October 14, 2007

It Is Accomplished

Please be aware that Stale Popcorn has changed URLs. It's the same ol' blog just a different address. OMG don't be such a bitch about it!

As a parting gift here is a track from the new Sugababes album Change. It's called "Surprise" and it's amazing. See you on the other side.

October 12, 2007

An Open Letter To Hugh Jackman

Dear Hugh Jackman,

I know we missed out on sharing the same birthday by sixteen and a half hours - I was born at 4.30pm you see - but I feel that we share a unique bond, one that cannot be unbroken. You see, you like taking your shirt off and I LIKE LOOKING AT IT. So please keep that up. Nothing makes my day instantly better than seeing pictures of you at the beach, or on the movie set, or in a cafe drinking something soy (wait, have you ever done that?) all of which you freely partake in minus a shirt.

If you're out today on your birthday (and subsequently can't be reading this blog, but whatever, I know you worship it) feel free to just whip off your shirt near some paparazzi and I'll be eternally grateful.

Love Always,


[As Blogger just like torturing me with my picture posting tool lately I can't actually provide a picture of Hugh sans shirt. Blogger can die now plz]

October 11, 2007

A Change Will Do You Good

Just as Sheryl Crow hypothesised many years ago, a change will do me good. From October 14 this blog will indeed be changing. Nothing terribly drastic, just a new URL is all. The new blog will be this one << clicky clicky! Obviously this present encarnation of Stale Popcorn will continue to exist on the information super highway (how long has it been since you heard that?) and I will be regularly linking back to entries, much like I do now, but I have decided the time has come to make this crazy thing more formal.

So, yes, on October 14 - the same date as the start of my 100 Greatest Movie Posters countdown - the new home of Stale Popcorn will be http://stalepopcornau.blogspot.com bookmark it or whatever it is that you do and I hope to see you there.

This will be probably be my last entry on this URL as I have places to go, people to see and things to do between now and then (it is my birthday on Saturday after all). Come next week it will be:


Or something like that. Ciao.

La Link en Rose

I'm feeling uninspired right now, so here are some links to occupy your time.

Indiewire looks at this year's Foreign Language Film Oscar race. There's not much there that we don't already know, but you should read it for the offensive, insulting and downright pathetic grovelling of La Vie en Rose producer Alain Goldman:

"It's so bizarre," says "La Vie en rose" producer Alain Goldman. "Obviously, they did not think let's get the one that has the most chance to win, because then they would have picked 'La Vie en rose.' It was such a good contender to win this year, and they knew that, so I would really like to understand why," he wonders. "What was their goal?"

He goes on further to discuss how Persepolis should be religated to it's own Animated Feature category and leave Foreign Language Film to the hystrionic time-shifting weird ritilin-deficient musical biopics.

Nat at Film Experience has a (surprisingly) long list of GLBT directors and actors working in today's film and television business. It's not exactly the number of gay performers, but more that so many of them seem stuck in the indie/gay ghetto. That's a shame.

On a similar not SameSame has a list of the 25 most influential Gay and Lesbian Australians. On the list is Neil Armfield who has worked in stage and film, including last year's Heath Ledger-Abbie Cornish drug drama Candy. There's Darren Hayes whose album This Delicate Thing We Made was all kinds of excellent, and iOTA who portrayed Hedwig in this year's production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Awards Daily has some stuff on Control, the Ian Curtis biopic that is a) out soon, b) better than La Vie en Rose and c) actually quite good period. I saw Control at MIFF and it went on to win the Audience Awards or somesuch. I still can't help but feel in the back of my Oscar-guessing mind that Samantha Morton is gonna make a play for Best Supporting Actress. She doesn't get much to do but what she does is very noticable. She got nominated for lead for In America (as implausable as that sounded then and now) so all she needs is some buzz and some plaudits before making a move.

The new Golden Compass poster at My New Plaid Pants is much much better than that awful crap they gave us earlier. And Movie Marketing Madness has the new I Am Legend poster. It too is better than the first. So, huzzah's all 'round.

Dear Go Fug Yourself, I think I can speak for the 18.5 million Australians who don't watch McLeod's Daughters that truck stops and psychics named "Mystic Miranda" do not make a good show.

Lastly, TimesOnline is reporting that Al Gore is the favourite to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Oy...

October 10, 2007

Jumping Jamies

Did you know I love Jamie Bell? Cause I do. A lot. He has a new movie coming out some time in the future (Feb 15 for America) called Jumper. It's a science fiction movie directed by Doug Liman and starring, unfortunately, Hayden Christensen and a hilarious-looking Samuel L Jackson. Christensen and Bell play people who can... jump around through space and time? I dunno. The trailer, which can be viewed right here, isn't particularly clear on that point.

But you know what is clear. Jamie Bell looks scrumptious as a crumpet. Can I have some more?

Jumpermericans Only

More on the trailer for Jumper (starring my boyfriend, Jamie Bell) in a bit but I found this thing on the official website incredibly amusing. Oxymoron fans rejoice! Click the image below if you can't quit read what it says.

Kylie Minogue's New "2 Hearts" Video Clip!

omigod kylie etc.

