Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jesus. The least you lot could've done is tell me!

The reason one goes to see [Saw V] is for the gruesome torture, and not to psychoanalyze Jigsaw and his victims. Anyone claiming to do so is a pretentious snob trying to justify their liking of the horrible and brutal.

Reason to be wary

A story goes that an admirer of Adlai Stevenson approached him on the campaign trail in 1956 and said, "Mr. Stevenson, every thinking American will vote for you."

And Stevenson replied, "That's not enough, madam, we need a majority."

I'm not suggesting you donate...

...because I don't have any money and I don't know if you do, either. But the picture of the Obama family on the "welcome" screen of his campaign website made me smile.

Speaking of curves... it me, or does Jennifer Aniston need to put on some weight?


Mariah Carey puts all her talent into my favorite color


Curves are good.

Have you noticed that?

Demonstrating the point: Jennifer Love Hewitt.


I don't know much about the actress Grace Park


...But she sure doesn't hurt the eyes, does she?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kristanna Loken lässt meine Lieblingsfarbe singen, wenn sie geht

Monica Bellucci rende il mio tatto favorito di colore vivo, damnit, vivo!

Damn, Elizabeth Banks is hot.

This is her at the UK premiere of Oliver Stone's W, in which she plays Laura Bush. George W. should be so lucky.

(Actually, no, no he shouldn't...I should)

I'd say they were a disgrace to the honor of the McCain campaign...

...but honestly, what honor?

A [McCain] campaign worker who claimed she was the victim of a politically-motivated attack in which she was beaten, kicked and cut, now admits that she made the whole story up.

The brother of presidential candidate Sen. John McCain said Friday he'll withdraw from campaign activities after calling 911 to complain about traffic. Joe McCain also apologized for making the call.

I've got to start getting popcorn...

a review by Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker.

I agree with (almost) everything in this review of the second season of Life. As most of you know, I think the show is a treasure.

The "almost" comes because I strongly disagree with his dissing of Sarah Shahi, who I think is excellent on the show, and not just because she looks like Sarah Shahi.

But Tucker's dead on about Donal Logue as the new boss. I don't like that character at all. Frankly, I'm hoping he'll be killed. Unfortunately, given the ratings, the show will probably die before the character does.

Unless of course you start watching it...

The only thing these two movies have in common is some impressive acting

Three reviews about two movies:

Then She Found Me. The Rotten Tomatoes consensus for this film says--

A threadbare story anchored by strong performances, Then She Found Me is a mostly successful directorial debut by Helen Hunt.

--and that's pretty much right. Four screenwriters credited (including Hunt, twice) on one film are almost always a sign that at least parts of a movie are going to feel badly stitched together.

Then She Found Me is no exception. It also has some really predictable "beats" that had me thinking Hunt thought she was directing another sitcom.

However, the star performances, especially Hunt, Colin Firth, and Matthew Broderick, are indeed strong.

But personally, I felt Bette Midler was miscast. Of all the stars whose other work I know, she was the only one who in this movie I was never able to stop saying "Hey! That's..."

The film is worth seeing if you are an admirer of Hunt's or just appreciate good acting. If you rent the DVD, I recommend listening to Hunt's self-deprecating commentary.

PS: Oh, and I also ought to say something about the camerawork, which is excellent especially in closeup.

And now...

Oh yes...there will be Saw V.

Short, newly arrived (but) diehard fan review:




Slightly longer, somewhat more detached review:

Better than the fourth installment, still not as good as the second and third. But that's not bad for a series on its fifth movie. The attempted "lessons" this time were the importance of working together and learning to trust.

That's right, it's Jigsaw's after-school special--only with not enough Jigsaw. As you know if you've been reading my "takes" on the series this past month, the character of Jigsaw was killed two movies ago.

He still makes his presence known in this movie through flashbacks, and the film is at its greatest and most legitimate in those scenes. One of the luckiest decisions the makers of the original Saw ever made was casting Tobin Bell.

In a part that as far as they knew at the time, didn't necessarily require an actor of any depth, or even really an actor at all. His part in the first movie might almost have been played by an extra. But it wasn't. It was played by an actor who found something to play.

