It’s kind of dark down there…

I’d never ventured upon this site, and I must admit, after being a student at the University of Michigan for quite sometime, I was rather embarrassed. It seems that I’ve neglected an invaluable resource for discovering relevant resources within the library system.

That being said, I took itupon myself to delve deeply into this exercise, and to enhance the likelihood that I’d find it useful, I clicked on “Art,” for to create it is, perhaps, the reason I exist.

The subcategories under the “Art” subject were both vague and niche – and I quickly surmised that, while this system would have been extremely viable this side of ten years ago, currently I could find whatever information I wanted in 10 seconds flat with a search engine on the internet.

For example, why would I want to make the effort to look up the options for books on music composition, travel to the library, take the stairs (or opt for the elevator as it supports point I’m trying to make), scale the aisles with my piece of parchment and pencil scribbles of the ever-so archaic Dewey decimal identification number, barely perceptible in the dim light of the wax candle in my hand…

Okay, perhaps I’m being hyperbolichere, but the point is, there are probably ten current sites that I’d rather (Scholar.)Google from the comfort of my own laptop, sitting next to my keyboard, before I go to the library to look up music composition resources.

Am I proud of this? No. I’m the kind of person who eschews Kindle and iBook and Nook and whatever other cute, little epithet the modern-day man has fashioned for anything other than print on paper.

Am I old-fashioned at heart? Yes. Butam I willing to work that much harder to stay old-fashioned? Absolutely not… not even when it comes to research for academia.

‘Jones’ and Joan

Apparently, back in 1971 – before he became Han Solo, Indiana Jones, the Bladerunner and a slew of other iconic men on the silver screen – Harrison Ford, who worked as a carpenter, built Joan Didion’s beach house.

And now, the legendary actor will present Didion with her lifetime achievement award at a ceremony in October.

In this article, Didion describes how she liked Ford’s work and his “moral presence” in her home.

Not that he still isn’t a fox right now at 70+, but THIS is what Harrison Ford looked like in 1971:

There would be nothing moral going on in my house…

It’s almost here: Blockbuster Season!

Piggybacking on my previous post, I thought I’d continue to daydream about the looming summer vacation, and all the while, gather me some points.

So I write for The Michigan Daily Arts section, and specifically for Film. We’re a pretty tight knit bunch of writers. We call ourselves “Film Squad.” No, not “The” Film Squad, just plain, old “Film Squad.” Kinda how Facebook was originally “The” Facebook, until Sean Parker was all, “Nah, man. It’s just ‘Facebook.'” Anyways… we also have our own FB group, aptly titled, “Film Lounge.”

Today was our second to last meeting of the year, and everyone is chomping at the bit to shotgun what big movies of the summer they want to review, as there’s quite the comprehensive list.

Here’s a preview of what you should NOT miss (nearly all trailers included):

May 3 – Iron Man 3 – RDJ back again as the lovable, cocky, adorable Tony Stark. If I could, I’d buy my ticket now.

May 10 – The Great Gatsby – It’s about time Leo got some love from the Academy, especially after going unnoticed for Calvin Candie (though I was elated that Christoph Waltz brought home the gold). Perhaps, this is his chance. Plus, where the hell has Tobey Maguire been hiding?

May 17 – Star Trek: Into Darkness – If you haven’t seen Sherlock, you must. Now (it’s on Netflix). Right now. Stop studying. Stop reading this, even. You’ll thank me.

May 24 – The Hangover: Part III – To be honest, I didn’t see the second one, but there really wasn’t much else on the docket for this week.

May 31 –  The Purge – The premise for this film is NUTS. One night a year, all crime is legal. As in, you can go kill 100 people and it’s all good. Plus, Ethan Hawke as the protective dad – awww.

June 7 – After Earth – Three words: I. Am. Legend. After that, I was convinced that Will Smith can do no wrong. And his son is in this too.

June 14 – Man of Steel – Never seen one Superman movie. Maybe it’s about time? Nice touch with Kevin Costner too. He’s good in roles like this.

June 21 – World War Z – Brad Pitt back in action, saving the world from a crap-load of zombies. Played out premise, but I’ll watch anything with BRAD.

