Random Factoid #579

3 08 2015

I have an X-factor when it comes to hunkering down to get stuff done.  It’s the ringtone from “The Devil Wears Prada.”

If you’ve watched the film, then surely you cannot forget the shrill tone that animates Andy’s phone when she gets the latest request phoned in from dragon lady Miranda Priestly.  (But in case you have, here it is anyways.)

I downloaded this ringtone and installed it on my iPhone.  It serves two purposes.

  1. An alarm.  When I hear this ringtone in the morning, it snaps me to attention and (usually) forces me to get out of bed.  Am I not such a millennial, animated primarily by the fear of falling down on the job?  Thanks, Great Recession!
  2. The ringtone for my boss.  Anyone who I work for and would be calling me about a job-related matter gets this ringtone.  That way, if I hear that tone, I know that I need to pick up as soon as humanly possible.  Other people (*COUGH Google Plus offers that won’t go away COUGH*) might not receive such a speedy response.

That’s all.

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Random Factoid #573

1 02 2015

For what it’s worth, I have actually stuck to my New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier for a whole month.  (No better way to jinx it than to put it in print, though.)  I now stock my tiny dorm room refrigerator with all sorts of healthier choices, in everything from 10 calorie Jello-s to fresh fruit to protein shakes.  And no Diet Coke, which is the bigger deal.  I still wonder what on earth I’m supposed to drink at movie theaters now…

Perhaps most surprisingly, I have also taken to eating string cheese after workouts, which is apparently a smart way to replenish your body after heavy exertion.  I used to scorn this style of consuming dairy, ranking it only slightly above aerosol spray cheese in the hierarchy of forms it can take.  But now, I find myself actually craving them.

Which, of course, always makes me think of one movie and one character.  Emily, my soul sister…

Diet

I also relate to “The Devil Wears Prada” now in many more ways than I did when I first saw it at the age of 13.  Back then, naïve Marshall had no idea what the corporate world was like.  If you want me to elaborate on how my life has resembled the movie, you’ll have to find me in person because there is NO WAY I will ever put that in print.





Random Factoid #378

10 08 2010

Have you seen the trailer for “The Switch?”  Looks kind of ehh, right?  Typical late summer fare that will have to pass for entertainment (at least for those of us not fortunate enough to have an independent theater).  Just so we are all on the same page for the rest of the post, I’ll embed the trailer below.

The poster to the left doesn’t really make you want to see it much either.  The gasp on Jennifer Aniston’s face and the pretentious-looking sniffle that Jason Bateman is doing sure doesn’t tell you much about the movie.  But look closer…

Did you notice the pedigree of the movie?  It’s from the people who brought us “Juno” and “Little Miss Sunshine.”  Does that add to your anticipation at all?  It shouldn’t, given the murky relationship between “The Switch” and the two Best Picture nominees.  I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about the reference given that Jason Bateman was in “Juno,” but The Los Angeles Times did some investigating:

The studio’s marketing wizards are plugging “The Switch” as being the movie “From the people who brought you ‘Juno’ and ‘Little Miss Sunshine.’ ” But who are these “people”? The film’s directors, Josh Gordon and Will Speck, had nothing to do with either of those films. Nor did the film’s screenwriter, Allan Loeb. The film’s producers, Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger, were producers of “Little Miss Sunshine” but had no involvement at all with “Juno.”

It turns out that those “people” are the people at Mandate Pictures, the production company that was involved with both “Juno” and “Little Miss Sunshine,” as well as such films as “Whip It,” “Drag Me to Hell” and the “Harold and Kumar” series. I’m sure all the folks at Mandate are really nice people, but it feels like a big stretch to use such a tenuous connection to lure us into the theater to see a film whose writers and filmmakers had nothing to do with “Juno” or “Little Miss Sunshine.”

Do you feel cheated at all?  If you were really going to spend $10 to see this movie because you could mention it in the same sentence with “Little Miss Sunshine,” you ought to up your cinema smarts.  I don’t ever use poster connections to tell me what movies to see, largely because I will have figured out what movies my favorite filmmakers have chosen to involve themselves in.  I especially could care less for romantic comedies and mindless action movies, both of which are genres whose success is driven mainly be stars, not directors.  Sorry, David Frankel, I saw “Marley & Me” because I love dogs and Owen Wilson, NOT because you directed “The Devil Wears Prada.”  Meryl Streep is the reason that movie is good.

Fun little closing note: there is one movie that could have used “from the man who brought you ‘Little Miss Sunshine'” on its poster.  That movie?  “Toy Story 3.”  Clearly it didn’t need to tout that name to make any money.





REVIEW: The September Issue

31 03 2010

The September Issue” is a documentary that gives a fascinating exposé into the fashion industry – or religion, as some see it.  Their chief diety is Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, who has the ability to make or break a trend.  It is largely because of her vision and foresight that the magazine has secured a foothold as the leading voice in fashion.

But most people know Wintour as Miranda Priestly, the character from “The Devil Wears Prada” played by Meryl Streep and written by one of Wintour’s former assistants.  The 2006 movie played her off as an ice woman with no soul, yet here there is no attempt to satanize her.  In fact, “The September Issue” avoids taking much of a stance on Wintour at all, and I’m glad that I was given the opportunity to form my own opinion on her.  To me, she is just a woman dedicated to perfection and refuses to accept anything less.

And “The September Issue” isn’t the real “The Devil Wears Prada;” that is to say, the movie isn’t out to paint us a portrait of Wintour.  It’s a glimpse into all the pain-staking efforts that come together to make the largest monthly edition of a magazine in history.  The September 2007 edition of Vogue that we follow from concepts to the presses is more like a fashion textbook, weighing over five pounds and amassing over 800 pages.  Although a lot of people write off some of these fashion shoots as silly, the movie gives us some fascinating insights into how much thought goes into them.

But to be honest, the movie’s real star is Grace Coddington, Vogue‘s creative director and often a foil for Wintour.  Grace is the movie’s scene stealer, which is quite a feat in a documentary.  While Wintour is all business, Grace is very emotionally invested in her work and finds herself frustrated whenever her boss doesn’t appreciate the shoots she puts together.  A former model, Grace has a great sense of what works and what doesn’t, and eventually Wintour clicks with her.  There’s plenty of drama between the two of them if that’s what you are looking for in “The September Issue,” but you’ll find more matter-of-fact filmmaking that documents an extraordinary process.  That’s pretty dramatic in its own right.  B+ /