Friday, February 28, 2014

Bitch of the Week: Helen

What else is there to say?

I think we can pretty much all agree that Bridesmaids is one of the funniest movies of all time. It deserves all the awards and at least two sequels. And while so much about the film is right, one of its strongest points is its ability to create a character like Helen, someone we should all strive to be more like.

The film focuses on Annie, a woe-is-me failed baker who can't keep a friend to save her life. The latest gal pal she's driving out of her life is Lillian, her lifelong BFF who is now engaged. Annie's the maid of honor, but she feels threatened by Lillian's new friend, Helen, who knows more about everything, including how to plan a wedding and what it takes to be the ultimate bitch.

She concocts the perfect recipe to usurp Annie's position as BFF. Step 1: Bond and bond hard. From the moment Annie and Helen meet, it's clear it's a competition to see who's closer to Lillian. Helen has no shortage of ammo, and expertly dishes out fond memory after inside joke to make Annie feel inadequate.

Step 2: Show Lillian that anything Annie can do, Helen can do better. When Annie repeatedly fails with her tasks as a maid of honor, Helen is always there to provide a Plan B, which is so good, it should have been Plan A. I don't have to remind you of the iconic bridal gown store scene, but lest we forget, Annie never schedule a fucking appointment. Helen had to use her connections to get in.

Step 3: Ambush. Whether it's stealing Annie's bridal party idea or encouraging her to sooth her fear of flying with a sedative cocktail on the airplane, Helen knows just how to take someone out.

The most beautiful thing about Helen is how much she grows. She's humble enough to realize she needs Annie's help when Lillian gets cold feet and reflective enough to admit her mistakes. But she does this while still retaining the uptight bitchery that made us fall in love with her in the first place.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cunt of the Week: Azealia Banks

"It's a-okay to be a cunt!"

I'll bet many of you read the title of this blog post and said "Who the what?" and planned to keep on scrolling. Well don't. Because even if you don't know who Azealia Banks is, you should get familiar with her legendary cuntitude.

ABanks is a female rapper who had one mild hit, "212", back in 2011 but has yet to release her debut album. So she's already dangerously close to cornering one-hit wonder territory, except that nobody even knows who the hell she is.

That's why it's so puzzling that this motherfucker thinks she can pick a fight with pretty much any celebrity under the sun. Her serial feuding has rightfully earned her the title Cunt of the Week. (Although, as the self-proclaimed "Cunt Queen," she probably won't mind this.) But I won't leave you hanging for much longer. Let's take a look at some of those feuds, shall we?

Angel Haze

In January 2013, Azealia tweeted, "Seriously, if you were not born and raised in NY.... DON'T CLAIM NY. YOU ARE NOT A NEW YORKER." This ignited a feud between her and fellow female rapped Angel Haze, who took the tweet as a personal aim. While Angel certainly takes the blame for using some unsavory language, the feud led to Azealia's first public fallout with...

Perez Hilton

When the gossip blogger sided with Angel in the aforementioned feud, Azealia took the Twitter and called him "a messy faggot." She insisted she did not use the slur in a homophobic manner, and cited her own bisexuality as a result. She initially refused to backtrack, but later apologized to anyone who was offended, except Perez himself.


Rapper Kreayshawn retweeted a PornHub video that used "212" and captioned it "I guess that cunt gettin' eaten." (For those of you who don't know, the song has a lyric very similar to that.) ABanks took this display of support as an attack, and tweeted that Kreayshawn was a "dumb bitch" who "can't rap." Kreayshawn attempted to explain the misunderstanding, but Azealia was having none of it. They publicly reconciled a few months later.

Iggy Azalea

You might think this feud started based on their similar monikers, but that isn't the case. One day, Miss Banks just randomly tweeted, "And fuck Iggy Azalea, I had a song called 'Pussy' before she ever did... It's better." Iggy responded by tweeting, "The best thing you can be is humble, because it's not about who did it first; it's about who did it better." Azealia fired back, "Fuck white girls. They are privileged and shouldn't be allowed to rap, because rap is black culture."

Later, Iggy became the first female to grace XXL's coveted Freshman Class issue, prompting Azealia to cry racism, saying that she wasn't "anti white girl," just "pro black girl." Iggy responded by saying she was "pro people."


T.I., a longtime collaborator of Iggy's and the executive producer of her debut album, offered his two cents on the feud, which really set Azealia off. When asked about the feud again, T.I. called it "bitch shit" and opted not to talk about it. To this day, only Azealia fuels the fire with T.I. and Iggy.

