Friday, February 24, 2006

Hush My Mouth

Earlier this month I voted Mariah Carey car crash of the month (see below) Partly becuse of her recent alarming forrays in to the world of hideous fashion, but mostly becuse of her yo-yoing weight gains which seem to have left her with a remarkable reseblance to the Hindenburg. This was particularly apparent at The Golden Globes where she wore a hideous dress that looked like its seams were about explode. (she was widely and unanimously voted worst dressed of the night)

Well I take it all back, as Miss Carey stepped out yesterday not only age appropriately dressed (gasp!) but sporting a stomach flatter that an ironing board. Who knows if the Hippo was Lipo'd or she's just been working out like crazy but what a difference a few weeks make!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Culture Queen February

Gilbert & George
Son of a God Exhibition
White Cube Gallery Hoxton Square N1

A pleasant saturday lunch preceeded by a stroll around gilbert & George's new exhibition. I am a huge fan of G&G and they certainly didnt dissapoint this time. Fantastic use of colour and a real grandeur to these massive and vibrant works. Whilst the mildly blasphemous nature of these works will add to G&G's repetoire of shock value it should not detract from the really fine wok on dispaly.I especially loved "Mufti" and "Was Jesus a hetrosexual" Unsurprisingly the God Squad are up in arms with Tory MP Anne Widdecombe wading in with her usual brand of subtlety, Gilbert and George, Miss Widdecombe says, are "blasphemous in the extreme, as [they] will find out when finally they stand before the Son of God" I wonder whats hanging on Miss Widdecombe's wall?

Februarys Loves & Hates

3 Things I'm loving in February

Bree Van Der Kamp
Bree and the other Desps make a welcome return!

Lighter Evenings
About time too!

Cheese & Onion Kettle Chips
Taste the calories mmmm!

3 Things I'm hating in February

Tom-Kat ON/OFF......
Who cares the man is GAY for goodness sake!

Cold and wet weather
When will it ever end?

Britney Spears
God! are we over her?!

Daniel Craig
The I So Would-Hunk of The Month
As you may have realised this section of my blog is a shameless and rather un-subtle way of just posting some pics of top class sue me!)

This months delectable eye candy is the newly announced James Bond, Mr Daniel craig. Mr Craig has come in for heaps of criticism form bond fans worldwide who dont think he measures up! Apart from the fact the man is gorgeous he has proven with great performances in Munich, The Mother and Layer Cake that he can actually act! Surely a pleasant surprise given the previous incumbents in the role?!If you wish to give Mr Craig a fair shot in the role of Bond and generally back him up? Then you can register your support at:

Screen Queen-Some of what I'm watching this Month

Everyone (DVD)
Starring: Katherin Billings Michael Chase Matt Fentiman Brendan Fletcher Suzanne Hepburn Mark Hildreth Bill Marchant Cara McDowell Andrew Moxham Stephen Park Carly Pope Tom Scholte Namcy Sivak Debra Thorne Anna Williams Director: Bill Marchant Run time:90 mins
Genres: Gay/Lesbian
Released: September 26, 2005
The perfect gay couple are having a wedding in their backyard, and they've invited the family and all their emotional baggage. When the happy couple starts fighting over what to call it, you know it's going to be a long day...
My thoughts
Absolute rubbish dreadful script, appalling acting and stereotypical characters this film has all the charm of a dead slug. According to the end credits, (which I only just survived a coma of boredom, to get to) One of the cast was responsible for the script, directing, music and presumably the on-set catering. Unfortunately that one was, the untalented blind and stupid one with no taste and extremely limted talents, although he obviously, has an enormous capacity for boredom.
Needless to say- dont bother.
* Star