That chorus is phenomenal and the track is quite surprising. It's nowhere near as electro as I had imagined, given the single sleeve being like some glamrock circus act. The video isn't that great, but it's certainly better than videos like "Gimme More", "Song 4 Mutya" and "About You Now". I do love the bit at about 2:11 where she struts out in the catsuit and the mic stand swings up. Teehee. All we need now is for Kylie to release her album X and we'll be right.

October 9, 2007

Several Things I Don't Understand About America

Peanut Butter and "Jelly" Sandwiches

Pottery Barn


From the Vault: When Bad Posters Strike: Wind Child

I discovered today that I had a "When Bad Posters Strike" entry written up for Wind Chill saved in a word document that I just casually forgot to put into a blogger box and click "Publish" on. Perhaps I'll share them with you now because I can't think of anything else to write about. I don't ever remember this movie being released into anything more than a handful of cinemas so it's not even particularly mis-timed. Just consider it here for future reference.

I present to you a monologue spoken by Emily Blunt.


What is it? Why is it? So many unanswered questions filter through my brain like the millions of neurons that surround them.


Is it really as bad as they say? You see, I've been re-evaluating my religious stand as of late and I decided that yes. Yes there is a God. And if there is a God then surely there is a Heaven, right? Maybe in death we all do go to a magical afterlife. We go to a place surrounded by cool dead people like Marissa Cooper, Captain America and that hampster I had as a kid, Mittens. And there's people there who can hoola hoop for hours. Hoola Hoop while hopping on one leg. Omigod. Hoola Hoop Hopping. Try saying that ten times fast.


Is there even such a thing as death? If there is a heaven then do we actually go through the process of death, and instead just have our souls transfered between one world and the next. You know. From the world of reality television and Wild Hogs-inspired remakes on to the world of edible palm trees and neverending meals-on-wheels.


If this is really what death is like then, yes, sign me up right now. I want to skip the illustrious award-strewn career and the pink house in the Hollywood Hills as an old person who only comes out to celebrate the 75th anniversary of anything. I want to move straight from my current life of eye shadow and snarky comebacks and move right onto the other world.

Because I have indeed seen the light and I want to pass my newfound wisdom onto you. There are worse things than death!!!!

*cue trumpets*

Oh, wait. I'm trapped in a car and those are gas fumes not happy lala magical oxygen. Oh... so this is death. Okay, this is pretty shit. Oh, crap. I never thought I'd die because of a freakin' wind chill. Honestly. I feel ripped off. I blame Wild Hogs


It's Completely Unnecessary Horror Sequel Time!

Seriously, who asked for a sequel to 1999's House on Haunted Hill. I saw that when I was 15 and didn't actually find it too bad - although I haven't watch it since so who knows - but, really? Return to House on Haunted Hill. The title isn't even grammatically correct.

But, if you are interested and want to know it stars, well you're in for a treat! They managed to rope in some pretty big names. Observe:

Amanda Righetti - She was in some episodes of The OC. She had the hots for Ryan, if memory serves!

Erik Palladino - He was in Road Kill! But not the surprisingly good Road Kill with Paul Walker, Steve Zahn and Helen Hunt Leelee Sobieski, so really what's the point?

Cerina Vincent - If I'm remember correctly, she played the chick who had an, erm, interesting moment with a leg razor in Cabin Fever. SHE'S PRACTICALLY A SUPERSTAR!

Tom Riley - I imagine this guy is hoping Return to House on Haunted Hill is his big break!

Andrew Lee Potts - There is nothing remotely interesting about this guy's resume. He was on an episode of Heartbeat once!

Steven Pacey - He was on an episode of a show called M.I.T. - Murder Investigation Team a show that was surely not even in the slightest inspired by C.S.I. - Crime Scene Investigation. Not at all. Not one tiny bit.

Jeffrey Combs - The one cast-member with the possibility of being known... BY NAME!!! He's been of shows like Enterprise, The 4400, Justice League and Deep Space Nine and was in movies like Re-Animator and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. He even played Montgomery Clift in a TV movie called Norma Jean and Marilyn and was in the cast of the unfortunately-canned TV series of The Net - that fantastically ridiculous Sandra Bullock internet thriller.

It turns out that Combs' character appeared in the original movie as well, making him the only one from the 1999 film to return. No Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Ali Larter, Peter Gallagher or Taye Diggs in this one. Although some of the movies Ali Larter made in the time between bouts of fame look like dogs. She played "Fardart" in National Lampoon's Homo Erectus. Uh-huh. I have no doubt she's be up for another round of house hauntings if it weren't for her role on Heroes. They could easily come up with a ridiculous excuse to have her character return to the house, surely.

!!Merry Scary Month of October!!

I finally got around to creating the latest banner, and it - naturally - has a scary theme. If you can't see it at the top of the page then hit refresh a few times and it should eventually pop up.

The banner is celebrating some of my favourite scary movies. That creepy white creature with the yellow teeth is actually Sheryl Lee as Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, a horror flick if ever I saw one. That black and white woman on the bottom there is actually from the original 1961 Robert Wise version of The Haunting. The big glowing orange thing is, I hope you're aware, the central image of the Halloween poster. And what an image! Over the top of that is Leatherface in all his Texas Chainsaw Massacre glory. Next to him is Simone Simon as the deadly femme fatale of the original 1942 Cat People. And then at the right of the banner is Heather Donahue in her famous Blair Witch Project pose.

