Face-off: Mila Kunis vs. Rachel Bilson…Ramble

It seems like everywhere you look these days, two pint-sized brunettes are popping up as cute as can be and post-Black Swan- Mila Kunis is getting sexier by the minute which has lead to some double takes. Both were born in the 80’s and now they are coming into their own as headliners in the show biz world.

SITCOM STARTS:

MILA played the spoiled rich brat, Jackie Burkhart, on ‘That 70’s Show’ on Fox. She was the annoying, vein girlfriend of Michael (Ashton Kutcher) til he cheated on her and then she moved onto the cranky outsider, Steven Hyde (Danny Masterson.)

RACHEL was cast at the spoiled rich brat, Summer Roberts on “The O.C.” also on Fox. Rachel’s character was originally only supposed to be in a few episodes, but she managed to become a regular cast member. She also winds up dating also rich, but not-as-hot-as-the-rest-of-the-cast-rich-outsider Seth Cohen (Adam Brody). Brody and Bilson became a real life couple for a while.

WINNER: MILA as the spunky Jackie she was able to dance, be silly, torment the boys and tackle the 70’s with pluck. ‘That 70’s Show’ also laster 201 vs. “The O.C.” clocking in at 92. For the record I prefer ‘That 70’s Show’s open- way more fun!

LEADING MEN:

MILA dated Home Alone star Macauly Culkin for nine years. This was during the time when he feared leaving the house. (Being a childstar can have that affect!) She eventually spilt up with him in 2011 just as ‘Black Swan’ pushed her into the public eye in a huge way again.

Guess we all know how Mac would’ve taken the break up:


Well, good hearted-low-key Mila likes to keep her private life private but she still went to a Marine Corp Ball in 2011 because a Marine asked her out via YouTube. She even got buddy Justin Timberlake to do the same for a female solidier.

RACHEL likes to date her co-stars. During The O.C. years she dated co-star hipster Adam Brody. The series lasted one year longer than their romance. Rachel was cast in the movie Jumper and got cozy with none other than the young Darth Vader, Hayden Christensen.

WINNER: Rachel cause despite a brief break, she is still with her man. But seriously love how both of these ladies like to keep their romances on the DL and fairly scandel-free.

POST SITCOM FILM SUCCESS:

MILA has starred across leading men like Jason Segal in ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ to Marky Mark in the unfortunate film ‘Max Payne.’ She has always been the voice of Meg on ‘Family Guy’ adding a little spice to that nerdy character. Mila put herself into the A-list category as Natalie Portman’s rival-slash-fantasy in “Black Swan”. The red carpet was won by Mila who unfortunately followed it with the throw-away Rom-Com “Friends with Benefits” oppositie Justin Timberlake.

RACHEL was of course in ‘Jumper’ which was a pretty cool and buzzworthy film at the time. She followed it up with this wretched indie movie called ‘Waiting For Forever’ – which is how I felt about the plot. It was pretty awful and I will save all you Bilson fans- skip this one and go straight to her adorable weekly stint as a doctor on ‘The Hart of Dixie.’ For an actor with less charm, this CW show would have tanked but Bilson has proven she can carry a show and has grown up.

WINNER: Golden Globe & SAG nominated Mila Kunis has to take this round.

STYLE
MILA: While her character Jackie was obsessed with flaunting it and being a model, in real life Kunis is a casual kind of lady. Her red carpet moments for ‘Black Swan’ premieres and award season put Natalie Portman to shame.

RACHEL is known as a fashionista. She is always in the mags as a trendsetter and recently launched her own line of shoes. I want some!

WINNER: RACHEL

OVERALL WINNER: MILA KUNIS. Both actresses have thriving, great careers and continue to grow in their roles, but Mila has more of an edge and has chosen more diverse roles.

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Human League vs. Gotye…Ramble

It’s a new year, but some themes don’t change, they just get better over time.

I have a debate with a friend over the Gotye ‘Somebody I Used To Know’ is a modern version of Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me’. Since this is my blog, I’m going to run with my theme.

DUDE PERSPECTIVE:

GOTYE: Dude feels slighted, tells the girl even though they broke up it was rough that she changed her number and had her girlfriends pick up her shit.

