Films, Music and TV For Procrastination Purposes

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Whenever someone asks me to list my favorite films of the last decade, I brace myself for a look of utter confusion when I get around to "Ali."

As it stands, Michael Mann's biopic of the boxing icon may be one of the most underappreciated films of our time. Why? For the life of me, I can't figure it out. From Will Smith's inspired turn out of an equally superb ensemble cast to the painstakingly detailed recreations of Ali's iconic fights, there's at least enough to merit a cursory appreciation.

I'd be remiss not to mention the jaw-dropping opening scene, among the strongest sustained 10 minutes to emerge from any American film. Sam Cooke invigorates, Malcolm X enlightens, childhood memories recur, Ali trains in pensive silence - all in one virtuosic smorgasbord of sight and sound.

Don't feel like hitting the books? See Michael Mann's "Ali." Rediscover a gem.

-David Liu


At about time last semester, I was embroiled in a passionate love affair. With Tina Fey. In a world full of trashy TV, the joy of discovering a show as wonderful as "30 Rock" is a too-rare experience. It's consistently laugh-out-loud hilarious, infinitely quotable and infectiously addictive. And that's why it must be experienced in non-stop, staring-at-the-screen-until-you-see-black-spots fashion.

I went through the first three seasons of "30 Rock" in about a week, pausing only when absolutely necessary (napping, working on night cheese, etc). The lost productivity was never regained, but it was worth it. In a world of forgettable popular culture, "30 Rock" is full of vivid characters, clever plotlines and fantastic name-drops ("Mad Men," anyone?). For all the naysayers who claim TV melts your brain, it's a show that makes you feel good about the tube again.

-Katie Dowd


When you realize there's no point in cramming facts into your already frustrated brain, Daft Punk's Discovery is there to further incite your procrastination. The sophomore release from the French duo reinvents the house genre, delivering an hour's worth of addictive tracks that are bound to induce random, maniacal dancing. Of course, there is the Kanye-sampled "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" and the funky disco of "One More Time." But the rest of the album is just as entertaining. The melodic, electronic guitar solo on "Aerodynamic" still manages to captivate after multiple listens and who can resist the hard-hitting beats of "Crescendolls"? Despite the rather vapid lyrics (think "Digital Love"), Daft Punk's innovative and ridiculously catchy amalgamation of everything from '70s disco to '80s synth-pop results in an album that is just plain fun. After hearing just a few seconds, you'll want to toss aside your textbooks in favor of fishing out speakers.

-Cynthia Kang


Regina George is flawless. The reason not to learn limits or study for the Math 1B final is sitting right in front of you in the form of Aaron Samuels.

From the comedic genius of Tina Fey spring Plastics, South African hotties and the perfect procrastination movie: "Mean Girls," the so-called "chick flick" classic even guys can't help liking.

A whopping 97 minutes of time well spent away from the library will leave you laughing and reminiscing with Gatsby-like fondness for that not-too-distant-past known as the good ol' high school days.

And then you look around and realize you left that institution some time ago.

Shoot, my boobs tell me that there is a 30 percent chance it is already finals week. Time to get crackin' on those problem sets and Toaster Strudels.

-Lynn Yu


No matter where or when you need an indulgent study break, the perfect procrastination aid offers a distraction that fulfills the need to not read without draining your energy for future cramming hours.

"The Princess Bride" fits the bill in offering adventure, romance, diabolic plots and a healthy dose of self-aware campiness. Whether you are rooting for Westley (Cary Elwes) as he wrestles an unconvincing puppet posing as a rodent of unusual size or reciting Inigo Montoya's (Mandy Patinkin) "Prepare to Die" diatribe along with the Spanish sword master, the movie remains resiliently entertaining and a great excuse to bust out some kettle corn.

So let yourself take a trip to Florin and watch a film that will - thank goodness- offer you absolutely no educational material whatsoever.

You want some down time? "Aaaas youuuu wiiiiiish."

-Leslie Toy


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