The scary month is upon us and landing right in the middle of it all is my birthday on the 13th. I was, thankfully, not born on a Friday the 13th (although it was a Saturday!) but have already had a couple of birthday fall on that date. Starting the day after - hopefully - on the 14th will be a little project of mine that will run for a while, and that I hope people will get a kick out of. This latest banner is also a hint as to at least two of the contenders, but where will they lie?

And don't forget the 31 films that give you the willies countdown over at Shoot the Projectionist, which begins on said birthday the 13th. I'm sure it'll be filled with lots of images to give you the heebie jeebies in this merry month of October.

Word Verify finally has it's rewards (also, My Hair! My Hair!)

I was over at My New Plaid Pants replying, quite obviously, to an entry about Arcade Fire when I came across this lovely word verification tag. For far too long I have had to enter ungodly combinations of letters like "pdajhdfffcm" and not enough with actual words like the one below. It made me giggle, like whenever somebody has a word that isn't meant to be rude but has rude connotations.

Kind of scary though was that at the moment I realised the VV said "rump" I was listening to Pete Shelley's "Homosapien" on iTunes. If you are unaware of that 1981 song (from Shelley's Homosapien album) it was actually banned on the BBC due to homosexual suggestions in the lyrics. "Homo superior in my interior", anyone?

And, yes, as the image states, I did cut my hair off. It's only a "four" at the moment. If I decide I like it (i'm still not entire sure, but it thankfully wasn't the disaster I was anticipating) I could even go shorter down to a "two". Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps...

Dodgy photo, but for now it's all I'm posing for right now.

October 8, 2007

Lindsay Watch

Teehee. I took the following screengrab from my Facebook profile. It's of a feature called "Lindsay Watch" with updates on where everyone's favourite coked out Utah-residing stripper wannabe is. I found it on the page of supreme earth being Adem (of I'm Always Right - read it, he's a hoot) and promptly added it to my profile even though I'm sort of over Linday.

Also, if there are any readers from Geelong on here then you should definitely listen to 94.7 the Pulse on Friday nights between 8 and 10 as Adem hosts the Inside Splinters show dedicated to extending his love to pop music onto unsuspecting tourists and university crammers. With Adem doing the Inside Splinters show on air and the equivilent columb in Forte alongside my obviously pop-favoured music reviews in the same mag it's like we're a rag tag team of pop obsessives slowly trying to convert this lowly town over to the throws of popdome.

So, Adem, when am I gonna be able to come in and rock out with you?


Okay, it's sort of sad that us Australian Idol watchers ever got sucked into judge Mark Holdon's ridiculous "TOUCHDOWN!" flimajimjamwoozoowazzleboobedeeboop that he started in season one of the show, but it has gotten to the stage where every touchdown is met with, mostly, curious bewilderment. I mean, two touchdowns for Jennifer Connolly in three episodes? And one for the Pirate (my guess is eventually he'll wear an eye patch and the illusion will be complete) for what amountd to nothing more than "I Was Made For Loving You" slowed down to within an inch of it's life.

BUT last night - the same night that Jennifer Connolly got possibly the worst and least deserving touchdown in the show's history for a vague performance of "Bittersweet Symphony" - there was a performance that tore the house (er, the studio) down and that thankfully received one of Holdon's touchdowns. As Scott over at Scott To Be Certain makes us aware (if you even casually watch Idol read that blog, it's freakin' hilarious honey dahling girlfriend) it was the only touchdown this year that could compare with the best (Cosima's "When the War is Over", Anthony's "The Prayer") and is one of the most blatantly emotional performances since Guy Sebastian's "Climb Every Mountain" or Casey Donovan's "Here's Where I Stand".

We all know Tarisai Vushe Williams Shaggy Dog Jackson Effie Hudson Honey Dahling Sister Girlfriend is basically channeling God whenever she performs at the worst of times (so much so that when she goes to speak normally she seems positively exhausted) but last night she was, quite frankly, eating the soul of Jesus on stage. If that's offensive or blasphemous to you then just watch the performance below.

To quote Mark Holdon (that's a rare thing, indeed), who last night outdid himself by wearing a diagonal zip-down martian funeral outfit: Yowza! Yowza! Yowza!

Also, Question of the Week: How many anal sex, blowjob, semen and penis jokes can the hosts James and Andrew get into their banter when it relates to ProActive Ben Mackenzie? Because, honey sister dahling girlfriend preacher baby love sweetiepie, the kid is 17 and it's icky and incredibly uncomfortable. Give it a rest and start picking on Jennifer Connolly and her beehive of a hairdo.

And He's Outta There!

Justice has been served. Jacob Butler is no longer forcing his grotesque and ridiculously over-the-top singing and dancing style upon our horrified eyes and ears. I'm sure he's gonna go home and whinge about how nobody likes him and how people are big giant meanieheads blah blah blah. Now, if only his murdering of several quite good songs wasn't etched into my memory. Yikes.

Glenn Liveblogs The New Bruce Springsteen Album

I had to tear of two laters of plastic to get to the case. And what a very shiny case it is. Open it up and it's one of those paper cases that encloses the CD in a flap on one side and the booklet in another flap on the other side. The image you see upon opening the case though is one of Bruce with the E Street band. It's a wonderful photo and, of course, I scanned it in.

