Friday, September 30, 2005

Capote - Movie Review

Capote 2005

Destroy!!! (after showing simply everyone)

Pour yourself a martini, grab a smoke and hop a cab to your nearest cinema and feast your eyes on one of the best movies of the year! First of all, despite Philip Seymour Hoffman’s lengthy and varied resume, we had no idea he had it in him! Had what, you might ask? Well, we’ll tell you. Had the balls to portray one of the twentieth centuries most notoriously fey and mannered creatures, and also one of its most talented. We speak of course of Truman Capote. Which on a good day we know we wouldn’t have to explain who that is . . . but we are fully aware that most people’s idea of great literature nowadays is the latest Harry Potter. Miss Capote rose to prominence among the literati in the late 1940s with his wonderful short stories that appeared in Mademoiselle and Harper’s Bazaar, back when they actually assumed women had brains and featured some excellent short stories. Alas, now all you will find between the dreary Neutrogena® ads, are sex tips and the latest affordable fashion accessory – read: chunky beads. Blech.

Anywho, la Truman furthered his name recognition by publishing “Other Voices, Other Rooms” in 1948, which featured one of the most scandalous author pics ever!

While this photo might not seem shocking today, you can imagine how uptight mid-century Wasps were recoiling in horror to an obviously flamboyant and pixie-like creature posed languorously and gazing come hitheringly.

Herein lays the mystery of Truman Capote. An obviously talented writer, who was equally concerned with fame, celebrity and getting fucked by older men. Oh, get off the floor, if you didn’t know by now that la Capote was a fudgepacker, pack it in yourselves. As Truman busied himself producing short stories, novellas, the occasional screenplay and pieces of non-fiction . . . his barbed wit and singular delivery were almost overshadowing his writing genius. A genius that would find it’s greatest milieu in the American Mid-West of all Godforsaken places!

On a mid-November day in 1959, four members of the Clutter family of Holcombe, Kansas were murdered in their homes. Upon reading the short report in The New York Times, Capote convinced his editor at The New Yorker to help fund his trip to Kansas, along with his childhood friend, Nelle Harper Lee in order to cover the crime for a forthcoming article. It turned into a six year obsession, wherein la Capote scandalized Kansas society – all two of them – befriended the cold blooded murderers and managed to turn American literature on its collective ear by producing the spectacularly successful “non-fiction novel” – “In Cold Blood.” The wonderfully atmospheric new film, “Capote” traces Truman’s steps in researching his magnum opus, managing to capture all his neurosis, quirks, solipsistic actions and humor. A truly astounding feat, brought to us by the pen of actor, Dan Futterman who sadly most of you might know from “Will & Grace” season 73, wherein he played the object of Will’s lust.Chaste lust, but gay lust nonetheless. We had no idea the deliciously talented Mr. Futterman was a master scenarist too! Kudos to him. And he ain't too hard on the peepers, that Dan. But clearly he could use a good stylist. Kudos are also due to director Bennett Miller, whose direction never falters. He captures all the cold austereness of the flatlands of Kansas to the claustrophobic charms of the New York intellectual circle. “Capote” comes on the heels of Mr. Miller’s previous outing, the documentary “The Cruise”, which in no way prepared us for his exemplary work to be found here. Bravo, Benny, Bravo!

Special mention to two performers: Catherine Keener as Nelle Harper Lee, yes, that Harper Lee. The author of the now classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird” who was indeed Truman’s childhood friend. Here, Miss Keener quietly and superbly captures the strength of this woman, who supported her friend throughout his ordeals despite his less than equal support of hers. We thought Cathy was simply brilliant, despite having to play the mannish Miss Lee. Would a little lip gloss have hurt her characterization, we ask?

The second performer of note is Clifton Collins Jr. as one of the killers, Perry Smith. A little research tells us that Clifton is the grandson of character actor Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales, well congratz-congratz! Clifton treads a fine line between cold blooded murderer and a victim of societal carelessness. Never faltering, and somehow managing to be sexy despite the characters obvious drawbacks. But, then again. It’s so hard to find a good man nowadays, what’s a little cold blooded murder between objects of lust? We actually appreciate that the screenplay doesn’t shy away from the obvious notion that part of Miss Capote’s infatuation with the criminals might have been less professional and more, how shall we put it? Oh, please, he wanted to sit on their faces. There. Happy? We would be, Mr. Collins. Just so you know.

But the success of this film rests squarely on the shoulders of Philip Seymour Hoffman. We applaud you. We cheer your bravery. We are engraving the Best Actor Oscar immediately, we don’t care how the Academy votes. You deserve it. You done good, Phil. You done good. We’re hoping for a sequel, in which Phil gets to portray la Capote in his later years when he was a total wreck, burned out artistically, drug addicted, ostracized by his closet friends who felt betrayed by his futile attempt at a masterwork – the truncated “Answered Prayers”, and drunk out of his fey gourd. We suggest the title: “In a Coked Up, Drunken Haze.” Feel free to use it, Danny and Benny. So, what the hell are you waiting for? Go SEE IT NOW!!! You'll be glad we sent you.

Note: For those of you with further interest in Mr. Capote’s writings, there are two wonderful new books out there that capture his genius. A collection of his short fiction, “The Complete Stories of Truman Capote” and one of his letters, “Too Brief a Treat: The Letters of Truman Capote.” Both are fantastic, but the letters will have you in stitches! The opener of this review is lifted from one of his early epistles. That Truman! Always slaying ‘em in the aisle, when he wasn’t stabbing them in the back. God Bless her! And Bless you all!