June 28 – White House Down – That goes for Channing Tatum as well…

July 3 – The Lone Ranger – J. Depp (haven’t seen him in a hot minute) and Armie Hammer team up to take on a classic.

July 5 – The Way, Way Back – Looks like this is about to be the feel-good movie of the year, with an insane cast to boot. (And it’s my birthday day woooo!)

July 12 – Pacific Rim – “We are going to cancel the Apocalypse!”

July 19 – R.I.P.D. – Couldn’t find the trailer but google it – Bridges looks PRIME.

July 26 – The Wolverine  – Hugh Jackman is the ultimate man, and even though I’m not really all that keen on another X-Men movie about Wolverine (because… well.. they already made one…), I will go see this. Maybe twice.

August 2 – 2 Guns – Denzel and Wahlberg being bad asses. What else is new?

August 9 – Elysium – Matt Damon

August 16 – Paranoia – Again, no dice on the trailer, but Harrison Ford + Gary Oldman = dreamiest old dudes you’ll ever lay eyes on (and for those of you with less sophisticated taste, you can have Liam Hemsworth).

August 23 – The World’s End  – If you loved Shaun of the Dead and/or Hot Fuzz, then this, my friend, is for YOU.

August 30 – One Direction: This is Us – These are quite possible the five cutest male specimens to ever exist, and made it cool again to be in a boy band.

So, what films are you excited to see this summer? Which one do you think will take the #1 spot at the box office?

Two. More. Weeks.

I’m sitting here on my computer, surveying my list of things to do over the next two weeks, seeking something that requires effort, but only just enough. The answer: a 25 point blog post – of course.

I’m probably not alone when I say that I really want to fast forward through these next two weeks, where everything else on my plate isn’t just for “points.”  But, after that’s all done, a really wonderful summer is about to begin.

First, it begins with a trip to Austin, Texas to visit a good friend of mine who works at UT. Right now it’s 80 degrees there, and I want nothing more than to lay by the pool and do nothing. Maybe read, but if so, it will be for pleasure. Then once I return, I return to Bloomfield Hills (where I’m from) for a summer internship. But the lovely thing about my internship is that it doesn’t start until June 2nd, so I have all of May to STRAIGHT UP CHILL like I’m a puppy in a bowl and it’s ma birfday:

Then come Memorial Day weekend, I’m heading up to Traverse City to run the Bayshore marathon. It’ll be a fun weekend as my grandparents live in Gaylord and my Aunt and Uncle live in Bay Harbor, so it’ll be a nice family reunion.

Then in June I start my killer internship with Patch, a company that provides online local news sources for communities around the world. My territory is Troy, Michigan, but before I report there, the company is flying all of their editorial interns out to Western Kentucky University for a week long conference on digital journalism. I’ve been to some rural-ass places over the years in my soccer pursuits, but never Kentucky..Then I’m off to the races doing covering breaking news in the area until September when I return to Ann Arbor and embark upon my senior year.

But again, that is all pending. I first have to survive two more weeks…

Michigan is the Tease of the 50 States

Imagine the U.S. is one of those dysfunctional “families” on ‘The Real World.’ Not that I watch the show, but certain staples of pop culture are so pervasive that it’s impossible not to know exactly what’s going on. It’s like the harder I try not to hum Lady Gaga tunes (and all of the other commercial crap for that matter) the more I do. No matter how fervently I boycott the radio, the latest and greatest saccharine song is playing in clothing stores, restaurants, TV commercials, and cars that pass me by… But thank God it’s not THIS bad.

So, t’was my good fortunate that I never had to waste an hour of my life to learn the dynamic behind this old-timer of the reality TV family – a dynamic that thrives upon convention. In every series, there’s the Bad Boy, the Jock, the Nerd, the Loner….. and the Tease (among many other less notable, overpaid archetypes), and it’s no different with the 50 states… especially when it comes to weather.

A visual always helps. Here’s what I mean….

So why is Michigan “the Tease” of the 50 states? It’s March 22nd and it’s 30 degrees. It’s SPRING and there’s SNOW EVERYWHERE. And this time last year? Basically summertime. Yes, my friends, and you will agree, when it comes to climate control, Michigan has none… it just can’t say no to messing around with our emotions. We want blue skies? Nope – it puts out some kind of rain-sleet combination. So the next day, we cleverly don our jackets, and it ends up all clear by noon. See what I mean? Michigan is a total tease.

