Friday, February 25, 2011

The 100 Coolest Things of 2010... #90 - 81

You'll want to click over to the mothership site, Clouds in My Coffee, because if you are reading this on Facebook, you'll miss all the videos and fun stuff...

A little at a time, we will get down the list... American Idol coverage always adds a hindrance, so to say, to getting the 100 Coolest list, but we get there when we get there, don't we?

To catch up:  The 100th to 91st Coolest Things of 2010

So, let's start with the 90th coolest thing of 2010...

90... Kris Allen Lives Before He Dies
"...Yeah we gotta start lookin' at the hands of the time we've been given if this is all we got then we gotta start thinkin' if every second counts on a clock thats tickin...
...gotta liiiiivvvveee like we're dying...
...we only got 86 four hundred seconds in a day to turn it all around or throw it all away we gotta tell 'em that we love 'em while we got the chance to say...
...gotta liiiiivvvveee like we're dying..."

What can I say?  This song, the first (and possibly only) single by American Idol winner Kris Allen, has grown on me.   I can't sing the words correctly--not that stops me from trying--and yes, quick math will tell you there are actually 86 four hundred seconds in a day.  So, we should liiiiivvvveee like we're dying.

89... Zoes Serves the Steak
There are several restaurants in our rotation of "where we eatin'?", including Chipotle, Baha Burger, Jason's Deli, The Purple Onion and even Dale's Southern Grill... but I had avoided Zoe's Kitchen like the plague.  The Lovely Steph Leann loves her some Zoe's, full of pita bread and pita chips and pasta salads and chicken salads and veggies and so on, all the stuff that didn't appeal to me in the slightest.

Enter Zoe's Steak Roll-Ups.  And suddenly, Zoe's wasn't a bad thing... it is a good thing.  They serve 4 small roll-ups on a plate, served with this special "yogurt" sauce (whatever that means) for dipping, and its delicious.  The Lovely Steph Leann is pleased too, because I'll routinely say "Hey, want Zoe's tonight?", and that means she won't have to eat tacos or Zaxbys'. 

(full disclosure... I texted The Lovely Steph Leann to ask what we were doing for dinner... she told me to pick... and I texted back "Zoe's?"  So that's where we went.  It was good.)

88.  Assassins Get Old
So, one of the most fun movies that I saw in all of last year starred Helen Mirren as a hitman... hitwoman... hitperson?  And it had John Malkovich as a crazy, paranoid former agent, Morgan Freeman as a terminally ill former assassin, Richard Dreyfuss as a smarmy bad guy, Karl Urban as the young, brash detective, and Bruce Willis as the centerpiece to keep it all together.

I loved this film.  It was funny, was a solid, if completely improbable, story, and it was cool to see all of these veteran (translation: old) actors of Hollywood come together in a self-deprecating, comedic fashion.  Mary Louise Parker is the token love interest for Bruce Willis, and you could do a lot worse than MLP as your chick, and watching Richard Dreyfuss play up the scuzzbutt is a treat.  Even Bryan Cox and Ernest Borgnine gets into the action! 

When this comes on Starz in probably August or so, and/or when it starts randomly appearing on channels like TNT and Spike by next year, this will be a fantastic background movie, something to just turn on and leave while you are goofing off around the house, not doing chores.

87... Donuts See Daylight
There's a Krispy Kreme across town that takes forever to get to, and forever to get through.  From The Cabana, you have to head to the other side of Hoover, sometimes taking 30 or 45 minutes through traffic, and when you finally come out of Krispy Kreme, there is a red light there that takes for-ev-er to turn.

If thats too much, there is also a local donut dive called Shipley's across the road and just down from Krispy Kreme, but again, getting there doesn't make it worth it.  Also far away, but in a slightly different direction is Dunkin Donuts.  Personally, I think Dunkin coffee sucks, but their donuts are really good.

