Saturday, October 04, 2008

Julio Romero de Torres

La escopeta de caza

("The hunting gun")

Yeah, I should've known that would come back to bite me in the ass

Early this year, I was foolish enough to mention that I had taken some comfort from a Hilary Duff song. Well, the gods of karma have a mean sense of humor. Duff's latest single, you see, samples (covers, really, since the "new" song is completely built around the old one) Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus."

This is red flag to a bull for anyone who wore black in the '80s. DM were a signifigant band back in the day. "Personal Jesus" in particular was not only one of their most successful, biggest selling songs, but has been called one of the greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone.

As a song, it's been widely covered by folk as varied as Marilyn Manson and Johnny Cash (speaking of people who wore black) as well as the more obscure. It's a song (maybe) that reminds people they are not alone, but also warns of the dangers of idealizing someone. I say "maybe" because the interpretation is left up to the listener.

As a record, it's a moody, outstanding track with one of David Gahan's coolest vocals; it's become something of a standard, a "modern classic" if you will. And now, Hillary Duff, who...well let's just say I'm skeptical of how her voice would sound without studio production...turns it into a pop song about a great boy.

My stomach hurts.

Friday, October 03, 2008

my brother, my brother--you take a hint like no other

This is my way of signifying that my pal, actor and fellow Doctor Who fan Corey Klemow took what I have to admit was an incredibly unsubtle hint, even for me.

He sent me the Sports Night Complete Series 10th Anniversary Edition--as an early Christmas/late birthday present.*

How do I feel? Well let me put it like this:

I'm not really doing the dance (mainly because I wouldn't look anywhere near as dreamy as Felicity Huffman), but this is exactly what's happening inside my brain.

*More Christmas, really, since he'd already sent the Richard Williams DVDs for my birthday.

Read this.

Why Presidents Should Speak Clearly, by Roger Ebert, originally published in 2000.

Then, read this answer (quote via If I Ran the Zoo), given by Sarah Palin at last night's debate.
"Nuclear weaponry, of course, would be the be-all, end-all of just too many people in too many parts of our planet, so those dangerous regimes, again, cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, period."

Then, come to my house and hit me over the head with a hammer so hard that I won't wake up until election day.

Or at least Saw V.

The Minogues are a beautiful family

Dannii Minogue

I hope this ad goes wide fast

So if you have a blog, I'm going to ask you to watch it and think about putting it up in yours.

I swear I don't know which I want to dive into more, her cleavage or her eyes

But either way, I'd be in heaven.

This is an idea I'm taking from Pop Culture Gadabout and trying to make into a meme.

The idea is to write haiku about movies. You might notice I picked up on Bill's choices, so I'm making this rule. You must write one for each of these genres:


Other than that, it's up to you. Here are mine.

Blazing Saddles:

Ground-breaking, broke wind.
only pawn... in game of life.
All sing, Bart has mouth.


No Season of Witch,
These Halloween treats and tricks
Gave birth to slash and trash.

Grease 2:

Cool Rider Repro,
Back to School Again we go;
I'm half-serious.

Trick or Treat:

My twin from Family Ties
Where's my Lisa O?

Anyone who wants to can play (tell me in the comments)...but I'm tagging George.

in finding the key before the timer runs out can you unlock it; retrieve the antidote inside. I will give you just one hint as to where that key is...

(being the second in a planned series of four posts trying to write something a little more penetrating about why I think it is that I've become so enamored--some would say obsessed--with the Saw films)

I avoided the Saw movies for so long just because I am squeamish about gore, and I thought--based on catchphrases like "Oh yes...there will be blood," that was all there was to them.

A few months ago, though, Saw II (trailer above) showed up on the FEARnet section of Comcast on Demand.

So out of curiosity, I tried it. Cut to an hour and 35 minutes later...and I know that whatever else you can say about them, there is more to the Saw films than just gore.

