Archive for the 'Movies' Category

09
Sep
10

RIP Otho Fenlock

Glenn Shadix died at home in Alabama Tuesday. We all remember him as paranormal researcher-turned-interior decorator Otho from Beetlejuice. He had almost all the really great lines in that movie and was one of my first memorable gay role models.

I must admit I’m disappointed the AP story didn’t mention his turn as the preacher in Heathers. Personally, I blame not the AP, but rather a society that tells its youth that the answers can be found in the MTV video games.

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08
Sep
10

Monsieurs and Señoras

Do foreign films exist anywhere besides America? I wonder sometimes if it is only their not being American that makes them foreign. If “Hollywood,” being so big and prolific, has driven a wedge between movies and foreign films. If a South African sees an Icelandic film, would he call it a foreign film or just a film? As long as the subtitles are spelled correctly, does it matter?

I’ve become a passive fan of foreign films. To be more accurate, I am a fan of French and Spanish films. Probably because I have seen more films from those countries than from other countries. (Not counting Great Britain, Australia and Canada, of course, but Americans can hardly count those three as foreign countries. Foreign countries are the ones where people talk funny.) But probably also because there is a sensibility about them that I admire.
Continue reading ‘Monsieurs and Señoras’

04
Aug
10

A Family Weigh

The 1976 film Network may most commonly bring to mind overwhelmed, despairing Howard Beale bellowing “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more!” His performance is genius, and his newsroom messiah complex may seem to presage this generation’s personality-driven Fox News and CNBC, but something else stood out to me when I watched the movie for the first time not long ago. A much smaller moment. And it had nothing to with Howard Beale, at least not directly.
Continue reading ‘A Family Weigh’

21
May
09

Das Reboot

Who cares if the new Star Trek doesn’t make sense? I still love it. This is not academic science fiction. The less sensical, the better.

OK, love Zachary Quinto and John Cho. My crushes on those two boys has gone into warp drive. The guy who played McCoy was brilliant. And Uhura gets some strong screen presence. We have Leonard Nimoy to titillate all the old-school fans. Chris Pine as Kirk, however, was probably the weakest part of the film.

What troubles me more, though, is this whole time travel thing.

By Nero accidentally going into the past and killing Kirk’s father, and Spock haplessly following him in, haven’t they changed the conditions that would have led to Romulus exploding, thereby eliminating the circumstances that led Nero to seek revenge and Spock to seek redemption in the first place? Maybe, maybe not. Clearly the future that Spock is from will no longer happen. So every interaction he has in the past might actually negate his existence in any point in history.

Back to the Future handled this in a handily visual, albeit simplific, way by disappearing people from a photograph from the future after the conditions leading to their birth in the past were eliminated.

But these temporal paradoxes are not to be contemplated.

The important thing is that we now have an alternate reality. The writers have free reign to deviate from the know story line, to boldly go where no Star Trek writer has gone before. They’re already on their way toward a sexier, more dangerous iteration of the beloved franchise. Spock is in love with Uhura. Vulcan is obliterated, and its people are now an endangered species. There are two Spocks — for now. (Bad news for George Takei.) And the elder of the two can still make references to the orginal film series to thrill the old folks.

One thing is for sure, though. These actors have landed themselves a money-making franchise.

20
May
09

I Heart Betty White

We’re down two Golden Girls, with two to go. Oh, it pains me to think of losing Rue McClanahan and Betty White. Yet it’s hard to resist the speculation: Who will be the last Girl standing?

Meanwhile, this is hilarious! Betty White calls Ryan Reynolds an “ab-crunching jackass,” and he tells her to suck a hot cock. And Sandra Bullock slaps Reynolds around for picking on poor Betty.

I know I’m totally falling for this viral marketing, but I’ll probably never see the movie its meant to promote. The worst part: I have an irrational dislike of Sandra Bullock, but this clip is actually making me like her.

02
Apr
09

Another Triumphant Return for Little Edie Beale

Some legends just never die, do they?

HBO’s production of Grey Gardens, premiering on April 18, should be pretty amazing. It’s not a movie version of the 1975 documentary, whose action necessarily concentrated on the declining years of the Beale women, making only brief photographic reference to their less-troubled past. Nor is it, notably, a remake of the recent Broadway musical, which re-enacted elements of their erstwhile lives of leisure. Rather, it seems to be a combination of both stories.

It’s such a bizarre and compelling story, and this trailer suggests the new film seems up to the task of telling it completely.

Jessica Lange’s makeup looks amazing, and Drew Barrymore sounds brilliant. Imagine the bill for the dialect coach! I almost want her to burst into song with “The Revolutionary Costume for Today.”

21
Mar
09

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Fabio

One idea of male physical perfection is the romance novel cover model. It’s the swashbuckling hero, stripped to the waist, wrapping himself around a fair damsel, her frills and ribbons swirling up around him, licking his bronzed, hairless torso. It’s the tamed savage, all leather straps, shells and feathers, towering magnificently over his prize, one ham-sized hand firmly grasping her arm, the other gently touching her chin as she, on her knees, reaches desperately up toward him, her hair a wind-swept tangle nearly as long as his.

There’s enough there to excite the dreams of a young boy for years into his adolescence — whether he wants to be the hero … or to receive the hero’s ill-fated, undying desire. It was rivaled only by the box-cover underwear models lining the rows of men’s department store intimate apparel aisles. (I never wore the stuff. I always had the simple Fruit of the Loom numbers. Instead of the triumphantly muscled gods of Calvin Klein and Jockey, I had a few guys in fruit fetish wear.)

It was enough to take Fabio all the way to the top of a margarine ad empire.

Recently this dream has been playing out on the walls of the New York subway. In all their half-naked, air-brushed glory, Hollywood hotties Eddie Cibrian, Jerry O’Connell, Ivan Sergei and Jason Lewis are doing their best to out-Fabio each other, tenderly grasping their respective leading ladies, in a collection of posters for a series of Lifetime movies based on novels by Nora Roberts.

The 2009 Nora Roberts Collection

I don’t know anything about her or her work, but the art direction of the posters tells me all I really want to know.

The films themselves are probably decent, perfunctory, uncomplicated TV movies. But the candy-colored posters are ridiculous caricatures. And the assault of all four of them taken together, which is how they appear in the subway, makes the whole thing look a little like a joke. On the Web site, we learn further that erstwhile hot mamas such as Cybil Shepard and Faye Dunaway also co-star. Could it get any gayer? It’s like accidental high camp.

But this is “television for women,” after all. The images above are all arms and chest. Not a single nipple shows. And no gay soft-core porn, however accidental, would be caught dead without a couple of Susan B. Anthonys peeking through.




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