Monday, May 29, 2006

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

Broken Flowers (2005)
Starring:Bill Murray Jeffrey Wright Sharon Stone Tilda Swinton Julie Delpy Jessica Lange Frances Conroy Brea Frazier Jerry Fall
Director:Jim Jarmusch
Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch delivers one of his most pleasing, accessible pictures. Winner of the 2005 Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, the film tells the story of Don Johnston (Bill Murray), a man overflowing with wealth but void of emotion. So Don sets off on a personal journey to visit the former partners who may or may not have mothered his child. My Thoughts
For those expecting another Lost in Translation this film will be a huge dissapointment. The film is paced so slowly that it’s almost in a coma and whilst, a plethora of supporting actresses attempt to enliven the proceedings, here and there, Bill Murray’s performance is so stagnant that you wonder why they bothered. Add to this an infuriating lack of answered questions and you have dud of a movie on your hands. Special mention, should be made, of the efforts, of old troupers Sharon Stone and Jessica Lange to add some spice but sadly their brief moments are not enough to salvage this dreary mess.
*** Stars
Buy the movie at Amazon
Broken Flowers [2005]

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
Starring:Bill Murray Owen Wilson Cate Blanchett Anjelica Huston Willem Dafoe Jeff Goldblum Michael Gambon
Director:Wes Anderson
This odd drama exists in the same strange, whimsical world as Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums. It's centred on famous oceanographer Steve Zissou (played by Bill Murray and obviously inspired by marine pioneer Jacques Cousteau), who embarks on a Moby Dick-style quest to hunt and kill the mysterious sea creature that ate his best friend.
My Thoughts
You either like Anderson’s films or you don’t and I’m afraid I don’t . I gave this one a shot because of Bill Murray but I should have learned my lesson with the equally odd Royal Tennebaums. This was more of the same, a few vaguely amusing scenes interspersed with a lot of very un-funny ones, a dreary plot and characters that grate on you. I got the feeling I should have liked it but something was missing (maybe a plot and decent characters)and I just couldn’t bring myself to. Well I won’t be sampling Mr Anderson’s work again.
** Stars
Buy the movie at Amazon
The Life Aquatic

Network (1976)
Peter Finch Faye Dunaway William Holden Robert Duvall Wesley Addy Ned Beatty Beatrice Straight
Director:Sidney Lumet
A bravura performance from Finch, who was awarded a posthumous Oscar. He was given full flight by Paddy Chayefsky's daring, sumptuously satirical script. Finch plays an ageing anchor man driven to the brink, who announces his intended onscreen suicide to the nation, resulting in a ratings surge. Sidney Lumet directs with wild aplomb keeping up a furious pace.
My Thoughts
This film is pure genius, Finch is fantastic as the anchorman with great support from Bill Holden and Robert Duvall but it is Dunaway who sets the screen on fire as the rabidly ambitious executive who exploits this tragedy to build her powerbase. Why oh why can’t Dunaway get decent roles anymore? Maybe a few casting agents should take a look at this particular film and remind themselves just how great she is. She literally wipes everyone including Oscar winner Finch off the screen and very few contemporary actresses are able to raise a quarter of her intensity on screen. Somebody go watch this film then cast La Dunaway in the great role she deserves and save her from reality show crap like the Starlet!
**** Stars
Buy the movie at Amazon
Network [1976]

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Cheap & Cheerful - LeAnn Rimes at G-A-Y

Last Saturday whilst at a loose end in Soho, my friend Eric and I ventured into G-A-Y, Jeremy Joseph’s much maligned club.

I say much maligned cos everyone seems to knock G-A-Y. Now I have to admit the music was appalling at times and vaguely reminiscent of a working class wedding reception but the crowd are friendly the drinks are cheap and you have to hand it to Mr Joseph he has a roster of artists appearing there, that any promoter would kill for.

This week was the turn of LeAnn Rimes not exactly my favourite but with past acts including Kylie Minogue and sister Danni, Pink, (last week, see picture) Christina Aguilera, Donna Summer, Debbie Harry, Westlife, Blue, Steps and of course Madonna Mr Joseph can’t be accused of not giving value for money.

