Saturday, August 25, 2007

Women my own age, Part 10

Winona Ryder, born October 29, 1971. Oh, Winona. Talk about your peaking early. I mean after Heathers, really, what is there?

BTW, Sex And Death 101, on which Ryder worked with Heathers scripter Daniel Waters again, is currently placed above both Heathers and A Scanner Darkly in Ryder's IMDB filmography. Despite the fact that so far it's opened only in Italy. I don't find that at all suspicious, do you?

Christina Applegate, born November 25, 1971. I think Applegate has been, if not underrated, certainly ill-used since Married With Children ended its run.

She got a lot of attention on that show, understandably, because she is so beautiful, but if you ever catch a repeat, take a real look at her performance. She "brings the funny" to a character that in a lot of actress' hands (and in a lot of other material) could've been just stupid.

In movies she's rarely if ever had a chance to equal it, though I'll admit having oddly pleasant memories of The Sweetest Thing.

I liked what I think that movie was trying to be-a sex comedy from a woman's POV-enough to overlook the undeniable fact that it doesn't wholly work.

Natascha McElhone, born December 14, 1971.

There's a moment in Kenneth Branagh's 2000 film of Love's Labour's Lost in which the theatrical nature of this venture is underscored. McElhone's character, Rosaline, cheekily looks right at the "audience" on one line of the song "I Won't Dance, Don't Ask Me."

I liked that movie more than most critics. And though I have admired McElhone in other films-especially The Truman Show, but also Laurel Canyon-when I think of her, that's the moment I think of.

The above image, though, is from Surviving Picasso, which I've yet to see. I just think she looks hot in it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Women my own age, Part Nine

Kimberly Williams, born September 14, 1971.

An unintended subset of these postings seems to have become my talking about little-seen movies in which these women let's talk about Coldblooded. My shorthand description of this film has always been that it's what Grosse Pointe Blank wanted to be but couldn't because that movie had "heart."

Coldblooded has no heart whatsoever. It's about a hitman's apprentice learning his trade, and is possibly the blackest of all black comedies. Williams plays his girlfriend, who reacts about as well as could be expected when she learns what her boyfriend does for a living. Worth seeking out on video, friends.

I'd love to have run an image of her from it, but, near as I can tell, there are virtually no images of her from it online. So the picture above is from Indian Summer, another Williams movie that practically nobody saw, but which I kind of liked.

Amy Poehler, born September 16, 1971. I've come to this conclusion about Amy Poehler (and I'm going to embark on one of my rarely-used sports metaphors for this): Talks a better game than she plays.

I've liked what she's had to say about comedy and women and women in comedy in interviews and such, but none of that translates to her actually making me laugh. Speaking of which...

Jenna Elfman, born September 30, 1971.

Years from now, the future masters of the earth are going to scratch their heads with their tentacles, and say, "Wait...Dharma & Greg was on for five years? And The Nine didn't even make it one?"

How embarassing

You've got Ben on you.

Which movie was this quote from?

Get your own quotes:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Women my own age, Part Eight

(for those who came in late)

Rebecca Gayheart, born August 12, 1971. Always on the cusp, this one. She's obviously beautiful, but whether because of bad luck or not, she can't find many good and/or successful movies or TV series, to save her soul.

Or, put another way, what can you say about someone whose best film probably remains Scream 2?

Carla Gugino, born August 29th, 1971.

Gugino has been kicking around in movies & TV since the early '90s. But...well, is it me, or did her career not take off until she started to take her clothes off?

I'm not complaining exactly, and I'm certainly not putting her down (although I do not support her decision to go blonde).

I kind of hate to think that's it. Because I had my eye on her as a potential star as far back as the early episodes of Spin City.

But, unless I've missed something...

Ione Skye, born September 4, 1971. Oh, Ione, Ione, Ione. I've never even seen Say Anything, and yet at some point she cast a spell on me from which I've never fully recovered.

Was it in 1986, when I watched her walk the River's Edge? Or was it six years later, when I stopped for Gas, Food, Lodging, and she was the bad girl with heart (and her younger sister, BTW, was Fairuza Balk, who is not my age but otherwise would have made this series in a heartbeat)?
Or was it three years after that, as the half nude witch in one of Four Rooms?

Well, let's not kid ourselves.

But--easy jokes aside--I actually thought she was good in that segment of the movie, and not only because she was half nude. Possibly better than it deserved. I remember reading a review at the time which said that the most interesting thing about the segment was noting which of the women had the power to refuse to do nudity in the film.

According to Biskind's Down & Dirty Pictures, all the segments directors were very rushed, except the critics' darling, Massa Tarantino. So I have a feeling that who was going to go topless or not was decided very much on the day, and on the fly.