Flipping through the booklet I actually cried out "It's so glossy!" And I love that Bruce includes lyrics. He knows his fans want to be able to not only sing along but to be able to read and digest the lyrics and get an understanding of what the album is about. There are some pictures of bruce throughout and they all follow the cover design's theme of Bruce in a white tee looking momentarily confused - although in two he is wearing a black shirt. The diversity is insane.

Okay, so I'm putting in the CD now. Let's see how this goes.

1/0.12 - "Radio Nowhere". We all know this by now surely. I hope it's a good setting off point for the entire album. Has a Born in the USA vibe, which is a-okay with me.

1/2.10 - I love this guitar solo moment.

1/2.48 - "I just wanna feel some rhythm" this chant at the end is probably my favourite part of the song. Reminds me of the "It's alright" chant at the end of The Rising's "Lonesome Day"

2/0.02 - "You'll be Coming Down". Reminds me of "Lucky Town", from the album Lucky Town, right off the bat.

2/0.58 - Okay, it really reminds me of of "Lucky Town" now that it's at the chorus.

2/2.10 - Clarence Clemons! I've mentioned before how he is my favourite E Street member. Whenever he starts up that saxophone I just get all tingly (...)

2/3.00 - I think it's the bridge that really reminds me of "Lucky Town". It's got the exact same structure and progression.

3/0.01 - "Livin' in the Future" starts with more of Clarence's brilliant sax playing.

3/0.35 - Wow. This is a good one.

3/0.47 - Okay, new favourite!

3/1.22 - The chorus is amazing. And considering it's Bruce we're talking about here I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that he's singing about George W Bush, which is what I suspect.

3/1.40 - Okay, I just realised what song this reminds me of - "Cover Me" from Born in the USA, with a little bit of "Glory Days" thrown in. Musically, I mean. It's got the almost exact same guiter structure as "Cover Me" though. Perhaps he hadn't performed that song in quite a while and forgot about it? It's almost chord for chord.

3/3.38 - I always love a good "na na na na" fade out, don't you?

4/0.09 - Violins! "Your Own Worst Enemy" has a violins! I love violins.

4/0.30 - Lyrics like "yesterday the people were at ease" and "your own worst enemy has come to town" placed right next to each other? Is this another W Bush inspired song?

4/2.24 - No. I don't think so.

4/2.51 - Oh my, I just melted over the way Bruce sang those last two lines. "That flag it flew so high/It drifted into the sky" with a prolonged sort of semi-falsetto voice. Dreamy.

5/0.12 - "Gypsy Rider" starts off with Springsteens famous harmonica. The only artist who a) I can stand playing the harmonica and b) makes me wish harmonicas were used more in music. You're damned if you do, damned if you don't, really.

5/1.19 - This song is about Bruce's favourite topics. Misplaced men in America. It's not exactly anything off of The Rising or Born to Run, but I'm liking it. Probably my least favourite so far. But Bruce's "least" is most artists "career defining amazing best", so...

5/4.22 - Yeah... not the best, huh?

6/0.04 - And it's redeemed almost immediately by "Girls in Their Summer Clothes". Has a similar opening progression to "Lonesome Day", which is perhaps my fourth favourite Bruce song just by the way.

6/0.20 - Bruce's vocals have something different to them in this song. It sounds sort of amazing.

6/0.55 - This song doesn't remind me of anything except AMAZING!

6/1.19 - I am loving "Girls in Their Summer Clothes"!

6/2.09 - This bit is gonna be awesome live.

6/2.28 - This moment. This very second. Well, this and 2.29-2.33 is the highlight so far. Weird how five seconds can just be so magical. They sound like some 1950s motown group at this moment.

6/3.33 - New favourite!

6/3.43 - I always love a good "la la la la" fade out, don't you?

7/0.02 - "I'll Work For Your Love" starts with piano.

7/0.08 - For a moment there Bruce sounded exactly like he did in the '70s.

7/1.40 - Hmm. The lyrics on this one are a bit naff, don't you reckon?

7/2.35 - I think he was going for a romantic angle on this one, I'm thinking of "Tunnel of Love" with more guitars, but it's not working for me.

8/0.08 - "Magic" initially sounds like something from Devils & Dust.

8/1.13 - It's a minimalist song, which I'm liking. At this moment they introduced what sounds like the theme music to some spaghetti western or a movie set in a small Mexican town filled with drug lords and violence. ...?

8/2.17 - This is slowly working it's way into my brain, I can feel it. Like how the similar-sounding (but completely different themed) "Reno" did ("Reno" is now one of my all time favourites).

9/0.50 - "Last to Die" has a great up-tempo build up to the pace it's seems to be sticking with.

9/2.46 - This is a nice track, nothing particularly amazing, nor is it disappointing. It's what they call "quality filler".

9/3.47 - The above point is demonstrated now. I have nothing worthwhile to add, but I know it's not bad. I can deal with that.

10/0.16 - I'm not sure what it is about Bruce but he seems to have multiple voices. Like, they all sound very similar but if he puts just the tiniest bit more force or grunt behind it it becomes something else entirely. Case in point "Long Walk Home".

10/1.15 - Sounds like it belongs on The Rising, which is a good thing if I ever heard one.

10/2.20 - Oh Clarence!

10/4.07 - Great closing moments. This is the E Street, folks. "Long Walk Home" will be great live.