Something occurs to me, right now. Maybe one reason I've become so "obsessed" with the films is that they ask a question I've been asking myself in one way or another a lot these days: What price will you pay for hope?

The price is a big part of it, Jigsaw's deranged sense of "karma;" the strange, eerie calm with which he acts and again, the diabolical nature of his larger traps.

In Saw II, the Donnie Wahlberg character might not have been doomed if he had just listened, paid attention, and realized something: Jigsaw never lies...

Here's a trap from Saw II that's generally held to be one of the scariest. That's Shawnee Smith as Amanda (the girl who goes into the pit), BTW.

It doesn't scare me, though it kinda makes me sick, but if you wanna get just a bit more of the willies, know that Smith was pregnant with her second baby when this scene was filmed.


Choose "Life."

Do you really want to disappoint these people?

Good, I was wondering how I was going to find another excuse to mention it again. I'll bet you were, too.

Beverley Mitchell, late of the TV series 7th Heaven (but more importantly to this blog, part of the cast of Saw II), was married this week. She makes a beautiful bride.

Her Heaven costar, Jessica Biel, attended with her "steady date," Justin Timberlake, and was one of the bridesmaids.

This is so cute I could choke.

Holy shit. Lea Thompson back in the day.

Was there ever anything cuter?

You know how it is...

A hairdo running for vice-president.
Paris Hilton actually having fans.
Our--and I use the word laughingly--"economy."

Makes you wonder what's really worth staying alive for, doesn't it?


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Do you understand...

...why a movie like An American Carol, which is apparently so good it wasn't even screened for critics, is opening in Seattle tomorrow and Rachel Getting Married--which is being called rich, energetic, and unpredictable--isn't?

Sorry, I know this is a minor thing (even for this blog). I'm sure Rachel Getting Married will open here eventually. It had better. It's just that I'm understandably anxious to see the film.

It stars Anne Hathaway (etc etc, reason enough to believe in god), is directed by Jonathan Demme, and from the clip and trailer I've seen, it looks good.

On the other hand, I caught part of another ad for An American Carol tonight. One of the jokes hinges on the old "unshaven antiwar women" stereotype.

Apparently, it's still 1970 and nobody told me.

Rachel Getting Married, BTW, was written by Jenny "daughter of Sidney" Lumet. I might not make such a big deal about her being Sidney Lumet's daughter, except that I couldn't help but notice in trailers she gets credit on a separate card--

"Written by Jenny Lumet"

--I'm torn between envy and admiration. On the one hand, I cynically assume it was her father's clout that helped her get such a credit for what I think is her first produced feature. On the other hand, yay for a writer getting special credit in the trailer!

I have only this to say about Sarah Palin's performance in the debate

I never thought I'd miss Ronald Reagan.

I've heard of cutting off your nose to spite your face, but this is ridiculous

Man shoots himself in arm after being denied sex

You know I hate to whine just because it looks like a good show is gonna be cancelled...

But start watching the Sarah Connor Chronicles, will you people?

We pause now for this important Public Service Announcement

Sportswomen sind so heiß

Geman Olympian Franziska van Almsick


Note to self: I must find out who Diora Baird is


So you want to see LL Cool J reading "Corduroy" to pre-schoolers

We here at a dragon dancing with the the Buddha have anticipated your every need.

This is from what looks like a lovely (and star-studded!) event in New York this morning, to promote the importance of teaching children to read early.

Oh. My. God.

Sen. John McCain said Thursday that Sen. Barack Obama’s poll numbers are rising as the economy seems to sink "because life isn’t fair."

So this is it, huh folks? John McCain--the "grown-up" candidate--has the emotional maturity of an Anthony Michael Hall character in a John Hughes movie.

"It's not fair it's not fair! I hate you! I'm gonna go drive around and listen to Billy Idol music!"

Is There in Truth No Beauty?


Dita Von Teese and Emma Watson were both photographed at the same event yesterday.