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote
Catherine Keener as Nelle Harper Lee
Clifton Collins Jr. as Perry Smith
Chris Cooper as Alvin Dewey
Bruce Greenwood as Jack Dunphy
Bob Balaban as William Shawn
Amy Ryan as Marie Dewey
Mark Pellegrino as Richard Hickock

Directed by Bennett Miller
Writted by Dan Futterman
Based on the biography by Gerald Clarke
Film Editing by Christopher Tellefsen
Cinematography by Adam Kimmel
Costume Design by Kasia Walicka-Maimone
Production Design by Jess Gonchor
Set Decoration by Maryam Decter and Scott Rossell
Original Music by Mychael Danna

Serenity - Movie Review

Serenity 2005

Pity writer / director Joss Whedon. He helps put the WB on the map with seven wonderful years of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, and what does he get? He gets his Sci-fi horse opera, “Firefly” batted around like a tranny Brazilian hooker at Carnival. For those of you who are not “Browncoats” – “Firefly” was another entertaining TV fantasy that sprung out of the impishly clever Mr. Whedon’s fertile mind only to smother slowly and painfully under some accountant turned “Network Executive’s” ass. But there was life in the old girl, yet. Turns out, the DVD release of the complete series sold. Sold incredibly well. “Firefly” appeared to have a fanbase. Oh, yeah. A well organized, rowdy, and stubborn bunch. Sparking rumors that there would be a film version rising out of the broadcast ashes. And so, it has.

Thousands of geeks are popping their pimples over the release of “Serenity”, which is . . . well, it’s the feature film version of “Firefly”. Aren’t you even trying to pay attention, you twats? Kerr-riist. And guess what? It’s pretty damn good! Okay, so it ain’t “Metropolis”, “Citizen Kane” and “Deep Throat” all rolled up into one . . . ohhhh, that’s kinda good, we gotta make a note and start pitching that idea. It has legs. The good news is that it’s clever, imaginative, and sparkling with that old patented snappy Whedonesque dialogue.
Serenity” tells a tale set in the future, (It’s Sci-fi, like we said – PAY ATTENTION!) of a rag tag crew aboard a dilapidated space buggy called “Serenity”. Okay, Joss – try not to be so literal next time. Anywho, aboard this tiny ship, the fearless crew . . . pause. Wait for it. Alright, there is a skipper, and a professor type, and a farmgirl type, and a movie star type . . . no, no, no. We don’t really believe Joss could be having us on like that, could we? Okay, there’s a marshal type, a hooker with a heart of gold, an old preacher . . . For Fuck Sake’s, Frankie! Is every plot borrowed or outright stolen nowadays?

Well, yes. They are. And if you haven’t figured that out by now, you should just stay at home. What Mr. Whedon has done, is rely on the old reliable. “Stagecoach in Space”, it might as well be called. And it would still work. For years - critics, cinemaphiles, and bitches like us have been saying that sci-fi is merely an excuse to trot out the old standards and give them a big, fat, new canvas to sprawl out on. Grandaddy Geek George Lucas did it with reinventing the Samurai flick into a little something he liked to call “Star Wars”, so why not let Joss have his moment in the sun and allow him to rip off John Ford and get that old stagecoach a-soaring! Okay, let’s.

What makes this film work, you ask? Well, for starters, it has a fine cast who got to rehearse their hearts out on the aforementioned cancelled TV show. They are completely comfortable in their character’s skins. And it shows. Kudos to those familiar faces that will have you saying: “Hey, it’s that chick from “Alias”! “Hey, isn’t that the guy from “A Knight’s Tale” “That old guy, wasn’t he on ‘Barney Miller’!” (Okay, not many of you will be saying that) Plus, it has ADAM BALDWIN!!! Now, before you all start hissing and booing, I said ADAM, not Alec, or Billy or Stephen. ADAM BALDWIN!!! Who luckily for him, is absolutely no relation to the infamous Baldwin clan. Adam has been around Hollywood, tossing off some wonderful performances that have sadly remained under the radar. And this is a crying shame, since he’s blisteringly H-O-T!!! Adam, you had us at “My Bodyguard.” Oh, go look it up. Here, he gets to be all hunky, manly and endearingly dopey all while sporting a five-o-clock shadow you could run barefoot thru. Sigh.

It also features Nathan Fillion as the leader of the hearty rebel band of smugglers, and with him Joss Whedon has found an actor perfectly molded to deliver one liners, sport a gun convincingly, and still able to make our hearts flutter. Sigh. Here’s a pic of the boys with their very large gun.
Plaudits also to the casting of the criminally unknown Chiwetel Ejiofor as the villain of the piece. We’ve adored him since “Dirty Pretty Things”, a wonderful flick that must simply be in everybody’s Netflix® queue.

The one drawback we could find is that apparently and most unfortunately, in the future we are still wearing spandex. It isn’t a major plotline, thank God! But sadly, it made it past the film editor’s scissors. Well, we can’t have everything. But what you can have is a rollicking good time at the movies, provided of course you take our advice and go see “Serenity.”

What the fuck are you waiting for? We said GO!!! Bless you all!

Nathan Fillion as Mal
Gina Torres as Zoe
Alan Tudyk as Wash
Morena Baccarin as Inara
Adam Baldwin as Jayne
Jewel Staite as Kaylee
Sean Maher as Simon
Summer Glau as River
Ron Glass as Shepherd Book
Chiwetel Ejiofor as The Operative
Written & Directed by Joss Whedon
Film Editing by Lisa Lassek
Costume Design by Ruth E. Carter
Cinematography by Jack N. Green
Production Design by Barry Chusid
Set Decoration by Larry Dias
Original Music by David Newman