But what about the other states? I’ve always been a fan of “The Bad Boy,” and in this case, it’s no different. Hands down, Texas is “The Bad Boy” of the Climate Club. Temperatures reach as high as 110 and beyond during the summer months, but THAT I can handle. What I can’t handle? Pushing April in my knee-high Sorels. Ideally, I’d hop the next flight (or even truck bed full of pigs) to California, “The Jock” of the bunch, where the weather every day wakes up and screams, “GET OUTSIDE AND ENJOY THE SUN!” Year round locals can rollerblade. I don’t even rollerblade, but if I could do it year round, maybe I’d start.

At least I’m not stuck with the twisted “Loner” that is Alaska. Who wants to live in a place that spends half the year in the dark and never breaks 65 degrees? It may be a fun spot to cruise through but as far as long-term, I won’t be picking it for my kick ball team. And “The Nerd?” The lame loser? The weather weirdo? OHIO – who’d you think? Yes, I realize that Ohio and Michigan share similar climates…. but it’s Ohio – it’s always the loser, no matter the subject. Why do you think I made the label the ickiest or icky brown colors?

Now I kinda want to go watch “The Breakfast Club,” and from the looks of the weather forecast, I might as well – it’s not like I’m going to be spending any more time outside than I have to.

The Good, the Bad and the Oscar (goes to…)

This year’s Oscars impressed me – much thanks to Seth Macfarlane. Though he’s been getting back lash for a few jokes poking fun at Jews and women that may or may not have pushed the envelope, it was a stark improvement from the slanderous material of Ricky Gervais. A little gratitude people…

The majority of the ceremony Macfarlane delivered witty quips and light-hearted jabs at the nominees (and the man can sing!). Here’s a quick recap – a brief taste – of some of his genius last night.

I was extremely happy when…

Adele won for Best Original Song – she has now collected a Golden Globe, a Grammy and an Oscar… in the first two months of 2013.

The cast of Chicago reunited after 11 years, complete with a performance of “All That Jazz” by CZJ (she’s still got it…)

Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor, he’s now the only person in history to have won the award three times. And how does he respond? He jokes about how he was supposed to star as Margaret Thatcher in “Iron Lady,” and Steven Spielberg’s first choice to play Lincoln was actually Meryl Streep. And he finishes the acceptance speech by thanking his mother (the perfect man? yes, yes he is)

Winners who spoke too long were cut off by Jaws music. I don’t know who came up with that one, but that’s award-worthy in itself.

Jennifer Lawrence tripped on stage as she goes to accept her Best Actress Oscar, reminding us that we’re all human, and proving she’s one grounded girl (pun intended). In fact, when the audience gave her a standing ovation, she said, “I know the only reason you’re doing that is because you feel bad that I fell, so sit down!”

Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor for his role as a dentist-turned-bounty hunter in Django Unchained. His character is unarguably the most adorable, lovable, admirable man who kills people for a living to ever exist.

Channing Tatum DANCED!!! (with Charlize Theron…but really, who cares?).

And I was extremely pissed-off when…

Lincoln lost like every award imaginable. Lincoln got NO love. Well, it got some. It went 2/12 (Best Production Design and of course DDL). That’s just WRONG, in my opinion.

Anne Hathaway starts off her acceptance speech for her Best Supporting Actress Oscar with “It came true!” Maybe because I’m a writer, and I abhor cliches, I couldn’t stomach that one, but I’m sure the other %99.99999999 of the viewer probably found it endearing. Plus if I were on TV in front of 40 million people, I’m sure I wouldn’t be so eloquent. But I guess no one’s even listening to you when you’re wearing a dress like THIS:

The orchestra swallowed every performer whole. You could barely hear Adele and Norah Jones, who can croon with the best of ’em, over the roar of violins and trumpets. It didn’t matter for Jennifer Hudson who would sing over a nuclear explosion if she had the chance.

They had Michelle Obama announce the Best Picture award. I’m not trying to get political, in fact, that’s exactly what I’m criticizing. Politics has no place in show business, but unfortunately, they’re now infused and I don’t anticipate a separation – ever. I get that the majority of Hollywood is so liberal they’d cut off their right hand to prove it, but really people, can’t we let it be for one night?