And I noticed something. While obviously, both are sexy, lovely women...

...Emma Watson makes Dita Von Teese look like a tranny whore.

It's because-I think-Dita's beauty is very much put on (she makes no secret of this).

Her body's redone and her face is caked with makeup.

I don't mean that to put her down, especially--her surgeon did good work (as opposed to the monster who mutilated Tara Reid).

And she knows how to make her face as pretty as a picture.

But Emma Watson, on the other hand...look, I'm not naïve enough to think she wakes up looking like's just you get the feeling she probably could.

Jigsaw himself never thought of a choice that diabolical

Bikini Magazine asked:

Who Would You Rather See in a Bikini? Sarah Palin? Or Pam Anderson?

Believe it or not, Sarah Palin won.

To tell you the truth, neither one of 'em would really make my short list*, but if it's a choice between the two, I'd have to go with Pamela.

*Heather Thomas
Sarah Shahi
Kristen Bell
Shannen Doherty
Alyson Hannigan
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Penelope Cruz
Sophie Monk
Amber Benson
Alexis Bledel
Nancy Travis
Halle Berry
Brittany Murphy
Emma Watson.

Actually, not that short of a list, now that I come to think about it...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Dragons rule.


Bill O'reilly is funnier than Al Franken

I know, I'd be pissed off if someone said that too. But ask yourself. As much as you may like Al Franken--and I like him a good deal--when was the last time he made you laugh so hard your cheeks hurt?

Bill O'Reilly did that for me just now, when I read in the Media Matters daily email:

Claiming "I'm not making any comparison here," O'Reilly asserted that like Pelosi, Hitler also "practiced for hours before making a speech"

Summary: On The O'Reilly Factor, after guest Tonya Reiman claimed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's body language during a recent speech suggested she "practices the speech too much," Bill O'Reilly responded: "You know who used to do that, who practiced for hours before making a speech? And I'm not making any comparison here. So, don't -- you crazy left-wing websites out there, it's not a comparison. Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler practiced for hours, all of his ... gestures and everything else before he went out there."

So let me get this straight, Bill. Because she practiced a speech, Nancy Pelosi is like Hitler. You crack me up, you really do. Not since we lost Molly Ivins have I seen wit of this caliber.

(that was sarcasm, Bill)

Oh, Jesus Christ, John...

You're just embarrassing yourself at this point.

And once again, I'm not able to enjoy the sinking ship that your campaign has become, because I still remember when I liked you.

It didn't have to be like this, John. You didn't have to demonstrate that your self esteem is so low (and/or your petty ambition so great) that you'll hire the people who slimed your family in hopes that they'll lead you, like a doddering old fool, through the election.

You could've been serious about being a maverick, instead of just wanting to call yourself one. But you weren't.

You could've led the sane members of your party against George W. Bush. But you didn't.

You could've used your POW experiences as unassailable credentials in the fight against wars for nothing and torture. Instead of as a "get out of any question you don't want to answer" card. But you didn't.

You could've shown your patriotism by choosing someone who's informed, and cares, to take your place should you be elected and then die in office. But you didn't.

You could've been remembered as a genuine statesman, and a brave hero.

Instead you're going to be remembered as a mean old man personally and a flip-flopper politically.

Just stop it. Please. I beg of you. Stop.

art and ghosts


Dreaming Hair...

How to know when you've reached new stages in your goddess-like worship of Anne Hathaway

#1: You catch a bit of the hit animated film Hoodwinked, in which she performs a starring voice, on television.

And when she says "You're a bad little bunny" kinda turns you on a little.

#2: She's on the David Letterman show talking about false rumors of who she's dating now.

Her third example, if it were true, would be a lesbian relationship.

And you wonder if there's any way you can convince your friends it was a secret signal to you, and you'll be married before the year is out.

#3: Later that same appearance, she uses the term "brain fart."