A History of Violence - Movie Review

A History of Violence 2005
It has taken us many years, but we are now prepared to admit something to you. We LOVE David Cronenberg! There we said it. Happy? Well we are. Our first Cronenberg experience was “Scanners” back when we were a mere fetus. Other highlights in his long career include the remake of “The Fly” – that helped unleash Geena Davis on an unsuspecting world, “Naked Lunch” – wherein we lost ours, “Dead Ringers” – FABULOUS performances by Jeremy Irons and Genevieve Bujold, “Crash” (No, no this year’s racist tract - the kinky one years ago – you know, with people who get turned on fucking during, after and thru car wrecks . . . well, whatever blows your skirt up we suppose) “The Dead Zone” and “Videodrome” among others. And while we cannot ignore the basic truism that Mr. Cronenberg must have some serious ish with sex, blood, gore and kink. You know what? He makes it work. Not all the time. But it works. It works. We have to say that we think David and fellow gore lover, Brian de Palma are the two most underappreciated talented directors out there. Their grazing ground may be the slick and stylish thriller, but they are the real deal. (Yes, we’re looking at your bloated carcass, Quentin T., and we’re still not liking what we see.) Case in point. Maestro Cronenberg’s latest oeuvre. “A History of Violence.”
This wonderfully compact and blessedly kooky look at the dark nature within some men’s souls plays out like Frank Capra directing an episode of “The Sopranos”, and Good Lord, does it work! Fabu! And yes, it is indeed violent. Honestly, we have never been a big fan of gratuitous violence, but with a title like this you gotta expect some messy drippy scenes. (Big nudge to the stupid twat who sat behind us at our theatre, and was so repulsed each time there was a gruesome close-up. What the fuck did you expect, bitch – “Bridget Jones III: Bridget Buys a Girdle?”) But, we digress. First and foremost, we want to mention the number one reason to go see this movie. VIGGO MORTENSEN!!! Sweet Baby Jesus dripped in Honey! The second reason to go see this movie. VIGGO MORTENSEN ASS SHOT!!! All too brief, we might add. The third reason to see this movie. WILLIAM HURT!!! No, we haven’t taken LSD and had a flashback to 1986 - we mean it. Okay, for those too young to know - back in the day Bill Hurt was the ever so dreamy intellectual hunk who steamed up our glasses in “Body Heat”, cracked us up in “Broadcast News”, made drug dealing look enticing in “The Big Chill”, and then went all “you go, girl” drag queenie on us in “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and snagged a well deserved Best Actor Oscar in the process. (We still stand strong in protesting that his fabulous co-star; the incredibly talented and dearly departed Raul Julia was robbed of an Oscar nomination! We’re still not over it.) But, forget all you think you know of this notoriously nutty and talented actor. Here, he has a brief, but incredibly important scene in which he not only steals the movie, but manages to squeeze out practically every emotion known to mankind in a powerhouse cameo that sure as shit better have him up for all the Best Supporting Actor prizes later this year! You listening, Academy? You bitches better be.

And Viggo. Oh, Viggo. You had us at “Witness” when you first flashed those baby blues and cheekbones you could slice deli meats with. We only started to take you seriously tho, during your three years of chasing dwarves in New Zealand, wherein we were shocked that you not only grounded a seventy five hour fantasy epic, you actually brought human dimension to a Tolkien adaptation! Of course, it helped to have that talented former fatty Peter Jackson at the helm, and now you are blessed with that nutjob David Cronenberg. Maybe, all you needed was a little good direction? Hmmmm. Maybe there is hope for Paul Walker after all? We’ll wait and see.
Rounding out the cast, are Maria Bello (who keeps growing on us like Kudzu, bless her) as Viggo’s loving but increasingly suspicious wife. Newcomer Ashton Holmes as there apparently wimpy, but resourceful teenage son. Some Dakota Fanning wannabe as their tiny tot of a daughter, and that old curmudgeon Ed Harris as one creepy newcomer to the small rural township that Viggo and familia call home.

We are not going to reveal the plot for this flick, suffice to say . . . read the fucking title of the movie, will ya? How fucking lazy can you be? Just go see it! One of the best of the year, hands down. David. We are faithful viewers from now on. We always knew you had it in you. Just please stop demonstrating it, with your wife.
Note: This flick, like many other recent wonderful films, is based on what the industry likes to call, a “graphic novel.” Read: COMIC BOOK!! To all the Fanboys out there, grow the fuck up. It’s okay to call it a COMIC BOOK. Labeling it a “graphic novel” ain’t gonna help get you laid, or out of your parents basement. For other wonderful COMIC BOOKS based flicks, go rent “American Splendor”, “Ghost World”, “Road to Perdition”, and “Titanic”. Okay, we’re kidding about the last one – but that horrid script might as well have been written as a flip book found in a Grabber Arcade Machine.

Bless you all!

Viggo Mortensen as Tom Stall
Maria Bello as Edie Stall
Ashton Holmes as Jack Stall
Peter MacNeill as Sheriff Sam Carney
Ed Harris as Carl Fogarty
William Hurt as Richie Cusack

Directed by David Cronenberg
Written by Josh Olson
Based on the graphic novel by John Wagner & Vince Locke
Film Editing by Ronald Sanders
Cinematography by Peter Suschitzky
Costume Design by Denise Cronenberg
Production Design by Carol Spier
Art Direction by James McAteer
Set Decoration by Peter P. Nicolakakos
Original Music by Howard Shore

Thursday, September 29, 2005

From Across the Pond!

Pssssst. We have a secret! Feeling the whole post Emmy slump, we were forced to cast our peepers across the pond and lo and behold, to what do our wandering eyes appear? Well, you’ll have to read and see. We are not going to reveal the name of the party these. . . ahem . . . “celebs” are attending until the very end. Consider this our own version of all those idiot Hollywood thrillers with erstwhile “twist endings”. Onto the “celebs.”

