How Daniel Radcliffe won the Internet last night

Daniel Radcliffe is already universally beloved.

He brought everybody’s favorite boy wizard to life, plus he’s an extremely vibrant and enthusiastic young man. He’s also a talented actor. And he’s English, which means he’s just a little bit better than everybody else.

Basically, he’s my man crush. And that’s before he did what he did on the Tonight Show on Tuesday night.

While conversing with Fallon, Radfcliffe — who is promoting his new movie, Horns — reveals that he’s a big fan of rap music. Not only that, but he said he has talent for memorizing lyrics to complex songs.

He then follows up that admission by flawlessly rapping “Alphabet Aerobics” by the hip hop group Blackalicious, a song where the lyrics flow successively through the letters of the alphabet, from A to Z.

Radcliffe, like most performers, ditches his accent when he sings (or raps). Fallon, meanwhile, stands behind him with cue cards denoting which letter Radcliffe is up to in the track. As he does it, he smiles in awe at what is transpiring, which makes his facial expression come off as borderline creepy.

Watch, and be amazed.

Within minutes, “Danielle Radcliffe” was trending on Facebook. Less than 24 hours later, the video already has more than 4.5 million views on YouTube.

Mr. Radcliffe, bravo. You’ve not only won the Internet, you’ve won the entire week.

Five points for Gryffindor.

Wednesday movie catchup

I’ve seen 10 more 2014 films since I last posted any reviews. Allow me to just scroll through them quickly right now.

This is Where I leave You: A solid cast can’t overcome an overused story arch that’s been done too many times before. It’s about four siblings who return to their small town home to join their mother in mourning their late father. Of course, each sibling has their own personal problems they are dealing with. It tries way too hard to be overly emotional, and gets lost in an overload of subplots. But Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Rose Byrne and Jane Fonda do present a likable cast, and that’s really the one good thing you can say.

Wish I Was Here: I was pretty disappointed with this film, only because I expect better from Zach Braff. His script contains a surprisingly cliché narrative, and, for the most part, pretty unlikeable characters. There are a few quirky Zach Braff touches in there, however, that made us love Garden State so much, like rabbis on segways and people dressed up in space suits. But this tale of self-discovery just didn’t hit the mark for me.

How to Train Your Dragon 2: White not quite as good as its predecessor, it still possesses the magic that’s made the franchise so popular to begin with. Couple that with outstanding animation and a compelling enough story, and you’ve got yourself another hit.

Obvious Child: Two words: Jenny. Slate. The former SNL cast member absolutely shines in this coming-of-age dramedy. There’s a serious amount of laughs in this one. It’s a female-driven comedy about womanhood that isn’t afraid to be raunchy, which is usually reserved for male comedies. So it’s a nice refresher. You wonder how successful the film would have been with any other actress besides Slate, but, it doesn’t matter. A star is born.

Camp X-Ray: Easily Kristen Stewart’s best performance to date. She plays a member of the armed forces who is assigned to oversee detainees in Guantano Bay. While she’s there, she forms a precarious friendship with one of them. It was actually a perfect role to her, because she portrays  just that right combination of fearlessness and vulnerability that fits her character. Terrific performance by her co-star, Peyman Mooadi, as well. The movie also delicately portrays a very controversial subject without placing judgment.

Young Ones: I honestly have no idea what this movie is about. It’s a futuristic, dystopian world with a plot that really didn’t need to be set in a futuristic, dystopian world. Anyway, it takes place in a time where water is extremely hard to come by. No major dilemma is really established that makes you care about the characters, and it’s a shame because it’s a waste of both solid cinematography and Michael Shannon.

White Bird in a Blizzard: Shailene Woodley gets naked. Sorry, I couldn’t really hold that one in. And I guess it’s a commentary on the film that the prevailing memory is nude scenes rather than the actual story. It was an interesting role for her, because she’s really at a point where she could be in any movie she wants without needing to resort to nude scenes. But anyway, the story is somewhat compelling, and it’s supported by a solid supporting cast in Christopher Meloni and Eva Green. There’s a bit of mystery too that will keep the viewer interested. Also, did I mention Shailene Woodley gets naked?

