Yours Are The Sweetest Eyes I’ve Ever Seen

People magazine recently named Channing Tatum as the Sexiest Man Alive and, while he obviously takes very good care of himself, I must admit he just doesn’t do anything for me.  Appearance matters, of course, but just as much (if not more), substance is what makes a man sexy (to women).  By which I mean, his sense of humor, his I.Q., his ability to listen and communicate, his wit and integrity of character – these are the things that draw a woman’s attention.

Charming Potato is by no means unattractive but he seems little more than your average jock.  A beefcake, if ever I saw one.  Here are 8 actors every bit as good-looking and infinitely more interesting than Channing Tatum:

Ewan McGregor

Idris Elba

Joseph Gordon Levitt

James McAvoy

Michael Fassbender

Jesse Williams

Tom Hardy

Chris Hemsworth

~Nikki

Sick Day

I hate being sick.  Feeling like death, drained of energy, unable to work up enough gumption to go to the bathroom let alone actually accomplish something.  It sucks.  Unfortunately, there isn’t much to do but stay horizontal and ride it out.  Put on that handful of movies you’ve seen so many times, you could practically recite them verbatim and wait for your immune system to kick whatever microbe it’s battling.  The list itself varies a bit but here’s a representative sample of what I like to watch when all I can do is open my eyes:

The Breakfast Club, There are so many quotable lines here but if I had to pick a favorite, I might go with: “Impossible sir.  It’s in Johnson’s underwear.” -John Bender in reference to his bag of pot.

Willow, When Val Kilmer was thin and brunette and way before Warwick Davis ever met Ricky Gervais, they had this awesome exchange:           Willow: “See this acorn? I’ll throw it at you and turn you to stone.”                                           Madmartigan: “Ooh, I’m really scared. No! Don’t! There’s a- a peck here with an acorn pointed at me!”

A Life Less Ordinary, Best line comes courtesy of Judith Ivey: “Remember my dear, they only want one thing.  Maybe they want it more than once, but it’s still only one thing.”

Moulin Rouge!, Though rife with quotable dialogue, the music here totally steals the show.  “El Tango De Roxeanne” is my favorite.

Drop Dead Fred, My sister and I might be the only 2 people ever to have seen this flick and liked it, but honestly, how can I not with lines like this: “Let’s play PIRATES!!  We’ll cut off our legs and glue on wooden ones!”

Fever Pitch, Best line?  Nearly every one that comes out of Jimmy Fallon’s mouth.

High Fidelity, There’s nothing more comforting than a wordy John Cusack rant.  Case in point: “What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over.  Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss.  Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable?  Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?”

What do you watch when you’re too sick to get out of bed?

~Nikki

Seems I’ve SeenThat Devil Fruit Since The World Begun

As someone who’s never partaken in hard drugs, I really do love a good drug movie.  These flicks, if done well, provide the viewer with a realistic idea of what it’s like to live such a drug-addled lifestyle without the associated risks.  They capture the allure of drug life – the fun and sense of adventure – along with the pain and heartache that inevitably follow.  Here are a few that get it perfectly right:

Spun: Jason Schwartzman and Brittany Murphy as 2 meth addicts riding the induced-insomnia high, Mickey Rourke as The Cook (so perfectly cast), John Leguizamo as the heroin-addicted dealer, his strung out girlfriend, Mena Suvari, and Patrick Fugit all make up one of the best ensemble casts I’ve seen in a while.  Because the story focuses on Schwartzman and Murphy, both jacked up on speed the entire time, its pace gets you almost dizzy, providing a tiny taste of what it’s like to be on crystal meth without, you know, having to actually do it.

The Basketball Diaries: Leonardo DiCaprio portrays young Jim Carroll (of The Jim Carroll Band) during his downward spiral with heroin on the NYC streets.  It’s rumored that this film, based on the 1978 autobiographical book of the same name, was years in the making because every director in Hollywood wanted to direct it and every up-and-coming actor wanted the lead role.  I, for one, am grateful it eventually went to DiCaprio, as few young actors are capable of such a performance.  Mark Wahlberg, Ernie Hudson, Juliette Lewis, Bruno Kirby, and Lorraine Bracco made up a wonderful supporting cast.  The fact that it’s a true story, and, ultimately, a triumphant one, makes it even more powerful.

Requiem For A Dream: this flick based on the outstanding Hubert Selby, Jr. novel, which I recently read and loved, centers around four characters: a middle-aged widow (Ellen Burstyn) who becomes addicted to speed in an effort to lose weight, her son (Jared Leto) and his girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly) and their close friend (Marlon Wayans), all of whom become addicted to heroin while trying to make it rich as dealers.  I’ve loved Jared Leto since My So-Called Life and his portrayal of Harry Goldfarb simply cemented it.  Connelly and Wayans gave strong performances and Burstyn scored herself an Oscar nomination for her amazing role.  The movie feels every bit as stream-of-consciousness as the narrative on which it’s based, giving the characters’ initial euphoria and eventual demise a depth that really makes you feel it.