Overall…

Pros > cons, and I can honestly say it was the best Oscars telecast in a few years, AND I can’t remember the last time the show ended when it was supposed to. Bonus points for that.

Et toi?

The Superbowl of Awards’ Shows is Nearly Upon Us…

As a film critic for the Michigan Daily, and a huge fan of film my entire life – I’m practically a walking, talking IMDB – this Sunday, February 24th is an important day for me. Though I’ll admit, I think the Golden Globes are a bit more entertaining on the regular, I can’t wait for this year’s Oscars broadcast.

First of all, Seth MacFarlane is hosting. Family Guy is, has always been, and always will be a go-to source of funny for me, and I enjoy the fact that there’s someone else out there who shares my sick and twisted sense of humor. I can’t imagine MacFarlane doing anything but absolutely killing it, and I’m excited to see how tame he can be…

Secondly, there are some GOOD races this year. There’s nothing duller than when a category is a lock. Anne Hathaway WILL win Best Supporting Actress for Les Miz (I mean come on, did you see her what that poor girl went through? Gotta give the girl something…), and Daniel Day-Lewis WILL win Best Actor for Lincoln (he was like a cinematic resurrection…). But the other main categories are brimming with uncertainty: Best Actress is a deadlock between Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook and Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty, Best Supporting Actor could go one of three ways, in my opinion, though my money’s on Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln, I’d be surprised if Best Director didn’t go to Spielberg, especially since Affleck and Bigelow are conveniently absent, and as for Best Picture, will it be Argo or Lincoln? It will be interesting to say the least to see how it all unfolds…

Thirdly – two words: RED CARPET. Be your own judge of how fabulous or fabulously horrid everyone appears as they flock down the strip. Plus, just the sight of Ryan Seacrest as men (and many of the women) tower over him during interviews just makes me go “Awwwwwwww.”

And if you need a fourth reason to watch, you know someone’s going to botch an acceptance speech or knock it out of the park, trip on stage, make some idiotic political comment or an ass of themselves in some way shape or form, reminding us that, although the Oscars are the biggest night in Hollywood honoring the most talented minds in the business, they’re just people who make believe for a living. Perspective…

So, if you haven’t seen any of the honored movies yet, I’ve reviewed four of the Best Picture nominees (many of which were honored in countless other categories too) – and they’re all Must-See flicks: Argo, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Amour… and there’s still time to catch them before Sunday!

What did you think of this year’s “best” films? Do you watch the Oscars? Who are you excited to see walk the red carpet? Who do you want to win/think will win/and definitely DON’T want to win?

I’ll be weighing back in post-ceremony with more thoughts, opinions and potentially some major venting… and I hope you will join me!

More than you ever need to know about Carly Keyes

Nothing in life is worth doing if we are doing it alone… Thankfully, we never have to be.

Carly is a Lucky Sister (Cute, no? Especially that one on the left). She is a Kid At Heart. She is In Love with Richard Gere (She doesn’t care that he’s 63). She is a Fan of Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, and The O.C. (She misses them everyday). Carly is a Big Nerd (And proud of it). She is The Kind of Person That Likes to Keep a Pen Behind Her Ear Because She Never Knows When She’s Gonna Need It (It’s her favorite outfit accessory). She is a Family Guy Fanatic (Carly is twisted… but she embraces it). She is Really Not Very Happy When It Snows (All you crazy winter runners out there know what she means). She is a Big Eater of Maranatha Raw Organic Almond Butter (Spoon + jar = yum). Carly is an Emphatic Laugher (Let’s just say, you ALWAYS know when she’s within 100 yards). She is Truly Angered When People Don’t Know About The Original BBC Version Of “The Office” (But good for you, U.S., for trying to compete… really… “A” for effort…).

On a more serious note… Carly attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania where she played Division I soccer. She now attends the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a concentration in psychology and minors in Writing and Film.

Carly is a journalist for The Michigan Daily as a film critic and a health and fitness columnist, a paid blogger, an editor for a website that features startup companies across the Mid-west, and she’s working on a couple screenplays, a fiction novel and her autobiography (she’s packed a lot into her 24 years on earth thus far).

Carly is excited to pursue every avenue she can as a writer.