And you realize that even when she says the word "fart," you see hearts and flowers in her eyes.

And of course, 4: Mentioning her in three separate posts on your blog in less than 24 hours.

The first step is admitting that you have a problem...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dear Mr. Weitzman...

On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a historic hearing to consider the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, S. 2521, which would provide equal family benefits to LGBT federal civilian employees.

Although the federal Office of Personnel Management was formally neutral on the bill at the start of the hearing, and its witness—Howard Weitzman, Deputy Director of OPM—submitted written testimony to that effect, Weitzman reversed course during the hearing after receiving a note from a colleague.

Weitzman stated that a domestic partner benefits program would be vulnerable to fraud, and cited the Adam Sandler film “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” in which two firefighters pose as domestic partners in order to secure health benefits. Weitzman, as quoted in today’s Washington Post, said at the hearing, “this is not farfetched.”

Dear Mr. Weitzman...

When you're citing an Adam Sandler movie in defense of your political's as good as admitting that there is no defense for your political position.

Can we impeach them noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow?

With the current economic situation, a record 70 percent of Americans disapprove of George W. Bush's job performance; a career-low 26 percent approve.

Just two presidents have had lower approval (Richard Nixon and Harry Truman) than President Bush, and none has had higher disapproval in polls since 1938.

McCain's problem: Fifty-three percent of registered voters think he'd lead the country in the same direction as Bush, inching back up over a majority.

Finally, a conservative position with which I agree 100%

Conservatives to McCain camp: Let Palin be Palin

Yes. Please. Oh dear god, do. Let Palin be the lying, cheating, antifeminist, unethical, wannabe book-banning, charge-women-for-their-own-rape-exams woman she is.

I think that's a great idea.

The long and the short of it

Ron Suskind, author of The One Percent Doctrine among other books, and a renowned journalist, has a piece up at the Huffington Post about just what the hell happened to the economy over the weekend.

The short answer is that McCain thought there was honor among thieves. And Bush said...psych!

For the long version, see here.

I'm always doing something, something for the boys

In this case, posting a few videes that I hope will put a smile on Jason's face. You're all welcome to enjoy them, too.

This is 10 minutes of Monty Python, including the "Buying A Bed" sketch.

Robbie Williams sings on the Tonight Show; gives Simon Cowell a lapdance, and makes Mike Myers run like a scared little rabbit.

Come to think of it, Robbie's a lot like the Doctor Who show's Captain Jack, in'e? If it moves, he'll hit on it...

Here's Marvin Gaye singing our national anthem better than anyone has ever sung it.

This is still one of my favorite things that I've discovered so far via YouTube. It's basically everything you want rock n roll to be. It's kind of stupid, frankly a bit sexist, and a little childish.

I love it.

Stand up and live

Interview with Damian Lewis; Sarah Shahi, stars of Life (which you did all watch the season premiere of last night, didn't you?), and executive producer/creator Rand Ravich on The Futon Critic.

"This kind of vengeance machine," Ravich interjected, is "inside the Charlie Crews character [and] at any moment he could decide he's had enough and walk away. But if he needs that satisfaction - that vengeance that is very un-Zen-like - he'll never stop looking. And so, at some point, the question has to be asked is this enough? Have I closed enough circles? Have I sought enough - have I gained enough vengeance? And can I get back to life or will it never be enough. That conspiracy level works both from the inside and the outside."

Patrick Wilson must be killed.

Why? Because in writing the last post, it suddenly occurred to me that in his acting career, Wilson has played...

In a scene with Mary-Louise Parker where she's full-frontal nude.

Love scenes with Kate Winslet--in a film where his character was married to Jennifer Connelly.

Part of a couple with Kerry Washington.

A man Emmy Rossum falls for.

And now? Anne Hathaway's romantic partner.

Oh, and he's also Daniel in next year's Watchmen, partnered with Malin Akerman.