Oy! If there was any doubt as to why they lost the Empire. Here is visual proof.Taking a break from deep throating her waxed and peeled Welsh rugby boyfriend – Gavin Henson, is none other than that warbling soprano former tot, Charlotte Church, now fully blossomed into a young adult, and lewd public knob sucker fat skank. Huzzah for her! Clearly, the overly polished Mr. Henson (and object of desire to sports loving Mos the world over), likes a little something to hold onto when he’s not pummeling burly Brits in nylon shorts. Gavin Henson
And please take a closer gander at Gavin Henson, would ya? Now, we enjoy a well built strapping athlete, probably more than the average viewer. And we are not too proud to admit that we’d gladly let Gavin lob a few balls between our goal posts . . . but unless he plans to lube us up with the three barrels of crude oil he has sopped into his Cockatoo-like sprouthead, we’re gonna have to throw a tarp over his head in order to achieve any level of pleasure, or self respect.Daniella Westbrook
Please ignore the half hearted “Pretty in Pink” look, and focus on this bitches credits. She played Samantha Mitchell on EastEnders (you know, the BBC soap that has been running since Lord Admiral Nelson took a bullet wound and went legs up), after tossing her character over to another actress willing to give up any chance at real stardom – Daniella apparently became tabloid fodder when it was revealed that her “excessive” use of cocaine resulted in a completely “eroded nasal septum”. (We pause to note that we think that’s kinda sexy, and doesn’t it make it easier to inhale a kilo at a time if there’s nothing to derail it?) Anywho, she has rebounded fantastically from her drug infused media circus by proudly lifting her bleeding nostrils out of the gutter long enough to appear on . . . get ready:
“I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!” AND “I’m Famous and Frightened!”. We shit you not. We don’t know about you, but that last one sounds F-U-N! Bring your drippy nose on over, Daniella . . . we know a few celebs we’d love to frighten on this side of the Atlantic.Michelle Heaton
Whoa, Nelly! Stand back you U.S. skanks and tramps, this Limey slutbag is going to take you all on! Yowsa! Apparently she’s a British “pop star”, but then again what living soul on the planet hasn’t been at one point or another. Apparently she is currently in the band “Liberty X”. XXX is more bloody like it, you skeevy cow. Why bother putting on a dress at all, at this point? Just grease up ya tits with some hogfat from your back and slide on down the red carpet why don’t ya? W-H-O-R-E!!!!!!!Nadia
Okay, kids. For those of you out of the whole British Reality TV loop – and we hope that means most of us. This. This is Nadia Almada. Winner of “Big Brother UK 2004”. Now, before we looked her up, we were bewildered at her Victor Mature like barrel chest, and Hervé Villechaize like pout. Gee, awfully mannish, ain’t she. Well smack upside the head with a Yorkshire terrier, ‘cause ole Nadia here was born as one Jorge Leodoro, who went by the name of “Carlos”. Post-op tranny here, kids. Off with the log, and throw a skirt on the hog. There ain’t nothing else to add except to mention that “she’s” also Portuguese. Helps to explain the dress. But not the purse. Or is that an Aztec sacrificial fan?Dr. Gillian McKeith
Yes, yes, we’ll get to the wandering tit in a second. First, we would like to present Dr. Gillian McKeith, a noted Holistic nutritionist, who hosts the smash hit show “You Are What You Eat”. Well, judging from Gillian’s face, she must really enjoy a good moldy Pudding. Ouch. Kinda hard to look at ain’t she. Just look at her! Even her left tit is trying to avoid being seen with her! (Thank you for waiting.) Brave little hooter, so sad how it’s just creeping it’s little warped way over that tarty slip with gauzy wrap ensemble she’s failing miserably with.

And now . . . for our shocking reveal! Bum, bum, BUM!!!!! The party in question is . . . may we have the envelope please:

The 2005 Children's Charities Trust Awards
Held at the Grosvenor House Hotel - London

Got that? “Children’s Charities”. Clearly meant for the slutty child. You remember her . . . the little prissy whore on the playground who used to match her socks with her hair ribbons. She was always so pulled together, you just knew that the tiny skank was flashing her bald cooter to all the bad boys on the monkey bars. Whore.

Till next time! Cheerio, pip-pip, wot wot, and all that jazz! Bless you all!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Proof - Movie Review

Proof (2005)

For of those of you who aren’t theatre fags, “Proof” is the big screen adaptation of the Pulitzer prize winning play . . . “Proof”. Nice how that works out, ain’t it? Anyway, this chamber piece, if you will . . . and you will, tells the tale of two daughters living in the shadow of their recently departed math genius father, and his legacy of brilliance and insanity. And who can’t relate to that? Especially when the love interest is played by JAKE GYLLENHAAL!!! ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
We’re back. Please excuse us. We passed out at the mere mention of his name. Our future husband, JAKE GYLLENHAAL!!!, as we mentioned, plays the young math “geek” who idolized the dead wacko played by Anthony Hopkins. The daughters, as if you didn’t know, are portrayed by the WASPy double sucker punch of Hope Davis and Gwyneth Paltrow. They’re like matching ivory bookends, those two. Gwynnie gets the choicest role of the two, portraying the cracked bookend Catherine a potential mathematical wunderkind in her own right, or is she? Bum, bum, BUM!!!! Oh, the suspense. Could this razor cheekboned beanpole with limp hair really be the next Emmy Noether? Is she teetering dangerously close to Anne Heche-ville? (pun intended for those theatre fags in the know) Do we really care? And why isn’t JAKE GYLLENHAAL returning our calls? That’s what we all really want to know. It’s not stalking, JAKE, we prefer to think of it as flirting. With a telescope, digital camera and travel size container of lube.
Anyway, back to the flick at hand. It seems that nutjob, er, Daddyums has kicked the bucket. Sending poor Catherine into a downwards spiral that would make Sylvia Plath green with envy, if she wasn’t already blue from gas fumes. And yes, the Plath mention was deliberate. Now we come to the moment in our review where we must mention that while we think Gwyneth has been unfairly treated by the stalkarazzi, we also feel she is partly to blame for placing that Oscar up her ass instead of the mantle. Gwynnie, honey, if you’re not good at interviews then don’t do them! Be mysterious. It worked for Garbo. We’ve enjoyed her work in the past. No, not her Oscar winning role in “Shakespeare in Love” – she was fine, but honestly, she robbed Cate Blanchett of her deserved first Oscar win. (For “Elizabeth” – we just know in our heart of hearts that Cate must wake up some days in a daze, screaming: “I lost to that?”) Back to Paltrow. You are a fine young actress. Your work over the years has proven it to us. Most notably in your pre-famous days in the wonderfully moody “Flesh and Bone” - 1993, and for your meticulous exploration of the mystery of Sylvia Plath in . . . well, “Sylvia” - 2003. We happen to think that you and your co-star in the latter flick, that hunk of blue eyed Brit, Daniel Craig, were both deserving of some major awards attention. We grieve for your loss.