Lil Kim

One day, Azealia took to Twitter to condemn Lil Kim for backing out of an alleged collaboration. Lil Kim's publicist released a public statement saying that the two had never met, nor planned a collaboration.

Nicki Minaj

In the summer of 2012, Azealia claimed to have turned down an opportunity to tour with Nicki Minaj in order to complete her debut album. Nicki caught wind of these claims and swiftly tweeted, "#ManTheseBitchesDelirious." Azealia threw her usual fit, and to this day, Nicki continues to tour around the world and Azealia still hasn't released her first album.

Lady Gaga

When Lady Gaga stated that she was going to start dressing more like a mermaid, for whatever fucking reason, Azealia was pissed because she apparently assumed she was the only one who could dress like a mermaid. Later, Azealia accused Gaga of stealing a song.

Lily Allen

Seemingly unprompted, Azealia likened Lily Allen's husband to a thumb, a comparison that Lily didn't take too well. She fired back, calling the rapper a one hit wonder, and then Azealia said that Lily had ugly children a cocaine habit.

These are just a few of the numerous feuds Azealia Banks has gotten in. The full list includes other musicians, such as Rita Ora and Pharrell, two former managers, and authors. And what do they all have in common? Azealia.

All together, everyone. What a cunt!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Jam of the Week: "Into the Blue" by Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue is criminally underrated, especially in the United States. Most Americans only know her for her signature early 2000s tune "Can't Get You Out of My Head". But she's a pop sensation in every other country, and has been rivaling Madonna for decades now.

Her latest single, "Into the Blue", is quite a jam and easily one of the best pop songs I've heard in a long time. It's such a shame that most people will go their whole lives without ever hearing it. For to you lucky Tommy Time readers, I urge you to delve into the blue with Kylie!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Jam of the Week: "Talk Dirty" by Jason Derulo & 2 Chainz

Remember when 2010 was like the year of Jason Derulo? And then he started dating Jordin Sparks and his career kind of plummeted? (I'll let you decide if that's a coincidence or not.) Well, someone got a plunger, because Jason is BACK.

The horn(y) tune has been blowing up radio airwaves for months now, and I thought it was about time to acknowledge it. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Tommy Picks the Best of Glee, Season 4

Spoiler: all roads lead to shitty storylines.

After triumphantly selecting the top ten songs from Glee, seasons 1, 2, and 3, it's time to conquer the fourth! By year 4, the show was pretty much beyond repair. It had no focus and a bloated cast, and both of these issues were worsened when each episode split its attention between the New Directions in Lima, Rachel and Kurt in New York, and wherever the fuck else the rest of the graduates ended up. It was a damn hot mess. But the music was still good. What were the best songs? Well, let's find out!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Woman Crush Wednesday: Britney Spears

"Success isn't about conquering something. It's being
happy with who you are."

With Man Crush Monday already strongly established, it's now time to celebrate the women of the world. I know all your jaws hit your keyboards when you saw that I selected Britney Spears, so while you get over the shock, please enjoy what I consider to be her three most important pictures and quotes.

"Because my music, especially my live stuff, is very showy, a lot of people don't
respect it as art. Because I'm young, soft-spoken, and nice to people, they go ahead
and assume things. But everything I have ever done, even my movie, I helped to
write. I'm the complete opposite of a puppet."

"I would like to be called an inspiration to people, not a role model. Because
I make mistakes like everybody else. When I'm offstage, I'm just like
everybody else."

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This or That: "Brave" vs. "Roar"

Who wore sung it best?

Do you remember not so long ago when Katy Perry let out a "Roar" so loud that it swiftly led to many people crying "copycat?" The song did sound awfully similar to Sara Bareilles' "Brave", which was released four months prior. Katy's praise of "Brave" upon its release makes the similarities all the more troubling.

The fact of the matter is, both songs became hits (Sara's only because of the comparisons to "Roar"). But one is certainly better than the other. And how better to decide than with another segment of Tommy Time's This or That series.

Commercial Performance

You probably know from your own radio listening experiences that "Roar" was the bigger hit. It was a worldwide #1, and with over 4 million in sales, it joins now ranks as one of the highest-selling singles of all time. Par for the course for Katy.

"Brave" peaked at #23 in the United States and only managed to enter the top ten in one country, Australia, where it peaked at #8. With a platinum certification, it has sold at least one million copies. As if you were surprised, this round goes to "Roar"!

Critical Response

Katy has never been a critical darling, so it's no surprise that "Roar" was met with lukewarm reviews. Critics mostly acknowledged the tune as a formidable pop song, but criticized its lyrical content and originality. (Let's not forget about those plagiarism accusations!)

