Thursday, April 15, 2010

Six Degrees...

I never got the whole "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" thing. How did it start? Has he been in that many different movies or something? Besides not getting it, I thought this would be an appropriate title for this post.

Why? Because of conversations like this that happen while Brandon and I watch movies or TV:

Me: "Man that guy/woman looks really familiar. Where have I seen him/her before?"
Husband: "I don't know, go look it up."
Me: Rushes to the room to check IMDb. A few moments later, "Oh! They were (some person) on Friends!"

It has gotten to the point that whenever I say this, Brandon immediately assumes it is someone from Friends. Let me state for the record that Friends is quite possibly my favorite TV show. Ever. I have watched every episode so many times I can quote some word for word. I blame my brother and my friend from high school, Erin.

Now I know the show better than my brother and he thinks I am crazy. I am, but just a little.

If a show is on for 10 years it is going to have it's share of supporting characters. I have a great memory for faces but can be bad with names or WHERE I have seen them. If I say, "That looks like so-and-so." It probably is.

I thought it would be fun to compile a list of the actors I have had this "Aha!" moment about.

This is Harry Van Gorkum. In the episode where Joey tells Rachel how she feels and Phoebe meets a man she thinks is Monica's soul mate. He played Don, the British food lover. About a year ago we were watching Entourage and I saw this guy and was like, "Hmmm, he looks familiar." Lo and behold it was Harry!

This is Shelley Berman. In the episode where Rachel quits her job at the coffee house and gets a job working at a fashion company, she meets Mr. Kaplan Jr. played by Shelley. We were watching Don't Mess With the Zohan (which was simultaneously overly offensive and hilarious) and the actor who played Zohan's dad looked a little familiar but not enough to warrant looking up. At the very end of the movie when he asks for a hair cut I got this mental image of him doing something else in another show I had seen. I couldn't get enough information from my memory so I went to the internet. As soon as I saw Friends on the list it was like a light switch went on and I remembered the rest of the scene.

Say hello to Bob Balaban. He is quite famous and recently I have been seeing him everywhere. The first time I saw him was in the episode where Phoebe's grandmother dies. She meets the man who turns out to be her birth father, played by Bob. While watching Entourage (same time frame as with the spotting of Harry) there was this scene where Turtle wanted to get into the medical marijuana storefront but he needed a card so they sent him to a doctor. That doctor was Bob Balaban.

Meet Professor Jarvis Oberblau, of Cornell. Oh wait, that was just his character on Friends. He played an incredibly creepy fan of Ross at the convention in Barbados. A few months ago I was re-watching Boy Meets World and I saw this character (a hotel man) and my eyes got squinty like they do when I am thinking really hard. I thought it might be the same actor so I rushed over to IMDb and sure enough, it was! (By the way, I want to apologize for the very small photo. The only larger photos were on IMDb and they would not let me save them.)

This is Lee Arenberg. He had a very small role in Friends as the guy who needed change for the bus while Phoebe was in front of Macy's doing her holiday bell ringing. I was watching Scrubs at some unknown time and recognized him when playing Dr. Moyer (I think he was a radiologist or something.) When I was looking up photos for this post I got a great shock when I discovered he was also in Pirates of the Caribbean! Pintel, the guy who was friends with the guy with the fake eye was Lee! I had no idea and I was like, "How did I miss that?"

Hello Cleo King. You may remember her from the Friends episode, "The one where no one Proposes" as the nurse who is helping Rachel with Emma. A month or two ago we were watching "Deadwood" (which you should all see, it is an amazing show) and in the third season this character of 'Aunt Lou' shows up and I kept staring at her, knowing I had seen her before. This time, however, I figured it out quickly and then used the internet to double check. She was in the show (Friends) for maybe a minute but I still knew who she had been. Sometimes I think I am strange for remembering these things.

This ever-funny woman is Jane Lynch. Her role in Friends was quite innocent and normal, especially as compared to some of her other roles. When Monica and Chandler are looking into buying a house, she is the Realtor for the house next door to the one they are looking at. I have looked her up twice in the recent past. For some reason I keep forgetting what she has been in that I have seen. The first time I looked her up was when watching "40 Year-Old Virgin" for the second time. The second time was after watching "Role Models".