Which would be fine-I'm perfectly capable of enjoying a film with fewer or even no topless women, honest I am. It's just that it makes for an odd little coven of witches. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but as I've always pictured it...not that I've done that very much...nudity in these rituals is kind of an "all or none" kind of thing.

And I'm quite sure that covering your nipples with X's of black electrical tape isn't strictly Wicca kosher (we're looking at you, Alicia Witt!). But...that's another post.

With the vision in my brain, And the music in my veins

I have just made an appointment to go into a clinic in a couple of weeks with an eye towards getting some anti-depressant medication. It's not something I'm doing lightly. But my life hasn't been something I've been happy with in longer than I can, or maybe choose to, remember.

I've been in therapy for two or three years (plus at least a couple when I was younger), and one of the reasons I chose my current therapist is that she didn't push medication right away. When I was "interviewing" potential candidates by phone, I had one person who, on the basis on one phone call with no in-person meeting, tried to throw meds at me.

I didn't like that much.

I think I resisted the idea of being clinically depressed for a long time because, for lack of a better phrase, I have this horror of being a "drama queen"-probably for the same reason that censors don't like to be called censors.

I need something to help me come unstuck from this jam I seem to be in, in my life, and at present, this seems to be the likeliest way out. Because I do need some way out, and every other method I can think of-at least those over which I have any immediate control-well, they all look like walls.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Women my own age, Part Seven

Charlotte Gainsbourg, born July 21, 1971. A picture is worth a baker's dozen words. I think I'll just call her "the French girl." The definite article, you might say. I mean, look up above-have you ever seen a Frencher girl in your life?

Christine Taylor, born July 30, 1971. Probably best remembered for resurrecting the part of Marcia Brady in the '90s movies, she's also married to Ben Stiller, and was Ross' bald girlfriend on Friends.

But when I think of her, I think of a genuinely scary underrated horror anthology movie called Campfire Tales. Another one of my chance discoveries (like All-American Murder), this is the movie that Urban Legend wanted to be but wasn't.

Sydney Penny, born August 7, 1971. Another for the "Where Are They Now?" file, Penny did the voice of Lucy for a Charlie Brown special and gave a sparky performance in Pale Rider.

But after that, she disappeared from my view. Fortunately, unlike Emily Lloyd, this doesn't mean she wasn't working, just that most of her adult work seems to be in TV movies and soap operas, neither of which I watch very much.

Meme of Four II: Back in black

PJ tagged me with that same Meme, but since I've already done it and too recently to do it again, I'll just answer her additional question:

Four singers/musicians/bands that you like:

  1. The Beach Boys

  2. Romeo Void

  3. The Go-Go's

  4. The Human League

Fer the hell of it, I'll tag Johnny B (who's supposed to be thinking of interview questions for me anyway) and, of course, RAB.

My soul mate is the beige racoon?

ANIMOLOGY: What Animal Are You?
Your Result: Teal Cat

You're the Teal Kitty Cat! You're as swift and sly as a ninja and very hard to please. You can be very soft yet very cruel at the same time. Your soul mate is the beige racoon and you're in conflict with the red jaquar.

Silver and Red Wolf
Blue Fox
Gold Falcon
Tan Giraffe
Red Jaguar
Yellow Trout
Ocre and Gray Dolphin
ANIMOLOGY: What Animal Are You?

waiting For the cheap music to stop, Don't goodbye deserve some Bach, not barbershop ?

How will I die?
Your Result: You will die in your sleep.

A peaceful departure into the next life. You are blessed with the good fortune of passing from sleep into eternity. Do not fear sleep. To dream into the next life is a rare gift.

You will die while saving someone's life.
You will die while having sex.
You will die from a terminal illness.
You will die of boredom.
You will die in a car accident.
You will die in a nuclear holocaust.
You will be murdered.
How will I die?
Create a Quiz

Actually, I've just seen "Jesus Christ Superstar" a lot

You know the Bible 74%!

Wow! You are truly a student of the Bible! Some of the questions were difficult, but they didn't slow you down! You know the books, the characters, the events . . . Very impressive!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

Admit it: This is exactly how you people see me, isn't it?

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Literature Nerd

Does sitting by a nice cozy fire, with a cup of hot tea/chocolate, and a book you can read for hours even when your eyes grow red and dry and you look sort of scary sitting there with your insomniac appearance? Then you fit this category perfectly! You love the power of the written word and it's eloquence; and you may like to read/write poetry or novels. You contribute to the smart people of today's society, however you can probably be overly-critical of works.

It's okay. I understand.

Drama Nerd
Social Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

stark, utter

What mental disorder do you have?
Your Result: Paranoia

You are constantly thinking about what others may be saying about you behind your back. You may also feel people have conspiracies against you, or they are out to get you. In crowds you may feel like everybody is watching to closely.

Manic Depressive
ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
What mental disorder do you have?