11/0.17 - Ooh. What an ethereal start to "Devil's Arcade"!

11/0.35 - Whoa.

11/1.20 - That low-bass guitar in the background is bliss.

11/2.13 - Oh! And it kicks in. Amazing.

11/3.22 - I can't quite pin point what it is that is so fan-fuckin-tastic about this song but it's... it's... holy jesus.

11/4.02 - It just keeps. getting. better.

11/4.49 - Now that was brilliant.

12/0.02 - Aww, "Terry's Song" is the final one! There's only four minutes and nine seconds of Magic left!

12/0.32 - Reminds me of "I Wish I Were Blind" from Human Touch. Slightly.

12/1.47 - This is a lovely little ode to (I assume) somebody called Terry who is "one of a kind". The album booklet says Terry (Terry Magovern) was Bruce's friend and working partner.

12/3.41 - I can't think of anything more appropriate to end Magic on that this wonderful song ending with some of Springsteen's great harmonica work going to fade out. I guess it ends the album on a bit of a downer (not quality wise though, thankfully).

Conclusion - Was there ever any doubt? I've only ever disliked one Bruce Springsteen album (of which I use the excuse "I'm not old enough to get it") so that I would like this one wasn't that hard to imagine. I'm actually quite glad that the album wasn't 12 tracks like "Radio Nowhere" (as amazing as it may be) and that he mixed it up. I love the stuff that Bruce comes up with when he's working with the E Street band. It all just sounds so layered and there's so much depth there.

As an artist Bruce Springsteen refuses to go away quietly. While many artists simple coast on their history (I'm looking at you Elton John) and have effectively stopped drinking (or smoking, in a lot of cases I imagine) whatever it was that made them so brilliant in the first place, Bruce continues to produce albums that you can easily slot high up in the list of personal favourites. With Magic, and I'm obviously going to be giving it plenty more spins over the next week, he has made some great songs - some incredibly fun songs to match the pulsating rock songs, which sit side-by-side with the more intimate ballads. It's a great record and one that I think will prove to be great on repeat, will be great live, and one that will satisfy the hardcore fan and casual listener alike.


I have it! Right here! Right now! In my weird claw-like hands! Man, my thumb looks huge.

I should have a judgment in approximately 50 minutes.

Nudge Wink

You know, that wishlist widget in the sidebar is there for a reason. It's my birthday in six days and I feel oddly non-fussed by it. I was hoping to go into Melbourne and see the sing-a-long version of Hairspray, but I don't think that's going to pan out. Also, I'm oddly fascinated by maltesers at the moment. I just can't. stop. eating them. They've taken over my desk! I even took a photo just for the sake of taking one and am now showing you!

And then I was reminded of when I was in NYC last year and I was walking down... Broadway? I'm not sure. I think it was opposite Macy's! Of Bloomingdales! Or some building that had a sign on it, I'm not entirely sure. But, anyway, I was walking down this street in New York City (my, how I love remember I was ever in that city) and saw:


So, naturally, I took a photo, which doesn't even begin to describe how giant that packet of skittles was. When the brother saw the photo on the tiny little camera screen he was all "Christ, that's a big bag of skittles!" Correct he was. Oh, and here's the photo.

Lastly in this entirely random and, for the most part, incoherent gargle of wasted words, I am considering shaving my head. Not entirely bald because, er, not even I want to see my scalp. Buuuut, I've been thinking about it and was going to ask some friends last night as I remembered my hairdresser appointment on Tuesday but they (and I) had been drinking and, well, that's not a decision to make when consuming alcohol. But, yeah, not bald. Just really cropped short? Like, er... Rob Thomas? I dunno. Who else has that style? I dunno.

I'm terrible though. The reason I never ever do anything out of the ordinary with my hair is because I fear if it goes wrong then I have at least one month of being stuck with a bad haircut and there's nothing I could do about it. I think it's a legitimate concern, don't you? Hmmmph. DILEMMAS!

I think I'm gonna go to sleep now because I'm acting weird. Before I go, here is a picture of my boyfriend sticking his tongue out at Undertow director David Gordon Green. Uh-huh.

October 7, 2007

Spot the Odd One Out!

I took an image from one of this year's horror flicks, the remake of The Hitcher, and made some text additions. I ask you, dear readers, what is the odd one out. The smooth and shiny (perhaps panteen!) hair? The tight-fitting brown singlet top? The mini denim skirt with fringe hem? The leather calf boots? Or...


Hmmm. That's a tough one doncha think? You can click the image and look at it a bit bigger if you're stuck on what the answer is.

And to think, the scene in which this moment takes place Sophia Bush (the woman in the image, whoever she is) was just inside a van that was leaking petrol and set alight, prompting it to explode into a big giant fireball with her inside. I like knowing that she, and her silky smooth shiny hair, managed to get out of that pesky situation with nary a scratch on her and that she had suddenly acquired the ability to fire and charge an assault rifle.

Also, the movie was sorta shit. That's all.

Wake Up And Pay Attention, Y'all!

I've made many references to my undying love for Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit before. It is one of the greatest movies ever made and don't you try and deny it, okay?! So it was with delight that I came upon the following videos on YouTube of the Musical Theatre department of MichiganU performing a 15-minute abridged version of Back in the Habit using one stage, a few chairs and, wouldn't just know it, a whole lotta talent.