"Brave" was lauded for bringing Sara's signature sound into a more mainstream-friendly song. Without a doubt, "Brave" wins this round!

Vocals and Lyrics

I would never call Katy Perry a vocalist, nor would I call her innovative or fresh. She's an expert at taking what's already working and mass-producing it. Musically, "Roar" is rather boring and generic. Lyrically, it's just a self-centered version of "Firework" riddled with cliches. In that rests the appeal of Katy Perry. And it works...

But when you compare it to "Brave", the winner is clear. Sara originally wrote the song, which encourages us to speak up, for her friend who was struggling with coming out. Since then, the song has been used as an anthem for women, cancer patients, and all sorts of "underdogs." In that way, it is also like "Firework", but Sara can actually sing. No matter what Katy Perry song you toss at it, "Brave" will win every time.

In this day and age, it's very difficult to outperform a Katy Perry song on the charts, which is why we should be thankful for sleeper hits like "Brave" that remind us sometimes there's a far superior version of the #1 song.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Man Crush Monday: Ryan Reynolds

"Acting has given me a way to channel my angst. I feel like an overweight, pimply
faced kid a lot of the time - and finding a way to access that insecurity, and put it
toward something creative is incredibly rewarding. I feel very lucky."

It seems that MCM and WCW (Man Crush Mondays and Woman Crush Wednesdays, respectively, if you're an idiot) are all the rage, and it's about time that Tommy Time hopped aboard this train. And when better to do so than Valentine's Week?

Every MCM (and WCW), I'll select and present the three most important pictures and three most important quotes for the person of interest. So, to inaugurate Man Crush Mondays, let's do just that with Ryan Reynolds, the finest specimen on God's green earth.

"Religion poisons everything good in this world."

"Anyone who is homophobic—they're triggered on some level by something
within themselves that they're desperately afraid of. More obvious news
later in the program."

Jam of the Week: "Girls Chase Boys" by Ingrid Michaelson

In all honesty, Ingrid Michaelson is rarely on a playlist of mine. But when I stumbled upon "Girls Chase Boys", I found myself enjoying the singer, whom I usually dismiss as boring.

In her latest single, Ingrid admits the heartbreak is inevitable: "All the broken hearts in the world still beat/Let's not make it harder than it has to be." But fun fact! Her whole intention with the song is that girls don't only chase boys, and that no matter how we love, it's all the same.

The video takes that a step further. So I invite you to take a gander at this gender-bender, if only for the catchy tune itself.

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Britney/Gaga Collaboration is in the Works

Keep on dancing till the world ends.


What bittersweet news.

Us Weekly is reporting that Britney Spears and Lady Gaga are in talks to record a duet together. To add fuel to the fire, the two singers were photographed together backstage at Britney's Piece of Me show in Vegas on February 1.

Rumored lyrics for the song are "Shhh! Don't speak... Lemme work my body on yours like a freak."

During Q&A session in November, Britney told fans her dream collaborator was Lady Gaga. In the past, Gaga has certainly showered Britney with praise, even calling her the Queen of Pop, but that hasn't stopped her from making passive aggressive comments aimed at her superior.

To be honest, I don't know how I feel about this... A Britney/Gaga team-up would be legendary and a major pop culture moment. But I fucking hate Lady Gaga. Still, both Britney Jean and ArtPop underperformed commercially and critically, and the singers could use each other to regain popularity.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Jam of the Week: "Mmm Yeah" by Austin Mahone & Pitbull

If you've yet to figure out who Austin Mahone is, he's basically like Justin Bieber, only without the arrest record or Canadian citizenship. Oh, and his music is a million times better.

Austin made Jam of the Week this past summer, and he's doing it again with "Mmm Yeah". The Pitbull-assisted tune is all about being speechless in the presence of a beautiful lady. And considering "mmm yeah" is part of my daily diction, this song holds a special place in my heart.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

*Disney Week* 20 Things You Didn't Know About Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