So whilst I won’t be making G-A-Y. my regular haunt, hats off to Mr Joseph for yet another pop coup and maybe it’s time everyone stopped knocking G-A-Y.

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The Line of Beauty

Normally I’m wary of TV adaptations of books I love but I have to say the BBC has come up trumps with its adaptation of Alan Hollinghurst’s Booker Prize winning novel The Line of Beauty.

Andrew Davies who has a history of bringing great novels to life has created a wondefully authentic slice of England under Thatcher in the 80’s and has stuck rigidly to the books story and themes and the results is a visually stunning and rich adaptation.

The story of Nick Guest a gay, middle class boy from Northampton, who via his friend Toby Fedden is thrust into a world of money, politics and grandeur which typify the era, only to have his world and that of those around him implode in as a result of excess and scandal.

The part of Nick Guest is played brilliantly by newcomer Dan Stevens of who I’m sure we are going to see much more, the rest of the cast are perfectly played and a visual feast especially Alex Wyndham as Wani. My only quibble is I had always pictured Bill Nighy or his type playing Gerald Fedden though Bill McInnery is perfectly adequate, he just wasn’t how I imagined the part. This small quibble aside it’s an excellent script and cast and shouldn’t be missed.

For those who need to catch up the first two parts are available for download on the BBC website and episode three is this weds on BBC2

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Friday, May 26, 2006

You Were Never Fuglier - Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst....well lets face it shes not what you'd call pretty anyway and doesn't do a lot to help herself. She was once quoted as saying "That's one of the things I like about me. Messed-up teeth are so sexy."

Hmm maybe after viewing pictures from the (badly received) premiere of her latest film, Marie Antoinette she'll feel differently!

Did she still think she was in Interview with a Vampire maybe?

Lordy Off with her head! or out with her teeth at least!

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Her Madgesty Trots Out The Same Old Nonsense

Hmmm has her Madgesty gone too far scream the papers?


The new much hyped and hideously expensive Madonna tour has lurched off across the US.
Firstly reports began filtering in of dissatisfied punters almost roasting to death cos Madge wouldn’t let them put on the air con! Apparently this is to save Madge’s voice? Since when did you need a voice to lip-sync? This sent temperatures over 100 degrees. Refunds were demanded on mass!

Then there’s all the hoopla about the crucifixion part of the show. As per usual the rent a gob Christians are out in droves claiming blasphemy, shock and anger! Madge must be delighted; in fact she probably hired them herself! The only thing shocking is that Madge is still trotting this tired old religious crap out and expecting a reaction. Yawn! Lordy girl give it up, if we aren’t outraged by now it’s never going to happen.

To be honest the thorn of crowns, Madge wears, says more about her ego than her ability to shock!
Like everyone else I’ll pay my bucks and go see the show when it trundles into town but for that price I expect to, not keel over in the heat and see something a bit more original!

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Diane keaton - Old is Good!

So L’Oreal Age-Perfect line of facial creams have signed comeback queen Diane Keaton as the face of their new ad campaign. In praise of older women is the theme of most of the coverage and everyone is heralding the fact that companies are wising up that older doesn’t necessarily mean less attractive.
What a load of tosh!
L’ Oreal like many companies have just realized that the Baby Boomers are getting older and the most powerful buying group is now moving into late middle age. Older is where the money is!
If cosmetic companies truly wanted to celebrate ageing gracefully why did MAC recently make Catherine Deneuve their new “face” only to airbrush her into oblivion!

A L’Oreal spokesperson burbled that "Diane has been a role model and a trendsetter for over three decades, and we feel that she is the perfect example to show that women can be beautiful, full of vitality and incredibly successful in every stage of their lives. She epitomizes what American women want. She's a natural beauty, nothing artificial. And she's comfortable with who she is."

Lets see just how much Diane gets airbrushed when her campaign hits the press, then we’ll see just how much L’ Oreal intend to celebrate her “natural beauty”!

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Janet Jackson - Skinny Bitch!

Well we’ve said it before but how the hell did Janet (Wardrobe Malfunction) Jackson go from Jabba the Hut, to Hot, so quick.