But why in the world would I go to Krispy Kreme, Shipleys or Dunkin when I can leave The Cabana and literally go across the street, either driving (it would take 4 minutes in traffic) or even walk (it would take 10 minutes, maybe 15 on foot, and yes, I've done it) and visit Daylight Donuts... don't ask me why its so good, I can't tell you.  Maybe because its so easy to get to, maybe because for three bucks I can get a couple of donuts and a small drink, maybe because they have the best dadblamed donut holes I've ever ever never ever had.  They are fantastic.   Love me some Daylight.

86... Funerals Get Funny
When we had our big ordeal with DirecTV breaking up with us, leading us to start dating Dish Network, we got some free pay-per-view movies, six in all.  Truth be told, we got six, and we only ended up using two before they expired in November... the first was "Letters to Juliet" which, I can honestly tell you, isn't one of The 100 Coolest Things of 2010.  Amanda Seyfried being in it helped its standing considerably, but its nowhere near the countdown.

However, the other movie we used a PPV coupon for is in the Top 100 of 2010... "Death at a Funeral" is a stupid movie.  Let's be honest, its a ridiculous movie with a ridiculous plot and you know, sometimes, those are the best films.  The Lovely Steph Leann and I started it late, and maybe that helped us find more humor in it than was intended, but we laughed and laughed and laughed all the way through.

The plot revolves around the funeral of a patriarch of a large black family, with the two sons (Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence) trying to get the plans together.  Of course, chaos ensues when you toss in a hallucinogenic drug, a coffin that gets knocked over, old boyfriends and Peter Dinklage as a midget (reprising the role from the original British film) who has some very incriminating photos of the deceased, and wants to get paid.

The ensemble cast is fun, with Zoe Saldana, James Marsden, Tracy Morgan, Luke Wilson, Keith David and a crotchety old Danny Glover as a crotchety old uncle.  Its worth a view, don't expect a masterpiece, just enjoy the slapstick and the jokes.

85... Sandy Gets the Gold
Sometimes Oscars are given to those who deserve it, and sometimes not.  And sometimes they are given to actors and actresses for frilly movies full of fluffy costumes, English accents and Victorian locations.  Maybe they deserve it, maybe they don't... but every now and then, the Academy throws the current day and age a bone and gives a gold statue to someone we love, in a move we love. 

Perhaps Sandra Bullock's Oscar was more of a lifetime achievement award, but as you will see in my post about the films of Sandra Bullock, perhaps it was actually recognition for portraying a real-life character, portraying Lee Ann Touhy brilliantly in a movie, "The Blind Side", that appeals to just about everyone.  I am sure there are people who don't like this movie, but I don't know many--if any--of them.  This movie is so great on so, so many levels, and a huge part of that is Sandra Bullock's performance.

So when her name was read on Oscar night, when she won Best Actress for "The Blind Side", I was thrilled, almost as thrilled as when my dear sweet Kate won the Oscar the year before (which I do believe was a career recognition).  Sandy Bullock, Oscar winner.  I can dig that, I can dig that alot.

84... Harrison Ford Stays Cranky
Here are my thoughts on "Morning Glory", the 84th coolest thing of 2010, as written on December 19th, 2010...

"Morning Glory" tells the tale of Becky Fuller, played by Rachel McAdams... Becky is a ambitious news producer that, due to layoffs, is forced to take a job with a very low key, struggling network, and is hired to take over their terrible morning show. 

"Morning Glory" is fun and simple, it doesn't try to hard, and you genuinely like and root for Becky Fuller, and can even empathize with her when she and Mike do the inevitable sit down, where they have the "don't work so hard or you will end up like me" conversation.  The movie is practically out of theaters at this point, so catch it as a rental. 

You can read the full review by click on The Clouds In My Coffee Movie Review Page, or just going straight to the post here.

83... The Boss Goes Undercover
How can you not love this show?  You take a big boss or CEO of a major company--Spirit Airlines, Mack Trucks, Subway, Chiquita Brands, Great Wolf Hotels--you put a disguise of sorts on them and then they work with the "common folk".  At the hotels, he's cleaning rooms and toilets, at the airline, he's emptying out sewage and screwing up the safety speech, at Chiquita, he's wrecking a forklift... the CEO gets to see what happens on the front lines of the companies.