Back to the “Proof” at hand. So, Gwynnie begins to skip around Margot Kidder-land, and retreats into herself once darling sis, Claire arrives in her pink hued uptightness. Claire enters less like a breath of fresh air, and more like Martha Stewart with a mission. Before you can say, “It might not be a good thing”, Claire is ‘GASP’ forcing Catherine to take a shower and eat some breakfast! Does she know what that would to do to her Stella McCartney gown she was planning to wear to next year’s Oscars? It’ll completely kill the look. Anyway. Catherine resists. Claire bitches. JAKE GYLLENHAAL!!! Broods mysteriously in the corner looking all scruffy and buff in his low hung jeans that just graze the muffins, and gives us hopes of catching the full meal deal underneath. To no avail. Throw in a few flashbacks to Dribble cup Daddys final year, slowly deteriorating and yet still managing to produce bookshelves worth of what appear to be notebooks filled with mathematical proofs. Proofs that could unlock the math mysteries plaguing humanity for centuries. Like how to afford a four story Victorian mansion on a Medicare plan for mental patients. As Claire prepares for the proper funeral for Diddums, Hal makes the moves on Catherine . . . and suddenly love is in the air. But not in Catherine’s hair. Has the girl never heard of a volumizing shampoo and conditioner? Kiehl’s™ has lovely things. Oh, well.

What is important, is the relevation that there is one notebook of Daddys tucked away behind a locked drawer in his desk. And Catherine has the key, but it turns out to be only Pandora’s Box for the hot math “geek” JAKE GYLLENHAAL!!! A cursory glance reveals that yes indeed, this could be the big one. No, not JAKE’S, sadly we’ll have to wait for “Bareback Mountain” for that scene. Oh, God, we pray there are big ones in that! No, no, get your minds out of our gutter. This mystery proof could unlock a math riddle that would have Chinese teenagers wetting their beds three times a night, as opposed to the usual two. But who actually wrote it? By the time it was supposed to have been written, Daddio was somewhere between Tom Cruise ranting and Idi Amin crazy. Could Catherine really have written it, as she claims? We dare not spoil the ending. We’ll just leave you with these parting round-ups.
1. Gwyneth, you really shine as the whackadoodle, but charming daughter who has thrown propriety to the wind and opted to go her own way.
2. Hope, your tight lipped and upturned waspiness is letter perfect, down to the slight curl at the end of your bob. Although, you are beginning to own these roles, so you might wanna step back before you officially become Agnes Moorehead. And that’s the part that Patricia Clarkson was born to play – so, step off!
3. Anthony Hopkins, we adored you from your first film role as the young King Richard the Lionhearted in “The Lion in Winter” opposite Katharine Hepburn’s third Oscar winning role, and the great Peter O’Toole in his third Oscar nominated role (he should have won). We championed you in “The Elephant Man”, where you co-star John Hurt stole the honors and Oscar nom, and even applauded you through your own Oscar winning role in “The Silence of the Lambs”. Although, let’s be honest Tony. You were supporting in that, no Lead Actor – for fucks’ sake you were barely in it for longer than twenty minutes. That damn Academy! But now, as you have settled into the King Lear era of your life. Well, if you listen carefully . . . . it’s the theatre Gods above calling you home. Go. Quietly and quickly. We love you, but we’re tired of the shtick.
4. JAKE GYLLENHAAL!!! You are perfect. You make our mouths water, heart palpitate, knees knock, and our sphincters pucker. You are also a pretty good actor, when we’re not completely blinded by your hotness. (Sidenote to costume designer Jill Taylor: Hope was perfectly decked out as some New York City wannabe style maven, Tony, suitably grizzly as the aged prof, and Gwyneth believably downplayed, even when forced to wear that new dress that Hope forces her to buy for the funeral – we love the low sling back heel and kicky jean jacket to soften the starchiness. But, Jill, you really let us down when it came to JAKE. We think he should have been dressed in much tighter jeans. Clinging muscle tee, and after he’s done the deed with Gwynnie, he should have remained naked throughout the entire movie. Just saying.)
Oh, yeah. The movie. It was directed by John Madden, who directed Gwyneth to her Oscar in “Shakespeare in Love”, and helped her trod the boards in the London production of this very same story. And he does a mighty fine job of opening the play up cinematically without resorting to much chicanery. The production design is more than suitably ‘academic”. We too grew up in the Academia world of college professors. Our parents didn’t go insane, they were more like . . . well, go rent “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” if you really must get a feel for our childhood. Great flick, too!

And so in closing, while we were not moved to orgiastic heights (at least when JAKE GYLLENHAAL wasn’t onscreen), we were moved by the family drama, and outstanding acting. Not a bad way to waste a couple of hours, if we say so ourselves. And we always do. Go ahead. Spend the money. Just stay away from our future husband, JAKE GYLLENHAAL!!! We will cut you bitches up if we find you within our allotted 100 yards restraining order distance. Bless you all!

