Saturday, December 31, 2011

Celebrate the New Year with Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Hard to believe this is the last post of 2011, but here we are! Time to get out your party clothes, pop that champagne and start 2012 with a bang.

So what's the best way to bid the year adieu? How about this adorable (adorkable?) duet from former (500) Days of Summer cohorts Zooey Dechanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Keep going after the jump and take a listen to the simply sweet "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"...

Happy New Year, everyone!

Friday, December 30, 2011

My Top 10 Movies of 2011

It's that time again: My Top 10 Movies of the year. I've been keeping tabs this year, watching how the list evolved—yes, at one point Never Say Never: Justin Bieber 3D was on there—and I must say that 2011 was quite an interesting year.

I began my list after the Oscar season was over, starting with I Am Number Four—which, by the way, ended up at #33 with a C+—and tracking every movie I've seen that was released this year. Of course, there's still two months until the Oscars are handed out, so there is quite the laundry list of movies I have yet to see that would most likely make a good case for inclusion on the 2011 list. My apologies to War Horse, Drive, 50/50, Young Adult and many more. I'll get to you soon. I promise.

Looking back at my 2010 list, I think I was more passionate about that Top 5 than this year's and I remember having a very difficult time figure out their order. This year, however, the fight for the Top 10 was way more intense. 2010 had maybe 11-12 duking it out; 2011 has at least 20. So, in the interest of honoring as many films as possible, I'm going to do a bit of a cheat and give Honorable Mention to the five films that were still in the "A" range but didn't quite make it to the finals. It's my list, I can cheat if I want to.

So, without further ado, here are my favorite movies of 2011...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Favorite TV Discoveries of 2011

While figuring out how to properly end 2011 here on Please Welcome Your Judges, it became clear that a farewell to a year's worth of television needed to be made in addition to my normal Top 10 Movie list. Of course, I write about my TV favorites so much and have already covered the highs and lows with regards to award shows like the Emmys, so merely writing a Top 10 TV Shows list seemed to be a bit redundant.

Instead, I've compiled a list of my favorite shows that I discovered in 2011. Some of them are brand new shows, some of them are shows that I finally caught up with, others are shows that I cannot believe I missed out on during their original runs, and all of them are fantastic. If you've seen them already, use this as a way to celebrate these phenomenal series; if you haven't, then let this be a solid endorsement: go get these DVDs, stream them on Netflix, add them to your DVR. You'll thank me later.

So, in alphabetical order, here are my favorite TV discoveries of 2011...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

DJ Earworm Releases "United States of Pop 2011"

It's hard to believe we are only a few days from bidding 2011 adieu and ushering in 2012. As the year wraps up, it's time for Top 10 and Best Of lists to overwhelm our newsfeeds, but one of my favorite parts of this time of year is the annual release of DJ Earworm's mega-mashup of the year's top songs, "United States of Pop."

After the jump, find out a little bit more about this year's installment and take a listen to "United States of Pop 2011 (World Go Boom)"...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Trailer Tuesdays: The Hobbit

Are you ready to return to Middle-earth?

It's been almost eight years since The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was crowned Best Picture by the Academy and that epic trilogy came to a close. Now, Peter Jackson and company are back with the highly anticipated story that started it all: The Hobbit. After years in the making and more rumors than can be counted, a trailer has finally been released. Check it out after the jump...

Monday, December 19, 2011

'Portlandia' Understands How I Watched 'Battlestar Galactica'

Portlandia is one of the (many) shows on my "I have no idea why I'm not watching this" list. The Fred Armisen-lead sketch comedy series on IFC has gotten fantastic reviews, and its second season debuts on January 6th, giving me ample time to catch up on the six Season 1 episodes during the holidays.

And in case I needed anymore convincing, here's a clip from Season 2 that pretty much mimics my experience with Battlestar Galactica (and Friday Night Lights, Party Down and Game of Thrones for that matter)...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sterling Archer is Now an Author

Sterling Archer. Womanizer, Krav Maga specialist, martini master, Emmys dream nominee, ISIS secret agent... and, now, author.

