Top 10 Comedic Actors Who Aren’t At All Funny matt

Katherine Heigl and Seth RogenAfter seeing Knocked Up on the weekend, I had a couple of thoughts. The first was, of course, that this was an awesomely hilarious movie, rife with great jokes and references and yet another bravura performance from Paul Rudd, who is now on my mancrush list.

The second thought I had was far less positive. It had to do particularly with Katherine Heigl, an actress who’s received (mostly) positive reviews from her work in the film. Despite those notices, however — and, sure, she’s mostly inoffensive — I think it’s fair to conclude that she is, by and large, not a very funny person. She isn’t witty, outlandish or otherwise hilarious. She does not make quips, nor use sarcasm well, nor know the first thing about a good pratfall. Any laughter that surrounds her is likely to always be due to someone else.

Despite all that, though, Katherine Heigl is likely to go on to star in a slew of comedies. Most of these will be bad. Some, I guess, could be good, but again, it will be due to other people’s efforts, and never her directly. In following this path, she’s set to join up with an ever-growing cadre of actors and actresses who have defined themselves as ‘comedic’ performers despite never really being funny. Some of them have even gone on to fantastic success, despite never really being funny.

Starting with Heigl — the newest addition to the list — I’ve put together a list of the Top 10 comedic actors who are not at all funny. These people are not — most of them — bad people. Some of them are even good actors! They’re just very bad comedic actors. If they’d just stop considering themselves funny, I could even see myself liking some of them.
(Continued)


Ten Things Tyra Needs to Do to Save Top Model erin

img_tyra.jpgAs the eighth cycle comes to a close, one has to recognize how atrociously this show has deteriorated. No longer is it a showcase for up-and-coming models who have potential and just needed an in to the business, it’s about constructing as much drama as possible for the sake of television viewers. It is working – this cycle is one of the most highest rated cycles in ANTM history and consistently wins its time slot for the coveted 18-49 demographic. However, as much as I love this show, I need to come and say it : this show is terrible. After being a keen watcher of this show for many cycles, and a loyal follower to the Australia’s Next Top Model (which is absolutely fantastic!) and Canada’s Next Top Model (which is terrible — but rumors are circulating that the second season is a hundred times better than the first!) and the occasional viewer of Britain’s Next Top Model (which is somewhere between AusNTM and CNTM), I feel I have the know-how to tell Tyra how to smarten the hell up and return ANTM to its former early-cycle glory.

(Continued)


Top 10: Disney Princesses of All Time erin

black-princess-cp-2633827.jpgA few weeks ago, Disney announced its latest movie project: a story about a frog princess set in New Orleans. You probably have heard of this, partly because its Disney’s return to the classic 2-dimensional movies I grew up on (and loved dearly) and partly because Disney proudly– and loudly– declared that the movie would have Maddy, Disney’s first black princess. Hooray!

I’m completely torn here. While I do think it is a good thing to expose young girls to racially diverse princesses, the need for a core princess-heroine is in every film troublesome. Also, it is just a little late to be patting yourself on the back because you introduced a black princess. Hell, they did mermaid before they did ethnic minorities. Mermaids everywhere considered this a huge step forward. (Edit: I know that joke is old now, but I actually wrote this post months ago and just never got around to posting it. So it stays.)

Additionally, the princess being black and the film being set in New Orleans raises other identity awareness and political issues as well. Why New Orleans? Why now? Is Disney really this desperate? Or are they making a positive statement and reclaiming New Orleans as a positive cultural space? And can you really claim you have a progressive and unique outlook on the princess landscape, when the film takes place in a region that is predominantly African- American? How progressive is it to be accurate?!

However, Be-Something is not the place to have aggressive political debates about the Disney-fication of the universe! No! Instead it is the place to celebrate frivolousness and television and yes, even ‘Happily Ever After’ regardless of how contrived it may be. Because, no matter how controversial Maddy may be, we know the following: she will be able to talk to animals, she will find true love, she will teach young girls about the importance of individuality, strength, intelligence and having inner and outer beauty, she will teach us that being abrasive and whorish is in fact a form of feminine empowerment, and she will have a lot of hair.

So grab your tiara (and a boa if you have one), pour some tea, it’s time to explore the 10 best Disney princesses of all time!

(Note: I am beginning to feel really lame when Matt gets awesome top tens like “Fictional Irish Characters” and “Nintendo Romances” and I get ones involving cartoon princesses and Full House.)