HUMAN LEAGUE: Dude meets a waitress and upgrades her life. Now he’s pissed she won’t see him.

THE GIRL’s PERSPECTIVE:
GOTYE: Turns out the Dude was a gameplayer. She changed her number cause she knew he was toxic to her.

HUMAN LEAGUE: Girl has outgrown him. He’s twisted the truth, time to move on boy.

WINNER: THE LADIES in both songs although Human League lady is slightly ahead cause this dude is more pathetically asking ‘don’t you want me?’

IMHO: I prefer the Human League video because while Gotye is a brilliant muso, I don’t want to see his scrawny man parts covered in artwork.

Face-off: The Girl With The Dragon Tat vs. The Hunger Games Trilogy War…Ramble

Hype can completely come attached to any media. People hear and see things and they want it, especially on repeated exposure. It’s how marketing works, it’s how careers rise and we consume media. Mass transit in the publishing capital of America allows for extra ‘impressions’ every time you see a person reading a book with a colorful cover it leaves another impression, the feeling that ‘oh I keep seeing people with that book, it must be good’ creating a sense of urgency the way teens catch on to what their peers are into and adopt it.

Here, we face off two triologys- one that has been hyped to adults and one aimed at teens. Both have sold millions of copies and are being translated onto the cinematic screen. Now, their heroines must FACE-OFF!

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Lisbeth Salander vs. The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen

FAMILY TIES:
Lisbeth is a twin but estranged from her sister. Her father is a powerful government figure who savagely beat her mother so hard it caused brain damage. Lisbeth tried to protect her mother by setting her father on fire, although it did not kill him.

Katniss is the oldest of two girls. Her father died in a coal mining explosion, sending her mother also off into a land of delusion and a fog descended upon the house. Katniss was left to fend for the food as they live in the poorest District (12 of 13).

Winner: ick, both have Father/Mother/Sister issues. If you want to go in terms of more severe suffering, Lisbeth is the ‘winner’.

SKILL SET:
Lisbeth is a genius hacker. The book’s author Stieg Larsson spends a ridiculous amount of time discussing the computer equipment (now of course completely outdated) she uses in the most boring way possible. Lisbeth has had to fend for herself being institutionalized herself and often sexually assaulted. She is stronger than her fragile malnourished appearance, great with a blade, fast and not afraid of hand-to-hand combat. She is also cunning and will use any weapon at her disposal to achieve her goal including sex.

Katniss is a huntress. She learned basic hunting skills from her beloved father before he died. He taught her to find the herb she is named after in the woods ‘you’ll never starve if you can find yourself.’ She is brave as she volunteered to take her young sister Prim’s place in The Hunger Games, where a boy and girl from each District annually face off in a death match. That’s right a death match. Katniss is also street smart and doesn’t full trust anyone even her best friend potential boyfriend Gale who refined her hunting skills and teams up with her to provide both their families with illegal game they find in the woods.

Winner: Each one’s skill set helps them survive and foil killers to the best of their abilities, and not without injury. This one is another hard category to pick. Lisbeth has skills that help her navigate the modern world, while Katniss’ skills are also include putting on a show and being an actress to win the crowd to her side. I’m going to go with Katniss.

LOVE TO LOVE YA:
Lisbeth dabbles in the lady pond but she also manages to fascinate men. Men who sexually assault her but also the unlikely journalist Mikael Blomkvist *played by Daniel Craig (hello James Bond) in the US Film Version out 12/21/11. Reading the books I found it highly bizarre. Blomkvist is a notorious ladies man and will shag just about anyone. It’s odd because Lisbeth is so private and when they first meet her partner is a woman.

Katniss has undeveloped feelings toward her best friend Gale. They are undefined but no matter how many girls throw themselves at Gale *played by Miley Cyrus’ man Liam Helmsworth, he only has eyes for Katniss. Of course, Katniss has a bit of a love triangle (well let’s face it both Lisbeth & Blomkvist have more than two partners in the first book) of her own due to the baker’s son, Peeta being pretty much in love with her. He is someone who gave her bread after her father died and got a beating for it. In fact, he is also the boy selected at random from District 12 to face off in The Hunger Games.