Munich (2005)
Starring: Eric Bana Daniel Craig Ciaran Hinds Mathieu Kassovitz Hanns Zischler Ayelet Zorer Geoffrey Rush Director: Steven Spielberg
Genres: Drama
Released: May 29, 2006
During the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, eleven Israeli athletes are taken hostage and murdered by a Palestinian terrorist group known as Black September. In retaliation, the Israeli government recruits a group of Mossad agents to track down and execute those responsible for the attack. Summary written by Anonymous In the wake of 1972 Munich Olympic tragedy, the Mossad retaliates by deploying a team of agents(led by Avner(Bana)) in Europe to assassinate Palestinian terrorist leaders suspected of planning the attack, which left eleven Israeli athletes dead.
My Thoughts
Well its not Schindlers list, but Munich sees a return to form for Steven Spielberg (though its lack of bias toward the Israelies is surprising). Eric Bana as the tortured Avner walks away with the film although Geoffrey Rush turns in, a pretty scene stealing, supporting role as the Mossad Chief who recruits him. Daniel Craig as always gives an immensley watchable performance and there are plenty of deft Spielberg touches (the orange kitchen becoming almost as powerful an metaphor as the red coat in Schindlers List) a little overlong perhaps but highly recommended.
**** Stars

Man of La Mancha (1972)
Starring: Peter O'Toole Sophia Loren James Coco Harry Andrews
Director:Arthur Hiller
Run time: 124 mins Genres: Action/Adventure Music/Musical
Released: December 05, 2005
Cervante's immortal story of Don Quixote and his spiritual quest for 'The Impossible Dream' of honour, chivalry and adventure. Broadway's greatest fantasy musical comes to the small screen with Peter O'Toole in the title role with Sophia Loren as his fair lady, Dulcinea.
My Thoughts
Hmm quite why Arthur Hiller chose to cast this musical oddity with two stars totally incapable of singing is beyond me, however after you get past the feeble warblings of Mr O Toole and the somewhat more robust screaches of Miss Loren (neither of whom come any where close to hitting the right notes!) There is a semblance of a charming story and though the tunes are butchered beyond belief, they are somewhat hummable. What is it with 60's period/costume dramas that always places them squarely and somewhat obviously in their own decade? One possibility could be that Miss Loren with her trademark egyptian eyeliner and heaving bosom looks exactly like she does in every other film period or not! Having said all that, this low budget musical with singers who cant sing does actually work on some whimsical level. Overly long but mildly entertaining.
**1/2 Stars
DVD's courtesy of Screen Select Rental

* Star-Complete turkey
** Stars-Yawn! bit of a dud
*** Stars-Not bad, but no masterpiece
**** Stars-Definately worth watching
***** Stars-An instant classic

Monday, February 20, 2006

Catherine Deneuve

Catherine Deneuve is one of the worlds most beautiful women-Fact.
So why, oh why, do Mac cosmetics, who have just named her as the face of their new Icon range, feel the need to portray her as airbrushed mutton dressed as lamb?

It looks like someone went mad with Photo-shop! What a waste of one of the worlds most fabulous faces-Mac you should be ashamed!

More Rank & Bile

Drama Queen-This Month's Theatre

The Mikado
Thanks to Mike for treating four of us to tickets at the ENO's wonderful foot tapping, sing along production of The Mikado, wonderful sets, great score, a fabulous orchestra and a delicous scene stealing performance by Felicity Palmer as Katisha. What more could you ask for?

More about The Mikado:
24th February 2006 - Fri, 3rd March 2006
ENO's joyous interpretation of The Mikado is revived in its 20th anniversary year, complete with high-kicking chorus lines, satirical touches and a wonderfully elegant score. Jonathan Miller's evergreen production of Gilbert & Sullivan's operetta - a comic masterpiece from the English canon - brims with 'theatrical delights' (The Guardian). Felicity Palmer and Richard Suart return to play Katisha and Ko-Ko respectively, and Simon Lee conducts at ENO, following his debut in the smash-hit On the Town.'As scintillating entertainment, this Mikado is the operatic equivalent of Anything Goes' (The Sunday Telegraph).

