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More on this one soon, but before it gets too far into 2008, I at least wanted to get it jotted down:

10. Hairspray- I can’t say that it was the best movie I saw of 2007, but it was the most fun, for sure, and I don’t even like musicals that much. Such a blast, and I, too, am a sucker for Cutie McCute Zac Efron, though not as much as I am a sucker for Christopher Walken. Wowie wow wow wow!

9. Waitress- Sweet, good-natured, and it made you crave pie. Bake that together with some adorable Keri Russell and it’s a win-win.

8. Hot Rod-Do you like Andy Samberg? Do you like (or in my case have wildly fantastic fantasies of) Bill Hader? Do you appreciate and enjoy SNL Digital Shorts? Well, what are you waiting for? I didn’t think this movie was going to be as funny as it was, and it took me by surprise. It’s kind of like Nacho Libre meets Napoleon Dynamite starring Andy Samberg. Really? You need more reasons? It’s the friggin bayyst, GOSH!

7. Sunshine- Even if this movie wasn’t staring King of my Heart Cillian Murphy, it still would have made the list. Why? It’s science fiction, set in space, with a totally spooky premise and it’s executed BEAUTIFULLY. There was a major plot point that got under my skin, but I’m ignoring it because I loved the rest of the movie that damn much. A definite DVD purchase and you should probably check it out, too.

6. The Kingdom-This was the hardest movie to watch in 2007, but totally in a good way. Disturbing and tough to get through at times for subject matter alone, but all around brilliant, edge-of-your-seat goodness from top to bottom. And Jason Bateman the Action Star? Fan-friggin-tastic.

5. Bourne Ultimatum-The perfect ending to one of the most perfect trilogies in the history of movies, ever. All the parts that needed to be here were and in full force. Perhaps my favorite of the three if only because of the bad assity that was Joan Allen. I’d normally be upset that such a good series came to an end and I don’t have another Bourne to look forward to, but with the ending that we had, it’s impossible to feel anything but totally buzzed on Bourne.

4. Michael Clayton-Probably the most suspenseful and smart and incredibly involving movies I’ve seen in a long time. And while George Clooney is at his best and Tom Wilkinson is incredibly creepy and brilliant, Tilda Swinton is fierce and overflowing with bad ass awesomeness.

3. Superbad- I got to see this one as a free preview in the summer with my cousin Nia and LOVED it. Read what I said then, now! All still applies. Especially the bit about being in love with Bill Hader.

2. The Darjeeling Limited-

1. Juno

Honorable Mentions: Ocean’s Thirteen, Sweeney Todd, Hot Fuzz, 300, Knocked Up!, American Gangster

Movies I Wish I Saw And Surely Would Have Been At Least Honorable Mentions If I Had Seen Them: The Kite Runner, The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, 3:10 to Yuma, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Rescue Dawn and I’m Not There.

Worst movie of 2007 goes to Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End.

Hey, Interns.

I’ve been workin’ hard at not workin’ at all in my lovely week long vacation in good old Los Angeles. It’s been fun and exciting and tiring and excellent.

Fun has been had by all parties and I will soon get around to sharing photos and the like.

The past few days have been filled with friends and family in full holiday frenzy and I’ve definitely been enjoying myself.

I’ve been able to see a few movies that have been on my list and must share little snippets of their goodness with you.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street– This was my dad’s pick for a good, wholesome, family fun flick and being that my family tends to have a general appreciation for both Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, it seemed to be a win-win for all parties involved. I thought this film was a lot of fun. Not having known the story of the original play, or any of the music, I was spellbound by Burton’s as always creepy attention to aesthetic details. Depp is phenomenally hilarious and, intriguing and Helena Bonham Carter is a psychotic riot. I was a big fan of this flick, and that’s coming from the girl who would rather do A LOT of things before she watched a musical. However, those who aren’t fans of Burton, Depp or musicals beware.  If you’re not already a fan of Burton and his cinematic stylings, beware. This might be one excruciating blood bath for those who aren’t already on board.

Hot Rod– Holy crap. You dogged this one in theaters, didn’t you? Don’t worry, I did, too and so did the rest of America and I’m kicking myself for it. Seriously, Hot Rod is one of the most absurdly funny movies I’ve ever seen. At times reminding me of Napoleon Dynamite with a moped and others of a really fantastic SNL sketch (go figure), this movie had everyone in my family in stitches over the funny. Andy Samberg is hilarious and I’m pretty sure I’m in love with Bill Hader. I can’t even really describe the movie in a way that’s going to make you want to see it, but the selling point is that if you’re a fan of Samberg and his SNL Digital Short antics (and really, how are you not?), you absolutely must check out this movie. As in, right now.