Yes, that's right. Archer—well, the creators of FX animated series Archer—are releasing a book next month titled How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written.

More information on this sure-to-be best-seller after the jump...

Golden Globes 2012: Nominations Announced

Not to let the Screen Actors Guild have all the fun, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assocation (HFPA) announced their cracktastic Golden Globe nominations this morning. Even though everyone acknowledges these are crazy every year and says they don't matter when it comes to the Oscars, every year we make a big friggin' deal about them because 1) they are televised, 2) sometimes they do effect the Oscars and 3) we just can't help ourselves.

So without further ado, some thoughts on the 2012 Golden Globe nominations and the full list of nominees...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Best and Worst of the 2012 SAG Nominations

This morning, the Screen Actors Guild announced the nominees for their 2012 awards and, much like tomorrow's Golden Globe announcements are sure to, there were a slew of surprises both good and bad on the list.

From movies to TV, here are the best and worst of the SAG nominations...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sick Day Reviews: Game of Thrones

Sick days are not fun. And we've all had enough of them to know that, so I won't go into any further detail. The only upside to a sick day? Some time to catch up on the movies and TV shows we've been too busy to watch otherwise. Throughout the day, I'll be posting some mini-reviews of the things I'm catching up on.

After cringing through The Change-Up and falling in love (again) with The Help, it was time to finish catching up on Season 1 of HBO's Game of Thrones, a show I had neglected to watch when it premiered this past April. Thanks to the wonder of U-verse OnDemand, I finally took the opportunity to see what all the hype was about. My thoughts (and a sneak peek at Season 2) after the jump.

Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead!

Sick Day Movie Reviews: The Help

Sick days are not fun. And we've all had enough of them to know that, so I won't go into any further detail. The only upside to a sick day? Some time to catch up on the movies and TV shows we've been too busy to watch otherwise. Throughout the day, I'll be posting some mini-reviews of the things I'm catching up on.

First up was The Change-Up, which ended up being quite the disappointment. In need of some quality cinema, The Help came in to save the day.

Sick Day Movie Reviews: The Change-Up

Sick days are not fun. And we've all had enough of them to know that, so I won't go into any further detail. The only upside to a sick day? Some time to catch up on the movies and TV shows we've been too busy to watch otherwise. Throughout the day, I'll be posting some mini-reviews of the things I'm catching up on.

First on the docket? Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds summer flick The Change-Up. My mini-review coming up after the jump...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Magical Monday Moments: Date Schmidt from 'New Girl'

When promoting New Girl's premiere this fall, the FOX marketing team put all of their eggs in the Zooey Deschanel basket. It was "adorkable" this and "adorkable" that. And while Deschanel is certainly a wonderful part of New Girl as crazed lunatic adorkable Jess, they forgot to mention the show's secret weapon: Max Greenfield as Jess' roommate Schmidt. From his catchy lines ("You just got Schmidt on your face") to his charming douchebaggery to the way he is incredibly overprotective of his kitchen, Schmidt is hands down the best part of New Girl.

So imagine my delight and surprise when Deschanel's site, Hello Giggles, "uncovered" an old online dating profile video for Schmidt. It's everything you would expect and about 1000 times more. Check it out after the jump...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy Family Jules: Express Christmas

We are steadily approaching TV's annual holiday hiatus, which means we will all have plenty of time to catch up on shows we've been meaning to watch—ahem, Revenge—and have some good ol' fashioned marathons with the DVDs we get for the holidays—ahem, Harry Potter 8-disc Blu Ray collection. Of course, before any of that happens, our favorite shows have one last chance to bid 2011 adieu, and what better way than with a holiday episode?

So ho-ho-hold on to your hats... let's talk about last night's Christmas-centric episodes of Modern Family and Happy Endings...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Trailer Watch: The Five-Year Engagement

The adorable picture above should be enough to convince you to see The Five-Year Engagement.