It, basically, destills everything that is perfect and heavensent about the movie into 15 uproariously funny minutes. Watch as Sister Mary Clarence dons her garbage bag habit, as the slightly too masculine Lauryn Hill character imparts her wise ghetto wisdom, or somebody (I'm not sure who is who) doing a spot on impersonation of Sheryl Lee Ralph's domineering mother role. Or watch in stunned wide-eyed amazement as the cast perform a particularly faithful rendition of the film's climactic (and brilliant) song "Joyful Joyful", even down to the fine details that could easily go ignored by the casual moviegoer - the sign language performer, the impromtu Janet Jackson throwback or the ace (and accurate!) choreography.

It's positively uplifting and entirely amazing, just like the movie it represents. Although it was majorly upsetting to realise that they did not include the film's finest and most jive-tastic moment - "I got the flow, you all gotta go, so pick up your bags so we can go, ho-ho!"

October 6, 2007

And Now For Something You've Probably Already Heard!

That new Britney Spears video clip? WOW! It. Is. Terrible. I... I am almost without any words, but naturally I can still articulate an insult.

Lazy, Boring, Unsexy and Pointless come to mind as apt adjectives. Britney does nothing in the entire video except walk around a pole. I think the walking was meant to be sexy, but it wasn't. Not to mention the outfit is fug-central. Where's the dancing? Or some form of spirit. I reckon they were going for a "Slave 4 U" vibe, but missed by about forty footy fields. And if Spears was trying to be a stripper or whatever then I don't think she quite has the job requirements.

The camera work appears to be trying for a cool arty effect but comes off as blurry and distracting. Constant switches between black and white and colour and then sepia(?) just make for a discombobulating effort.

Lastly I come to the most bizarre aspect of the video. And it's the blonde Britney. There are a couple of bits, including at the very start, where Britney isn't playing the dark-haired pole dancer but is a blonde-haired gal at the bar. I have no idea why. It's like they were outtakes from a discarded original video. They don't fit into the video in any way and when they are their she's just looking vacant.

It's a very confusing and very poor effort if you ask me, much akin to the "Song 4 Mutya" video. Not at all surprising, though. Still, the song is great.

When Bad Posters Strike: The Other Boleyn Girl (Part II)

aka, the "It just gets worse!" edition.

IMP informs us (as does JD, which I only realised after the fact - thanks though!) that the poster for the Portman-Johansson-Bana period flick The Other Boleyn girl wasn't quite the final design. I apologise to those who were responsible for the Boleyn poster because I gave them a shellacking for that one - it was really poor.

But, as I said, that poster is no longer the official design. Now we have a new one!

And this time... IT'S WORSE! Didn't think that was possible? Well, they somehow managed it. How? Well, for starters the dress that Natalie Portman is wearing (the one that takes is 75% of the poster space) has been changed from a royal deep green to some sort of ecstasy raver dayglo bullshit green and all three cast members now have really red skin. It's like they turned the contrast on the image up from "neutral" to "wow, I can, like, touch the sky and the clouds are made of fairy floss. whoa."

Then they also decided for some unknown reason to crop the outer edge of the design so now not only are their foreheads chopped off now audiences don't even get the advantage of being able to ogle Scarlett Johansson's cleavage. And now, more than ever, Eric Bana's mysterious tit-grabbing hand looks even more like somebody just grabbed a prop hand prosthetic from a horror movie set and attached it to Portman's shoulder.

It just feels like they only had one image and they accidentally cropped it in Photoshop and saved it and they couldn't undo it. Surely this poster is a perfect example of how not to market your sexy period film, right?


Reading this article at TimeOut I was shocked to see that genius Todd Haynes' genius Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story was voted the greatest music film of all time. "Music film" as in a movie about a real life musician (so, no musicals or This is Spinal Tap). Superstar really is quite amazing. Filmed entirely using Mattel barbie dolls, archival footage and the unauthorised Carpenter song catalogue - considering Haynes' unflinching portrayal of not only Carpenter's anorexia (demonstrated on the barbie dolls by simple scratching away the face) but also her brother's homosexuality and her family's cruely.

The film is banned, but many illegal bootleg copies exist both in hard copy and streamed on the net. The thing that struck me about Superstar was that, as the article also says, the musical scenes are incredibly moving and Haynes gets ample mialage out of the emotional distress that Carpenter goes through. It's a fantastic film, if only a 48-minute one, and I wish more people had the chance to see it.

Below is a very poor quality sample of the movie with Karen "performing" the song "Close to You". Haynes' next film is the equally strange-sounding Bob Dylan "supposition", which is out in America on November 21.

October 3, 2007

Wild About Ladd

I was very pleased to see that StinkyLulu's monthly Supporting Actress Smackdown awarded their 1990 prize to Diane Ladd for her, ahem, batshit crazy performance as Marietta in David Lynch's, ahem, batshit crazy Wizard of Oz Wild at Heart. Ladd's performance is one of my all time favourites. It is just so bonkers, and so over-the-top, and so unhinged that I can't help but love it. Last year I wrote about The Black Dahlia and mused "Fiona Shaw plays a character that is so unhinged that it’s amazing she even exists in his movie, or any movie at all for that matter", well I must've let Ladd's performance slip my mind because those two are kindred spirits I tellsya.