English National Opera Website:

Simply Barbra
So it was off with Lulu to the Delfont Room last Thursday for the incomparable Simply Barbra another fantastic performance, if you ever get the chance to see this show book it, you won’t regret it.
More about Simply Barbra:
It is 40 years since Barbra Streisand graced the Prince of Wales Theatre with her presence in ‘Funny Girl’ and to celebrate the 40th Anniversary, Steven Brinberg will head to the U.K. direct from New York to play a special show in the sumptuous surroundings of The Delfont Room (Prince of Wales Theatre.) This will take place on 15 & 16 February at 11pm (doors open at 10.30pm). He will be joined by Musical Director Nathan Martin and a Special Guest. Steven Brinberg is the premier Barbra Streisand impressionist, performing his incredible show, Simply Barbra, to international acclaim both on stage and television (and performing three times with Marvin Hamlisch) as he pays homage to all that is Streisand. Brinberg is now in his tenth year as the supreme incarnation of Streisand and should not to be mistaken for some low-class drag show. Simply Barbra is a labour of love and a sophisticated cross between homage and campy lampoon. Brinberg has captured perfectly not only the voice but the nuances and stage mannerisms of the real thing. This is an evening of comedy cabaret where award-winning Steven Brinberg looks and sounds more like Barbra than Barbra. Earning ecstatic reviews the diva herself would kill for. Close your eyes and you will swear you're listening to Streisand.
Simply Barbra Web Site:

You Were Never Fuglier - Arnold Schwarzenegger

This regular part of my blog is just a poor excuse to post my favourite funny/awful pictures of celebrities at their worst! Some are new and some are old favourites....enjoy!

Who ate all the pies Arnie?!
Lose the weight or put it away Governor Schwarzenegger!

Fanny Cradock

This Months Queens of Camp Hall of Fame Inductee
Fanny Cradock(February 26, 1909 - December 27, 1994) born Phyllis Primrose-Peachy, in Leytonstone, London, was a British writer, restaurant critic and television cook.
Fanny Cradock was an extraordinary woman. She was the first celebrity TV cook. We remember her strange mask-like face on TV, ordering, monacle wearing, husband Johnnie about as she strutted between counter and cooker. She was ridiculous, rather glamorous, but frightening too. She made the current bad boy, of culinary television, Gordon Ramsay look like Mother Theresa. She introduced a new wave of sophisticated foods, including the prawn cocktail. (yes that really was considered sophisticated in the 70’s!) She is still among the most famous of TV chefs, in part due to her explosive personality, ball gowns,bouffant hair, laquered within an inch of its life and independent eyelashes.

Despite her bizarre appearance, she was reassuringly concerned with the budgets of her audience and would often make comments like, " Of course, if you can't stretch to butter, then dripping will do." As her hey day was in the 70's there was (quite rightly) no concession to political correctness. In one episode she recommended one recipe for those, "...poor, little, old people who are living alone." Her television programmes have not aged well when looked back on today and both the format and her style look wildly eccentric; not too many cooks would today try and cook in a ball gown and produce a roast chicken dish surrounded by swirls of green dyed potato mash! It was not without reason that one of her obituaries in the UK broadsheets began with the words, "Fanny Cradock was a preposterous character". That, she certainly was.

In her early career as a writer she published two science fiction novels. She published over 100 cookbooks and a 96-part magazine cookery course. She later thankfully returned to writing fiction and left the TV kitchens of the UK free of ball gowns and green mashed potato. But the kitchens of british television were a duller place without her.
As a sure sign of her enduring fame "Fanny Cradock" is now used in rhyming slang for "Haddock". Fanny craddock we salute you! a real queen of camp.

Click here for more about Fanny

More Rank & Bile

Car Crash of The Month-Mariah Carey

Apparently Miss Carey travels with an entourage of at least 10. (One of whom's job is to take her used gum). Maybe Miss Scarey should employ someone to tell her when not to leave the house in a hideous outfit! and when not to eat!

click for a larger image if you dare!