Winner: Personally I’m into amazing guys vying for my attention and since this is my blog I’m going to go with Katniss. Lisbeth doesn’t have the love of anyone, she can’t trust anyone so how can love blossom for her? It can’t.

TRAILERS:
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO:

THE HUNGER GAMES:

Winner: Woah, those are some great trailers but having not liked the Millenium series (yes that’s what they call The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series), seeing the trailer made me intrigued to see the movie. Comparatively I already want to see The Hunger Games so the winner is “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.” Purists who saw the foreign import version will beg to differ but I’m sticking by my choice.

BOOK REPORT: I’ll admit the 2nd book “The Girl Who Played With Fire” ended in a much more intriguing cliffhanger than “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” yet I still couldn’t be bothered to read “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest”. I have a feeling if Mr. Larsson had lived he would have done edits for the US market, a map of Sweden might have been placed in the books for reference and he probably would’ve changed the second book from having multiple characters with names starting with ‘B’ (I stopped counting at 8!) including one of the main characters Blomkvist and his boss/lover.

To compare, I delayed beginning “Mockingjay” the last book in “The Hunger Games” series because I didn’t want it to be finished. I was so engrossed in the triology I will have to read it again. I can’t wait for the movies! I will go see all of them in the theater- something I don’t really do as much given the bed bug freakiness of New York.

WINNER: The Hunger Games

OVERALL VICTOR: While these two characters both struggle to survive one has a target placed on her back and the other one inserts herself into the middle of trouble constantly. My choice is Katniss Everdeen who is far more likeable and you root for her. I find Lisbeth’s story harsh but it’s the similarity she has to the The Assassin character (in the US “Point of No Return”) that makes me want root for something fresh.

UPDATE 12/14:
MUSIC:
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – music by Trent Reznor and six of those songs are available for free download.

The Hunger Games: soundtrack not announced yet.

FASHION:
The Girl With The Dragon Tat: H&M fashion line is now in-stores this week so you can be, what my former intern, Julian would like ‘a badass’ without having to run from the law, be a victim of the system or rescue James Bond from getting killed.

The Hunger Games: Hard to judge here as the movie doesn’t come out until March and I can’t wait to see the clothing that Cinna, the costume designer played by another badass who will rock leather til the day he dies, Lenny Kravitz fills the screen with.

Winner: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on both accounts. While it’s too early to call on The Hunger Games, I’m guessing I’d rather rock the H&M line then the bodysuits the contestants in The Hunger Games have to sport.

NEW OVERALL WINNER: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo on Badass Cool points, but let’s not count out The Hunger Games (again books I clearly prefer) til it comes out in March.

Face-off: Emma Stone vs. Michelle Monaghan…Ramble

Two adorable pretty actresses with freckles that until recently often get a ‘oh yeah, it’s her I like her’ in movies, but the general population might struggle to place the face.

ROLES:

Who moi?

Emma: As her recent hosting gig of SNL started off pointing out she often plays a hot girl worshipped by a geek, who in the end she winds up dating or, as in ‘Easy A’ which put her name on the map, pretending to have sex with said geeks for money. Emma was just cast in “Superman 4” so she is on a supertrain to A List.

Michelle: Constantly cast as “the girlfriend” or “the wife” she’s landed major roles like MI:3 as Tom Cruise’s better half (too bad that’s the movie he jumped up on the couch declaring his love for Katie Holmes because it really was the best of that series so far & Michelle was great in it playing a doctor.) She got deep as Casey Affleck’s wife in “Gone Baby Gone” and although I didn’t see her in 2009’s “Trucker” there was Oscar buzz around her performance.

Winner: Michelle has actually been cast as the love interest, however her characters occupations including doctor and art historian which is a lot more diverse than a college girl who gets a makeover (Emma in ‘The House Bunny’) from being geek to being a hottie. However, Emma’s recent role in “Easy A” put her name on the map but “Superman 4” makes this an evendraw.

