Blog Archives

Liz Tells Frank Stuff She Forgot About “Love Actually”

Dear Frank,

Love_Actually_movieHappy holidays! A time of shopping, togetherness, and debating whether Love Actually, Richard Curtis’s 2003 Christmas romantic comedy to end all Christmas romantic comedies, is the absolute worst or the absolute best.

Every time I watch it, I’m not really sure of the answer. I mean, I adore some percentage of it, and I loathe some other percentage, and because the movie is fundamentally schizophrenic, that percentage is never the same twice.

But there is a lot to love, especially if you’re like me, and looking up cast lists on the IMDB is like breathing. EVERYONE is in this movie, Frank. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In Lena Dunham’s “Tiny Furniture”

Dear Frank,

Today, as I usually do while writing, I am listening to music: Specifically, I am taking advantage of my Spotify Premium free trial to listen to Kelly Clarkson songs about being strong and independent and whatnot. I listen to music like this on repeat as a sort of hypnosis technique — the bulk of my work has been accompanied by the collected works of Britney Spears, P!nk and Jennifer Lopez. My iTunes listening history is a deeply embarrassing thing.

But Kelly Clarkson is a conscious choice today, because Kelly (I feel like I can call her Kelly), represents a very specific sort of girl whose public image is deliberately honest and natural, almost to a fault. I remember listening to an interview Kelly did with NPR after she Tweeted out her support for Ron Paul — the way she explained it, she was watching Leno with her brother, decided she liked Ron Paul, and said so on the internet.

Politically, she and I couldn’t disagree more, but I liked the image of it, Kelly couch-surfing with her brother, jeans and thick socks, sending out a quick tweet before seeing if there was a Simpsons rerun on anywhere.

Frank, this comes up because these days, the idea of a lady living her life unapologetically is becoming less and less a radical act. Ashley Judd makes headlines by ranting about the media attention paid to her face, Jennifer Lawrence charms late night hosts and red carpets with her mesmerizing goofiness… and Lena Dunham makes movies and TV shows. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Hell Comes to Frogtown”

Dear Frank,

So I should have written this post sometime during 2011, as it was heavily requested during the last round of open calls for what I should tell you about. It didn’t happen. You know why, Frank? I really didn’t want to watch this movie! But I got called out, and god forbid I quaver at the feet of any challenge. Even the challenge of a 1987 post-apocalyptic pseudo-comedy starring Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Thus, here’s this movie! The backstory: Apocalypse, of the nuclear kind. And there are dudes who make frog noises and they’re not allowed to have guns? I’m guessing they’re the titular frogs? I am mentally preparing myself for a great deal of literalness. Because, lest you think the title was some sort of fancypants metaphor thing, we establish right away that Rowdy Roddy Piper’s character is named Sam Hell. I bet at some point, he comes to Frogtown!

But first, he’s in jail, getting a bottle broken over his head for some sort of grievious offense against a dude’s daughter — I’m guessing it’s a SEXY offense? Oh, it totally is, because it’s just been revealed that the guy’s daughter is pregnant, which is a miracle in these barren apocalypse-y days, and is thus very interesting to the ladies of Med-Tech, some sort of government organization devoted to making more babies, because doing it naturally isn’t working out so well. This is delivered with all the subtlety and wit that you’d expect from a movie about giant mutated frog people, just so we’re clear. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In the “House of Lies” Pilot

Dear Frank,

Show me the person who doesn’t like Don Cheadle and I’ll show you a liar. I mean, seriously, what could you object to? Do you not think that Boogie Nights is awesome? Was his performance in Hotel Rwanda TOO heart-breaking? I mean, sure, his accent in the Ocean’s Eleven movies is a little silly, but it’s SUPPOSED to be silly. C’mon now.

Thus, Frank, because I am a person of sense and taste, of course I decided to take advantage of Showtime’s generosity and sample the first episode of House of Lies, Showtime’s new dramedy series starring Don Cheadle. And not just because I love me some Cheadle — the supporting cast is also pretty good! Veronica Mars! Jean-Ralphio! Some random guy who I don’t recognize from other TV shows but doesn’t trip over himself terribly! Thus, worthy of 34 minutes of my time.

At least, I hope it is.

It’s worth noting that because what I am watching is a free download from iTunes, the episode is edited for content, which means lots of muted four-letter-words and censored nakedness. As a result, here is the tableau presented in the opening shot of this pilot: Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Flashdance”

Dear Frank,

One of the fascinating things about doing this blog is that I can never properly predict what gaps might need filling in your pop culture consciousness. For example, I know you’ve seen Dirty Dancing and Center Stage — but you haven’t seen Flashdance? Frank, what the hell.

Flashdance is worth knowing about for many reasons, but the most important might be that it launched the following things: a rage for shoulder-baring sweatshirts, the epic producing partnership between Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson and the writing career of Joe Eszterhas, one of the geniuses behind Showgirls. That’s right — without Flashdance, there is no Showgirls and the world is a… Different place, definitely. Better? Worse? Who knows. I’m just saying, different.

Flashdance opens with our lady hero, spunky 18-year-old Alex, stopping to pet a cat while biking to work. What does she do at work? Holy shit, she’s a welder! She welds things! Read the rest of this entry

It’s the Liz Tells Frank Very Special Guest Star Anniversary Contest Spectacular!

Dear Frank,

It was upon this day, one year ago, that I first told you about a movie, TV show or book you didn’t want to watch. (It was Tron! Aw, Tron. Good times.)

To commemorate this auspicious anniversary, I reached out to some friends of LTF to help me out with the first ever Liz Tells Frank Contest/Giveaway/Whatever Language Keeps Me From Running Afoul of California Lottery Laws! These fine folk volunteered to tell me about a movie or video game I myself haven’t seen or played: Here’s the twist — our readers don’t get to know what I’m being told about. They instead have to deduce it themselves using only the provided summaries! And the first reader to successfully guess all three will win $20 in Amazon money!

UPDATE: The winner of the contest is none other than Jill Weinberger! Congrats Jill! This post has been updated to include the names of the things being discussed.

So, Frank, please enjoy the efforts of our friends — and here’s to at least one more year of this ridiculous, ridiculous blog.

Love,
Liz
Read the rest of this entry

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