Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen – A Retrospective

maryI feel like there’s something most young American women around my age can relate to – when we were young, we all wanted to be one of the Olsen twins.  So here’s a quick rundown of notable Olsen shows and movies!

Full House – At 6 months old, the twins were double-cast as Michelle Tanner, sharing the role so as to comply with child labor laws. They were credited as “Mary-Kate Ashley Olsen” for the first 7 seasons. Over the show’s 8 season run, Michelle grew into a precocious troublemaker with a proclivity for shenanigans. While many fans of the show were endeared by her rascally ways, others saw her as obnoxious and were annoyed by the show shifting its main focus to her in the last few seasons.

Our First Video – As the title suggests, this straight-to-VHS movie was the twins’ first. To say more would follow would not just be an understatement, but a total disservice to the media empire the girls would eventually build. This particular video is a compilation of shenanigans in skit- and song-form, including “Brother for Sale” (the girls attempt to sell their older brother at the bargain price of 50 cents) and “Identical Twins” (a lie; they’re in fact fraternal twins.)

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Courtney does Pitch Perfect

“Organized nerd singing? This is great!”

The Scoop: 2012, rated PG-13, directed by Jason Moore and starring Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp and Rebel Wilson.

Tagline: Get Pitch Slapped.

Summary Capsule: Social rebel leads misfits to a cappella glory in musically epic battle-of-the-sexes. Continue reading

Courtney does Dancing with the Stars Fitness DVDs (Double Feature!)

Dancing With the Stars is a popular ballroom competition on ABC with a bit of a twist — each competing pair includes a professional dancer and a celebrity (though class of fame is often disputable.) Each week the pairs are assigned a dance to learn and create a routine for. Through a combination of judges’ scores and viewers’ votes, contestants are eliminated weekly until a champion couple is left standing.

DWTS often puts emphasis on the physical challenge of dancing. Competitors who train hard look much more toned and tight by the end of the season, and the dancefloor is usually slick with sweat after each performance. A DVD fitness series seemed to be a natural expansion of the franchise. So far, there have been 6 separate discs released under the brand name, all of them featuring partnerless choreography and taught by popular dancers from the show. Right now we’re going to look at 2 such DVDs: Dance off the Pounds with Kym, Lacey and Dmitry and Fat Burning Cardio Dance with Edyta, Kym and Chelsie. Continue reading

Top 5 Jobs For Women (According to RomComs)

Let’s pretend for a moment that our universe operates exactly like the Universe of Chick Flicks. All successful relationships are based on lies or contrived meets, gay men exist solely as sassy comic relief to their straight best friends and shopping is done in montage. In this universe, women are highly encouraged to join the work force so that they can complain about not being married without looking like anti-feminist nitwits. But what career would best suit you in this strange world? As your personal guide into independent-womanhood, I present to you the 5 most popular careers of the Romantic Comedy genre!

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Courtney does Seven Brides for Seven Brothers [Wild Weird West Week]

“What do I need manners for? I already got me a wife.”

The Scoop: 1954, Directed by Stanley Donan and starring Jane Powell, Howard Keel and Russ Tamblyn.

Tagline: LUSTY, MIRTHFUL GIRL-STEALING MUSICAL! . . . with Seven Great Songs!

Summary Capsule: After a backwoodsman comes home with a wife, his six younger brothers decide to kidnap women for themselves. Dance battles ensue.

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13 Terrifying Polish Movie Posters

In the United States, movie posters are used for one very specific purpose – they give the viewers a small taste of the movie they’re advertising, mostly by providing basic information such as the stars, director, and overall tone. Horrors get a lot of use out of skulls and splattered blood, comedies like to show off their lead funny guy making a silly face, award-bait dramas display full ensembles of acclaimed actors in beautiful costumes. Some particularly awesome posters do transcend the “marketing device” thing and get to be iconic in their own right (hello, fellow Struzan fans!) But on the whole, they’re pretty forgettable.

In Poland, however, movie posters are freakin’ crazy. A lot of them do get the point about their respective films across, but in way more colorful and creative ways than anything I’ve seen here in America. Check out these:

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Courtney does Red Riding Hood

“The wolf is someone in this village.”

The Scoop: 2011 PG-13, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and starring Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Shiloh Fernandez, and Max Irons.

Tagline: Believe the legend. Beware the wolf.

Summary Capsule: A young woman is caught in a love triangle between a brooding town loner and the son of a wealthy blacksmith. She also finds herself mysteriously linked to the werewolf that terrorizes her village.

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