Gwyneth Paltrow as Catherine
Jake Gyllenhaal as Hal
Hope Davis as Claire
Anthony Hopkins as Robert

Directed by John Madden
Written by David Auburn & Rebecca Miller
Based on the play “Proof” by David Auburn
Film Editing by Mick Audsley
Cinematography by Alwin H. Kuchler
Costume Design by Jill Taylor
Production Design by Alice Normington
Original Music by Stephen Warbeck
Art Direction by Grant Armstrong and Keith Slote
Set Decoration by Barbara Herman-Skelding

Flightplan - Movie Review

Flightplan (2005)

Oh, Jodie Foster. Come back to the 5 & Dime, Jodie Foster, Jodie Foster! Stop making these overwrought “thrillers” featuring you protecting your daughters from those bad, bad men. “Panic Room”, anyone? We love La Foster, and we simply adored her recent turn as the French speaking Polish widow in “A Very Long Engagement”. We shit you not. Go rent it! But, you’re really plucking our last frayed nerves with this one, Jodester.

The good things about this movie are the following. Jodie’s acting. Peter Sarsgaard’s fluttering droopy bedroom eyes. Sean Bean - who just reeks of masculinity. (Sean, you can propel our mammoth jets any day!) The return of Greta Scacchi!!!! Greta!! It feels like it’s been years! You were fab in this! (too bad about the wig, tho) And the blessed fact that it was an hour and a half long. Oh yeah, Erika Christensen is in it, too. (Our mothers did teach us to say ONE nice thing about someone, so here goes . . . wait a sec, while we think, wait one more while we inhale a quick drag) Oh!!! Got one. Erika was born to play the dumb third stewardess from the left. There. You happy? And John Benjamin Hickey plays a corpse. He was okay.
By now, you must have seen the preview a million times, so you know the set-up. Jodie and five year old daughter, whatsername, board a big, big, we mean BIG plane on a transatlantic flight from Berlin to New York. And Jodie’s daughter goes missing. Bum, bum, BUM!!!!!!!!!! Cue the cliché James Horner music. What ever has become of Miss Foster’s daughter? Could she have been kidnapped? But where would they take her? Has she been murdered and eaten by the anorexic stewardesses? (not so fast, Erika, take one oversized step back) Is everybody on board, really who they seem to be? What about those now ubiquitous slimy Arabs? Was she ever really there? Were we? We think we were. We have the crick in our backs to prove it. And didn’t we watch this same basic plot in 1938, with Alfred Hitchcock’s brilliant “The Lady Vanishes”? (Go rent that one, NOW!)

Now, within its own little botched up world of cold blue lighting and awfully pretty snowfalls, “Flightplan” does blissfully play out the mother’s mounting hysteria, and inevitable search on a fairly intelligent level. One might argue, too intelligent for some audience members. (cough, cough – we’re looking at you, loud bitches to our right) And we will be eternally grateful for the years of experience La Foster has, ‘cause she manages to tread the fine line between hysteria and hysterical acting. And surrounded as she is by those big, strapping, hunky men . . . we meant, by those talented actors Peter and Sean, and the ever wonderful Greta – she is allowed to bounce all her years of thespic skills against some talented supporting players. BUT! And this is a big but. (No, Erika, we said b-u-t – calm down.) The script manages to fly the jumbo jet thru a plot-hole the size of . . . okay, Erika, now step forward. Now, it would be simply unfair of us to mention the plot-hole, without giving the spoiler warning. You’re warned. Go away now, if you plan on actually paying money for this flick.


What the fuck are you doing down here? Didn’t we warn you? Fine. Here goes. And we promise to be vague enough to those idiot enough to read this. If the “planners” of this “Flightplan” were willing to go the extreme lengths they seemed to be – why on earth would they choose as their mule, if you were, the one person in Europe with a detailed knowledge of airplanes, thus being able to foil their plans? Clearly they were the last in their Terrorism 101 class. (Thanks to Cherie, for that phrase)

So, in closing, if you must go see “Flightplan” make sure somebody as sexy as Sean Bean is paying for it. And for dinner. And we don’t mean at Chipotle®. And here’s hoping he gives you the ole “Slap and Tickle” after watching this buswreck. That should make up for it. Bless you all!

Jodie Foster as Kyle
Peter Sarsgaard as Carson
Sean Bean as Captain Rich
Greta Scacchi as the Therapist
Erika Christensen as Fiona
John Benjamin Hickey as David

Directed by Robert Schwentke
Written by Peter A. Dowling and Billy Ray
Film Editing by Thom Noble
Cinematography by Florian Ballhaus
Costume Design by Susan Lyall
Original Music by James Horner

Oliver Twist - Movie Review

Oliver Twist (2005)

Hey, bitches! There’s this cool new movie by Roman Polanski (luv his work, his personal life we won’t get into) all about this cute little kid Oliver Twist (what a porn name! must be vers) and his like really tough life, all because he’s an orphan. And by now, if you haven’t got the blatant sarcasm, well obviously you haven’t been reading The Bloody Red Carpet, and SHAME ON YOU!!!!

Okay, so this is the umpteenth version of the Dickens plot. And really, by now, all of Dickens storylines are just about the same. Oh!!!! You mean that was his father!!!!! We kid. We love the dickens out of Charly. WE do. And we enjoyed this latest rehash very much. We will admit to wandering thought patterns towards the end, BUT only because we were so familiar with the previous versions, it was all a matter of being able to appreciate the choices made by Roman and his cast and crew. We must pause now, to state unequivocally – that David Lean’s 1948 version of “Oliver Twist” remains our favorite. ‘Effin near perfect, it is! Dark, creepy, brilliantly cast and nail bighting tension all wrapped up into one great flick! (Go rent the Criterion® dvd, NOW!!!) But we also understand that most of you kids have probably never watched a movie made before the Reagan years . . . and how sad this make us, but we have bowed down to the inevitable remakes throughout the years. We admit it. We’re Hollywood’s bitch. But we still hold our heads and cocktails high! Anyway, on to the current version.
First. The kid. A-fucking-dorable. We’re trying to figure out exactly when he turns legal, ‘cause he is just cute as the bees’ knees! Oh, calm down. We only really meant that when we first watched Jamie Bell in “Billy Elliot”. (And we’re still waiting for Jamie to call us - you’re nineteen years old now, you have our number bitch, what’s up with that?) Anywho. Barney Clark is his name. And he is perfectly cast. As the script calls for, he has a wonderful face filled with “melancholy”, and the camera loves it! After a hundred plus years of moviegoing (we’re old, we admit it), we have grown positively steel hearted to the erstwhile charms of tiny tykes trying to milk our tear ducts dry. So, it takes an especially talented youngster, and a brilliant director (check!) to break the impenetrable barrier around our hearts. Well, Barney and Roman pull it off quite nicely.