Need more convincing? Then continue on after the jump and watch the trailer...

Happy Family Jules: Situation Walk Space

Okay, fine. The last new episodes of Modern Family and Happy Endings aired two weeks ago. Let's just chalk up this (super) late post to Thanksgiving hype and a tryptophan-induced coma. At any rate, what better way to get hyped for tonight's new episodes than to remind ourselves how funny these shows are?

Yeah, that's what I thought. Let's do this thing...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kelly Clarkson Will Be Home for Christmas

Last week, I went to the 96.5 All Star Christmas concert in Wallingford, CT for some holiday cheer—and by that, I mean I went to see the incomparable Kelly Clarkson do a mini-set preview of her upcoming tour. The Fray, Gavin DeGraw and the lovely Christina Perri also performed, but really I was just sitting there anxiously anticipating Kelly's headline act.

And while I adored her performances of classics like "Since U Been Gone" and "My Life Would Suck Without You" and new hits like "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)," "Mr. Know It All" and "Dark Side," what stuck with me was her stirring rendition of holiday favorite "I'll Be Home for Christmas."

Take a listen to her performance—including some adorable on-stage banter—after the jump....

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Greg Laswell Not GLEE-ful About Unexpected Cover

It's been a while since I've mentioned Glee around these parts. Ever since I made my Season 3 wishlist, I've decided to sit back and see what the writers have in store for New Directions and company without second-guessing or prematurely judging (I know, how unlike me). But when two of my favorite things collide, I can't help but bringing it up. Especially when it's something like this.

Glee versus Greg Laswell? How could I resist?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Address is Approximate: A Google StreetView Journey

There isn't too much to say about this short film except that it is a wonderful example of taking objects from our everyday lives to create a compelling story. Who knew Google StreetView could be so compelling and beautiful?

Take a look at Address is Approximate after the jump...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The NBC and ABC Mid-Season Schedules Are Sad

Remember that time I really wanted to avoid talking about the upcoming mid-season sadness over at ABC and NBC so I just put up a bunch of GIFs? Well, there's no use in putting it off any longer.

So let's rip off the proverbial Band-Aid and discuss the fates of Community and Cougar Town and the rest of the mid-season lineup...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Magical Monday Moments: Siri Argument

If Battlestar Galactica taught us anything, it's that technology is not to be trusted. And, yet, we are now one step closer to full-blown Cylon technology with Apple's latest smartphone: the iPhone 4S. Along with the phone comes Siri, essentially a voice-commanded personal assistant. Siri can send text messages, schedule appointments, find directions and set reminders.

But what if Siri were used for other purposes? Take a look at one of CollegeHumor's most recent videos, "Siri Argument." Warning: contains language that is NSFW.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Community and Cougar Town Absent from Mid-Season Schedules

There's been a lot of crazy news coming from the networks this week regarding mid-season schedules. And, unfortunately, it has involved amazing shows like Community and Cougar Town.

I'll be back next week to talk more about what is happening and what it means for the Study Group and the Cul-De-Sac Crew. But instead of starting off the weekend all sad and mopey, here are some animated GIFs that should brighten up your day....

Happy Family Jules: Transport to Relaxistan

Phil massaging a nude Jay, Max making out with Alex, Cam driving a truck and Jane getting in trouble for sexual harassment at work. Some very eventful episodes of Modern Family and Happy Endings this week, so let's get to it before I make uncomfortable references about a three-hole punch...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Please Welcome Your Judges Turns 2 Today!

Yes, it's hard to believe, but Please Welcome Your Judges has now officially been in existence for two years!

Let's take a little walk down memory lane, shall we?

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Trailer for 'The Hunger Games'

A little over two months after releasing a teaser, Lionsgate has unveiled a full-blown trailer for The Hunger Games.

In case you aren't a raving fanboy like myself or haven't read the amazing book series by Suzanne Collins, here's a little background: The film, which will hit theaters in March 2012, stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, a teenage girl chosen to participate in an annual tradition that pits 24 young people from around the nation against each other in a battle to the death broadcasted live on TV.