More Rank & Bile

Some of what I'm reading this Month

Lucrezia Borgia
An infamous murderess or simply the victim of bad press? Lucrezia Borgia's name has echoed through history as a byword for evil - a poisoner who committed incest with her natural fatherand with her brother. Long considered the most ruthless of Italian Renaissance noblewomen, her tarnished reputation has prevailed long since her own lifetime. In this definitive biography Sarah Bradford gives a fascinating account of Lucrezia's life in all its colourful controversy. Daughter, sister, wife and mother, Lucrezia Borgia was surrounded by wealth, privilege and intrigue. But what was the truth behind her extraordinary existence - was she a monster of cruelty and deceit, or simply the pawn of her power-hungry father and brother?
My Thoughts
An excellent read that dispels many of the myths surrounding this mis-understood and mis-represented woman. Sarah bradford, as ever, brings her subject to life and deals with the person rather than the myth.
Available at amazon:
**** Stars

The Devil wears Prada
It's a killer title: The Devil Wears Prada. And it's killer material: author Lauren Weisberger did a stint as assistant to Anna Wintour, the all-powerful editor of Vogue magazine. Now she's written a book, and this is its theme: narrator Andrea Sachs goes to work for Miranda Priestly, the all-powerful editor of Runway magazine. It turns out Miranda is quite the bossyboots. That's pretty much the extent of the novel, but it's plenty. Miranda's behaviour is so insanely over-the-top that it's a gas to see what she'll do next, and to try to guess which incidents were culled from the real-life antics of the woman who's been called Anna "Nuclear" Wintour.
My Thoughts
I've had this book on my shelf for ages and finally opened it up and I'm glad I did absolute trash but veh funny trash. Not going to win any prizes but perfect for a dreary Feb tube ride to work.
Available at Amazon:
*** Stars
* Star-Dont put this book down in fact throw it as hard as you can out of the nearest window.
** Stars-Yawn.... bit of a dud
*** Stars-Not bad, but no masterpiece
**** Stars-A Ripping yarn definately worth killing a few hours with
***** Stars-Couldnt put it down! an instant classic

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Janet Jackson - Another one thats ballooned!

What is it with 80's ageing Divas this month? Hot on the heels of the ever expanding Mariah comes the even scarier sight of Janet (waldrobe malfunction) Jackson looking like Oprah's twin. Lordy girls! Havent you heard of Atkins!

More Rank & Bile

Companies We Hate- British Airways

The worlds (least) favourite airline are this months winner of the worst customer service award. My family and I booked 3 flights for february to go to Denver to see our new grandson/nephew, who was born on Christmas day. Sadly my sister in law ( the babys mother suffered a brain haemorrage two days after the birth). I rang British Airways to change our flights so that my parent could fly out immediately, to support my brother as he was struggling with a new born son and a wife in intensive care. To my disgust British Airways refused to change the flights or allow us to cancel, get a refund and book a closer date. As my Mother was planning to stay for 3 months to help in Denver I tried to book her a single flight and then planned for her to use her original flight home....Guess what if you dont fly out on the original flight with BA you cant come back on the original flight, even though you've paid for it and cant get a refund, incredible! After we complained we were told nothing could be done and my parents were forced to pay another huge sum of money to get there, in all the trip cost about £2000 to get three people to Denver.
B.A.'s only comment? As we booked cheap online flights they cant make any changes! I dont call £2000 cheap.
The morale of the story? Never book online with B.A. its no cheaper than using a travel agent and you cant make changes.
I for one will never use B.A. ever again and nor will any of my family. I have also stopped my staff at work recommending them. (we recommend flights to our international business travellers evey day) So far I estimate B.A. has lost at least 30 flights this month from this debacle. Which just goes to show if you treat customers like crap sooner or later they bite back!

Ha bloody ha!

More Rank & Bile