Every episode has each Undercover Boss take on three or four different positions in the company, and each position comes with a fellow worker who usually talks about how much they love their job, or how hard the economy has been on them, or how lay-offs and pay cuts have affected them and their families (many times with handicapped children or some other hardship), and each episode has the Undercover Boss revealing himself to be the CEO to the unsuspecting workers, telling them how awesome they are, and offering some sort of promotion, monetary gift, vacation, award and the like.

Sure, it has its faults.  I'm sure for every hard worker they find, that one guy who loves his job but barely makes ends meet, they find another slacker who does nothing but complain about his job and does just enough to get by.  Imagine being that guy, only to find out later that the new guy you told, "Dude, this job sucks, and I take every shortcut I can." is the guy who runs the entire company... and now knows your name and your displeasure with your job.  Bad times indeed.

Yes, Pedro Cerrano is also President Palmer,
who is also the Allstate guy.  All played by
Dennis Haysbert.
82... Mayhem Hits the Streets
Sometimes ads work, sometimes they don't.  Insurance commercials have especially picked up their game lately, as Geico had been the front runner for years--of course, that tends to happen when you have something like forty campaigns at once... the pile of money you could be saving... the guy who says, "Can Geico save you money?  Does (insert common phrase here that is acted out for sake of comedic value)"...  the Cavemen... the British speaking (Australian?) Geico Gekko...  I almost feel like that well dressed guy with the deep voice should come on and say, "Can Geico save you 15% on your car insurance?  Do we have too many ad campaigns at one time?" then smashcut to the Caveman, the Gekko and that pile of money with the creepy eyes all playing tennis or something.

Anyway, Flo from Progressive has come on strong this year too, and strangely enough, I kinda find her sorta attractive in a Jennif strange, odd sort of way.  

And though Allstate had Pedro Cerrano on its side... you might know him better as President Palmer from "24", but since I never got into that show, I'll stick to his Indians playing days with Jake Taylor and Wild Thing Ricky Vaughn... anyway, Allstate added a villain to their campaign.  Mayhem.

Mayhem is all the things that can go wrong that you might want insurance for.  Mayhem is portrayed as "the hot jogger" that you stare at while ramming into a tree... or the flag that tears from the car ahead of you, covers your windshield and sends you careening into a barrier... or the high school kid who isn't paying attention on his riding lawnmower and shoots rocks through your windows and all over your car... or the exec who spills the espresso in his lap, slams on breaks, has you run into him and then sues you (this one is especially wicked, as it takes a shot at Geico... "is your 15 minutes going to be enough to cover the 90,000 dollars when I sue you?")
I love a good commercial.

81... Denzel Stops a Train
Sometimes a movie doesn't have to be great to be great.  Sometimes it doesn't even have to be good to be... well, good.  "The Kings Speech" was great.  "Unstoppable" was great, for entirely different reasons.   The former is supposed to be great, supposed to be monumental, supposed to be amazing.  The latter?  It is just supposed to entertain. 

Starring Denzel and Chris Pine, "Unstoppable" has a simple premise... they work on a train line.  They are doing a routine train transfer in rural, blue collar Pittsburgh.  On down the line is another train, full of toxic materials, running out of control.   That's pretty much it.

Here's how I summed up my feelings towards this movie:

Just so happens... I loved the heck out of this movie. You know, sometimes you just want to be entertained, you don't want to think too much, you don't want to be taught anything or preached to or leave the theater dwelling on the film's message and so on... with "Unstoppable", none of that happens. Its not a dumb movie, it just doesn't pretend to be anything that its not... its simply an action film with two likable leads on one train, trying to stop another train from going really, really fast.  -- read original post here.

Coming Soon... Cam has quite a year... B.A. Returns...  Lady A serves up some Honey... and later... engagements all around! 

The 80th through 71st Coolest Things of 2010

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