LEADING MEN:

Emma: calling all nerds Emma Stone needs a leading man. Emma has had to suck face with Jonah Hill (funny, but no thanks I’ll pass on that Ginger), Jesse Eisenberg (you know he recently played King of the Nerds, Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network”) and Dan Byrd (of “Cougar Town” and as Hillary Duff’s geeky bff in “The Cinderella Story.” Emma does get points for smooching with Penn Badgely in “Easy A.”

Michelle: While it was a craptastic film about a player who decides he is in love with his best friend, “Maid of

I'm so not letting you get away with that.

Honor” Michelle got hot and heavy with Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey and strapping Scotsman, Kevin McKidd. While you may say hey, don’t forget “insane Tom Cruise” – you’re right, we’ll deduct points for that misfortune. However, in her next role as “the pregnant wife” her leading man is none other then her former co-star of “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang” rebel redeemed Robert Downey Jr. There’s nothing hotter than a dangerous man is there?

Winner: Michelle. While Penn B. is a mighty fine leading man, he’s no RDJ!

EDUCATION:

Emma: Our firey sassmaster initially dropped out of high school to pursue acting, but finished her degree through home schooling.

Michelle: She completed three years at Chicago’s Columbia University (wanna really geek out? The author of “The Time Traveller’s Wife” teaches English there.) Michelle started modelling to pay for college and eventually moved to pursue it full time in NY.

Winner: We don’t need no education to let us know how these ladies have brains and talent that don’t need certification. Michelle wins but isn’t it interesting when you are on a hot streak and young one more year seems like an eternity (another geek fact- Brad Pitt dropped out of college in his LAST semester.) Either way the future is bright for both of these talented ladies.

Verdict: Michelle by a sassy nose. The audience wins!  I’d really like to see these two play sisters.

UPDATE December 2011:
Emma Stone had an amazing year between “The Help” and “Crazy, Stupid Love” she has now jumped into the A-list and Household Name. She also had a very small cameo dumping Justin Timberlake’s character in “Friends With Benefits” because he was late to a “John Fucking Mayer, John Fucking Mayer” concert. She just continues to grow and widen her range from playing an outspoken Southern Belle who gives a voice to the abused help to capturing the heart of a player played by Ryan Gosling, Stone is unstoppable!

Face-off: San Gennaro vs. Atlantic Antics…Ramble

This weekend I had another out-of-town visitor. Shocker: we did not make it to any museums. I like to cater to the needs of each guest. We did however hit two popular festivals: San Gennaro in Little Italy and Atlantic Antics in Brooklyn (on Atlantic Avenue.) Here’s how they stack up:

TIMING and AGE

San Gennaro (SG) gives you a luxurious 10 days every September (this year was Sept. 16-26) to take in the smells, the fried goodies, the deep-fried Oreos, fresh cannolis and games. During San Gennaro everyone is an Italian!

Atlantic Antics takes place in the fall once a year also offering plenty of drink, food specials and lots of live entertainment. It’s only one day. This was it’s 36th annual year.

Winner: Beauty before age, the San Gennaro Festival allows visitors the time to enjoy it, plan a trip around it and it’s an internationally known NY institution. However, one day can be enough for a really great street fair. Merchants looked so worn out by midnight at SG, they were making mistakes at almost every booth we visited.

MERCHANDISE

SG:

Can't wait to see this on YouTube

AA:

KT Collection= Jewelry Heaven

Winner: Atlantic Antics! While everyone loves a fist-pumping onesie, the diversity and the quality of the goods sold at Atlantic Antics is pretty solid from Dutch Country Shoo Fly Pie to hand-crafted handbags you won’t find anywhere else! My favorite jeweler, Katie of KT Collections was back, thankfully since the ring I bought from her last year ‘went missing’ aka got snatched. KT will show you cool ways that give variety to the necklaces she offers. Her booth is always surrounded by ladies drawn in by her fabulous collection. Think I’m throwing out the ‘f’ word too easily? Holla if you think two sets of earrings being featured on Chuck Bass’ dates on an upcoming episode of “Gossip Girl” is not the very definition of New York fabulous?! Seriously.