Bell still gets (and deserves) top billing. And the succeeding films have given him something that the Leather and Ghost faces haven't had enough of, and that is: A character. He already had presence onscreen; so does Costas Mandylor (below).

When they're together it almost burns your eyes.

(As an only semi-related aside, one of the trailers before the movie was for the Friday the 13th remake. Boy does that thing look ridiculous. Contain your shock.)

As usual, most of the traps were, for me, the least of it. For me these movies are all about listening to Jigsaw (or his helpers) and trying to figure out the last trap.

For the record, I did...not exactly how it would play out but what the switch was. Anyone who remembers Superman II could probably have done that too.

Minor things: Yeah, there's a plot hole or two...but no Saw movie would be complete without at least one continuity error for future films to retroactively explain. And unless I just didn't hear it, this is the first Saw movie ending with nobody saying "Game Over."

On the one hand, I missed that, but on the other, not until I was driving home. And I suppose it was better for me to miss it than to have it meaninglessly shoved in.

In closing, look: This film was made for the fans, of which I (obviously) am only recently one. Its brain is shriveling (and so indeed may mine be), but it still has more of a brain than most other fourth sequels; I don't think it'll disappoint most fans.

Me, I walked out whistling Charlie Clouser’s staple musical cue (you're listening to it right now)...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Betsy Russell!

Oh yeah, one more thing...believe it or not, with all the talking that I've done about the Saw movies this past year, there's one thing that I've yet to mention. And that is that one of the things that got me curious about seeing them was when I learned that Betsy Russell had a cameo in III; was one of the stars of IV (and now V).

See, some of you just went "Who?" and some of you said "Good Lord!"

For the first group: Russell is a woman who is well-known for appearing in different stages of butt ass-nakedness in many movies of the '80s and early '90s. Particularly for a scene in Private School in which her character goes for a horseback ride topless.

I'm not gonna shit ya,' I was one of the many, many 12-year-olds who just about wore out the rewind and freeze-frame functions on my family's old VCR watching that movie.

But anyway, I hadn't seen her in anything in over 15 years, and I was wondering how she was looking these days. The answer is...

There's also a new interview with her here, so you can decide for yourself if she's more than just a pretty face and body. I feel she is, she says some interesting things about her perspective on the business of Hollywood.

I'd say it was desperation that made these men say anything so profoundly vulgar and stupid...

...but let's face it, these men were vulgar and stupid when they were prosperous.

As you have no doubt heard, Barack Obama is taking a long weekend off from his campaign to go to Hawaii and see his grandmother, who is sick. You may also know that this woman was much more than a grandmother to Obama; if you read his books, you know he loves her very much.

I don't know if anyone (even she) could blame a politician in Obama's position right now, with less than two weeks to go before the election, if he didn't fly to her side. But I am absolutely sure that no one with an ounce of taste or intelligence could question his motivations for doing so. She made him a priority, and so now he's making her one.

Which brings me to Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and Jerome Corsi, who have been saying that Obama's really going over there to get his birth certificate.

See, these professional assholes love to talk up the idea that Obama doesn't have one from the US. Even though that has been debunked at least half-a-dozen times. And now they're so attached to the idea, they're willing to question a man's love for the woman who helped raise him.

Yeah, I know. Knock you over with a feather, right?

McCain: "Elitists" were the ones attacked on September 11.

I might not have believed this if I hadn't heard it with my own ears. A few hours ago, a commenter at Political Wire tipped something he (or she--I don't know) said that McCain was going to say on the Brian Williams news tonight.

Well, I try not to go around just believing what any commenter to a political blog says, so I made I point of watching Williams this evening. Sure enough. When asked to give his definition of an "elitist," John McCain said that most of them lived in Washington, DC and New York.

I swear to god, once again I'm back to thinking that regardless of your political have to wonder whether or not McCain even knows what he's saying anymore.

Don't believe he said it? I understand why you're skeptical (see above). But, see for yourself.

I suppose, if you want to be really, really, bend-over-backwards "fair & balanced," you could argue it was some half-assed attempt at a joke. But, to my ears, that doesn't make it any less unbelievable that he would say such a thing.

Remember, the McCain campaign has--very deliberately--been associating the idea of "elitists" with "un-American."

