Saturday, May 17, 2008

Think Christopher Reeve in the original Superman or Johnny Depp in the Pirates trilogy

Robert Downey's star performance is one of the best ever in a superhero movie.

Like Reeve, Downey can play light as well as "heavy" which, I believe, is exactly what this genre needs.

Unlike Depp, he has a well-written script...against the odds, given its four listed writers.

Considering what a blockbuster it's been, you probably don't need me to tell you any of this, but for the record, and the benefit of any of you who haven't seen it yet...everything you've heard about Iron Man is true.

The light/heavy balance of Downey's performance is true of the movie as a whole: It respects the original material (unlike, say, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier), but has a sense of humor (unlike, say, The God-awful Hulk of a few years ago).

It's great fun, in a way that makes me feel, sorry for the cliché, like a 13-year-old kid again. The kind where you bob your head (to the heavy-metal derived-score) with sheer enjoyment. I did, anyway.

Honestly, it makes me want to use words like "Bitchin!" Or like that kid at the end of The Incredibles: "That was totally awesome!"

I'm looking forward to the inevitable sequel, and hoping Marvel will try to sign director Jon Favreau for a "Silver Surfer" movie. One senses he might be able to make it good, not just better than Fantastic 4 II (which would not be hard).

This neat-o Lego Iron Man was made by Arvo.

A word about the suit in the film: I don't know how much was practical F/X and how much was CGI, but I'm sure there'll be features about it on the DVD. But my point is: I don't know how much was practical F/X and how much was CGI.

Because of the combination of Downey and the effects work, I was always identifying with Tony Stark inside it. That's what I think they should give awards for, not blowing up stuff real good.

Speaking of awards, Jeff Bridges is delightful, but when is he not? The guy's had one of the best track records in Los Angeles ever since he was Oscar-nominated for his first major role in The Last Picture Show, in 1971. Even in self-consciously "original" material like The Muse, he has a way of coming out on top.

So that didn't surprise me. What did was Gwyneth Paltrow, of whom I've never been the biggest fan. Her work here is splendid. She looks gorgeous; I think motherhood must agree with her, it's made her softer, rounder.

She's also looking more like her own mother, Blythe Danner, every day.

It's not the most enlightened of roles--the super-efficient secretary-not-so-secretly-in-love-with-her-boss. But to their credit, the film (and Paltrow) does manage to suggest that she is both insightful and educated.

I can only hope that in the aforementioned inevitable sequel, her role will be expanded upon.

Oh, and if you're anything like me, you'll be wondering who plays the reporter from Vanity Fair. Her name is Leslie Bibb, seen below posing at the premiere.

I'll close this probably-unnecessary review with an observation someone else must have made; I just haven't seen it yet.

It's an interesting quirk of casting that three of the stars of this movie all come from show biz families.

Robert Downey Sr. is a filmmaker (god help him, he made that turd of a movie Up The Academy) and sometime actor.

Besides Paltrow's mother being a great; hot actress, her father, Bruce was a director, producer and writer.

And Jeff Bridges of course is the son of Lloyd and the brother of Beau.

PS: Oh, and the obligatory Stan Lee cameo came precisely at the moment I was thinking, "Hey, isn't it about time for the obligatory Stan Lee cameo?"

PPS: For those of us who know something of Marvel's policies towards its creators in the '60s and '70s, there's something ironic in this film's villain’s line to Stark:

You really think that just because you have an idea, it belongs to you?

Them's my kinda lesbians

Column here from the San Francisco Chronicle, about response to the California Supreme Court decision that same-sex marriage is constitutional. The columnist, C.W. Nevius, quotes a couple he encountered:

Karen Strauss and Ruth Borenstein were holding hands and waiting for the traffic light to change in front of the public library across from City Hall when we began to chat.

"Can I tell him what I told you when we left the house this morning?" Borenstein said. "I said, 'If we win this, you better f- marry me.' "

"Well, she'll have to ask more nicely than that," Strauss said.

How could I not love it?

Friday, May 16, 2008

But can I swing from a thread?

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

Green Lantern
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Iron Man
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Look out, here I come...

Joe Lieberman is a boob.

And not the good kind.

(BTW, there's more than one play-on-words involved with the above photo. Do you know what the second one is?)