Juno– LOVED IT! It’s brutally honest and smart, but equally hilarious and sweet. Ellen Page plays quick-witted-16-and-prego-by-George-Michael-Bluth, Juno. Quick witted and adorable, Juno is the coolest 16 going on 35 year old you could ever imagine knowing. After a late-night armchair encounter with her best friend Paulie (Michael Cera), she finds out she’s been accidentally sperminated through a series of pregnancy tests sold to her by Rainn Wilson. Young Juno faces all the challenges of her teen pregnancy, adoption versus abortion, telling her folks the news and eating obscene amounts of food from her school cafeteria, with grace and hilarity and more often than not proves to be one of the only adults on the screen. Her quick wit and smarts on everything from classic punk rock to history makes her easy to fall in love with and adore. Jenny Garner and Jason Bateman play the potential adoptive parents (Vanessa and Mark Loring) and the relationship that blossoms between the Lorings and Juno adds a deeper shade to this otherwise sweet and quirky comedy. All parties involved, well done. Juno delivers on all fronts and truly should not be missed.

Mr. Bean’s Holiday-Paulie Shore and Mr. Bean are my two greatest guilty pleasures when it comes to movies. I am very well aware of the arguments that people have against both of these gentlemen, but truly cannot help but enjoy myself immensely whenever they’re on the screen. Katrine and I have a special bond when it comes to Rowan Atkinson playing Mr. Bean, or any stupid comedic character, and promised that we’d watch this summer’s Bean installment together upon our next reunion. Well, we did and it was hilarious and incredibly entertaining (for us). So, if you like Mr. Bean, do check out this film. If not, don’t, you probably wouldn’t get it anyway 🙂

After Thursday night’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, I was pretty sure that I was in love with Mr. Olbermann, again. Mainly because of the video contained in this link. I’m asking you, nay, begging you to watch it. Keith’s “Special Comments” are always intelligent, inspiring, passionate and everything we need to hear at that moment in time. This one is the best one I’ve ever seen, and that’s no lie.

But then, last night, as if it was some sort of signal to me that he and I are in fact meant to be, he did a “Special COME ON” about the return of my favorite family, The Bluths, not to my living room, but in fact to a movie theater near me. Seriously, watch this video. RIGHT NOW!

Keith! Baby! It’s meant to be! We’ll totally invite our friends, The Bluths.

COME ON!

One of the greatest television shows ever made is Arrested Development. And no one watched it (including me, until it came to DVD) so it didn’t stay on the air long at all. But it’s brilliant and hilarious and I am actually glad that it’s not on the air right now because with the WGA strike, my heart couldn’t handle more loss.

But! Michael and George Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman [who I would have NO PROBLEMS marrying right here, right now] and Michael Cera [who I could also without question marry]) are back in action in the new comedy due out this winter, Juno (Also starring Jenny Garner and Ellen Page!).

And if that doesn’t get you excited enough, watch these two interviews with Bateman and Cera. And laugh. And cry. The movie looks adorable and hilarious and after this I’m definitely counting down the minutes until…

You can go see the movie for free!!!!! It’s going to nearly every city I can think that I have friends living in, so go! Check it out! For no dollars!

 That’s better than a corn dog with all the crucifixins.

Tonight I went and saw one of your more recent multi-multi-million dollar productions, American Gangster. Truly a recipe for brilliance and phenomenon, starring Russel Crowe, Denzel Washington and directed by Ridley Scott. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while, guys, and really could not wait to hand over my hard earned dollars for almost 3 hours of intensity.

Really, the movie was excellent. Washington and Crowe are perhaps two of the most talented actors of all time and the brilliance with which they executed their roles was the stuff of legend. The opposing natures of their two characters (Washington, the drug dealer with a soft spot for family, and Crowe, the good cop who’s pretty stinkin’ at the family part) is thoughtful and makes the story rich and compelling. The plot was tight and the intensity level almost never gave up. I really, thoroughly enjoyed this movie, Hollywood.