Patrick Wilson must be killed.*

(Should any of Wilson's fans or indeed, any officers of the law be looking in, let me state that I am just joking. And jealous. Incredibly jealous.)

*Especially before he has a chance to act opposite Holly Hunter (thus completing his hat trick of playing romantic partners with my Holy Trinity, Holly, Kate, and Anne).

Passengers in time

Uh-oh, a choice to make. As I may have mentioned--once or twice--Saw V is set to be released on October 24, 2008. As it turns out, another movie also has that release date...a movie starring my Reason Enough to Believe in God, Anne Hathaway.

Well, let's see what we can find out about the film...

Passengers (2008)

Synopsis: After a plane crash, a young therapist, Claire (Anne Hathaway), is assigned by her mentor (Andre Braugher) to counsel the flight's five survivors. When they share their recollections of the incident – which some say include an explosion that the airline claims never happened – Claire is intrigued by Eric (Patrick Wilson), the most secretive of the passengers. Just as Claire's professional relationship with Eric – despite her better judgment – blossoms into a romance, the survivors begin to disappear mysteriously, one by one. Claire suspects that Eric may hold all the answers and becomes determined to uncover the truth, no matter the consequences

Oh dear. From the description, this sounds like it's going to suck. On the other hand, you can't fault the cast, besides my Reason Enough to Believe in God, Braugher, and Wilson, this includes David Morse and Clea DuVall.

So let's have a look at the director: Rodrigo Garcia. Never heard of him. What else has he done?

...oh, crap. He was director of photography on Body Shots.

Do you happen to have any idea how awful of a movie Body Shots is? Well, I'll tell you. We're talking here about a movie which stars Amanda Peet, Tara Reid and Emily Procter.The last two are in raunchy nude sex scenes in the movie. Reid's were filmed before her nightmarish plastic surgery, and in Procter's, she wears a fetish outfit.

And the movie is unwatchable. Absolutely un-fucking-watchable.

That's how awful of a movie Body Shots is.

Getting back to Passengers, the writer, Ronnie Christensen, has no previously produced credits.

Before we conclude, let's take a couple minutes to look at the trailer.

Final observation: I can't be the only one to think the slogan on the poster evokes thoughts of Hathaway's breakup with the conman, now can I?

"The Truth Can't Hide Forever?" I mean come on.

Denise Richards has some really nice legs for a vampire


Denise Richards

That reminds me, I must get some more Sunkist soda

(for the record, that's Jennifer Aniston again)

Monday, September 29, 2008

What's weird is, I actually think Sarah looks better like that

Ok, some things I've been posting a lot about here in recent days: Yummy women of course, the Saw movies, and the upcoming election; more specifically the conservative ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin.

I know what you're wondering. You're wondering, "But, Ben! Isn't there any way that you could combine all those interests?"

Funny you should ask.

This is Julie Benz.
Via Fearnet

And Meagan Good.

Via my favorite horror-movie review site, Arrow in the Head.

who are part of the cast for Saw V.

And this...well, speaks for itself.

Via TheBadAndUgly

Benjy don't play dat

I got the weirdest thing in my mail today. It was a white envelope, the size that usually means it has a CD in it someone wants me to review, but it was too light for that, and there was no identifiable return address.

It was addressed to me, not "occupant," but with no mention of Ink19, the site for which I most recently wrote. Inside was an all-white postcard with the words "i am blind" in raised type and Braille lettering beneath.

Also a stamped envelope with an address in Toluca Lake, CA pre-printed on it. Then at the very bottom, in two small white tear-shaped tubes, were two pairs of "sunglasses" made out of a thin plastic film, with the URL "" on the side.

So finally I put it together. This is a promotion in the form of an "ARG"-that's alternate reality game, in case you didn't know (I didn't)-for the new movie Blindness.

I don't think I'll be playing. It's just not what I'm into. But, I don't mind their trying to hype the movie any way they can (if the early reviews are accurate, it needs it).