(Continued)


The Top 10 Fictional Irish Characters matt

Oh man, it’s St. Patrick’s Day. A day dedicated, in theory, to Saint Patrick, one of the more famous Saints, well known for all those good acts he performed in his historical life to varying degrees of success. I would list those acts here, but I do not have the time nor the space! They’re so varied and plentiful, you see.

So, instead, I’ll just focus on the contemporary interpretation of St. Patrick’s Day. An interpretation that can be quickly boiled down to these two elements:

  • Drinking
  • Everyone self-identifying as somehow Irish

Let’s discuss these more in depth:

Drinking

In many ways St. Patrick’s Day is the most honest of all the major holidays. Whereas Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day and Arbor Day all like to disguise the fact that they’re about getting drunk with your relatives with pomp, circumstance and decorated foliage, St. Patrick’s Day is very clearly, very plainly and very loudly about getting drunk. Drinking on St. Patrick’s Day is so expected it might as well be required by law.

Everyone self-identifying as Somehow Irish

So the drinking element is simple, sure, but this one is a little more complicated. The thing about both being Irish and having Irish ancestry is that, well, not everyone can be it or have it. It just doesn’t make sense. Ireland is only one small country in Europe and while, yes, they did have quite a large immigrant population in the early days of America — and they fully followed that whole Catholicism edict that babies make Jesus happy –, they also had a lot of famine brought upon, I believe, by potatoes. So you have to imagine that the Irish population in America, while sizable, could not have been so all-encompassing as to give everyone Irish ancestry.

And yet on St. Patrick’s Day everyone is Irish. Doesn’t matter who. From the obvious red-haired guy slamming back Guiness and swearing at the TV in an entirely incomprehensible fashion to the less-obvious foreign exchange student from India who wears thick glasses, slams back curry, and talks incessantly about the flying buttress (because he is an engineering student), everyone can claim some Irish in them.

It’s like some sort of transubstantiation miracle, where blood’s been transformed into Irish blood which is, as I understand it, like regular blood but madder. And no one can really explain why, except to say that it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and if the other holidays can claim magical roots, why not this one? Christmas is all “Look, miracles — there’s snow!” St. Patrick’s Day, on the other hand, is all “Look, miracles — the floor is on a fucking sixty degree angle and my mouth tastes like battery acid; where’s me shillelagh?”

My Secret St. Patrick’s Day Shame

I’m not Irish at all.

I can’t even make some weak claim to the title. I’m British-crossed-with-Canadian-crossed-with-Baptist. A lethal combination if there ever was one, sure, but hardly something relevant to St. Patrick’s Day. Missionary Work, maybe, but not St. Patrick’s Day. So on March 17 every year, I’m one of the posers, singing Irish songs and swaying my Guiness back and forth. I make James Joyce references like I’m a goddamn scholar, but the truth is that I only ever read Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man and skipped some of the end bits with the poetry. But still. I try.

So I think it’s important that, this St. Patrick’s Day, I try and bring a bit of authenticism back to the holiday. To make up for all my years of Fake Irish, I’m going to shine the spotlight on REAL Irish. Or at the very least, fictional Real Irish, which is still sort of real, if you think about it the right way. Because what is fiction if not a mirror to reality? And what is a mirror but a window to an alternate dimension where everything is mostly the same, except they read things backward?

Do you understand what I’m saying? Do you understand that what follows is a list of the Top 10 Fictional Irish Characters of All Time?

Because it is.

(Continued)


Top 10 Nintendo Romances of All Time matt

People often talk about the classic love stories of film and fiction. Couples like Bogey and Bacall, Burton and Taylor, Jack and Rose, Butch and Sundance, Gatsby and the Green Light, Kermit and Miss Piggy, and Al Gore and that little pneumatic cart that lifted him high above the stage in An Inconvenient Truth are all enduring examples of the kind of romance that burns brighter than any other light. The kind of romance that defies all odds and makes all involved better. The kind of romance that defines the true meaning behind today, Valentine’s Day.

What people neglect to mention is that great romances aren’t just limited to the world of live action characters and muppets. Video games have for almost two decades been home to couples as much in love as any Hollywood star power couple. Nintendo’s games alone are so mired in the world of romance that the heart has become a near-universal symbol of nothing less than health. The message behind the symbol is clear: in these game characters’ eyes, all you need is love.

What follows is a list of the Top 10 Nintendo Romances of All Time. These are the couples that have loved so hard as to make one wonder if, in fact, they might be more than just the ones and zeroes of binary code.

(Continued)