easy A: Only form of payment is gift cards, please

Taking gift cards in return for fake sex, or sexual encounters in some cases, is probably not the best way to gain positive notoriety in high school. Olive, played by the amazing Emma Stone, realizes this the hard way in easy A (that rhymed!).

Last night, instead of watching the good ole Maple Leafs lose to those annoying Senators, I went with the girlfriend and other friendly folk to see Easy A.  I’m a big fan of Emma Stone.. oh and her work too, from her small-ish role in Superbad to co-starring with Mark Zuck… er… Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland.

This was one of those movies I wanted to see, but didn’t think I’d actually go to the theatres to see it. Needless to say I knew what kind of movie it was going into it, so my expectations for good acting and such, weren’t too high. I came out mildly surprised.

My two favourite characters in the movie were Olive’s parents played by Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones) and Patricia Clarkson (Six Feet Under, The Green Mile). When I was looking for a picture of the two from the movie, I came upon a great interview with Tucci from Cinemablend describing his and Clarkson’s relationship. Pretty much every scene they were in had great chemistry and they were hilarious. Nothing less can be expected from two great actors, though.

Of course this movie boiled down to a romantic high school comedy, but it was done in a way that all audiences could get something out of it. It also showed the modern school, with references to the new generation posting every mundane action of theirs on Facebook, or Olive’s video being a live stream sent to everyone who ends up watching from their laptops and cell phones. I give easy A, a 4/5.

Oh and I forgot to mention: because of this song I now have Natasha Bedingfield’s Pocket full of sunshine stuck in my head.

10 of my must have apps for the iPhone

Apps are what make iPhones, iPads or iPod Touches worth owning. With my iPod Touch I had quite a few, and I’ve been able to add some others that only make sense to have on the iPhone. Here’s my list of apps that I can’t do without:

1. Twitter for iPhone – When this app was first brought to my attention I was skeptical. I use Tweetdeck on my Macbook and I did use it in my iPod Touch, however there was a glitch that prevented horizontal typing, which is my preference. After looking at a few apps I decided on Twitter. I like it because it actually works for me, for starters. It’s simple and I’ve gotten used to the one column, compared to the many on Tweetdeck.

2. Foursquare – Putting a smart phone in my hands means I’ll check-in everywhere. I have no clue why I’m such a fan of Foursquare, and I’m sure many others feel the same. I guess it boils down to it being a fun app. It’s fun to compete with others for mayorships. It’s also fun to get deals at participating retailers from time to time too.

3. TTC Mobile – A simple app that takes the arrival times listed on TTC.ca and allows transit-dependent people like myself to quickly find out when the next bus is coming. I use this one often and now I can check wherever I am.

4. Tim Hortons – I haven’t had to use the locator yet, but if I’m ever in a need when I’m jonesin’ for a Timmies coffee, then I’ll know what app to bust out.

5. Facebook – Even though it’s not the best app, in terms of design, it’d be a lie to say it wasn’t a must to keep Facebook on the list.

6. The Edge – Each morning I like to listen to the Dean Blundell Show, but having the window pop up on my computer screen at work is distracting, especially when I have many others on the go. This app is perfect because now I can listen to the radio from my iPhone 4 without clogging up my workspace.

7. Yelp – The monocle feature makes this app worth downloading on its own. You can turn  in all directions and see where restaurants are, click through, and read/write reviews. So far it’s been a bit more effective in higher density areas like downtown.

8. Maple Leafs – Here I can find the latest on my favourite hockey team, along with other hockey scores.

9. Rogers My Account – From what I’ve been able to see with this app, it looks pretty sleek and it’s definitely something I’ll keep coming back to to check my data usage (though with my 6GB plan I likely won’t come near it.)

10. TD – I hopped on this app as soon as it came out because I really like the chance to find out my account balance and pay bills with the click of a button, should I need to.

I’ll always be picking up newer, fancier apps as they’re released so be sure to watch out for my future recommendations. Also games are something I can also make a list for..

What are some of your favourite apps out there? Paid/Free – doesn’t matter.

The Social Network is not for me

It’s only fitting that the site that was created to waste everyone’s valuable time has been made into a movie, that looks like it will waste everyone’s valuable time. Many people on my twitter stream (of all places) have been shouting out how much they’d love to watch The Social Network (the Facebook movie), and I just can’t understand why.