Maps to the Stars: I don’t think a movie will ever be made that has more unlikable characters than Maps to the Stars. But that was the point. Director David Cronenberg creates a satirical drama about the lives of those who get caught up in the Hollywood glamour. It’s a cautionary tale of losing sight of life’s priorities. But you also get an exceptional performance from Julianne Moore. Other than her, the characters are pretty blah. This movie is definitely not for everyone. In fact, it’s probably not for most people.

Enemy: Director Denis Villanueve (Prisoners) has proven that he can make anything dark and suspenseful. Enemy isn’t even that dark of a movie, and yet, haunting music and voyeuristic cinematography gives the viewer an uneasy feeling. It’s about a man who sees his exact lookalike in a movie, and sets out to find him. But it’s a psychological thriller, and you soon discover there’s a lot more than meets the eye.

The One I Love: Mark Duplass has become the king of independent, quirky comedies, and in The One I Love, he’s found his queen in Elizabeth Moss. The pair are fantastic together and share tremendous chemistry, which is ironic, when you consider that they portray a couple in the midst of a strained relationship. Their therapist sends them off to a secluded home for the weekend to resolve their troubles, and they end up finding themselves in an extremely peculiar – supernatural  — situation. It’s a totally original movie with a great script.

Marvel, go away.

Yesterday I read an article that made me feel sicker than any Ebola story ever could.

Marvel Studios announced its plans for its next nine films, to be released before 2019.

That’s right. Nine more superhero films to entrance audiences all over the world. Nine more films that will transform a fictional protagonist to Marvelthe big screen, pitting him or her (but let’s face it, probably him) against a super villian.

Nine more films for comic books fans to endlessly speculate which actor will play these characters, and then criticize once the decision is finally made.

And, more importantly to Marvel, nine more films to cash in billions upon billions of dollars.

Here’s my love letter to the world:


Please stop seeing these movies. By creating such high demand for superhero movies, you are only contributing to the hype. The more money these films gross, the greater their presence will be in mainstream media. Marvel will outspend every other production company in commercials, website advertisements, billboards and banners. Park benches will be draped with pictures of the Hulk. Chris Evans’ face will flash on every high definition screen from Los Angeles to New York City.

But we can stop it. All it takes is a little restraint. We need to understand that every movie follows the same formula. A layman gains supernatural abilities. Concurrently, a bad guy does too. They fight. The good guy wins and gets the girl. A sequel is made. Then, a movie is made where all of these superheroes combine to join forces. One of them is played by Scarlett Johansson.

No more. If we stop talking about these movies, and stop paying to see them, then, and only then, will the Marvel machine be beaten.


the Weinblog.

Who am I kidding? Each successive Marvel movie will make more money than the last. They could make a movie about a shopping cart and it would still be a summer blockbuster.

My main problem is that these movies are stuffed down our throats. There’s plenty of other films that are released each year. Ones that are unique and based on original scripts — and not from comic books. But they don’t have the funds that Marvel does to advertise extravagantly. And that’s why we are always so privy to whatever Marvel is doing.

Whenever they’re up to something, we’ll know about it. There’s no escaping it.

Ironically, only a superhero can stop them.

I listened to the whole Taylor Swift album today and I have no shame in it

I realized that every time I don’t post for a few days, I must begin my next entry by clarifying that I have not died of Ebola.

Yes, the virus has made its way to my home state. But unless I take a train to Bellevue hospital, walk into the secure, quarantined unit where the victim is being treated, and tell him to spit in my face, then I think I’ll be fine.

And considering that the dude is a doctor who risked his own health to volunteer to treat people in Guinea, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t even spit in my face if I asked him to.

Why am I talking about asking people to spit in my face?

Anyway, we shouldn’t even be worrying about an Ebola outbreak in New York. What we should be worried about is Mali, where a 5-year-old traveled throughout the West African nation, not only Ebola ridden, not only showing symptoms, but with a nosebleed. The toddler has since died, and now officials fear others may catch it. It’s especially significant when you consider that health officials have determined that the ground zero patient of the whole West African outbreak, to begin with, was a 5-year-old.

But enough about Ebola.