Fair enough.

You paid attention during 74% of high school!

68-84% Pretty good, you know that there are libraries and newspapers, and you remember what you've read. You were a child that wasn't left behind!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Not that I ever really thought she was someone who made it on the basis of her talent... fact I've always known it was at least as much about the way she squeezes into a pair of shorts...but Mariah Carey has crossed some sort of line somewhere. Her latest attempt at flaunting her apparntly clothes-free lifestyle is posing naked (but with nipples and pussy tastefully concealed) for the cover of Interview magazine.

I'm starting to suspect she actually is some sort of exhibitionist, who doesn't really care about whether we like her or think she has a great voice. But desperately wants to know we still think she's a nice piece of ass.

If that's the basis on which she wishes to be judged, all right...but I use the word "desperate" advisedly.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Flashbacks assume that your audience is nostalgic for those people and their antics

I'm trying not to repeat myself at great length in these posts about the Second City "reality" series from Canada. But with every new episode, a picture keeps forming in my mind of producers tearing their hair out in an editing room. As they realize they simply don't have enough top-line material to fill an hour.

Tonight, this lack of anything better to show us led to a bizarre 10-minute (or so it seemed) sequence. The final three contestants moped around the loft provided them, giving desultory remembrances of those who've been cut. This led to flashbacks from previous episodes.

Oh, for Pete's sake. Flashbacks assume that your audience is nostalgic for those people and their antics. For any and all producers who may be looking in, I've got news for you...

The new rule for the series is people will still be eliminated, so they're out of the running for the bright and shiny prize at the end of the series...but they're still going to stick around and be team players.

That's got to be the most Canadian thing I've ever seen in my life, eh?

Other than that, this week's episode was just more of the same. The company members-and I don't just mean the newbies, I mean the supposed professionals-tried to be funny. But, well, I have seen children's theatre productions of Godspell that were funnier than this.

If this is what Second City has come to, maybe it's time to revive the old joke from Mame about marriage: It's a great institution, but who wants to live in an institution? It keeps bringing to mind something I remember reading in a playwriting book, that a playwright should continually ask himself about what he is writing:

And what is the audience doing all this time?

I no longer have any dogs in the hunt, BTW-my current favorite, Jeannie, chose to "throw herself in the shredder" last night. Offering herself for elimination rather than standing in an "improv-off" with Kayla Lorette.

I'd rather it had been the other way around, but again, this is no reflection on their respective skills, being as I've been given little or no chance to really evaluate those. I'm just going on whim. As usual, we weren't given more than a glimpse of any sketches in the works...

PS: Ali Rizvi, the musically ignorant fellow from last week, was cut from the official running, and I'm perfectly happy with the way that went...

PPS: In one of the sketches seen in part, Megan McDowell was given the character name Annabel, entered, and began making out with Jeannie Cole. I consider this a crass attempt to bribe me.

I simply must step up my campaign to actually see Emmy Rossum act in something

Because damn if she isn't what I think is meant by a cool drink of water...

Bye, Janeane

A whore like all the rest.

Women my own age, Part Six

Krista Allen, born April 5, 1971. Took Sylvia Kristel's part as Emanuelle, in the movies if not in my heart. Mostly to be seen in a whole lot of bad movies in which whether she can act or not is hardly the point.

However, it can fairly be said that on Unscripted, a series where she kept her clothes on most of the time, she didn't stink up the joint. Though I can't imagine Sorkin & Schlamme will be calling her any time soon...

Shannen Doherty, born April 12, 1971. Well. What can we say about Shannen Doherty that the E! True Hollywood Story didn't say better? We can say that she was born in Tennessee, which could explain a lot, up to and including her professed love for the vile Rumsfeld.

But we are inclined to be compassionate, after all, she was in one of the very most perfect movies ever made.

And she must be cold, the poor dear.

Amanda Peterson, born July 8, 1971. Boy, you talk about your "whatever happened to..." Peterson was in "A Year In The Life," which was a miniseries I loved followed by a regular series I liked.

Then she was in the second most convicing High School Movie romance of my youth (after "Some Kind of Wonderful"), "Can't Buy Me Love."

And then...poof...

This bio says she's living happily with her husband and children, and I hope that's true. But really...Patrick Dempsey is a bigger star than ever and Peterson hasn't been onscreen in over 15 years?

That ain't right.

Oh please dear god no

From an Interview With Amber Benson...
I would love to shake my booty on The L Word. Let's make it happen.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thank you, Rouben (and Larry)

the director Rouben Mamoulian: "We must affirm and insist that the ultimate goal of a film, no matter what subject matter it deals with, is to add to the beauty and goodness of life, to the dignity of human beings and to our faith in a better future."

-as quoted in the book Laughing Matters, by Larry Gelbart.