What I was wondering, though, was how the hell did I end up on this list?

I don't play ARGs; I've never played ARGs. And this blog certainly doesn't have enough page views per day to make it a worthwhile spot for some free advertising.

I doubt I'm even gonna be able to get any of ya to watch Chris Rock's new HBO special (which is fucking funny) or go see Saw V, which I am giving free advertising.

And then, only as I was writing the above, it dawned on me. Who's the star of Blindness? Julianne Moore. Figure someone must've done a search for bloggers that have written about her, as I have, and sent us all the material.

(In a related mystery, who keeps looking me up from Santa Rosa, California?)

I never thought I'd say this, but nice tag, Begala

Paul Begala calls Bush a 'high-functioning moron'

Paul Begala, the television commentator and Democratic strategist who with James Carville propelled Bill Clinton to the presidency in 1992, knew he was about to get into trouble on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" show Thursday night with his description of President Bush.

"I'm going to get in trouble. He's a high-functioning moron, and that's what Congress treats him as. Both parties."

"Listen, I don't mean to be a sore loser, but when it's done, if I'm dead, kill him."

Newman remembered.

Apparently, some think women who wear ties look "mannish."

Per this clotheshorse, for example.

If that's mannish...I'm gay.

It must bother Mila Kunis that I've always thought Laura Prepon was cuter than she was...

...cause she's sucking up to me.


I can't accept that.

"Shia Labeouf is the Harrison Ford of the 21st Century."

Dieses könnte mich Wunsch fast bilden, den ich ein Battlestar Galactica Aussenseiter war.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

"The American spirit is celebrated in the outrageous and totally irreverent comedy..."

That's how some publicity for the new movie An American Carol begins. You may have seen ads on television recently for the film. The ads make pretty clear what the intended satirical premise is:

A left-wing documentary filmmaker, with an obvious resemblance to Michael Moore, is visited by three spirits to teach him "the true meaning of America."

It's directed and co-written by David Zucker, who, after peaking early with Airplane! has made more bad films than good ones. Will this be one of the good? I dunno, but the odds are against it. Of his two co-writers, only one has a previously produced feature to their credit--and that was BASEketball.

But here's what grabbed my attention. Does it seem to anybody else unlikely that this movie both "celebrates the American spirit" and is "totally irreverent?"

It's hard be totally irreverent--which means "lacking proper respect or seriousness"--and also celebrate anything, much less "the American spirit." Groucho Marx could've done it (maybe) but Groucho Marx was a great clown.

And I'm pretty sure his definition of "the American Spirit" was more liberal than that of Bush Republicans Zucker and his stars Kelsey Grammer, Jon Voight, James Woods and Dennis Hopper.

I thought I'd give it a try...

The proudly liberal group People For the American Way is running a little contest. The idea is that you submit one to three haiku having to do with the right wing; more specifically, McCain-Palin.

First prize is to be published in The Nation magazine, but I decided to do it more because I like this kind of writing exercise, helps me work the cricks out. So here's what I submitted.

An apple a day
Torture chic among the right
Ethics, what ethics?

Two campaigners less
Spooks in private life defeat
How can we elect?

Witch hunts of days past
To shut down dissenting speech
Try misdirection

the ultimate necessity of love

This is one of my favorite--and most frequently quoted--Erasure songs (I actually like one of the 12" remixes best). They were near their peak at this point.

The video was shot, near as I can tell, in my room. No matter when it was shot or where I was living at the time, it was shot in my room.

The good news...and the bad news.

"Well Mr. Varkentine, we're going to put up 15 million to make your picture. However, in order to get the money, you have to cast as your leads..."


I'm sorry but that seems to be all I can say for the time being.



(and eight more here.)

ETA: And there's still more here.


I suppose this means I have to watch a whole show, doesn't it?

Anne Hathaway will be hosting Saturday Night Live on Oct. 4th