What Lieberman thinks of Pastor Hagee:

“I would describe Pastor Hagee with the words the Torah uses to describe Moses,” Lieberman told Hagee and his followers at a recent conference the group held in Washington, at which Lieberman was invited to speak. “He is an `Eesh Elo Kim,’ a man of God, because those words fit him; and like Moses, he has become the leader of a mighty multitude in pursuit of defense of Israel.”

What John Hagee thinks of the men and women of Lieberman's faith:

How utterly repulsive, insulting, and heartbreaking to God for His chosen people to credit idols with bringing blessings He had showered upon the chosen people. Their own rebellion had birthed the seed of anti-Semitism that would arise and bring destruction to them for centuries to come.... it rises from the judgment of God uppon his rebellious chosen people."

The [Jews who don't agree with him] who are not driven by the Word of God have a liberal agenda.
And the liberal agenda is they are pro-abortion. They're pro-homosexual. They're pro-gay marriage -- they want men to marry men and women to marry women -- and their difference with me is not really what I'm doing with Israel. Their hostility to me is poisoned by their liberalism."

Jews do not have living souls.

Joe Lieberman is a boob.

Two great headlines that read great together

Huckabee quips about gun aimed at Obama at NRA convention


Huckabee Veep Momentum Is Growing

Yes, John. Tag Huckabee as your running mate. That would be fantastic.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Y'know...I really have been trying to lay off the Tennessee bashing. I felt it was getting in the way of my growth as a lovelier human being (and maybe in the way of my sanity). So I've been trying to move on from the trauma; to remember that many fine musicians either come from or live in Tennessee (so it cannot be all bad). Like that.

But, well, we have words for this.

We call it, "Asking for it."

Ok, the "negotiate with terrorists" thing

As you may have heard, some Democratic leaders and bloggers are shocked--shocked!--that in a recent overseas speech, Bush commented

"Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along."

I have little to say about this. It's being taken, I think rightly, as a swipe at Obama. But I don't think it's worth getting our knickers all twisted in knots about it, because I think that's exactly what they want us to do.

I think Bush’s role in all this is to be a lightning rod, and distract attention away from McCain. They must know by now that nothing is going to inflate Bush's support again, so why not let him go out there and be Spiro Agnew to McCain's Richard Nixon?

So, instead, in the time-honored tradition of Democrats, I'm going to go after my own people.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Bush's remarks were "beneath the dignity of the office of the president and unworthy of our representation"

Nancy, in this white house, the office of the president has no dignity. And BTW, that's not even a political statement, merely an aesthetic judgement. Dignity is honor, high standing among others, good name, prestige, reputation, repute, respect.

President Bush doesn't have any of those things.

As Pelosi was speaking, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel issued a statement in which he said: "The tradition has always been that when a U.S. president is overseas, partisan politics stops at the water's edge. President Bush has now taken that principle and turned it on its head: for this White House, partisan politics now begins at the water's edge, no matter the seriousness and gravity of the occasion. Does the president have no shame?"

Why no, Rahm, no, he doesn't. Shame is disappointment in oneself, regret for one's actions. And Bush hasn't evidenced anything like it in eight years. Glad you two woke up in time for his last day of school.

PS: The idea that "America doesn't negotiate with terrorists" is stupid on its face. It was stupid during Iran/Contra, it was stupid as a Fox promotional slogan, and it's stupid now. We do negotiate with terrorists; have for years (and so, of course, has Jack Bauer).

We do. And we should.

My [Congress] man, "Bagdad" Jim McDermott, endorses Obama

As I like to say--and I mean it as a badge of honor--ole' "Bagdad" Jim is such a prominent liberal Democrat he was in Farenheit 9/11, for god’s sake. The man knows a winner when he sees one.

"I believe now is the time to unite behind Barack Obama so we can be in the strongest place possible to win in November," McDermott said.

Any Clinton supporters who may be looking in: This is called keeping your eye on the ball...

For those of you who haven't heard

I think Eva Amurri cleans up rather nicely...

I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah!

We have an indictment, ladies and gentlemen, in what some are still calling the

MySpace Suicide Case

I guess that's understandable shorthand, but as I've said, the methods used are far less material to me than this fact: (Alleged) adult (alleged) human beings had nothing better to do with their time than to bully a 13-year-old girl they knew had been in treatment for depression.