This lovely lady is Olivia Williams. By now I am sure everyone knows her from her role in "Dollhouse". We have recently began to watch that show and in the back of my mind was the fact that she looked familiar. When I finally gave in and looked her up I found that she was one of the bridesmaids at Ross and Emily's wedding. By the way, Dollhouse is pretty nifty. I would recommend it.

Here is Sam Anderson. He played one of my favorite characters in Friends. In the episode where Phoebe is having the triplets, Sam played the doctor who was obsessed with Fonzie. He was so funny in that role. About a month ago we rented Critters 2. At first, I thought it was some other actor but after I thought about it for a little while, I realized he had played the awesome doctor. When I went to his page on IMDb I got a huge shock when I discovered he also plays Bernard on Lost. How could I have possibly missed that? We are rewatching the DVDs of that show and at no time did I ever think that I recognized him. I was blown away!

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed my vacation into Friends-induced craziness.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cheesecake Yumminess and Some Random Thoughts

Finally there was an update for ScribeFire and I can now upload photos! This is a post I tried to do right after Easter but because of the technical difficulties, was unable to post. Here you go!

This year my family decided to celebrate Easter more than usual. In the past, my mom has made little baskets for us and I remember, years and years ago, going to a church service for Easter. That is usually about it as we predominately celebrate the Jewish holidays.

This year, however, my mom thought it would be nice to do an Easter dinner at my house. This was fine by me as it meant that I got to eat lots of good food with minimum effort and spend time with my family. So we came up with a menu and decided who was going to make and buy what. I of course was going to do a dessert. I wanted something light and Spring-y and I thought of cheesecake. And when I thought of cheesecake, I thought of these. When I first read this post I knew I would have to make them soon. Now I had a perfect reason.

I followed the recipe exactly as she posted so I am not going to post it here. Instead I would suggest heading over to the site yourself and checking out the other recipes and fun stuff.

I did get some pretty nice photos that I am going to share with you.

These were so good! I cannot wait to make them again. One thing that was not mentioned in the original post that I think is important is that these need to be refrigerated before you eat them or they fall apart. When I served them to my family they were still warm and very hard to eat. When I had them the next day they were perfect!

Some random thoughts: I don't think I can buy strawberries from the supermarket anymore. I bought the berries for this recipe from Vons because they were on sale for under $1. They looked ok but they had no flavor. The berries from the farmer's market are so incredibly sweet and tasty that I can never go back!

So I guess it was just one random thought. Oh well!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Music in Movies

So I was going to do a post about the delicious cheesecake cupcakes that I made for Easter, but something is wrong with ScribeFire (the blogging editor I use) and it is not letting me import photos. This is a major issue because Blogger, near as I can figure, only allows one photo to be uploaded and it shows at the top of the page. :/ Until this problem resolves itself I have something else to discuss.

The other day, while in our Aesthetics of Film class, we watched "Paradise Now" (2005.) If you haven't heard of it, it is a movie about the Israel/Palestine conflict. It was a very powerful movie and very well made.

I noticed while watching this movie that there was no music in it at all. Later that day I was still thinking about the role of music in movies and how most music supervisors and directors seem to just throw random song into the movie they are working on.

If you are watching a contemporary action movie there is bound to be random rap and/or hip-hop songs playing in the background that do nothing to strengthen it as a film. In romantic comedies or love stories there will be the obligatory love song or sad romance song. Most of the time the music is set so much louder than the dialogue it almost hurts. I see no reason for this as people in theaters are already watching movies at a louder volume than needed. Then when you get the DVD it is sometimes necessary to turn the movie down during the music. Annoying.

One of the other movies we have watched for this class was "Bom yeoreum gaeul gyoel geurigo bom" (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring.) All songs except for one in this movie were instrumental. The one song that did have words, I found to be very distracting.

I feel that it is almost never necessary to use songs in movies. Scores, yes. I am all for instrumental music if it helps to set the mood for the scene. The one place where a good composer is very important and songs are completely irrelevant is in a horror movie. Would "Halloween" or "Jaws" have been the same without their iconic scores? I really doubt it. We went to go see "The Shining" and I kept jumping because of the music. That is what it is designed to do. Music in a horror film is preparing you for the horror that is to come. You always know when something awful is about to happen because of the music.

I know I don't have a lot of followers, but, if anyone reads this I would really like to hear what you have to say in response. As always, thanks for reading!