Now... onto the trailer!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mad Fashion is Refreshingly Fun

When Bravo announced it would be airing a show starring former Project Runway designer Chris March, I couldn't help but be excited. Chris is by far one of the most memorable contestants Runway has ever had—who can forget that infamous collection using human hair and that contagious laugh?—and has made quite a name for himself in his post-Runway career, designing for stars like BeyoncĂ©, Madonna and [cue gay gasp] Meryl Streep. His fun-loving personality and outrageous designs seemed like the perfect combination for a television show.

Mad Fashion is now six episodes into its first season, and I'm happy to report that it's not your average reality show. Thank goodness.

Happy Family Jules: Wham Bam, Thank You, Cam!

A little tardy to the party? Perhaps. But what better way to cope with the lack of new episodes of Modern Family and Happy Endings tonight than remembering last week's best moments? [Side Note: damn you, CMAs!]

So before I have palpable chemistry with Julia Roberts, let's rundown last week's episodes...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Project Runway, Season 9 Finale: The New Era

Dear readers, there is much to discuss about the grand finale of Project Runway Season 9 and we haven't a moment to waste, but before we get down to the nitty gritty of it all...

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't yet watched last night's Project Runway Season Finale (and have somehow avoided the onslaught of Facebook statuses and tweets), look away before you turn to stone!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Family Jules: Halloween, The Super Bowl of Drinking

It's the end of October, which means it's time to strap on your costumes, pass out candy and judge what other people are wearing for Halloween. And if you love TV—which I'm assuming you do—it means we have a good week's worth of Halloween-themed episodes. And while Christmas- or Valentine's Day-themed episodes usually need to fit in some sort of sentimental payoff, Halloween episodes give a show a chance to just go balls-to-the-wall crazy (see last year: Glee's Rocky Horror episode that reaired last night, Modern Family's Haunted House episode that also reaired last night and Community's zombie episode). Last night, Happy Endings joined that tradition with an exceptionally entertaining Halloween episode.

So before I find a replacement costume for my Lady Gaga meat suit, let's take look at the best moments of last night...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Magical Monday Moments: Kiernan Shipka, Child Star Psychologist

I've been way too busy listening to Kelly Clarkson's new album to pay attention to anything else today, so for this week's Magical Monday Moment I thought I'd share a particularly hilarious Funny Or Die video from last week.

Meet Sally Draper Kiernan Shipka, Child Star Psychologist.

Kelly Clarkson's 'Stronger' In Stores Now

Just a quick reminder to all you dear readers that Stronger, Kelly Clarkson's fifth album, hit stores this morning. My iTunes pre-order is done downloading, so I'll be back soon with a full review. In the meantime, I encourage you all to celebrate this holiday by buying Stronger immediately.

Today only, Amazon is offering the album for only $4.99. You can also purchase the deluxe version (like I did) on iTunes to get a ton of bonus content.

Time to listen... Happy Stronger Day! If you want to follow along with my first full listen of the album, make sure you are following @PWYJudges on Twitter!

[Image Source: Stronger iTunes LP]

Friday, October 21, 2011

Project Runway, Season 9 E13: We're All Winners

We've finally made it to the finale! Well, sort of. The first half of the Project Runway finale is always a weird state of purgatory—the excitement of Fashion Week contrasted with the similarity of a challenge-based episode that we've been dealing with for three months—and with the exception of the blood-boiling twist at the end, it wasn't exactly an exciting episode.

So before I watch Heidi and Tim cha cha down the runway together for the 30th time in a row (I wish I was kidding...), let's get to the rundown.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Best of Kelly Clarkson: Part 2 (#1-5)

In less than four days, I'll be dancing and singing along to Kelly Clarkson's latest album, Stronger. It's hard to believe this is already her fifth album—it seems like just yesterday she beat out Justin Guarini in American Idol's inaugural season. Her career may have its ups (Breakaway) and downs (My December), but through it all Kelly has remained a force to be reckoned with.