What was significant about today? Sure, it’s the 110-year anniversary of the first Subway line opening in New York, but no one cares about that. It’s also been exactly 28 years since the New York Mets beat the Boston Red Sox to win the 1986 World Series. I do care about that, a lot, but it doesn’t fit my narrative so let’s move on.1989

Taylor Swift’s new album, 1989, dropped today.

And yes, albums that are not hip-hip or rap can “drop.”

I listened to the whole thing today. The whole goddamn thing. It’s 61 minutes and two seconds long. And I listened to it. If it makes me sound any better, I listed to it while I did an 8-mile run this evening, which took me 64 minutes to complete.

But who cares about my accomplishments. Back to Taylor.

The album is good. The rest of the tracks are nothing like “Shake it Off,” her satirical, malice-driven anthem against her critics. Rather, the album is more aligned with the second single, “Out of the Woods.”

Swift’s transition from country, where she started, to pop, has been a steady one. But in 1989, she abandons country entirely. The whole album is infused with energy, and Swift kind of tip-toes outside of the confines of today’s pop music. There’s a pleasing balance between conventional and innovation. It’s smooth yet disordered. It’s clear that she attempted to evolve her sound, while experimenting with various elements of pop, and I think she accomplished it.

My personal favorites after one listen are “How You Get the Girl” and “Wonderland.”

Now allow me to address another issue. I don’t care about admitting I like Taylor Swift. I’m secure with my masculinity (or lack thereof), and even more secure with what I believe is my highly sophisticated musical taste. Which also happens to include Taylor Swift.

You know what? I think I’d let Taylor Swift spit in my face.

Yeah, I just made this weird.



Can people stop linking all of their social media together?

It’s been too long since I’ve had a good, old-fashioned rant.

So let’s do that.

Social media has definitely begun spreading out over the past year or so. Facebook — which, don’t get me wrong, still sits way atop the food chain — tried to dominate. It tried to incorporate everything into one.

facebookinstagramtwitterBut people like variety. They enjoy having an assortment of social media platforms they could pick and choose from. The more apps, the better.

There’s nothing Facebook can do about that. So we have Instagram for pictures, Foursquare for location, Timehop for nostalgia, and Twitter for our most meaningless, futile bits of minutiae that pop into our head and we feel compelled to share.

And yet, some people can’t even be happy with that.

They can’t let these platforms stand alone. So what do they do? They link them together.

I’m not even sure how this is done. I’m assuming there’s an app that allows you to integrate them together, but I don’t know what it is. I hope I never know.

But it’s pretty often when I see a post on Facebook that says it’s directed from Instagram, or Twitter. I see screenshots of people’s Timehop, which, in turn, was taken from Facebook to begin with. What is this madness?

The whole purpose of conforming to these different social media apps is it gives you a greater chance of sharing things with people who will actually care. For example, if you a snap a great photo, of say, a sunset, you can post it on Instagram, where it’ll be appreciated. People go on Instagram with the expectation of seeing photos.

On Facebook, not everyone will give a crap about your sunset.

Likewise, people go on Twitter with the expectation of reading trivial thoughts.

On Facebook, not everyone will give a crap about your trivial thoughts.

So when you post something on Instagram, and then also have it simultaneously post on Facebook and Twitter, it makes me hate you three times.

How starved for attention must people be when they post the same exact thing across multiple social media platforms? How many “likes” do you need, people?

We get it — you need attention. But … you’re also completely abusing the concept of social media altogether. This is 2014 — not 2009. Facebook is for engagement announcements, pregnancy notices, vacation pictures and birthday invites.

It’s not for you to post a picture of your Halloween cookies.

Not only that, but all of your ridiculous Instagram hash tags get carried over, too.

I don’t want to hate you three times. I only want to hate you once.

With all of my venom.

That concludes this rant.



Seriously, who cares what Renee Zellweger looks li….. OH MY GOD SOMEBODY KILL IT.

Imagine living every day knowing that photographs can be taken of you at any time and published in a major worldwide publication. It’s something you’d actually have to think about when you leave your home. Every time.

If we know we’re being photographed, we dress to the nines. We essentially manipulate our appearance to make ourselves look how we want. Celebrities do not have that luxury. For them, every public appearance is fair game.