Apparently she managed to shed a whopping 60lbs in just 4 months and recent paparazzi pics show her looking absolutely fantastic. Somewhat dis-heartening for those of us who can barely lose a couple of lbs in a year!

If that wasn’t enough to send dieters into a spiral of despair Janet is now flaunting her new svelte self all over the cover of US with a body a woman half her age would kill for.

Did the hippo get lipo?
Who knows?
But I for one, am never touching another carb as long as I live!

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Rank & Bile At The Movies - The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Starring:Tom Hanks Audrey Tautou Ian McKellen Paul Bettany Jean Reno Etienne Chicot Alfred Molina Clive Carter Seth Gabel
Director:Ron Howard

Thanks to Guy for getting us tickets to see the Da Vinci code, it not only passed a particularly slow Sunday afternoon it also got us inside and out of the appaling London weather.

So how was the film you ask?

Well the critics hated it and I have to say, so did I! Like a Chinese takeaway I felt somewhat satisfied as I left the cinema only to find, as the evening wore on, my satisfaction level dropping if not plummeting. It had been ages since I read the book and having thought more about it I remembered more and more of the sub plots and detail in the book, that had been cut out, mangled or glossed over so quickly, they lost all meaning in the film. Despite this the damn thing still trundled on for an exhausting 2 ½ hours. Mainly because whilst the plot clipped along at lightning speed it came to a shuddering halt in the last ¼ which was dragged out at snails pace completely throwing the films pace off kilter. In the showing I saw, bum numbed patrons became very restless at this point.

On the bright side Sir Ian Mc Kellen turned in an amusing if somewhat hammy performance as Sir Leigh Teabing, Paul Bettany as Silas was adequate although both he and Alfred Molina dropped their accents as often as Britney Spears drops her offspring! Audrey Tatou was …..well, Audrey Tatou her usual quirky but non sexy self but then I imagine it’s difficult to raise any kind of passion opposite that bloated old windbag Tom Hanks. (hideously mis cast as the enigmatic and handsome Robert Langdon).

I have to say I really don’t get Mr. Hanks appeal he is possibly the dullest actor alive with the least screen presence but hey! That’s just my opinion.

All in all it was a slick disappointment for me, but it has raked in $224 million at the box office already and is the second largest box office debut of all time. So maybe I’m being too harsh? If nothing else it knocked the poison dwarf and Mission Impossible 3 off the top spot so it can't be all bad then!
** Stars

Buy The Da Vinci Code at Amazon
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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Cher Do You Believe? - That She's 60!

Well theres no doubt about it 1946 was a bumper year for legendary icons as this year sees not only Bette Middler and Liza Minnelli celebrate the big six O but now is the turn of the biggest gay icon of them all Cher! Yes the be-wigged one hits 60 today!

So is the diva going to start taking life a bit easier? Apparently not, she has an album in the works and is due to take over at Caeasars Palace in 2008 as soon as Celine Dion bows out of her mega run.

Luckily for us all, she still rocks and she definately has turned back time!

Happy Birthday Cher

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Cher at Amazon

Friday, May 19, 2006

Britney Spears - Mommie Dearest

Rank & Bile's Mother of The Year award goes to Britney Spears!
Someone should really explain to little Miss White Trash that the phrase bouncing baby boy is not to be taken literally!
First we heard the unfortunate tot was dropped on his head then last week safety campaigners were up in arms when Spears junior was photographed slumped in the back seat of Britneys convertable, at least that time he was strapped in, unlike the time she had him on her lap without a seatbelt.
Then in the latest incedent (see below) Britney nearly dropped lil Sean P in the street. However on the plus side Britney did manage to keep a firm grip on her double vodka, if not the baby, and escaped with not a drop spilled. So maybe she's not as clumsy as she looks!

