makes me Ralph and the pace is like an injured turtle. But man alive, Hugh Jackman’s arms. Hugh freaking Jackman’s. Arms.

Please excuse me while I go do 150 push-ups.

9 – Garden State

I make no apologies for this movie. It’s trendy to bash Garden State because of the weak, cliché writing, but you know what all you people? Go fuck yourself. This movie is GREAT. The Coldplay, the slow motion zooms, the WIDE establishing shots, the Natalie Portman, what’s not to like? Guys ding this movie unfairly because they are jealous Zach Braff got to make out with Natalie Portman in the rain, which is (not so) secretly our greatest wish in life. But we need to get over ourselves. And wannabe filmmakers hate this movie because they believe they could do it better. But if they could, they would, and they haven’t. Braff may be a King Douche, but he gets credit for doing it. And the doing is the whole point.

8 – The Royal Tenenbaums

Wes Anderson, irritating storytelling warts and all, is a singular voice in American filmmaking. This is his best work, and it’s not even close.

“The crickets and the rust-beetles scuttled among the nettles of the sage thicket. “Vámonos, amigos, ” he whispered, and threw the busted leather flintcraw over the loose weave of the saddlecock. And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight.”

7 – Wedding Crashers

Any film that opens with a ten minute montage of partying, bare boobs, cake and great dialogue, and then gives us Walken being an oddball, McAdams being luminous, Jane Seymour MILF-ing it up, Bradley Cooper playing a character named Sack Lodge, and the everything of the all that is the stage-5 clinger Isla Fisher, with a truly hilarious Will Ferrell cameo to boot, automatically makes me Top Movies of the Decade list. Hey, I don’t make the rules, I just obey them. So no excuses, play like a champion.

6 – Anchorman

I submit to you the following:

Any questions?

5. Brick

It could be the dialogue. It could be the style. It could be the camera work. It could be the score. But really, it’s about the journey. Of a guy looking for answers. A guy who refuses to just leave it be. A guy who needs to know. And who pays the price for that information.

4 – Harry Potter 3 and 5

Parts one and two are kids movies. Four is easy to digest mainstream snore. Six is too insular for its own good. But 3 and 5, Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix? They’re about something. They have something to say. They are filmmaking of the highest order. Two harsh, magnificent, brutal chapters in the life of a tragic boy, who wants nothing more than to be normal, happy and loved, and continues to suffer for wanting those things and having the gall to ask for them.

It’s easy to write this franchise off because of its popularity, but never forget that this is a story of a boy whose parents were murdered, a boy being hunted down every moment of his life, a boy with the literal world on his shoulders, a boy who can relate to no one, but who never backs down for a fight and will stop at nothing to protect those he cares about, even if it means dying. Let’s see Team Bella do that.

3 – Spartan

I’m a doer. I see a job that needs to get done, I do it. No complaints, no questions. I will go to the ends of the Earth to make it happen. Spartan is a movie made for people like me. Gripping, intense, honorable and the best Mamet dialogue an aspiring playwright could ask for.

And if you ever wanted to pull life advice from a movie, this is the movie to do it.

“You had your whole life to prepare for this moment. Why aren’t you ready?”

“The hardest thing, y’know what it is? It isn’t going in the door, it’s coming out.”

“Why would I want to know? I ain’t a planner, I ain’t a thinker. I never wanted to be. You got to set your motherfucker to receive. Listen to me. They don’t go through the door, we don’t ask why. That’s not a cost, it’s benefit. Because we get to travel light. They tell me where to go. Tell me what to do when I get there.”

2 – The 25th Hour

I tend to respond the most to movies about conflicted characters reflecting on their past, trying to figure out where things went wrong, and considering how to fix it going forward. This is the finest version of that story.

I dream of writing something as beautiful as the last ten minutes:

1 – Before Sunset

I look at my Top Ten and I see a pattern. And the pattern is me. We love movies for all sorts of reasons, but the ones that matter to us, tend to matter for one specific reason. Their story, in a fashion, is our story.

I started this decade as a freshman in College. All optimism, energy and naïveté. I was a hopeless romantic, with not an ounce of practicality. I had done nothing, but believed I felt everything. I end this decade a professional. I am hardened, realistic, unlike that 18 year-old boy in every way. I spent ten years searching for answers. Trying to discover the right path to happiness. And I haven’t found it yet. But I can look back, see the course of my life and understand how things fit. Why they went the way they did. Why I am here, in this place, in this moment, today. Which is good.

But that doesn’t mean I like it. And it doesn’t mean I accept it.

Before Sunset is that story. Tracking your life across a long span, deciphering the choices made, from love to career to everything else. Seeing so clearly how it all went down, but being powerless to alter things for the better. And then, in the most perfect cinematic way, two people are given a second chance. They are given an opportunity to get it right, this time, knowing now what they wish they knew then. And it’s on them to make it happen.

Before Sunset is an escape in the best way possible. It’s fun imagining I’m Neo or Riggs or John McClane or the guys from Wedding Crashers, shooting guns, being a hero, getting laid, etc. But it’s better, and more fulfilling, to imagine getting that second chance. To imagine saying all the right things in all the right ways to the right person. And hearing them say all the right things back to you.

It’s a movie about hope, the one thing I take with me the most into the new decade. The hope that I will figure it out. The hope that I won’t need that second chance, because when it counts, I will get it right the first time.

Movies are and always have been my education. I learn who I am from what I watch. These 40 movies, more than any others, taught me the most about myself this decade. And I will take the knowledge I have gained into the next decade and try to better myself, little by little, every day.

I am smarter, stronger, kinder, and more able to survive and thrive. What’s the job? Find me. I’ve had my whole life to prepare for this moment.