Lori Drew was indicted this morning in Los Angeles on federal charges for fraudulently using an account on MySpace. The indictment charges Drew in four counts -- one count for conspiracy and three counts "for accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress," according to a press release. The latter charge relates to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

If convicted on all four counts, Drew could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

In a word: Good. What this woman did was a real offense against society, and for society not to charge her for it would be an offense against justice. It's at times like this that we want society, in the form of our criminal law system, to step in; taking at least a few steps to balancing the scales.

So we don't have to do it ourselves.

We're a nation of laws, not of men, as they say, and this is why we have them.

That's a whooooooooooooooooooooooole lotta crazy

Britney Spears and Mel Gibson Vacation Together

You're gonna need a bigger boat.

Clear your mind must be, if you are to discover the real villains behind this plot.

Which attack of the Clones character are you?
created with
You scored as Master Yoda

You're Yoda, now, fight like hell!

Master Yoda


Mace Windu


Count Dooku


Padme Amidala


Anakin Skywalker


Obi-Wan Kenobi


Battle Droid


Jango fett


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

But will it have an impact?

It doesn't seem very likely, but...

As you may have heard, John Edwards has endorsed Barack Obama. That Times blog post says (alongside much more):

...privately, [Edwards] told aides that he would consider the role of vice president, and favored the position of attorney general, which would appeal to his experience of decades spent in courtrooms as a trial lawyer in North Carolina; and his desire to follow in the footsteps of Robert F. Kennedy, one of his heroes.

I think Edwards--who has been kind of a hero of mine, off-and-on--would make a deserving AG nominee. But if they could overcome the unlikelyhood--has anyone ever been a vice presidential nominee two elections in a row for two different presidential candidates?--that's a ticket I would dearly love to see.

Everything else aside, think of the wit of a campaign with Obama, Edwards, and John McCain. I don't want McCain in the oval office, but the man's got a better sense of humor than either Bush or Clinton. If McCain picks Rudy Giuliani as his running mate, get the popcorn.

In bed with Marilyn Monroe

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mr. McAuliffe, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Clinton Chair Praises Fox News

On Fox & Friends -- a show we last mentioned, I believe, after it repeated the false smear that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, was educated in a madrassa -- the affable Terry McAuliffe appeared this morning to explain the difficult delegate math that would lead Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, to the Democratic nomination.

"...I have said this - Fox has been one of the most responsible in this presidential campaign -- I have said that all along.''

-Political Punch

So this is what it's come to, huh folks? The chairman of a Democrat's campaign actually sucking Fox's cock on cable TV.

Mrs. Clinton: Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is know when to give up...

Movies that apparently few of you have seen, or at least remember

Being the (unguessed) answers to my annual "name that movie" quiz...

9. "Yeah, I had a dream, Charlie, but now I’m awake. And I hate my dream."

Was from Carlito's Way. A film I think takes itself way too seriously; is flawed and overrated, but man I empathize with that line.

5. "This mission sucks!"

Was from the Lost in Space movie, and truer words were never spoken. As Peter David said, to LiS movie writer Akiva Goldsman, "subtext" is something you find spray-painted on the side of the Red October.

So why does that quote stay with me? Because Apollo 440 sampled it into their dance-rock-trash remake of the theme, by far the greatest thing to come out of the movie.

Not that this is saying a lot...

4. "How could you?"

"It was easy."

Are from I, the Jury. Asked by a woman who's just been killed; answered by the man who's just killed her.

The "hero," yet.

It's that kinda movie.

2. "Well now, what about that, huh? What about a woman showing up naked in a public place, Freddie?"
"Well I'm for it, of course."

...this one, I'm surprised none of you got. I was deliberately going for a mix of the blockbuster and the more obscure this year, but for pete's sake.

One of the funniest movies of the past 25 years? Anybody?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Eva Amurri makes my favorite color glad to be alive.

Very very glad.

(Seriously--I think she's some kind of Welsh/Italian goddess. Look, in this image it even looks like she has an extra arm...)

I just finished reading So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits--and the President--Failed on Iraq by Greg Mitchell over the weekend

This link leads to the Amazon page, which features my review.

Last Friday, as is my habit on days when I see my therapist, after I took my walk around the park I went to lunch at Burger King.

I carried the book in with me--I'm a constant reader-while-I-eat.

The young woman who took my order, a friendly sort who I've seen more than a few times there before, caught sight of the first part of the title, and asked if it was a self-help book.

No, I said, letting her see the whole cover, it's about the war.

Which war?