  1. As Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the first full-length animated film ever, you can imagine that Walt Disney fought hella adversity. The film was nicknamed "Disney's Folly" by the press, as most believed it would fail. Walt's brother and business partner, Roy, and wife, Lillian, both attempted to talk him out of it.
  2. Ever wonder why Walt picked the Snow White fairy tale to adapt first? He was drawn to the possible "screwiness" of the dwarfs and the gags that could be built around them. In fact, the thrust of the film was to originally focus on the dwarfs.
  3. Walt and his cohorts selected the dwarfs' names from a large pool of ideas, including Jumpy, Deafy, Dizzey, Hickey, Wheezy, Baldy, Gabby, Nifty, Sniffy, Swift, Lazy, Puffy, Stuffy, Tubby, Shorty and Burpy. The final seven names were chosen through process of elimination. And if you don't know what those seven names are, seriously just go home.
  4. Animators opposed using the name Dopey, as they considered it too modern a word. Walt assured them that Shakespeare used the word. To this day, "dopey" has yet to be found in any of his works.
  5. Most of the animators working on the film were cartoonists and were not artistically trained. Walt had them take classes in animating human and animal anatomy. Also, as was common with many early Disney films, scenes involving Snow White, the Queen, and Prince were filmed with live actors as reference material for the animators. Though the animators disapproved of rotoscoping, or the tracing of live action footage for animation, some scenes involving Snow White and the Prince were rotoscoped.
  6. Walt was forced to mortgage his home when the film's budget ballooned from $250,000 to $1.5 million.
  7. Though it's not stated in the film, original publicity material for the film states that the Queen's name is Grimhilde and the Huntman's name is Humbert. The Prince is never officially named, but he was unceremoniously given the name Florian once when Disney started its princess franchise.
  8. Incidentally, Florian is a pedophile because Snow White is 14 years old.
  9. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first film to be accompanied by the release of a soundtrack album.
  10. Lucille La Verne, who voiced the Queen, was able to achieve the raspy snarl of the Old Hag by removing her dentures.
  11. Though the film takes place in Germany, the trees animated for the forest sequence are only found in Canada. Walt had toured British Columbia and liked the trees' twisting shapes.
  12. At one point during the film's production, the Queen wasn't poised, vain, and beautiful, but fat, batty, and self-satisfied. Likewise, the Prince was originally clown-like. I think we can all holler a collective "thank God" all of that was changed.
  13. The Prince proved extremely difficult to animate, which is why (1) an entire subplot in which the Queen kidnaps him and tries to marry him was scrapped and (2) he looks like a girl.
  14. To make Snow White look more natural and radiant, female animators applied their own blush to the drawings. Walt was so impressed with the results that he had them do it for the entire film.
  15. Walt Disney had voice actress Adriana Caselotti backlisted in Hollywood, believing that Snow White's voice shouldn't be heard anywhere else. I happen to agree, but only because it's annoying as shit.
  16. This movie is apparently really scary, because not only did the UK stamp a rating on it that required anyone under 16 to be accompanied by an adult to see the film, but young children reportedly wet their pants, and consequently the seats, at the film's premiere at the Radio City Music Hall. Those seats had to be reupholstered.
  17. At the time of its release, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the most successful sound film of all time, as well as the most successful film of 1938.
  18. At the 11th Academy Awards, Walt Disney received an honorary Oscar statue and seven little statues for the film. The award was presented to him by Shirley Temple.
  19. Hitler was apparently a huge fan of the film. Not only did he hold private screenings, but he even drew sketches of the film's character. Does that not just make your bowls twitch?
  20. A short film entitled Snow White Returns was in its early production stages when Walt scrapped it for unknown reasons.
That's it, folks! Disney Week is over.

*Disney Week* Tommy Picks the Top 5 Disney Princes

Disney is just so into its princess franchise, that it's pretty easy to forget about the men behind these women... Figuratively speaking, of course. In November, I selected the Top 5 Disney Princesses to great critical acclaim, so it's only fitting that I rank their leading men as well!

So, ladies and gents, allow me to present to you the top 5 Disney princes (or any romantic interest for a princess).

5. Prince Charming

Apparently in 1950, Disney wasn't into naming half its characters, so Cinderella's leading man was saddled with the name Prince Charming. But did that stop him from being fun and sassy? Absolutely not.

Prince C just wants to live that bachelor lifestyle. And who could blame him? He's drawn attractively and he's rich, so he can pretty much get it in anywhere. But he's under intense familial pressure to marry, so his father throws him a ball to find his bride. But he's so fucking bored with all of those basic bitches, as evidenced by the yawn above.

We all know what happens next. And then Charming decides that his fate, as well as that of the entire kingdom, will rest on whether or not he can find a girl with a specific shoe size. If that's not an FU to daddy, I don't know what is!

4. Kristoff

The least princely prince on this list, Kristoff is fresh on the scene from Frozen, so if you haven't seen it yet, you better recognize. He's a mountain man, and that should be reason enough to keep him on the list. I mean, for a guy who was raised by rock trolls and whose best friend is a reindeer, he turned out pretty good. (And that dummy act he and Sven do - love it!)

