Friday, March 09, 2007

There goes my love rocket red.

Pop Will Eat Itself proving some videos don't need a budget, and some songs don't need samples and sequencers.

Suddenly it's all so clear.

So you want to make a terrible movie (without actually shooting in Canada). Casting, press and promotion reminders.

Kate Winslet is a woman of many virtures

Beyond having the most desirable body in Britain (and this is not just my opinion)...

...and being a multiple Oscar-nominee...she's just the best.

Oscar-nominated actress Kate Winslet has donated libel damages she won over a magazine report saying she sought help for a weight problem to an eating disorder charity.

"I am not a hypocrite. I have always been, and shall continue to be, honest when it comes to body/weight issues," she said in a statement.

The star's lawyer said the article wrongly claimed she sought help with her weight from an LA doctor. She has previously gone on record as saying she would not bow to Hollywood pressure to be skinny.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

What's The Connection?

Okay. You know how if you purchase and/or review things on Amazon, they occasionally send you e-mails of similar items they're hoping you'll buy from them as well? I don't mind this at all, actually.

Though I've rarely if ever bought something based on their recommendations, it has led me to order a book or two from the library that I might otherwise not have tried.

They also give you a little note saying "Recommended because you purchased or rated..." And I can usually understand the logic.

I reviewed Ed McBain's final novel, so they recommend new editions of his work. Ditto for having reviewed Simon Callow's book on Orson Welles-I get recommendations for other books about Welles or other figures who worked in and/or against the Hollywood system.

All makes sense, right? Fine. See if you can understand these:

Four years ago, I purchased from Amazon a two-disc best of Hall & Oates collection. I enjoy it to this day (almost literally-I was listening to it just yesterday or the day before).

But I'm at a loss as to understand why this purchase would lead them to believe I might also be interested in the Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest (Two-Disc Special Edition) DVD.

Similarly, I reviewed the book Fools Rush In : Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner.

What about this led to my being recommended a book described as "designed to help you grab hold of a God-centered life?"

Is it me, or could Evel Knievel not make that leap (to paraphrase Bill Engvall)?

You know what you wouldn't think would be hard to find...

A list of best selling young adult books by year.

That is to say, not the best selling young adult books of all time, or the best selling young adult books right now. Which are all I can find after trying a handful of different variations on search terms.

But say I wanted to know what the young'uns of 1986 or 1987 were most likely to be reading, which in fact I do.

Oh, and a couple of sites gave me the Newberry and Caldecott award-winners, which is nice but tends to be the books librarians thought we should be reading, not always the ones we were.

Any ideas?

There's an obvious joke to be made here...

Brazil Police Battle Bush Protesters

Police clashed Thursday with students, environmentalists and left-leaning Brazilians protesting a visit by President Bush and his push for an ethanol energy alliance with Latin America's largest nation.

The obvious joke, of course, is something along the lines of the Brazilians desire to get rid of Bush being well-known. Fortunately for you all, I have too much good taste to make such a joke. I cannot promise you that Jon Stewart and the rest of those scamps at The Daily Show will be as restrained.

And, by the way...

Asked about the protests, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Bush "enjoys traveling to thriving democracies where freedom of speech and expression are the law of the land. He has a positive agenda here that we believe the people of Brazil and the rest of the Americas will benefit from."

From which we believe the people of Brazil and the rest of the Americas will benefit, y'thick ya...

Okay, the Ann Coulter thing.

As you may have heard, the not-at-all-insane Republican bootlicking extremist and cynical opportunist Ann Coulter recently thought that it would be great fun to throw around the word "faggot."

I admit, I wasn't particuarly stunned or outraged because, y'know, it's Ann Coulter. She's a not-at-all-insane Republican bootlicking extremist and cynical opportunist and I don't expect anything more from her.

Especially considering I know she's also the kind of hypocrite who has many gay friends in her personal circle, as recorded in David Brock's book. Yet speaks against the rights of gays and uses distasteful words for them in public.

What does stun me is that her use of the word actually seems to be having an impact, and that impact seems to be falling on her. To date since, four papers have dropped Coulter's syndicated column, and all have cited her comments on Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards as a factor.

Lord knows there are lots of other ways to criticize John Edwards. She could have, oh I don't know, called him a jackass. But instead, she chose to use a word that is denounced by true conservatives and liberal loyalists alike.