The war we're in now.

Then she surprised me mildly by asking Is it anti-soldier or antimilitary?

No, I said, it's not anti-soldier, it's anti-some of our leaders.

She read the subtitle then and, as I remember it, nodded sadly and smiled slightly, adding, Yeah, they screwed up.

I've kept this back-and-forth in mind because, I think, there was something so telling about the way in which she leapt to the conclusion that a book called So Wrong for So Long, with a picture of a US soldier on its cover, must be antimilitary.

I'm not sure what it tells me, but I think it's telling. I wondered not long afterward if she has a relative or other loved one who either has or is serving.

I thought of asking, but decided it would be an invasion of her privacy.

This is vicious.

...tower over london/Tower up and frankly I'm amazed/What's done cannot be undone, not here not in london/What's done can never be erased

Your Score: Macbeth

You scored 49% = Tragic, 34% = Comic, 37% = Romantic, 36% = Historic

You are Macbeth! A supposed retelling of the true story of King Macbeth of Scotland, Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's bloodiest plays. Macbeth, after hearing the prophesy of three witches, believes he will be named king of Scotland. However, this line of thinking eventually leads Macbeth down a horrible road of blood and death as he fights first to gain, and then to keep hold of the crown. Believing the play to be cursed, many actors will not even say the name of the play inside of a theater unless it is being performed and refer to it simply as "The Scottish Play". But you probably don't care about some stupid old curse. As Macbeth you most likely don't take warnings too well and you are so headstrong that you can't take good advice when it comes your way, even if it is for your own good. But being Macbeth isn't all bad. You are most likely a man (or woman) of action. People probably like you because you are good at thinking on your feet and making quick decisions. But be careful, as your rash behavior may also get you in to trouble along the way.

Link: The Which Shakespeare Play Are You? Test written by macbee on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test
View My Profile(macbee)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

There's something in this about all women, # 15

Totem Fairy
Originally uploaded by Haggis Chick

Say...hasn't it been quite some time since I posted video of young women dancing to a club classic?*

We must correct this at once.

*or in this case, a record that's stolen from a club classic, but the principle's the same.

The question: Why won't Hillary Clinton just give it up?

Asked and answered:

Hillary Clinton may have a financial incentive to remain in the presidential race for a while. And she has Senator John McCain to thank for it.

Clinton loaned her struggling campaign $11 million in recent months. A little-known provision of a 2002 campaign- finance law cosponsored by McCain prevents candidates who drop out of the race from raising money after the nominating conventions to repay themselves for personal loans.

Should Clinton fail to come up with the funds by the Democratic convention in August, she'll be out the $11 million. If she quits the campaign before then, she may find it hard to get people to keep giving cash just so she can retire her debt.

Can we stop pretending she gives a fuck about any of us at this point now?

The obligatory "cheap joke for late in the evening."

Stairway to paradise.

A choice of captions

Originally uploaded by supatclub
One: "See Africa the way the natives do,' you said, 'you don't want to go on one of those tacky guided tours,' you said, ‘we’ll get 'em cheap,' you said..."

Two: "Boy, Rick Santorum sure was right. If not for same-sex marriage, we never could have..."

Three: "On three, we rampage. Pass it on."

Four: "Psst! Say, Mabel."
"What is it, Gertrude?"
"Did I have too much champagne last night, or are there blue humans riding us?"

Six: "I told you not to double down. Didn't I tell you not to double down? My brand-new BMW and you had a pair of sixes..."

"Steve, calm down, you're an animal."
"Oh, right. Sorry. Sorry, everybody."

Eight: "And I'm telling you, the corn was as high as my eye!"

Nine: "So I said to George Lakoff', I said, you never even think of me at all anymore!"

And yes, I'm still very depressed.

The growing death toll in Myanmar, and the middle east, to say nothing of our own midwest and south.

The economy.

Hillary Clinton's apparent inability to know when she's beaten.

Jennifer Aniston frolicking with John Mayer.

Once again, it makes you wonder what's really worth staying alive for, doesn't it?

Originally uploaded by Captain Justice


Madonna and other mothers

As the vile Rumsfeld might have said, you've got to live with the mother you have, not the mother you might want. Nevertheless, here are some mothers (or mother-figures, or symbols) I might want. How many can you name?

I've run out of flowery ways in which to say this

Sweet lord but Scarlett Johansson has some big tits.