I'll let you do the math.


Tomorrow is going to be a day of death and Life for me.

On the subject of the former, I've accepted the likelihood that "High School Musical 3" will beat Saw V at the box office. But I'm hoping my favorite will be a strong #2.

Rosario Dawson makes me want to get physical


Dangerous curves ahead.

I'm back to feeling compassionate for the unworthy swine again

Because after all, she did love him.

Anne Hathaway's ex-boyfriend was sentenced to four and a half years behind bars Thursday for wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy.


It really is true. Any charge that McCain tries to make stick against Obama, McCain himself is guilty of. Like, for instance, being willing to meet with terrorist leaders "without preconditions" (which of course is not the same as "total acquiescence," but forget that for the moment).

Well, surprise, surprise. Guess what McCain was advocating in the '80s?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm having second thoughts about that dress

Don't be blue, Anne...



I've got nothing really to say about this, I just think it's kinda sexy

Is this just my ego speaking, or were all my submissions better than these?

Remember the People For the America Way haiku competition? The finalists are up, and mine didn't make it.

There's a joke here somewhere, but I can't quite put it together

Possibly something having to do with my having left my heart in San Franciso...

San Francisco weighs decriminalizing prostitution

The ballot question technically would not legalize prostitution since state law still prohibits it, but the measure would eliminate the power of local law enforcement officials to go after prostitutes.

Proponents say the measure will free up $11 million the police spend each year arresting prostitutes and allow them to form collectives.

"It will allow workers to organize for our rights and for our safety," said Patricia West, 22, who said she has been selling sex for about a year by placing ads on the Internet.

Watch this...

It's calling to me...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Oh, ok, one more (obsession? What obsession?)

That probably doesn't mean what I think it does, does it?

Sevigny: For Men.

With McCain, the questions just don't stop.

The REAL McCain website, which FWIW I think is one of the two best sources on the McCain campaign (the other is Media Matters) is holding a contest.

To enter, you write the question or questions you would most like to ask McCain if you could. The prize is a t-shirt.

This is what I came up with.

I would ask McCain how he can stand being such a flip-flopper.

I would ask him, quite seriously, if he's lost his mind.

I would ask him to tell me what lessons he thinks he learned, personally from Vietnam and what we learnt as a country.

I would ask him how he could stand with an anti-Semite gay-basher like William Donohue.

Hojo, covered and classic

I think we disagree as to when he wrote his best songs, but my friend Jen and I share a fandom of Howard Jones. She sent me an email mentioning that clips from a recent "25th anniversary" (sweet Christ I'm old) concert he had made their way onto YouTube.

Neither of these are clips from that concert, because I'm like that. First is something else I found while I was looking for them. A faceless Hojo/synth fan plays a cover of Jones' song "Equality." Kinda awesome.

Next up, the cool 12" single "new version" of Jones' "New Song." I was thinking just the other day that I'd like to play this for my nephew and see if he likes it.


We all know I think Anne Hathaway is way above average in looks, but I'm not so sure about this dress. You?

Hey...Hilary Swank has breasts.

The secret's out

Here's a good piece on The Daily Show's "secret weapon," producer Adam Chodikoff.

“Without credibility,” Chodikoff said, “the jokes mean nothing.” Perhaps that’s why he likes the title The Washington Post gave him: “investigative humorist.”

This rigor isn’t news to regular viewers of the program, but it should comfort the handwringers who worry about America’s youth getting their news from “The Daily Show” alone.

And anyone who--
Explaining why he prefers print over the Web, he cites a scene from the movie “Back to School,” when Rodney Dangerfield asks his son why he’s buying used books. “And he says, ‘Because they’re already underlined, see?’ And Rodney says, ‘But that guy could have been a maniac.’ And that’s the problem with the Internet.”

--is my kind of analyst.

My eyes!

Christina Aguilera is sexy and she can sing...but her fashion sense scares me. Who knew the reason why she was going so nearly-naked a few years back was because dressed, she looks like something my hippie art teacher threw up?

More images of Anne Hathaway than one can shake the proverbial stick at (and don't you dare)

Many (though not all) of these images come from here.

(In a metal corset, yet.)