Ever since it was first talked about last year, I thought it was a joke, then a dumb idea. It seemed like something College Humor would jump on, not a movie studio. The newest trailer (below), released last week, even looks kind of College Humor-ish. It’s over-dramatic and I’m pretty sure has a few exaggerations. I couldn’t see the creation of a website being as exciting as it was. I’m sure Mark Zuckerberg became quite popular, and thanks to all the blog posts and interviews out there, we all know the issues he faced getting it off the ground, but is it worth about 2hrs of my time?

This movie also answers the question “Is Hollywood out of ideas?” with a resounding YES. What ever happened to waiting a few years to reflect back on the relevance of a cultural phenomenon? I’d much rather watch this if it was made a few years down the road.

All this being said, I’ll still go see the movie when it comes out on October 1, 2010. I won’t go into it with the most open of minds, but if I end up liking it I’ll fully admit it, and then blog my love.

What’s your opinion on the movie? Agree/Disagree with me, and WHY?

Here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it yet:

South Park does Chat Roulette

Chat Roulette was recently parodied on the South Park episode “You have 0 friends”, which of course means it’s now important in pop culture. As can be expected though, it wasn’t painted in the best light. The message Cartman gives at the end, however,  is the perfect analogy for finding friends “IRL”. By the way, the content is likely NSFW so you’ve been warned:

Online Media Gazette featured a review of the episode (and good clips), which mainly focuses on people’s obsession with befriending others on Facebook. It also takes a look at other obsessions like Farmville, poking and relationship statuses. It’s a bit delayed seeing as Facebook has been around for quite a while now, but I found it to be a great commentary and of course, funny.

The entire episode can be seen on The Comedy Network, which has plenty of other full episodes if you want to check them out.

No place for cheap talkin’

Last night I made a trip back to Centennial College where I spent the majority of my life after high school. No it wasn’t for a class, but for Talk is Cheap,  an UN-conference put on by the Corporate  Communications & PR students.

The sessions

We got there a little late so ended up missing the opening discussion on Social Media & Haiti but fortunately I was able to make it to School Board Social Media with T.J Goertz and Stuart Oakley from the TDSB; Being a Community Manager with Mary Pretotto from Rogers (obviously); and finally I’m not here to make friends! with Jaime Woo.

School Board Social Media:

I want to say any time I see anything to do with the government taking part in social media they automatically get kudos from me. It’s important that the TDSB is getting out there and providing that outlet where there was was none before.  The most active forum I found the TDSB takes part in is their blog; here is where they answer questions/concerns the most. The Facebook/Twitter presence is great, but my biggest criticism (and I noticed a couple in the twitter stream felt the same way) is the lack of conversation; this isn’t a big knock – it comes with time. Starting small (actually being there) is the important step. As long as questions are being answered on the Facebook and Twitter pages I see no fault in what they’re doing. Eventually though it’s important to build and promote that conversation (questions, contests, etc.) and not just answer concerns in a reactive way.

Being a community manager:

My co-worker Mary Pretotto is the Community Manager on the Social Media team here at Rogers. You likely know her as @RogersMary and she’s out there engaging with Rogers customers on Twitter, Forums, Blogs and wherever else she needs to be. The gist of her presentation dealt with building that relationship with customers online and turning it into a positive one (if negative before). She broke down how the team is separated into proactive (ie. RedBoard blog posts) and reactive outreach (ie. Twitter, forums), but engagement online is done by different members of the team, depending on the issue. Come question time it was interesting (and a bit surprising) to see the majority were professionals looking to incorporate or grow social media at their organizations. They were looking out to Rogers for guidance and best practices. It went well and I can’t wait to see her present again! (As you may know I currently work at Rogers, but I’m not a spokesperson – this is just “In Sean’s Opinion” – heh.)

I’m not here to make friends:

Jaime Woo‘s presentation compared how people use Twitter to various reality show scenarios. The title was a bit misleading, as someone brought up during question time, because the entire presentation was about how to engage and make friends on Twitter. Once over that hump, the analogies began making a little more sense. It essentially boiled down to: be real on Twitter, being fake leads to high school (or reality show) drama, and share as much as you want, but within reason.

In the end

It was a fun time heading back to Centennial for the first time since graduation. The CC&PR class put on a great event and it went off without a hitch. I can’t wait til next year!

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