I am actually a fan of the film itself, whereas many seem to enjoy Ladd's histrionics but not the film. Wild at Heart, I would go so far to say, is David Lynch's most hated film. It really does bring out the anger in people. I love it. If I were Jewish I'd say it has chutzpah, but I'm not so I'll simply say it has balls bigger than Texas to do what it does. It sure does have a visceral impact. Turning The Wizard of Oz into a sick road trip fantasy erotic horror soap opera? Getting Diane Ladd to cover her face and hands in bright red lipstick while extolling southern gothic Dynasty-esque words and wearing colossal reinventions of trendy outfits? Sherilynn Fenn giving one of the greatest cameo performances ever? It's insane and it's bizarre but I can't not love it. Even the bit where Willem Dafoe... well, if you've seen Wild at Heart you know the moment where things really go off with a bang (omg I'm so freakin' funny!)

Obviously it's not a movie for everyone, just like all Lynch films. It's not even a movie for Lynch fans in a lot of ways. But whenever I think of Ladd's performance, or that of her off and on screen daughter Laura Dern I can't help but think they are two of the most masterful performances of the 1990s. Add that to everything else about the film and Wild at Heart is actually one of my favourite David Lynch films. The movie received wild cheers and jeers (famously by Roger Ebert) upon winning the Palm d'Or at Cannes in 1990, probably more a testement to Lynch himself and not the film consdidering his followup Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, which has equally maddening violence and over-the-top insanities, was famously booed nearly out of the competition.

Below is a clip from Wild at Heart. The scene is, most likely, the movie's most famous and one in which Ladd's performance really reaches for the higher stratosphere. Her whispering voice in joint force with the... the... unique design of herself just makes it stand out. There's another of Ladd's moments that I could watch over and over and it's the "Buffalo huntin'? What the fuck does that mean" scene. "The fucker split!" Lynch does so many crazy things with the sound design and Ladd's performance up to 100. Yikes.

It still surprises and delights me to this very day that Ladd received an Academy Award nomination for this performance when the role is so bonkers and the movie had nothing else going for it in terms of awards (however unfortunate that may be). If you don't own Wild at Heart on DVD (I do! Special Edition!) then just watch this scene over and over again with the volume blaring and you'll get the idea pretty darn quick. Even down to the final moments when the munshkin costume makes a cameo! Bloody brilliant!

October 2, 2007

Everybody now: Awww

Who else things the marketing people at Pixar and Disney are trying to - and I am being 100% serious here - make their new character "Wall-E" the ET of this generation? Just a quick look at the beautiful amazing poster below and I think you can see the connection, but then watch the newly released teaser then you can see they're going to be going for the jugular. And by jugular I mean the tear ducts of each and every cinemagoer. Obviously there is a Short Circuit vibe in there as well, but I think it's ET: The Extra Terrestrial that is the big point of reference. Cute adorable mini creature staring up into the heavens with doe eyes?

And from the makers of Finding Nemo? I think this one is going to be massive come America's summer 2008. The sort of the massive that Ratatouille should've been, ya know?

Who else just loves the way he says "WaaaAAAlleeeE"

When Bad Posters Strike: The Other Boleyn Girl

I've seen some shoddy photoshopping in my time (considering "my time" is about double the amount time that Photoshop has existed, but that's not the point) but the newly released (via) poster for The Other Boleyn Girl is just a bloody piss poor effort, don't you think?

Let's begin by pointing out the strange way the poster scalps all three of it's main castmembers heads off. It's not like they don't have plenty of space to move the poorly arranged cast down a centremetre or two. I keep trying to scroll the image up but I can't and it's bugging the hell outta me.

Now we can move along to the fact that whoever designed this didn't even attempt to make it appear as if these three people (Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana and Natalie Portman, obviously) were photographed together. Instead it looks as if they just got screengrabs of Scarlett and Eric and haphazardly arranged them around an image of Natalie Portman. An image, which it much be said, features Portman striking a very similar pose to another regal movie poster. And then they edited in Bana's mysterious tit-grabbing hand for added... allure?

I'm not entirely sure what exactly happened to this movie. It was originally set for release this year, but - as the poster says there at the bottom - it is now set for release in, of all months, February. A historical period film based on a famous novel being released in February? Bizarre, but true. The cast gives off the illusion of being hip and sexy (and, the more said about Eric Bana's pants the better) and Portman's name along with the prestige of the book gave it an allure of quality - I even had it down for several Oscar nominations including Best Actress for Portman in my year-in-advance predictions - but somewhere along the way I think it went over the rails, it got bumped for whatever reason to a dead zone of February and now it seems the marketing is getting off to a decidedly shaky start with this strangely cobbled together poster.

I just wish they didn't cut off their scalps like they did. Perhaps I wouldn't feel as negative towards it. It's just so... aah! Perhaps Portman's forehead extends for kilometres and kilometres. I guess we'll never know.

To see more of this series simply click the "When Bad Posters Strike" tag below.


I was shocked - SHOCKED AND APPALED! - to realise I hadn't posted any pictures of Hugh Jackman lately, let alone pictures of Hugh Jackman emerging out of water without a shirt on. So, as a means of righting that egregious wrong, here are some pictures of Hugh Jackman emerging out of water without a shirt on (naturally) from JustJared.

Aah, I feel so much better now, don't you too?