And while people may want to have whisperings of Oscars for Denzel and Russel, I think we need to give credit where credit is due. That’s right. I, Chelsea Graham, would like to take this chance to officially throw in my two cents and nominate Boom Mic A for it’s supporting role in this film.  Truly a commanding presence in at least 10 of the most intense scenes in this movie, when he was on screen, it was hard to notice anything else. You can’t find that kind of charisma and screen presence just anywhere. No, sir, look no further than a metal pole and some foam. Oh, and the arrogance of an entire crew of people working on a film. I will say this, Hollywood. I bet you drastically over-paid for this little feature. In fact, I’ll tell you what. Pay me half. Nay. Twenty-five percent of what you paid the people who worked on this movie and I promise you will have a boom mic in every single scene, if your heart so desires. Or, if you decide it might not be the best idea to overlook such glaring technical errors during some of the most intense scenes in your movie, go ahead and FedEx me over a copy on DVD. I’ll screen it and report back when you mess up as badly as this so you can fix it before it’s showing in every movie theater in the country. It might be less embarrassing, but I don’t know, like I said, maybe you guys were going for that high school film class effect.

Either way, call me. Let’s talk business.

 Yours truly,

Chelsea Graham

(Dear Interns: I’ll get around to more substantial comments on the film eventually, but I couldn’t go to bed without getting this off my chest first.)

Taking a break from convention blogging to bring you guys this nugget of glorious video.

MySpace (Oh, MySpace) does this awesome feature called ArtistOnArtist where two musicians, actors, directors or creative beings have an intersation (that’s an interview and a conversation) about, well, the fact that they’re musicians, actors, directors or creative beings. I love the Fiona Apple and Zach Galifianakis one.

But! Check out the Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson one! I love them!

Space?!

The Darjeeling Limited left the station yesterday for its wide release. Are you on board?

Yesterday, if you caught any NPR, you might have heard Terry Gross’ excellent, exciting and (like everything Terry does) extremely well done interview with Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman about the extremely soon release of The Darjeeling LimitedClick here to check it out. You won’t be sorry. In fact, I think you’re going to really like it a lot.  I know I did.

There’s a story involving Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, drinking and Rushmore that you’ve gotta hear to believe. To me, it epitomizes my idea of what it is to be Bill Murray.

 Guys, I need this movie. And I’m really excited to have it in my life. I hope you are, too.

(Also, at the bottom of that page, there are links to a bunch of other related interviews. Totally check those out, too.)

And it is THIS!

What timing! Especially considering that my Bottle Rocket poster came in the mail just yesterday! Fabulous!

If you’re like me, there’s a good chance that you’re absolutely dying to get your senses on The Darjeeling Limited. How about a little app-e-teaser in the form of a beautiful, vivid and poignant short film/Darjeeling prelude titled Hotel Chevalier.

I think it sounds like an absolutely wonderful idea. Go here.

I’m loving this. It’s everything we love about Wes Anderson and more. Sparse, smart and sharp dialogue, a heaping eyeful from the cameras and set design and a dry and brilliant wit that clenches your heart as well as your funny bone. And in the background, he’s drawing out the most bizarre and unusual form of empathy from the viewer. You’ve never literally been where these characters are, or experienced what they’re experiencing, but you don’t have to, because it’s written so perfectly, that you just get them. And they get you. And it’s beautiful.

It’s all kind of magical and I can’t quite shake it.

Happy Monday!

Jason Schwartzman, Natalie Portman and Toothpick

As previously reported, festival audiences are getting an extra special treat when they head out to see The Darjeeling Limited. And that is, as previously reported, Wes Anderson’s short film, Hotel Chevalier. While Darjeeling may be revceiving mixed reviews at the festivals (on par with all other Anderson films when they’re released), one thing that isn’t getting mixed reviews at all is Chevalier. Not only are millions of bloggers and the like falling over themselves for an apparently “steamy” and “revealing” sex scene involving one of the short’s stars, Natalie Portman, but it’s been rumored to be quite a beautiful and extremely well done departure from what we’re used to with Anderson projects. Needless to say, reading this L.A. Times article made my morning in knowing that we’re going to be rewarded a stay in the Hotel much sooner than expected! And for a deep discounted rate!  

Look!

“‘Hotel Chevalier’ is being shown in conjunction with ‘Darjeeling’ at film festivals — the Venice Festival earlier this month, the New York Film Festival on Friday and the London Film Festival in November — before being rolled out digitally. The short will make its public premiere Tuesday at Apple stores in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Then on Wednesday, the film will become available for free download on iTunes (and later on the ‘Darjeeling’ DVD).”

I’m also a fan of this part, too (In discussing Portman’s conditions for being in the film):

“‘Smoking. She didn’t want to smoke,’ he remembered. That’s why, in the final scene, ‘we changed it to Jason giving her a toothpick. I think it’s better.'”

Me, too, Wes. I love it!

Let’s meet back here Wednesday to discuss.