What to Watch on Netflix– Part 2

Back in February, I did a roundup of shows and movies that I think are worth watching on Netflix.  Since the content is regularly updated, I figured it’s time for an update!

Here’s what I’ve been watching:

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The Vampire Diaries, Season 1 through 3– Okay, so until now I hadn’t jumped on the whole vampire/werewolves/supernatural bandwagon (aside from Buffy, which was basically a million years ago).  I’ve never seen Twilight or any other recent vampire show/movie.  BUT.  BIG BUT.  The Vampire Diaries (forgive the forthcoming pun) totally SUCKED ME IN.  Every episode, every season.  I realize that I’m not a teenager, but I don’t care!

I had been interested in watching True Blood, but heard it’s pretty violent, and I’m a bit squeamish when it comes to violence.  So I figured that Vampire Diaries, being on The CW would be really tame.  Wrong!  I was actually pretty surprised at the level of violence on the show.  I mean, for a show on CW, it takes it much further than Buffy ever did.  Somehow, though, it manages not to cross the WTF line (okay, maybe once or twice, but more shock than violence).

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Would You Watch a Movie Alone?

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This past Friday night I found myself with a free movie ticket, but without a date (oh, come on, we can’t all be dancing the night away under strobe lights and foam machines all the time).  I was sick of being inside having worked all day, so I looked through the listings.

I’ve been on a kick to choose things that I normally wouldn’t, so I decided to be a little daring and picked Now You See Me, which to be honest, I hadn’t heard a single thing about before stepping into the theater.  I’m glad I did, too, because it actually turned out to be fairly entertaining.  A good mix of Jesse Eisenberg awkward wit, James Franco’s cute brother Dave, and action-but-not-too-much action.

I feel like there are a lot of single people who think that going to a movie alone labels you as a cast-off Quasimodo reject.  I’ve only done it a few times myself (I’ll admit, the first time I was really self-conscious about it), but now I feel a sense of confidence and even freedom sitting in a theater alone.  I know that it’s not something that everyone is willing or comfortable doing, and in a way it makes me feel proud that I am.

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Have you ever seen a movie in the theater alone?  Would you do it? What’s the last movie you saw alone?  (My first was Sideways in college)

Lynn Hirschberg’s Screen Tests

I was watching a really great series called Lynn Hirschberg’s Screentests for W Magazine. Mostly actors and some celebrities are asked a series of questions, and they’re random, but interesting.

The first one that I saw, and also my favorite, is Jennifer Lawrence’s interview (she’s strange, over the top, and funny– my kind of girl):

One of the constants in the series is that and they’re often started with questions about movies.  Like what was the first movie they saw, what movie was the first to have an impact on them or what movie was the first or latest to make them cry.

I love this kind of thing, and I got to thinking back to my own experiences with movies.

Here’s what I came up with:

First movie that I saw: I don’t remember what the first one I ever saw was, but I remember the opening scene from Oliver and Company was probably one of the first.

The first movie to have an impact on me: Back to the Future.  It was just too cool.  The emotion, the suspense, the flux capacitor!  Marty and Doc and that tiny miniature model of time travel!  When Marty plays Johnny B. Goode, I die.  To this day, the score of the movie alone excites me.

The movie that gets me every time: I know it’s so cliche, but the Notebook.  I will start heaving into a pillow in agony.  Yeah girl, I’ll start ugly-crying on you.

My favorite movies: Amelie and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet.  Leonardo Dicaprio was SEXY in that movie.  Not to mention the whole film is badass in general.  And I want to be Amelie Poulain of course.  That’s another score that’s just fantastic.  Romeo and Juliet’s soundtrack can’t be beat, either.

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So how about you?  What does your movie list look like?

How to Become an Extra in Hollywood

If you’ve been reading some incarnation of my blog for a while or know me in real life, you know that for a brief period I pursued life as an actor.  It’s actually why I originally moved down to Los Angeles.  Here’s my old headshot to prove it:

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The photographer prompted me with something like, imagine someone just murdered your dog– hence the expression.

One of the things that I did, to both help pay the bills and to get SAG eligibility, was to be an extra.

Extras, or background actors, are the people that you see in the background of scenes in movies and TV shows.  They’re the people who are sitting in a movie theater, walking around a hospital, or eating in a diner.