Ben Kingsley. What can we say. You had us at “Gandhi”. And if any of you all have missed his last two Oscar nominated turns in the brilliant “Sexy Beast” and Debbie Downer Fest “House of Sand and Fog”, then we want you to stop reading this and go rent them now! WE SAID NOW!!!! Okay, the rest of you know how wonderful an actor Mr. Kingsley is, and he will not let you down in the role of Fagin. Much has been written about the character Fagin over the years, from pedophile to being declared an anti-Semitic portrait. Well we say, what’s wrong with an anti-Semitic pedophile? We all can’t be perfect. And kudos to Kingsley for dabbling here and there in all the possible darkest corners of this charmingly disgusting rogue and still managing to tug our heart strings in one of the final heart breaking scenes.

As befits the Dickensian milieu – “How Bleak was that House?” The design throughout is top notch. Applause and flowers to the production team, with a special nod to the fab Anna B. Sheppard, whose costume design manages to peg characters spot on, and still reflect the “haven’t a farthing to show for it” economic status of Fagin’s motley crew. I mean, honestly. Who wouldn’t be a headstrong, petulant petty criminal if they were forced to wear muted browns every day? Exhausting. And pity the poor orphan who has to walk seventy miles from the poorhouse to London in clodhoppers laden with holes. (Wasn’t there a Kenneth Cole® en route?)

Shout outs to Leanne Rowe as the saucy wench, Nancy – yowsa! What a rack! And the perfectly slimy and detestable Jamie Foreman as Bill Sykes. Hissssss! Booooooo! As for the Artful Dodger, our fave character, young master Harry Eden gets to take a big bow alongside the Oscar nominated Jack Wild interpretation from the musical version of Oliver Twist . . . “Oliver!” (Composer Lionel Bart may have been a musical genius back in his day, but not so great with the titles, that one.) We wish Mr. Eden a long and fruitful career . . . unlike Mr. Wild, and no “H.R. Pufnstuf®” remakes for you!

So, in closing. Thank you, Roman. You done good again! From “Knife in the Water”, “Repulsion”, “Rosemary’s Baby”, “Macbeth”, “Chinatown”, “Tess” all the way to your recent deserving Oscar winning “The Pianist” – we continue to applaud your work.

Sidenote: The showing we attended (Thanks, Angelina!), was chock full of weekend dads with their bratty kids. And this left us wondering. Do people really view this as a “family film”? If so, then might we suggest: “The Hours” and “The Woodsman”? After all, there were small kids in those films too. Our point is this. We have never believed that Dickens work was written for children. Yes, he often used them as protagonists, but don’t you think he was using them as a naïf, thereby being able to reflect the whole of London’s society – good and bad, upon an unsuspecting toddler?

No? Fuck off, then. Unless the dead beat dads in our theater were trying to scare the crap out of their bratty little bitches: “See! Aren’t you glad you’re not an orphan? You’d have to eat gruel and wear uncomfortable shoes.”

So, all in all. Take a crowbar to your wallet and go see the latest twist on Oliver. You’ll be glad we sent you. Bless you all.

Barney Clark as Oliver Twist
Ben Kingsley as Fagin
Harry Eden as The Artful Dodger
Leanne Rowe as Nancy
Jamie Foreman as Bill Sykes
Edward Hardwicke as Mr. Brownlow

Directed by Roman Polanski
Written by Ronald Harwood based on Charles Dickens’ novel
Original Music by Rachel Portman
Film Editing by Hervé de Luze
Costume Design by Anna B. Sheppard
Cinematography by Pawel Edelman
Production Design by Allan Starski
Art Direction by Jindrick Kocí
Set Decoration by Jille Azis

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Opening Night of the 43rd Annual New York Film Festival

Opening Night of the 43rd Annual New York Film Festival
"Good Night, and Good Luck." Premiere September 23, 2005 - Lincoln Center
Darlings! It’s been forever. And we simply must tell you all about our latest and most exhausting red carpet du sang fest. Well, there we were emerging from our mid-afternoon baths, feeling fresh as Dakota Fanning’s flower – when we realized we only had a scant five hours before we had to hustle our way uptown to Lincoln Center to attend the Opening Night extravaganza for the 43rd Annual New York Film Festival! After all, they were premiering our good pal, George Clooney’s black-and-white opus (How artsy of you, Georgey Peorgey – we’ve always called him that, for years, since he was skinny.) anywho, George’s cinema verité-like docudrama-like, based on a true story-like revisionist version-like of the Edward R. Murrow vs. Sen. Joseph McCarthy famed bitchslap from the ole “Let’s Kill Us a Commie For Uncle Sam” days. Remember them? We all wore twin sets and full skirts, drank excessively, and cheated on our husbands. Excuse us, that could have been last week . . . we’ll clarify. This all happened eons ago, in an age we like to call the Eisenhower era. Oh, go look it up. We can’t do everything for you!

Anyway, let’s take a gander at the hoi polloi on The Bloody Red Carpet, shall we?Our pal George Clooney
Such a handsome roué, ain’t he? Salt and peppered, and spicy to the touch he is. Trust us. This cat just gets dreamier every day! Sigh. Pardon us while we flutter our eyelashes unashamedly. And while we can’t honestly say that we loved his first directorial big screen effort, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”, we respected his daringness, his casting choices, his use of the camera . . . oh, fuck it. We just want him to take us back to his 89 room fuckpad on Lake Cuomo and hammer us till we screech like banshees on one of his period settees. Whew!! A girl can dream, can’t she?