True conservatives think you just don't use that kind of language about a presidential candidate, no matter what party they're from. And we liberal loyalists, well, we just don't like the use of the word in most contexts.

None of the papers that dropped her are in parts of the country usually thought of as bastions for gay-rights advocates or liberalism in general. They include Lancaster Pa, Shreveport, Louisiana, Michigan, and (I'm as shocked as you are) Sevierville, Tenn.

So go figure. It seems to be becoming clear that some words are just not acceptable in our public discourse and "faggot" is one of them.

This is called evolution.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Oh, to be named Jake

[Anne Hathaway] told radio station Heart: "Sometimes you work with actors, and they can be lovely guys, but they have kind of dodgy instincts when it comes to kissing in scenes. "They want to try to make it look a bit too real if you know what I mean. With James [McAvoy], right before we started he turned to me and said 'closed mouths, no tongue' and that's what I normally say to people - so it was a pleasure."

Anne then cheekily added: "There was this scene in Brokeback Mountain where I get my kit off and I'm in the car with Jake Gyllenhaal and he's touched my shoulder and he's touched my stomach and he's touched around my back. Everywhere except for, you know, 'the girls'. So the director yells cut and we go behind a screen and I'm putting my clothes back on and Jake comes up to me and says: 'Annie, the thing is, the scene, in real life I would… and the director's not yelling cut, so… can I?' I just turned to him and said: 'It's okay Jake, yes, you can touch my boobs.'"

Via ohnotheydin't.

Once again: For those of you interested...'s my latest Amazon review.

Happy days are here again

You'll die from an Unlikely Illness (like the plague).

You will unfortunately succumb to a random and unlikely disease. Only to find out after death that eating more broccoli would have cured you.

'How will you die?' at

Hey, as long as it stays out of the "murder/suicide" box, I'm laughing. On the inside...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Okay, the Libby conviction thing

As is not infrequent in cases like this, what interests me at least as much as the facts of the case is the smokescreen Bush's bootlickers are putting up. And as is frequent in cases like this, Media Matters is all over it.

Scroll down and glance over there to the right, or check this out.

Dave Foley is very funny

As he's proven in "NewsRadio," "The Kids In The Hall" and even "Celebrity Poker Showdown." And I'm really getting a kick out of this webvideo show of his that Lifton hipped me to. It's Foley's own little "variety show" from the bedroom and backyard of his house.

Complete with monologue, celebrity interview and musical guest all in a little under 15 minutes. The whole thing is nicely low-key and has a less smartass feel than Foley's usual persona.

There have been three episodes so far, with guests including (TPWFMA) Maura Tierney, Brendan Fraser, Jason Falkner, and Lewis Black.

From his profile page click on "view all uploads" (they're free) and make your choice.

Now I just gotta figure out how to get Foley to send me an email if/when he does another...

Nothing matters anyway and that's the hell of it

From Shooting To Kill:

I know that in this book I've been rattling on about money and locations and equipment, but it's important to remember that they all surround a thing so fragile, a thing that requires imaginative leaps and an incredible emotional commitment. And yet, there's no other way to approach it, is there? No matter how deep and poetic and delicate an onscreen moment will be, you still need lights, a camera, and a location in which to shoot. And in the middle of the most intense, hushed scene, when your actors are plumbing their most profound emotions, the AD will still turn to you-as an AD turned to me, recently-and point to the clock that shows you're three hours behind schedule, and whisper: "We suck."

-Christine Vachon

Sharon Stone has gone all butch.

Not, as they say, that there's anything wrong with that...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Random Flickr-blogging 5259

Terri hoped to be accepted as just another one of the boys, but something about her always stood out.

Original source

"No, no YES, no..."


The bride choosing which of her bachelors she would prefer to be stripped bare by.

(That's right, a Mel Brooks reference and a Marcel Duchamp reference in the same post. We service both the lower and the high arts here. The Bryan Ferry reference comes somewhere in the middle.)

Original source

The perfect woman for me, apparently

(If you're not hip to the reference, check this out)

I suppose I could see that. BTW, while doing a quick search for a good image to use I scanned quickly Tierney's biography on the official NBC "ER" website, which begins
Maura Tierney, a familiar face to television viewers after her four-year role as newswriter Lisa Miller on NBC's critically acclaimed comedy "NewsRadio,"....

"NewsRadio" ran for five years. It ran for five years on NBC. This is just sad. It does, however, confirm once again that great sitcom's status as the Peter Davison of American television shows.