If you cant’ make it to one of KT Collection’s local NY events, use the power of your mouse to get it right here.

MUSIC

SG: You will hear the stereotypical I-talian classics.

AA: Hipster bands take small stages as well as belly dancers.

Winner: This one is a tie. You can’t lose either way for amusement and quality.

INNOVATION/MARKETING

SG: A picture is worth 1000 words.

Gym. Tan. Cannoli. Done!

AA: The newly launched Brooklyn Winery. You live out your Lucy  dreams of stomping your own grapes.Though my friend and I gave them some tips, we also teased Mr. MBA he needs to pay us for on-the-spot consultation. The only drawback my friends is their location in Williamsburg. Could that feel any less authentic?

Winner: Marketing instant winner has to be SG. While I’m all about the wine and would love to make my own, the instant gratification of laughing and then of course, ordering a cannoli is irresistible.

Overall winner is the San Gennaro Festival, however Atlantic Antics is the one I prefer for the diversity, the wider room of Atlantic Avenue and the variety of goodies on offer. Either way, you can’t lose and best of all because San Gennaro is ten days long, you don’t have to!

Gwyneth vs. Coldplay: Nappies…Ramble

While rumors continue to circulate about Gwyneth a) being cold and banned from being near ScarJo b) looking crap during London’s Fashion Night Out (so wrong!), I thought it was a good time to celebrate that GOOP is back and new this week and remind people that Gwyneth does have a sense of humor.

Thanks to YouTube here’s a little musical face-off when GP was expecting Apple, Coldplay put out this very silly and sweet song “Nappies”:

Always one to try to put her guests to the test, Oprah handed Gwyneth the lyrics to “Nappies” and got her to try it as a ‘rap’…..it’s charming and disarming as always.

Dancing Soldier Face-Off…Ramble

Seeing how it’s Hades outside on the East Coast, now is a perfect time to check on your video viewing and stay indoors! In case you missed it, viral videos of soldiers dancing are cropping up on the net. Hey Mr. President does this seem like we really need U.S. soldiers still overseas? They have enough time to rehearse dance routines. It’s time to help end the recession and put those fellas to good use touring with Lady Gaga as back-up dancers.

Take a look at the two videos so we can all be on the same playing field with this face-off. Of course, US first:

Here’s their Israeli Counterparts ‘getting down’ to K$sha “Tic Tok” :

1. SONG CHOICE:
US: Telephone- when put in the contest of not being able to get a military call to/from your family cause you are on patrol and taking care of the nation, this makes a bit of sense.

ISRAEL: Tic Tok- brushing your teeth with Jack Daniels while armed with machine guns? Um, I’m so glad I live in the US.

WINNER: USA this upbeat ditty can take any dull situation and make it fun.

2. DANCE MOVES:
US: These fellas practiced. It gets off to a slow, unimpressive start. There are some ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ overtones of gay acceptance especially when it progresses to the group shots. The routine was on-point before the fellas lost their enthusiasm towards the end. (This is my argument for all karaoke-cover songs should only be 2 minutes or less!)

ISRAEL: While these fellas go from an actual patrol to waving their guns in a coordinated dance routine, they won’t get a call to be the new N’ SYNC any time soon.

WINNER: US for originality. Bobby Brady wasn’t allowed to play ball in the house and he only broke a vase. The Israeli Soldiers have machine guns in their hands….. yes, I’ll write it again.

3. LAUGH FACTOR:
US: The guys had props, different backdrops and clearly rehearsed. It’s funny, original and a great morale booster. I’m sure it cut up the tension quite nicely.

ISRAEL: This is the holy-crap-that-is-so-wrong-but-I-have-to-watch-it kind of sick humor. They kept it brief and ‘soldiered on.’

WINNER: USA

OVERALL WINNER: USA is a slam dunk for originality, costumes, moves, laugh factor and being indoors as a group project. The Israeli soldiers have GUNS in their hands and are dancing with them while occupying streets none of the citizens are allowed to be during the religious observance. That is just sick on so many levels.

Though the US wins, let us not forget the prisoners (ok, they may have a lot more time on their hands to rehearse!) who did it best: