I met the band at The Sutton Place Hotel, which, if you know the selection of luxury hotels in Toronto, is a modest choice. Not too fancy. Pretty low key.
The band just finished a show last night at the Sound Academy, one of the last legs of their Canadian tour before heading up to London, ON. I ask how it went.
“It was really awesome seeing how many kids came out,” says Zachary, the lead singer and guitarist. “Toronto just seems like a cool city for bands, all the kids are really into it which is really exciting for us. We can’t wait to come back.”
“Fans here know our lyrics more than in America, it’s crazy. They know all the words,” says Cameron, the bassist.
Leave it to us crazy Canadians to leave an impression on them. The band also paid a visit to the MuchMusic studios a day earlier, which was of course, met with a sold out audience.
So between sold out television appearances and a passionate, driven fan base, how does the band prepare themselves for their shows?
“I like to light a bunch of candles, sit in a dark room. I’ll put on the Spice Girls,” says Nathan, the guitarist.
Another big-budget Hollywood blockbuster. Another tie-in video game. But this one has James Cameron’s name on the box, so it can’t be that bad, right?
To be fair, I had very low expectations for James Cameron’s Avatar – The Video Game. It immediately brought back horrific memories of playing through another movie tie-in videogame with a title as long as my forearm (Peter Jackson’s King Kong The Movie The Game). It has always amazed me that a videogame form of a film seems to need the suffix “The Game” tagged on to the end of the title, as if the general public wouldn’t be able to figure out that the product they are currently holding, which may say Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo on it, isn’t actually the film that’s currently in theatres, but a game based on said film. But I digress….
If you’re expecting any kind of spoilers about the movie from this game, you won’t find them. The game is set two years prior to the events of the film, and you play a forgettable character that really doesn’t matter. You have a wide range of choices at the start of the game as to your gender and race, but this has no affect on the rest of the game, as you soon become a nameless grunt stuck on both sides of the ensuing conflict on the planet of Pandora. The basic story is similar to that of the film in that the humans are on Pandora and the Na’vi don’t really appreciate them, but since this is a few years prior, things are a little less established, and the invading human force hasn’t set up such a large presence – at least, not yet.
Through the main arc of the game, you progress to fighting with the humans and then with the Na’vi, eventually allowing you to make moral choices as to which side of the conflict you feel more at home with. The problem with this is that the game makes it very hard to side with the technologically-inferior Na’vi, especially when you can pilot mech suits, use rocket launchers and flamethrowers when you’re human, and on the flipside use bows and arrows and command bees. Bees? Really? I think I know which side I’m going to be sticking with, thanks.
Whitney Port just became the most exciting character of The Hills- okay well almost. Kelly Cutrone recommends Whitney for a PR job with Diane Von Furstenberg. Who knew Kelly could be nice? This job would involve Whitney moving to New York City. Whitney is extra excited considering her bf Jay lives there. Lauren Conrad says it right, “Dream Boy, Dream Job.” LC says she’s happy for her but you can tell she’s not THAT happy for her. When she arrives in NY, Whitney is dressed up with mega high heels. It looks like she fits in since everyone there are tall and beautiful and wearing mega high heels. This time, Whitney did not trip. Alixe Boyer, the VP Global Image Director interviews Whitney. Whitney says it has always been her dream to work with a designer. She explains she is ready to change her life. Alixe looks happy to hear that. If only she knew what’s on Whitney’s mind…Mr. Jay. When she exits the interview, Jay is waiting for her in ripped jeans and a shirt tied around his waist. I never realized that Whitney and Audrina have similar taste in guys. They see each other for 3 seconds and he tells her, “Call me when you get back to LA.” He actually cares! A boy with a cute accent who actually calls, Whitney’s got it made.
It seems everyone is moving these days. Lauren Conrad visits Audrina Patridge at her ‘bachelorette pad.” She gets a tour of Audrina’s place and it looks like the two are officially at peace. However, LC is not at peace with her parents moving to a different house in Laguna Beach. Lo Bosworth comes with Lauren to help pack some of her old stuff. Lauren’s parents, Jim and Kathy Conrad, actually look normal. They’re moving to a smaller house since all their children have left the nest or will fly away soon like LC’s younger brother Brandon. He’s the only Conrad child without his own MTV show (LC’s little sis Breanna was featured in Laguna Beach Season 3). LC reminisces with Lo about all the fun times in the house, such as her’s and Stephen Colletti’s first kiss. Lo tries to cheer her up, “you have to make memories”
Stephanie Pratt is trying to erase her memories and make new ones. She explains to Spencer Pratt that she and Cameron keep breaking up, for reasons such as Cameron being mad about always driving to her place but her never driving to his. Oh yeah… huge problems. She explains, “we’re gonna try things out again, start over.” Spencer doesn’t believe in second chances. Hello?! Didn’t he get about 5000 chances with Heidi Montag? Spencer’s general recommendation is “go be a nun, join a nun’s thing.” Shouldn’t she know better than asking brother dearest? Spencer tells her she can do better than Cameron. I beg to differ. Later that week, Stephanie brings Cameron to Falcon Restaurant and Lounge where she is meeting up with the Speidies. Spencer is his usual self at dinner, making jabs at Cameron whenever he has the chance. Of course, Spencer manipulates Stephanie’s mind like he does with everyone else in his life and she decides to end it with Cameron. Cameron comes over to her place and she cries to him that “This is the happiest relationship I’ve ever been in…but I deserve better than this.” I’m all for girl power but I’m not sure if Steph can find better, she’s like a train wreck waiting to happen.
Sadly, this episode means byebye hot Aussie. When Corey and Audrina Patridge go out for dinner, he finds out Justin Bobby was part of Audrina’s trip to Cabo. When she promises she shared a room with Lauren Conrad and not JB, Corey doesn’t believe her: “of course you did.” While Audrina seemed over Justin in Cabo, Los Angeles reeld her back in. She and her co-worker Chiara head over to a studio to work with Brandy. When Justin texts her, Audrina is out the door. I thought Heidi Montag is the only one who ditches work to talk to a dysfunctional guy? Justin woes her in his usual manner: on his bike. His winning words: “to be in a relationship, you kinda got to be like together.” What an epiphany! And to cinch the deal, he announces these romantic lines: “90% of my time with you- it’s pretty right on…” Pretty right on!! Wow, I wish a guy would say that to me. Frankly, I’m worried about the other 10%. Chiara is shocked that Audrina is willing to take Justin Bobby back. As she points out, “I just don’t want you falling back into the same trap you’ve fallen into 15 times before.” Audrina doesn’t heed her advice and decides to break it off with Corey. Her timing is perfect. First, they go for a romantic dinner, then Corey gives her a koala bear, and finally he invites her to spend 2 months with him in Australia. Her answer, “I just feel like things aren’t working out.” She explains Justin “still has her heart.” Getting dumped is bad but imagine getting dumped for Justin Bobby on TV?
Surprisingly, Stephanie Pratt didn’t get dumped by Lauren Conrad after the Doug fiasco. The two go shopping as LC describes Cabo as more of a guy’s party: “they flew in a shipment of girls.” Stephanie tells Lauren that Cameron and she have had “the talk” and are official. Steph is excited that she has someone to protect her from Brody Jenner. Brody doesn’t seem threatened by the prospect of Cameron taking him aside: “I’ll be like listen homie why don’t I pull you aside and tell you a couple of things about your little girlfriend who you don’t know.” Lauren’s response: ” Lighten UP!” When they all meet up at Crown Bar, no drama actually occurs. This might be a first-time for the Hills. Cameron says it like it is: “it’s really not that exciting.” Well he could have made it exciting! At the beginning of the night, Cameron tells Stephanie, “If Brody comes I’ll take him aside and talk to him.” Did he? NO! And Stephanie notices, ” are you gonna talk to him?” He ignores the question. Brody picks up on the tension: “that’s weird I thought homie wanted to say something to me.” Cameron probably got scared because Brody was dressed like Justin Bobby’s- hat and all. The next day Stephanie goes for brunch with Spencer and Heidi. She points out that every time she hangs out with them she leaves wanting to break up with Cameron. That’s because Heidi and Spencer are evil brain-washers, Duh.
Brody Jenner’s birthday + Cabo San Lucas = an episode not to be missed. Everyone is ready for a good time aside from Audrina Patridge who brings her emotional baggage (Justin Bobby) on the trip with her. Lesson of the day: don’t let your ex become tighter with your friends than you are. When they arrive, Lauren Conrad comments on the pretty “house” they’ll be living in. It’s easy to confuse house with mansion when you grew up in Laguna Beach. Ironically, Audrina and JB get put into the same room. She quickly wheels her stuff out and bunks with Lauren. Justin Bobby actually seems to miss Audrina when he realizes she’s left him for a hot Australian. Well when you treat a girl like shit, she usually leaves you. Doug Reinhardt’s expert advice: “I have one thing to say, all girls are shady.” This theory doesn’t stop Doug from inviting dozens of girls over to their mansion for Brody’s birthday present. I wonder if it was more of a present to himself considering there’s hardly anymore Hills co-stars to date. Brody happily realizes all the guys are single. Justin Bobby finds he’s included as well: “If this is the weekend to get a hall pass and find out your girl’s got a boy this is probably it, right?” Many drinks later, Justin Bobby and Audrina decide to have a rational discussion- mainly about her flower-designed hair clip that Corey gave her. JB steals it and Audrina looks like she’s about to cry. I sense a drunken fight coming on.
Audrina: “you came to Cabo on a hall pass.”
Justin “you left me for another boy!”
Someone’s ego’s bruised. But since Justin has a knack for playing with her head, Audrina ends up more confused than ever. LC tells her that she should stop talking to Justin. Audrina wonders, “Maybe it’s time to let him go.” Could this be the demise of Mister Justin Bobby?
Maybe he’ll be exiled like Stephanie Pratt. Stephanie is sad that she wasn’t invited on the trip. But she has someone to keep her distracted- her boyfriend Cameron. When Heidi Montag invites Stephanie and Cameron to double date with her and Spencer, Stephanie looks scared. Double date with brother dearest? I’d be scared too. Heidi’s take: “Even if your family doesn’t like him that couldn’t change everything.” Obviously Heidi is speaking from experience. At dinner, Spencer announces: “I’m so excited to see this lucky gentleman that has the honour of dating my fabulous sister.” I’m actually starting to like his sarcasm; does that make me a bad person?
Cameron: “your sister’s really funny, she makes me laugh a lot”
Spencer: “she makes me laugh a lot too.”
The dude’s got a point. Spencer proposes a toast: “to going to dinner with my sister and her first boyfriend.” Stephanie looks like she’s about to cry, especially after Spencer brings up Doug. Meanwhile, Cameron looks bored to death, like he was paid to be on the show- which he probably was. Would you freely date Stephanie after the episodes you’ve seen? The next day, Stephanie confronts Spencer on his behaviour. His response: “You should be appreciative a) I talk to you b) I went to a dinner with you and your new boyfriend and c) I paid for the dinner.” I guess he didn’t comply with d) I paid you back for all that time I mooched off your couch.