Click here to stop Mommie Dearest

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Farewell Queer as Folk

Queer as Folk - The Final (Fifth) Season
Starring: Michelle Clunie, Robert Gant, Thea Gill, Gale Harold, Randy Harrison,etc
Director: Alex Chapple, Michael DeCarlo

Well I’ve avidly watched every season of this show & I have to say I was willing this series to never end but alas its time to say goodbye to Liberty Ave. I adored the original UK Series it was truly groundbreaking, the first even remotely realistic portrayal of gays on TV and when the US episodes began a few years later I loved it all over again. Every year for the last 5 seasons there has been an annual ritual of buying the season on DVD (after a seemingly interminable wait for it to be released every year) and then devouring the whole box set over the course of a weekend with frequent calls or emails to my friend Eric to see, “what episode are you up to so far” I cant understand why it never found a regular home on UK TV but I guess many over here felt the original UK Version was the definitive one. I disagree it’s almost impossible to compare them past season two as they are both so different but even if you judge the US version inferior it lasted 3 seasons longer than its British cousin and gave you far more chance to get to know and love its characters. I have particularly fond memories of flirting with members of the US cast when they were over to promote it, in the VIP room of the now defunct Sweet Suite club. At times I found it trite, corny, sexy, fun, or sad but always entertaining. In a way I’m glad its ending before it got really lame but it will be sorely missed like an old friend.

Well the final season of this groundbreaking classic may be gone, but the memories and the "thumpa-thumpa" live on. The most intense season yet sees Liberty Avenue and its citizens go through some tough challenges.

I found it rather satisfying that in an era of increasingly anti Gay politics in The US, Queer as Folk decided to make its most political episodes yet, maybe because it was their last and maybe, as its exactly the current political climate, that hastened its demise, it was the show’s way of going down fighting. I won’t give the plot away for those who haven’t seen it but there are some pretty spectacular and dramatic developments and watch out from a couple of great guest spots from Rosie O’Donnell and Cyndi Lauper.

Queer as Folk gone but not forgotten.

QAF website
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Thursday, May 18, 2006

You Were Never Fuglier - Goldie Hawn

What the hell happened to Goldie Hawn?
Seems like only yesterday the magazines were hailing her as one of hollywood's fabulous over fifty year olds.


What a difference a few years makes. Goldie is now saggy at sixty .

Maybe its time to get rid of the strapless numbers Goldie and ditch the kooky blonde image it was kind of appealing at 20 but these days you are looking more Baby Jane than Baby Doll.

Meg you needn’t look so smug you’re not looking that much better and ladies isn’t it time you both invested in a comb!

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Monday, May 15, 2006

George Michael Car Crash - Literally!

Driving your car in London can be dangerous at the best of times but one spot that has become increasingly hazardous of late is Highgate it appears its almost impossible to get through the area without being hit by the drug crazed menace that is George Michael!

I'll Spare you the obvious Wake me up before you go go, puns but George was found asleep at the wheel of his car again this weekend. This time he held up a set of traffick lights for ages only to wake up with a start , shoot off, mount the curb and take out a traffic bollard in the process.

Hmm now wasnt this the man who recently claimed his drug use was exagerated and tried to blame all his problems on Elton John!

Time to lay off the weed and the GHB George?!

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

John Barrowman

The I Definately Would - Hunk of The Month

Ever since we first saw Mr Barrowman in Sunset Boulevard as Joe Gillis and in glossy US Soap Central Park West we have had an enormous crush on hunky John and it shows no sign of abating!

Well there's been no escape from the gorgeous Mr Barrowman the last few Months and we are definitely not complaining!

First he stole the show from Rob Lowe in the west end production of a Few Good Men, then there was his Sound of Musicals, TV show as next is the forthcoming Dr Who Spin Off Torchwood in which he re-prises his role as bi sexual Captain Jack. (The episode of Dr Who were droids Trinny and Susannah strip him naked has to be the TV highlight of last year! see a clip below)

Let’s hope this trend continues cos I for one can’t get enough of the gorgeous Mr Barrowman!

What More could you ask for great Actor, great voice and wow! certainly great looks!

Click On Johns Album cover to buy it at Amazon

Find out more about John at his website

Click below for a montage of John as Sexy Captain Jack in Dr Who. Woof!