And speaking of girls dreaming.Teri Hatcher
“I’m so thrilled to be here.” Jeezus. Teri. Lighten the fuck up, will ya? So, you lost the Emmy to your co-star Felicity Huffman. So what? You’re not still harboring a grudge are you? Silence. No reaction. We can only imagine what malevolent thoughts she must be running through her little envious mind right about now. Perhaps something like: “Fucking cunt, Felicity . . . bitch better leave that Emmy at home, ‘cause if she so much as brings it within two feet of the Wisteria Lane set, I’ll ram that fucking gold statue so high up her ass, she’ll be gargling with gold. I didn’t suffer through years of Radio Shack® commercials with Howie Long, and decades of playing Lois Lane to get one upped by some slumming Mamet bitch! WHAT THE FUCK DO I HAVE TO DO TO WIN AN EMMY! I have a Golden Globe! Okay, they’re a joke in the industry, but damn it! I want an Emmy! Note to self: Fire agent, fire manager, fire publicist, offer to get Marc Cherry laid, maybe I can pay Dean Cain to sit on his fat face for a few minutes – he has to need the cash, “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!” can’t pay that well, whatever it takes!” You know. Something along those lines. Go ahead, try this game at home, it’s minutes of fun.
Oh yeah, and this is dress she chose to wear. Let’s not be too critical, it was probably all she could do get out of bed in the morning. Poor lamb.Patricia Clarkson
Oh, Patty. We love you. We’ll put the kid gloves back on. Normally we aren’t too partial the white titty frock on the really white girls, but we’ll make an exception. You had us from your one two killer punch a few years back with “The Station Agent” and your Oscar nominated turn in “Pieces of April” – add to that your incredibly delectable guest appearances on the now blissfully defunct “Six Feet Under” and we are forever in awe of your acting chops! Go with our blessing. But please go. Edie Falco
Aunt Edie
! Oh my Gaaad! How you been? How are the kids? That station wagon still giving you problems? You’re looking kinda tired. Please tell us you haven’t been chasing those yummy valium with nail polish again! While we admire your powerhouse talent, we use this moment to warn all gals in the audience. When shopping for a red carpet ensemble, steer clear of the upholstery bins! While this may be perfectly acceptable on a mid-west matron, and yes, we know – it has tons of mileage in its future – just think of the throw pillows, tea cozies and pot holders one could fashion out of this, it has no place on the red carpet. Really looking forward to the next season of “The Sopranos”, at least Carmela’s fashion choices make sense. Ellen Barkin
Whoa! Whoever said money could buy you happiness, needs to take a gander at what has become of Ellen Barkin! Raiding the seventh string bus-and-truck company of “Victor/Victoria”, is not going to camouflage the hazards of time, honey. “Le Jazz Not” we like to call this. Just look at it!Rachel Weisz
Hey, Rainbow Brite®! Bring it down a notch, willya? Miss Weisz has never really registered a blip on our radars – but she sure as shit is trying in this Nava-ho sand painting dreck. Oh, come off it. Like you went and saw “The Mummy” and screamed – there’s a S-T-A-R!! And yes, we know that her current flick in theatres, “The Constant Gardener” has been earning raves, and we simply do not agree. We saw it. Regretfully. It wasn’t completely abhorrent, but take your Dramamine! We’re only going to warn you once.Mira Nair
So Sari. Third class steerage back to Mumbai, now boarding! Namaste. Sylvia Miles
Sweet Jesus!!!! Don’t do that! You could give a gal a heart seizure. No folks, she isn’t kidding. Ages ago, what was once Sylvia Miles earned two Oscar nominations, and was known as being a stylish New York gal about town. This was when New York was known as New Amsterdam. Now, she manages to combine everything unappealing from Granny on “The Addams Family” to the “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” look. Throw in a feathered dog choker, velveteen hair bow and Don Rickles’ eyebrows – and it’s a wrap. And we're really praying that those are polka dotted stockings she's sporting on her hooves. Liver spots are one thing, an epidemic is another. Anna Deavere Smith. Well. Ahem. Okay, she’s a talented writer. So was Simone de Beauvoir. And she wasn’t any less painful to look at. Anna. Sweetie. Clothing should accentuate. Not envelope and smother and drift away under it’s own power. Diane Reeves
Oh, shit. Another one we love. Jazz great, Diane Reeves. The actual pants and top wouldn’t be so painful, if she not opted for the gross grain ribbon cinching her lack of a waistline. It’s like putting a kabbalah string on a hippo.Alex Borstein
Oh, thank you, Alex! Someone with a sense of humor. Right? Please say yes. Of course she has one. Fans of "MadTV" will agree. And actually, the outfit isn’t so hideous considering the mannequin. Too bad that even whilst clowning, she pulled off this look better than this harpy coming up. You are warned!Donna Karan
What? We warned you! Our hand to God! Is there really any wonder at this point in the game, why DK’s empire crumbled? Take a close look at Lainie Kazan’s evil doppelganger here, and try to disagree. Lovely Roman Sandals, really closes the deal, Donna.Tony Danza
So fucking happy to be invited, he’s flashing his invitation in a vain attempt to avoid security bouncing his head down the escalator. Probably the reason he’s wearing nylon track pants and sneakers too, just in case he has to make a mad dash for the subway. Lord knows, he can’t afford a “Taxi” at this point. Oh, we kill ourselves!!!Ron Silver
Pay attention. This is what happens when liberals go right wing. Let this be a lesson to all of you who are considering selling your souls to Karl Rove.George's face says it all!
We agree completely. Why bother showing up to the premiere, if this is the crowd you’re gonna get. Sorry, Georgy Peorgy. We still love you. Call us. Bless you all!