September 30, 2007

Well Played, Poster: Funny Games

Speechless. I was, quite literally, speechless upon viewing the newly released poster for Michael Haneke's Americanised remake of his own Funny Games. I clicked on the thumbnail at IMP and just sat there staring. This poster makes me sad, but in the good way (not in the way that, say, the Hostel Part II posters made me depressed). It perfectly portrays the sense of helplessness and tragedy that is at the heart of Funny Games. If I didn't know the original movie is tragically misguided (in my eyes) then I would be instantly putting this towards the top of my Must See pile.

[click to enlarge Naomi's tear ducts]

As you can see, it is a very simple design, but the way that it has been rendered just makes it so much more than a simple movie-still-used-as-a-poster poster. The way the colours look just ever-so bleached from the image. The darkness throughout Naomi Watts' hair seems as black as midnight and her lips and iris look as if they are losing colour too. As if her will to live is slowly evaporating.

The equally simple, but oh-so effective, streak of tears is what really makes it so powerful. The most powerful moments in the original Funny Games (and by association Funny Games '08, considering it is a shot-for-shot remake) were when the husband and wife who have been taken hostage are by themselves and dealing what has transpired. The image used on this poster destills exactly what Funny Games should have been - an entirely serious tragedy. Alas, I am afraid to say that the movie itself plays way too much like a big gimmicky in-joke and not at all like the desperately soul-crushing experience that this poster promises.

Even the tagline - a line of dialogue from the film - "You must admit, you brought this on yourself" creates an incredible striking image in my mind, the opposite of it's intentions though. Whereas in the movie the line is jokey and as a laugh, but here it feels like a terrifying sinister omen.

One last observation. Does anybody else think this poster reminds them of a Criterion Collection DVD cover? In research for an upcoming thing I'm doing I've happened across many Criterion designs and they're, for the most part, quite excellent and often times better than the original movie poster. But this design is another to rank alongside Bug and American Gangster as one of the year's best posters, even though it is definitely the simplest and the most strikingly ordinary of the bunch, but that doesn't matter one iota. It's amazing how the simple image used on this poster can evoke so much more than a million crazy busy overflowing posters. And it could have been so very easy for the designers to fall into the trap of the empty space and merely had Naomi in the bottom right hand corner while the rest of the poster was filled with black empty nothingness. They actually utilised the space they have and, obviously I think, it has worked to their immense advantage.

...I still doubt I'll see the movie though because I had such an adverse reaction to the original and there's no reason to believe this one will be any different. Shame, really.

To see more of this series simply click the "Well Played Poster" tag below.

Keira Knightley: Red Carpet Glamour?

What will she wear? Keira Knightley is gearing up for what will surely be the biggest five months of her career (or, at least her acting career thus far) with the American premier of her new flick Atonement and the months and months of ensueing promotional work and the big bang of a very likely second Academy Award nomination and, let's face it, possible WIN. 2007's best actress roster is looking both incredible crowded, yet sparse. Keira's turn as Cecilia in Atonement could very easily be the ticket to Keira becoming the second youngest best actress winner ever (Marlee Matlin was 21 when she won for Children of a Lesser God, Keira turns 23 in March so she would be 22 at the time of the Oscars).

But, I am quite interested in what she is going to be wearing in this very important season. I think she looked quite great at the Venice Film Festival premiere for the film (below, with co-star James McAvoy) win that light pink texture of fairy floss dress. The dress she wore to the Venice photocall (right) was sort of plain though. Something a bit lighter for a photo op on a Venice canal dock may have made more of an impression instead of the heavy navy blue dress she wore.

The reason I am even discussing this however is because DListed had a story about how much Keira hates red carpets.

I hate red-carpet events; I absolutely hate them. I don't like the fact that people write, 'Oh, you look like crap' in print. Or 'I don't like your arms!'

Thing is, Keira has been known to make some, ahem, red carpet monstrosities, but I think we can all remember that absolutely stunning dress she wore to the 2006 Academy Awards where she was nominated for best actress for her role as Elizabeth Bennett in Joe Wright's (the same director as Atonement) Pride & Prejudice. Let's relive that amazing, brilliant, perfect outfit below. It's probably my favourite Oscar dress of the last few years. Classically beautiful in a wonderfully unorthadox colour and, for a girl who is constantly followed by anorexia rumours and quotes of "too skinny!", she actually wore a dress that clung tightly to her body yet actually made her look incredibly flattering and sexy.

So, here's hoping that Keira owns the red carpet in the following months on the way to collecting an Oscar statue. A recent re-watch of Pride & Prejudice made me decide that she deserved the Oscar for that from the list of nominees (with the absense of Joan Allen for Upside of Anger the category was pretty much null and void in my eyes though). I just like the idea of Knightley being an Oscar winner, giving us a chance to laugh at those idiots who are constantly "Keira is an ugly skinny british bitch, if she wins an Oscar I will kill myself she was in King Arthur omgzzzz!" (or whatever).

PS; As long as you keep dressing all fabo-like there will be no cause for "you look like crap" comments from me. I'm really cheering for you, I just like you for some reason. And I don't think the Academy "loses all credibility" by nominating you. It loses credibility by cutting off acceptance speeches and limiting nomination clips to a few brief seconds and then filling in time with pointless sketches and montages thank you very much. I'm done.