I am ready.

Bangarang!

(Follow me on Twitter @jasonamatthews)

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 235 user reviews.

Posted in Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Film, Harry Potter, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Garner, Keanu Reeves, Kirsten Dunst, Life and Times of The Jay, Matt Damon, Quentin Tarantino, Rachel McAdams, Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Vince Vaughn, Zach Braff | Leave a comment

n705069739_1741424_9565Everything I said in my April Fool’s post, up until the end, was completely true. I don’t have the time anymore, I’ve lost interest in celebrity shenanigans, I have other projects I want to focus on, and I don’t want to not like things anymore.

But I will NOT be shutting down the website.

So technically, the April Fools was on myself. Or, I guess, I unconsciously fooled myself by trying to fool you into thinking I hadn’t fooled myself when in reality I was the fool and you were the foolee, except not, because it wasn’t true, but it was and my brain just broke.

Can someone get MIles from Lost to explain time travel to me, cause I think I just shot Ben Linus dead.

So TheJay.com, as it is, won’t be going offline. I get too much traffic to old posts, have too many links floating around the net, and it’s nice to be able to go through my online archives every so often and laugh at my old jokes. That being said, new posts will be VERY few and far between (think 2-3 posts a month at best). And when (or if) it does happen, it will be fun and funny like always, but positive. A collection of ideas around things that are awesome.

In fact, I’m changing my site description from:

“TheJay.com is pop culture from inside the bubble, offering fresh and funny commentary on the world of entertainment and celebrity shenanigans.”

To:

“TheJay.com is fresh and funny commentary on all things awesome in the world of entertainment.”

Will I still be somewhat acerbic? Sure. Will I still poke fun at some of my lesser favorite celebrities ahem Reese ahem? Yeah, probs. Will I every so often let a bitchy post slip through the wire? Only if Mischa Barton does something stupid enough to block my sunshine.

But for the most part, you can expect great YouTube clips, move trailer reviews, drops of songs that are worth endlessly repeating on a loop on your iPod (think: “Use Somebody”, Kings of Leon, or “Hope Valley Hill”, Helios), love letters to celebrities are who loveable and updates on things going on with me that are of note.

I hope you’ll pop back in occasionally and see what’s up. Whatever is here, I’m hoping it’ll be just a little something to brighten up your day. Especially if you hate Mischa Barton.

Bangarang!

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 213 user reviews.

Posted in American Idol: Season Seven, Life and Times of The Jay, Miscellaneous Pop Culture | Tagged , | 5 Comments

wavegoodbyeIt’s time. It just is.

I’ve been writing this blog for close to three and a half years; in that time I wrote more than 400 (suspect to hilarious) posts and was read by more than a million people. I have been linked across the net, spotlighted by some of the biggest websites there is and was nominated and won a slew of awards. Also, I got to make fun of Reese Witherspoon a lot.

It was a good run.

I just don’t find celebrity shenanigans interesting, anymore. And I don’t have that much to be angry about, anymore. Britney is back to normal, Keanu is working towards respect, Tom Hanks has his hair under control, Mad Men is universally renowned, Friday Night Lights just got renewed for two seasons, American Idol is Boring, Paris Lindsay and Nicole are afterthoughts and Orlando Bloom is dead.

What else is there to talk about?

And I just don’t have the time. Concluding my tour of “Things You Don’t Know About The Jay”, I’m actually a playwright. And I have a show running for the next three weeks in LA (Come see it! CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS!), and a show I’m ramping up for the Fall; I need to be focusing on words that will have a lasting effect on art, and not a tossed off insult about Shia LaBeouf’s relative craziness. Nothing may ever disappear on the Internet, but nearly EVERYthing gets forgotten about. Theatre endures.

I want my work to endure.

But the bottom line is this: after a time, there is no cleverness in hate. I don’t like not liking things. True to fact, there’s very few things I ACTually hate. And grudges are just tacky. I’m a liker of things. And in this day and age of sarcasm and irony and hate as an Olympic sport, liking things has become an act of courage. I’m looking to get my Red Badge of Web Courage. Unfortunately, love blogs aren’t interesting. No one wants to read a 900-word love letter to Ryan Seacrest four times a week (and let me tell you, I could go 5200 words on the topic). If there was a way to be funny and relevant and positive I’d do it, but there isn’t, and besides, I’m the only who thinks this way, anyway.

I have no interest in being cranky.

I’ll probably do another blog; most likely two or three, in fact, and most likely not about entertainment. I’ll try new things; see if I can’t figure out the next great blog idea. I’m gonna take some time off of the Internet, recharge my blog batteries and be back someday soon. So keep your eyes open for The Jay…

I can’t thank you all enough for taking time out of your lives to read my silly musings on the world of celebrity. I wrote every joke for you, just for you. I’ll miss hearing what you think of my thoughts, miss having random friends complimenting me on a post or thanking me for a good laugh. I’ll miss having a place for my sarcastic voice. But all good things must come to an end. And this good thing is over. You have been a great audience and I was proud to entertain you.

I’ll end my post, my website, with that most familiar Lost Boys refrain, that joyous exclamation, my signature line…

….

….

….

….

APRIL FOOLS, BITCHES!!!!

The Jay ain’t going NOWHERE! And I hate more things than EVER! Suck it, Reese! Get effed, Danny Gokey! You’re still bland, Orlando Bloom! MORE HATE! More of all of it! FOREVER.

Sack in, kiddies, it’s gonna be a long time before this guy shuts up and shuts it down.

Bangarang!

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 214 user reviews.

Posted in Life and Times of The Jay, Miscellaneous Pop Culture | Tagged , , | 7 Comments