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Here I am hanging out at LAX in Entourage.  Since it was my favorite show at the time, you can imagine my excitement.

I worked on shows like Entourage, Desperate Housewives, House, and Samantha Who along with some movies like A Thousand Words and The Ugly Truth.

Whenever I meet someone and they find out that I used to do background work, they’re always intrigued and want to know how I got into it and how they might be able to do it too.

So that’s what I wanted to share with you today.  How you too, can be an extra.

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What to Watch on Netflix

I’ve mentioned it before, but ever since I moved in with my parents, I don’t really watch TV anymore.  At least in the cable sense.  Everything that I watch for the most part is on Netflix Streaming.  The problem is, there are so many things to choose from, and some content is definitely more worth watching than others.  So, I thought I’d compile a list of my some recent favorites that I recommend:

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Movies

The King’s Speech– Loved Colin Firth as King George VI and his friendship with his speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) who guides him through his stuttering.

The September Issue– I’ve seen this documentary about Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour and (the surprise actual star of this film) Grace Coddington (Creative Director) too many times to say.  It’s amazing.  Coddington’s shoots are sublime and Anna Wintour’s icy chill is interesting to witness on screen.

Jeff, Who Lives at Home – Me and Jeff (Jason Segel) have something in common, we both live at home.  That was enough for me.  No seriously though, it was cute indie movie.  It’s random, and a little hard to explain, so I’ll let you see it for yourself.

Mona Lisa Smile– Oldie but a goodie that I rewatched recently.  Julia Roberts’s portrayal as a teacher of students at the all-girls Wellesley College in the 50’s is really interesting.  It makes you think about how it wasn’t so long ago that things for women were very different than they are now.

Good Will Hunting– Another oldie but goodie, Robin Williams’s scene with Matt Damon as Will Hunting has a breakthrough is really touching and memorable.  Let’s be frank, I’ll really just watch anything with Matt Damon a million times over.

TV Shows

Freaks and Geeks– My all-time favorite TV show about growing up.  So many great actors emerged from this show– Linda Cardellini, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Martin Starr– basically most of the Judd Apatow crew.

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Something’s Gotta Give Interiors

Last week I posted the interiors for White Collar, and who knew just around the corner of Netflix I’d find more drool-worthy set design?

I’d always heard that Director Nancy Meyers used beautiful sets in her films (The cafe in It’s Complicated almost made my heart stop.  I was heartbroken when I learned it wasn’t real), but I’m now convinced she’s a genius.  I want to live in all of her movies.

The other night, I put on Something’s Gotta Give, because I’d never seen it before.  Tell me these sets aren’t amazing.  I dare you.

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From the opening scene I knew.  That striped rug.  The overstuffed upholstery.  Those drapes on THOSE WINDOWS.

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Diane Keaton’s character has a beautiful house overall.  But it’s that shelf with the salts and oils, and the cookbooks that had me at hello.

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We all know how I feel about libraries.  This one’s a winner.

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The master bedroom with working nook, with those French doors, wooden floors, and view to the sea.

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I love little corners like this.  The chair that looks like someone actually sits in it, the little tarnished silver vase with white flowers.  Books that look nice, but aren’t too perfect.

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The living room from another angle, late afternoon.  Another throw over the chair, that shabby chic clock, the whites and the blues.

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I couldn’t resist throwing in a still of the market.  I love the prominently displayed produce, breads, and cheese counter.  The stuff dreams are made of.

Have you seen any shows or films lately whose interiors struck you?  How about exteriors?  I’d love to hear!

Les Misérables

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I’m really excited to see Les Misérables, opening Christmas Day.  The funny thing is, I’ve never seen the play!  Growing up I remember auditioning for Little Women (no joke, my voice cracked) at the community theater, and hearing more than one girl sing I Dreamed a Dream (and who can forget YouTube sensation Susan Boyle’s version?).  I know the basic gist of the story, though, and when I saw the trailer, I got really excited.

What movies are you planning on seeing this holiday season?  What are your favorite Broadway plays?

P.S. The two Broadway plays I have seen are Wicked (which blew my mind, and I absolutely loved) and Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark (it had been surrounded by a lot of mixed press, and in the end I’d say it was… interesting.  The photo below with the flying green dude kind of explains why– mostly because there’s a flying green dude at all.

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