Women my own age, Part Five

Patricia Velasquez, born January 31st, 1971. Things you learn by listening to DVD commentaries: You know that scene in The Mummy (reprised in The Mummy Returns, IIRC) where Velasquez enters wearing the fitted mesh body stocking?

It's not a fitted mesh body stocking. It's paint.

A quick side note before we continue: Maybe I ought to start a separate post series called:

Women my own age who are attractive; probably sociable and intelligent, but about whom I just have nothing to say.

If I do start such a series, Part One will be Renée O'Connor.

Now, on to...

Denise Richards, born February 17, 1971. Of all the incredible things the James Bond movies have asked us to believe over the years, the greatest has got to be:

Denise Richards: Nuclear weapons expert!

BTW, I know it's probably a sad mark for me, if not the human condition as a whole, that I have more to say about the robot-like Richards than about O'Connor. But that's the way it is.

Rachel Weisz, born March 7, 1971. I didn't intend for today's installment to feature two actresses featured in the Mummy films, that's just the way it worked out.

I like those films (call it a guilty pleasure). But to tell the truth, I need to see Weisz in more things before I can say what I think of her as an actress.

I know that she's sexy; from talk-show appearances and things she seems to have a good personality and she's obviously beautiful (Those eyes!), almost exotic.

The Academy Award would seem to suggest she can act a bit, but then again, the Academy Award would seem to suggest Matt Damon and Ben Affleck can write...

I love the taste of irony in the morning

Mark Evanier found a column from the L.A. Times that casts aspersions on bloggers (and blogging) because they're not real journalists and don't do any real research or reporting. And then offers as an example Josh Marshall.

Now, never mind that Josh's blog is award-winning, or that he's often right, always smart and one of those big bloggers that the rest of us link to and say: Here. Read Josh. He says it better. Like I say, forget all that because mostly it's a matter of opinion.

But what isn't a matter of opinion is that he does, as Mark points out, actually a fair amount of research and reporting. So it sure seems strange to cite him as an example of how bloggers don't do any of that, doesn't it?

Josh thought it did, so he asked the writer of the piece about it. Turns out...well, see for yourself how it turns out. Savor that irony.

Note to self: Never take hallucinogens and look at Amanda Beard

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Random Flickr Blogging: 1325

From painful, bitter experience Nancy knew not to take his promise to "put the bulge back into Belgium" seriously. Unfortunately, it was a lesson that Dot would have to learn all for herself.


In Nova Scotia, Canada, every year families come from miles around to watch the festival of the fire-dancing lesbians.



An illegal immigrant who stayed in a Chicago church for a year to avoid separation from her 8-year-old son, a U.S. citizen, was arrested Sunday and being processed for deportation.

I think I just felt a position on immigration solidifying. I haven't really had one before. Maybe some reform is needed, but I don't know a lot about the issue, and I try not to have opinions on things that I don't know about.

Plus, in the past I've tended to see it as an issue that the GOP wants to beat Democrats over the head with, a la gay marriage. By entering into a debate with them about it, we give up a point.

But is there any way in which to read the above story that makes a goddamn lick of sense?

Women my own age, Part Four

Sarah Silverman, born December 1, 1970. I've mentioned my ambivalence about Silverman before, but you can certainly see why she's a star.

I guess I'd say yes, she's multitalented, but I'm not sure her multiple talents are as great as some think.

Mädchen Amick, born December 12, 1970.
I find I have very little to say about Amick. Maybe because it turns out she's the sort of person who says something like this:

On Matt LeBlanc: I really wanted to be worthy of his presence.

Fortunately, in these cases a picture is worth at least a couple of dozen words.

Jennifer Connelly, also born December 12, 1970. I have a little more to say about her.

Though I have to admit in interviews she comes off a little boring, most straight men are too busy going "homina homina" to care.

I'm glad, though, that she won an Oscar (even tho I've never seen the performance). It would be a shame if she'd been relegated to girlfriend/eye candy roles which only utilized her for her appearance.

She's a compelling and potent actress with a body of work that deserves at least as much attention as her body.

That said, however...homina homina homina...

It's true. It's so true.

What Your Underwear Says About You

You like to think of yourself as innocent, even though you're not!

You are childlike (or childish), and prone to run around in your underwear.

Optimus Prime and not Galvatron

I know absolutely nothing about this video clip or who made it, except that it's awesome and predates the movie by at least a year...


Take the Transformers Quiz

Optimus Prime is the heroic leader of the Autobots. He is the personification of courage, strength, and integrity. His personal motto is that “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.”

Like Optimus Prime, you are good by nature. But beware because mischievous thoughts sometimes tempt you. You are inspiring, confident, and a natural leader. The Autobots have chosen well. In addition, you use technology when you need to, but you do not embrace the latest trends.