Yesterday, I began counting down Kelly's Top 10 best songs to date with songs 6-10. I should take this time to admit that there are several songs that were incredibly deserving of making the Top 10—"Addicted," "I Do Not Hook Up," "Gone" and "Where is Your Heart?" to name a few—but tough decisions had to be made and there's no use living in the past. Now it's time to reveal the Top 5 with the assistance of Jason Myers, an expert on all things Kelly Clarkson and undoubtedly her #1 fan. Did your favorite make the cut...?

Happy Family Jules: Go Bullfrogs!

With college visits and visualization boards, Modern Family and Happy Endings both had the future in mind last night, and both delivered solid episodes. So before I gain five pounds of muscles (mussels?) before my first-class trip to Greece, let's breakdown the best moments of the night...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Best of Kelly Clarkson: Part 1 (#6-10)

In the summer of 2002, a 20-year-old girl from Burleson, Texas, appeared on the inaugural season of a little summer singing show. Nine years after being crowned the Original American Idol, Kelly Clarkson is a superstar pop diva—I will fight anyone who tries to argue that point—and one of the best voices in the industry today.

In preparation of next Monday's release of Stronger, her fifth album to date, I've compiled a list of Kelly's top 10 best songs. There were some difficult decisions made, and there are many amazing and classic Kelly songs not represented, but here it is.

In today's Part 1, I've enlisted the help of Kelly Clarkson superfan Alex Goldschmidt to rundown #6-10—even if he didn't fully agree with the list. Get ready to rock out and scream in total fanboy fashion (or is that just me...?).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Watch Community's Seven Timelines All At Once

Although I didn't begin watching until the end of Season 1, Community quickly became one of my favorite shows on television. As someone who is admittedly addicted to pop culture, the constant barrage of references and meta moments is a delight like no other (besides 30 Rock at times). I wish a few more million viewers (and the Emmys) would notice, too.

Last week's episode "Remedial Chaos Theory" centered around Troy and Abed's housewarming party. While playing a "rousing" game of Yahtzee, the pizza deliveryman buzzes in and the group tries to decide who to send down to get the pizza. When Jeff suggests a roll of the dice, Abed points out that doing so creates alternate timelines and endless possibilities. What followed, in true Community fashion, were each of the seven timelines—some mundane, some pleasant and one horrific and dark—showing how the night would change with the brief absence of each member of the study group.

Now, thanks to the great power of the Internet and a YouTube user named EvilAbed, you can watch all seven timelines at once....

Monday, October 17, 2011

Florence Welch Covers "Since U Been Gone"

As far as I'm concerned, when it comes to music there isn't much better than Florence Welch (of Florence + The Machine) or Kelly Clarkson. Except, of course, Florence Welch singing a Kelly Clarkson song.

The NewNowNext blog uncovered this amazing video of Welch and Mark Ronson covering "Since U Been Gone" while backstage at London's O2 Arena almost exactly two years ago.

Check out the video below and bask in the wonder of two wonderful musical divas colliding...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Project Runway, Season 9 E12: Empire State of Mind

New York's Governors Island was the source of inspiration on this week's Project Runway, but with Lady Liberty looming in the background the episode should've been named "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor..."

We should've known better than to have high expectations the challenge before Fashion Week, right? Season after season, this challenge shows just how burnt out the contestants are and it's always full of crazy decisions (Wendy Pepper, anyone?) and whacky fashion (again... Wendy Pepper, anyone?).

So before I try and figure out exactly how to pronounce 'artillery,' let's get to the rundown...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Family Jules: The J Spot

I feel awful for not doing this earlier in the week, dear readers. So before we continue...

"Sail the oceans of your dreams and be the discoverer of great places. Happy Columbus Day."