Trainspotting: Mark Renton, a young man in Edinburgh, Scotland, tries to extract himself from the drug scene once and for all, but finds its allure hard to resist.  Danny Boyle directed this gem (he’s directed other gems- 28 Days Later and Slumdog Millionaire, to name a couple), which is based on the Irvine Welsh novel.  Ewan McGregor, looking like a baby at 24 years of age, ably carries the lead role.  Some scenes are so graphic – the discovery of the starved corpse of the infant whose parents were too stoned to remember to feed her, Renton’s vivid, frightening hallucinations during his detox, during which he literally crawls into and out of a filthy toilet – you feel nearly sick just watching them.  But you also feel Renton’s elation in the end as he walks off toward an uncertain, but promising future.

~Nikki

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Ah yes, movie musicals.  Sounds like a good idea for another list!  We had to make it a duet though, because we’re sadly lacking in the amount of musicals we’ve seen, which is odd, because we both heart them quite a lot.

Sweeney Todd:  I’ve never seen this play but I had heard a very vague description of the plot prior to seeing the movie.  As you know, I love dark, disturbing tales and, in my opinion, Johnny Depp can do no wrong.  So when I saw the trailer for this flick, I knew, for me, it was a must-see.  Depp and his leading lady, the always-engaging Helena Bonham Carter, played their roles with passion and intensity and sang their songs charismatically, giving the already heavy story even more depth.  I loved the somber tunes and the dreary London scenery.  And the bleak finale rounded out this heart-wrenching tale perfectly.  (N.)

Grease:  This movie is practically a classic, as far as I’m concerned.  Much to my mother’s dismay, I went through a phase in middle school during which I watched this awesome flick every afternoon after school.  I couldn’t say how long this lasted, weeks or months, perhaps, but I never seemed to tire of it.  It’s a simple enough story but the characters and the music give it vibrancy and humor and make it oh-so-enjoyable.  (N.)

Sound of Music:  The grandaddy of all musicals, and one of my favorites.  Yeah it’s cheesy, yeah it’s 60s, but the Austrian countryside is stunning, Captain Von Trapp is the original DILF, and the music, oh sweet lord, the music.   Does it get any better than Julie Andrews, putting one arm in the air and the other around her head, hitting those notes in “Do Re Mi”, on the steps of the Mirabell Gardens of Salzburg?  Plus, this is aired every Christmas, so it’s built into my psyche to provide extreme levels of comfort, security, and happiness.   (A.)

Moulin Rouge:  I swoon at the very mention of this film!  I love, love, love this movie.  I’ve always been a Ewan McGregor fan and seeing him sing his heart out only cemented my good opinion of him.  He was so charming, so sweet, so utterly adorable.  And he could actually sing!  He and Nicole Kidman had beautiful chemistry and all of the side characters were wonderful.  The true star of this movie, however, was the music.  I loved the play on pop culture with ironically adapted songs like Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and the hilarious near-spoof of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.”  One of my favorite songs ever, and favorite scenes ever, came during the narcoleptic Argentinian’s rendition of “Roxanne.”  God, it give me chills thinking about it.  And “Come What May,” sung as a duet with such fervor by Kidman and McGregor, made this a love story of Casablanca caliber.  (N.)

Beauty and the Beast & The Little Mermaid:  The two greatest Disney musicals, in our humble opinions.  Everything about these is enchanting.  “Be Our Guest.”  The castle, the magic, the gloomy, ominous woods, the French countryside.  The underwater scenes, Prince Eric (you studly animated hunk, you), Urusla (one of the GREATEST Disney villainesses), “Under the Sea”, “Kiss the Girl”, “Part of Your World.”  These movies are INCREDIBLE.  Just thinking about them, as I am writing, is making me giddy.  I’m sure I sound like a senior citizen, but they just don’t make ‘em like this anymore.  Tale as old as time, indeed.  (A.)

Honorable Mentions:

Mamma Mia! & Across the Universe:  These get lumped together because they are both mediocre films, but the vibrant visuals and excellent musical source material null and void the mediocrity.  Who doesn’t love the Beatles or Abba?  (Don’t answer that, actually).  I happen to love both, and watching Meryl Streep and the rest of the cast clearly have the time of their lives gyrating on a dock in the Grecian sun while belting out one of the happiest songs ever written (Yeah, I mean “Dancing Queen”, so screw you) could fill even the darkest heart with joy.  Aside from Pierce Brosnan essentially defecating all over the disco joy that is “S.O.S.” – seriously, it sounds like someone is brutally torturing a moose – both soundtracks are golden.  Universe, especially, has some beautifully trippy scenes and unique takes on absolute standards.  I’ve never seen Mamma Mia! the musical, or the Cirque de Soleil LOVE show but both are on my bucket list, and until then, these’ll work just fine.  (A.)

~~Nikki & Annie