Renee Zellweger

How I choose to remember Renee Zellweger

Alright, so this is mostly a problem for women. Guys can throw on a T-shirt and jeans, a ball cap, don’t even have to shave, and will be lauded by fashion magazines.

Women, not so much. No makeup? Ugly.

I’m not saying it’s fair. In fact, I’m saying it’s extremely unfair. Man, I’m glad I’m not a woman.

Renee Zellweger got a nice dose of that reality today. The 45-year-old actress has not been in a movie since 2010, and apparently hasn’t left her home in that time, either. Because when she stepped onto the red carpet on Monday night for an event in California, she looked virtually unrecognizable.

So much so, that Gawker (in the link above), actually posted an update to its article because they were receiving so much feedback from people refusing to believe that the pictures were, in fact, of Renee Zellweger.

I always thought Zellweger received an unfair amount of criticism for her looks. People often questioned how attractive she is, but I always thought she was beautiful. She was an absolute knockout in Jerry Maguire and Me, Myself and Irene, and then she aged, put on a little weight for specific roles, but still looked fine. I always found her trademark puffy cheeks and tight-lipped smile very endearing.

But this version of Renee Zellweger is just … I don’t know. It’s not that she looks bad, she just looks nothing like Renee Zellweger.

This is the struggle that women face. They appear in public looking different, and within hours, the entire world is dissecting their look. And, since it’s the Internet — where people have no problem saying harsh things behind the shelter of a computer screen — the majority of the comments will be negative.

So I do understand how much that sucks. I don’t exactly harp on it, nor will my sympathy last longer than five minutes, but I do acknowledge the shittyness of that predicament.

But when you come out like Renee Zellweger did, looking like someone rearranged your face like a Mrs. Potato Head doll, then I can’t really fault people for wanting to talk about it. I don’t know what the reason is; plastic surgery, methamphetamine, an unfortunate encounter with Ray Rice. I don’t know. You can draw your own conclusions.

She’s making her film comeback next year starring alongside Keanu Reeves — which is another tragedy in itself — and as long as she maintains her quality acting abilities, then who really cares what she looks like?

Other than everybody in the world who is on the Internet?


Well played, San Francisco. Well played.

There was a point last year when we all wished we could stop hearing “Royals” on the radio. The song, after becoming a massive hit seemingly overnight, topped the Billboard Hot 100 from Oct. 12 to Dec. 7 — nine straight weeks.

And not because it’s a bad song, but because, like all popular songs, it was overplayed.

Well, the people of San Francisco got their wish. Only it’s just one year late.

The Lorde single has unofficially been banned by San Francisco radio stations for the duration of the World Series, because of its connection Lorde Royalsto the team’s American League opponent: the Kansas City Royals.

The New Zealand pop star admitted several months ago that the song was inspired by an old picture she once saw of Hall of Fame Royals third baseman George Brett, who was signing autographs with the word “Royals” emblazoned on the front of his jersey. Last April, Lorde finally met Brett in person.

And now, with the Royals and the Giants set to begin their Best-of-seven matchup on Tuesday night, the city of San of Francisco will temporarily be devoid of “gold teeth, grey goose, trippin’ in the bathroom, blood stains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room…”

But they don’t care.

They’re chasing a World Series ring in their dreams.

I personally find this amusing because I enjoy when pop culture and sports intertwine, especially when it’s all in good fun. There’s no word yet on whether San Francisco is also boycotting Lorde’s other singles, like “Team,” which, ironically, has much less to do with sports than “Royals” does.

One other connection to the song Royals and the Kansas City Royals? This video made by a Royals fan. I highly recommend watching.

But if you’re a Kansas City radio station, shouldn’t you try to strike back? Find a San Francisco Giants-themed song to outlaw?

Like, uh, that song, with the giant … thing … in it. I got nothing. How about just ban the show Full House from television for a week? Done.

Since Lorde has shown a fantastic ability to take a joke in stride — based on her positive reaction to a recent South Park parody — I’m sure she has no problem with this whole thing. In fact, she should totally hop on a flight to San Francisco and perform a free concert just for the fun of it. Now that would be awesome.

Now, my next question is … when will the entire country pick up on San Francisco’s lead and ban Nicki Minaj?