Yup, Happy Endings can even make Columbus Day sound cool. Last night's episode featured a knock-out guest performance by Megan Mullally and followed an equally fantastic showing from Modern Family. So before I try and remember what job Mom Gilmore had, let's breakdown the best moments from each episode...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Trailer Tuesdays: The Avengers

With so many movies coming out this fall, it seems a little crazy to use a Trailer Tuesday to focus on a movie that doesn't come out until next summer. But for this mother of all comic book blockbusters, I'll make an exception.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you just-released teaser trailer for The Avengers...

RuPaul's Drag Race, Season 4: First Details Announced

Although it regretfully doesn't premiere until January, LOGO just released some exciting details about the upcoming fourth season of RuPaul's Drag Race to hold us over.

Is there anything more fabulous than getting details on a new season of Drag Race? Nope, didn't think so. So let's just cut to the chase, shall we?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Project Runway, Season 9 E11: Birds of a Feather

He rocks in the tree tops all day long 
Hoppin' and a-boppin' and singing his song 
All the little birdies on Jaybird Street 
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet

Oh, how I wish that had been the runway song this week. But, alas, I had to just be content singing to myself as this week's entries paraded up and down the Project Runway studio.

This week's episode featured twists, hypocrites and lots of fine feathered friends. So before you ask to borrow some of my fabric, let's get to the rundown...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

SYTYCD Renewed for Season 9

Great news for So You Think You Can Dance fans: FOX has renewed the series for a ninth season!

Happy Family Jules: Stellaaaa!

With references to A Streetcar Named Desire and The Blind Side, men wearing shirt-dresses and women wearing baby onesies, missing dogs and '80s limousines, I'd say last night's Modern Family and Happy Endings were a rousing success.

Before we argue about the difference between cake and ice cream cake, let's talk about the best moments from each episode...

R.I.P. Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Word spread quickly last night that Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple and one of the most famous innovators of our time, passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer. As I type this post on my MacBook Pro while listening to music on iTunes and checking text messages on my iPhone, the impact Mr. Jobs had on our everyday lives is impossible to ignore. And lest we not forget that he was also a co-founder of Pixar, a company that has changed the face not only of animation, but of the entire world of film. While Mr. Jobs was only on this earth for a mere 56 years, his legacy is sure to continue on for generations.

So, as many are doing today, let's remember Steve Jobs by taking a look back at his famous commencement address to the 2005 graduates of Stanford University, "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

You Are Not Alone: Fight Bullying with Kitty Clementine

It's now been over a year since Dan Savage started the "It Gets Better" project to inspire gay youth who face harassment all over the world. Since then, there's been a huge increase in focus on bullying and abuse amongst teens and in our schools. From senators to actors to musicians, everyone joined in to offer words of encouragement and inspiration.

Australian singer/songwriter Kitty Clementine is taking this idea and running with it with her "You Are Not Alone" campaign to stand up to bullying. Watch the video below and keep reading to find out how you can get involved...

Meet Marbles Hargrove, Melissa McCarthy's Alter Ego

Earlier this week, Best Week Ever unveiled some long-lost YouTube videos of Emmy-winner Melissa McCarthy as her video-blogging alter ego, Marbles Hargrove. Along with her off-screen sidekick Randy, she covered topics ranging from E. coli—Taco Bell is essentially a petri dish for it—to the Oscars.

The videos have had me hysterically laughing all week, so without further ado I give you Marbles Hargrove...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trailer Tuesdays: Ides of March

The glitz and glam of summer movie season is a thing of the past and it's finally time to get into some gritty, dramatic Oscar-contending films. There are a lot of these such films coming out over the course of the next several weeks, so Trailer Tuesdays are going to start getting quite busy around here.

First up: Ides of March, the political thriller starring heavy hitters George Clooney—who also directed the film—and Ryan Gosling. Check out the trailer after the jump:

'Playboy Club' This Year's First Cancelled; Comedies Get Full Orders

The third week of the primetime TV season has barely begun and the first casualty of the year has just been tallied. But don't worry, there's some good news in there, too.

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