Kristoff routinely calls Anna out on her shit. At the same time, even though they're falling in love with each other, Kristoff never makes a move on Anna because he knows she was unceremoniously engaged to Hans. He even braves the Elsa-induced blizzard to get Anna into Hans' embrace so he can save her with true love's kiss. (In retrospect, that was actually pretty risky because you know that they knew they belonged together. But you can't blame a guy for trying to do the right thing!)

3. Aladdin

Aladdin has a lot going for him. Obviously not wealth #streetratproblems. But he has the looks of Prince Eric without the stupidity (seriously, how dumb do you have to be not to recognize Ariel from the time she, um, I don't know, saved your life?!). In fact, Aladdin's pretty smart. He manages to escape the fuzz like all day, erryday. And man can he lie about being a prince.

There's also the fact that he's ethnic, which makes him ten times more intriguing. Now I'm not trying to exoticize ration minorities because that's just disrespectful. But let's just say Aladdin could have gotten any girl. So he set his sights on the best one: a princess.

2. Flynn Rider aka Eugene Fitzherbert

While it's a little unfair that Rapunzel's leading man is CGI and thus has a few more dimensions to work with, but the #2 slot is well deserved. He's a thief, he doesn't sing, and he somehow found that obnoxious long-haired bitch attractive. But that smolder.

So let's rewrite that: He's a thief because he stole my heart; he doesn't sing because the angels do it for him whenever I gaze upon him; and he fell for Rapunzel because he manages to see the best in everyone, even if he himself is a cynic in a witty, charming kind of way. #swoon

1. Prince Phillip

Do you think it's wrong to find cartoon characters attractive? It's a question I've struggled with myself. But there's no denying Prince Phillip is the hottest of all the Disney princes. That's primarily why he tops my list.

But there's also the fact that he's sassy as fuck. And totally independent. We're always celebrating the princess who sticks it to the man, but what about the prince? Phillip refuses to marry Aurora just because he's supposed to. "This is the fourteenth century!" he proclaims, scoffing at the concept of an arranged marriage.

And, hello, who wouldn't want a man who can just join in your forest dance sequences without missing a beat. And don't even get me started on what a badass he is, navigating thorny jungles and slaying dragons and shit. Honestly, does this need any more explanation?

There you have it! I have to admit, some prime princes failed to make the cut. But this is Tommy Time. This is the big leagues. You really have to go big or go home.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

*Disney Week* Disney Sequels: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Part 2, y'all.

Controversial opinion: Disney sequels aren't all that bad.

Now hear me out. I understand they have major shortcomings. But I also think they have some good qualities, which are often overlooked. People are too quick to judge Disney sequels, but we must consider everything before we make up our minds. So let's start with...

The Good

What's good about Disney sequels? Well, put aside your obnoxious sequels ruin the original mentality and recognize what I'm about to say. Disney characters are some of the most beloved film characters in the world #fact.

So it's only natural that we'd want to check up on their lives after the original movie ends. No sequel does this better than The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. Seriously, that is the best Disney sequel and if you haven't seen it, you're wrong.

Other sequels, or rather midquels, take place in the middle of the original film, which may sound stupid, but you wouldn't know a beautiful midquel until you've watched Bambi recover from the death of his mother, try to form a relationship with his father, and impress the girl of his dreams in the masterpiece that is Bambi 2.

The Bad

Obviously, there are a lot of things wrong with Disney sequels. A good number of them are unwatchable, like Beauty and the Beast: the Enchanted Christmas or The Little Mermaid III: Ariel's Beginning. At their worst, the sequels introduce the unbearable offspring of its original characters, like Melody and Jane of The Little Mermaid II and Return to Neverland, respectively.

Then there's the fact that many of the sequels are, in fact unnecessary. Cinderella II: Dreams Do Come True is made up of three episodes from a scrapped television series. Atlantis: Milo's Return is a sequel to a film nobody saw, much less liked. And Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World only further bastardizes the actual story of Pocahontas.

The Ugly

Many a Disney sequel just look like straight up crap. Don't be expecting award-winning animation, because you won't get it. Personally, I find the Aladdin sequels particularly offensive in that regard.

So even though the Walt Disney Company vowed to stop producing direct-to-DVD sequels in 2008 (I guess we can hold out hope for the occasional theatrically-released sequel like Return to Neverland and the Winnie the Pooh spin-offs?), I think there's still a lot to recommend these innocuous films. So what are you waiting for? Pop Mulan 2 into your DVD player and see for yourself!