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Car Crash of The Month - Terri Hatcher

Desperate actress Terri Snatcher is surely a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown? You only had to read last months Vanity Fair interview. Admirable though it is to come forward and speak about child abuse we were definitely left with the impression that Hatcher was scarred for life and still not really coping with it all, maybe not quite the kind of thing to encourage others to come forward and confront their demons. It doesn’t really help promote the idea that she is of sound mind when she keeps bursting into tears in public or in front of reporters.

Then there’s her weight……or lack of it! Whilst a slew of under nourished celebrities have recently come forward and admitted they have a problem, even serial abusers Calista Flockhart and Nicole Richie are finally owning up, Terri continues her exercise regimes when its patently clear she is drastically underweight. Terri might have a bit more luck with men if they weren’t afraid she’d snap if they ever got jiggy with her! She needs to realise being that thin only ever appeals to dress designers and gays.

Which brings me on to the embarrassing Ryan Seacrest incident last month.
The two were photographed smooching on a date but Terri was abruptly dumped afterward. Now I can think of several reasons why Mr Seacrest may have not pursued the relationship further especially when the pictures were already in the bag or in this case in every magazine worldwide but even leaving the obvious aside, Terri needs to realise interviews like the ones she’s been giving lately just scream Baggage! In fact Miss Snatcher has more baggage than Louis Vuitton that combined with being a paranoid stick thin actress over 40 does not scream perfect dating material!

So Terri you desperate slut do us all a favour get a shrink and stop using magazine interviews as therapy and stop with the book (which details just about every dating humiliation she’s ever had)! Stop with the running and go eat some bloody pies! and stop snivelling in public!

Hey who knows you might even like being sane and a normal weight and you might finally get that man your after!

Desperate Housewife is funny Desperate Actress is not!

Watch Terri Out Ryan Seacrest on Letterman! here
More About Terri and Ryan at Perez Hilton

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Joan Rivers Loses The Plot

Joan Recently presented .....well I say presented made an ass of herself might be nearer the mark! at Australia's Logie's award show and it looks like there was a very well stocked bar backstage!

Joan can we talk?

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Zsa Zsa Gabor

This Months Queens of Camp Hall of Fame Inductee

Long before the Hilton girls came their Great Aunt Zsa Zsa and her sisters the fabulous Gabors. Mother Jolie, and sisters Zsa Zsa , Eva and Magda were once the most glamorous family in Hollywood and Hungary's most famous exports

Zsa Zsa was born Sari Gabor in…..well dates range from 1915 to 1919! In Hungary. Zsa Zsa came to Hollywood on the heels of her sister Eva Her first film was at MGM in Lovely to Look at followed by a comedy called We're Not Married! at Twentieth Century Fox, neither of which were exactly classics! In fact She would only really ever have one major role, opposite Mel Ferrer in Moulin Rouge but it would prove to be a flash in the pan and Zsa Zsa would be destined for a career comprising walk-ons cameos and supporting roles in such nonscence as Queen of Outer Space and A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 .

Zsa Zsa star would shine much brighter as the un-disputed queen of the chat show circuit. Where her legendary number of marriages, former Miss Hungary Title, love of diamonds, Dahlink! catchphrase and ludicrously glamorous Hungarian accent would be turned into witty fodder and bon mots for adoring TV audiences.

Her legenday list of Husbands and lovers included Profirio Rubirosa , The inventor of the Barbie doll, Conrad Hilton, Actor George Sanders who would also marry her sister Magda and most recently Prince Von Anhalt, making her, Princess Von Anhalt, Duchess of Saxony (she claims) though many dispute the validity of the title.

Zsa Zsa is famous for being fiery and has been sued by Elke Sommer for defamation. Thrown out of a hotel for abusing a bellboy and removed from an airliner for causing an affray and then in 1989 her most famous hissy fit saw her end up in jail for 3 days for slapping a Beverly hills cop who pulled her over for suspected drunk driving.

Whilst her jail term may have been humiliating for her it sparked a small resurgence in her career and provided her with endless anecdotes for her chat show appearances.

Zsa Zsa like her sisters lived a life only dreamed of by many, a life of furs diamonds and glamour and when Zsa Zsa jokes “Dhalink I never take diamonds form perfect strangers….but then Dhalink nobodys perfect!” or “I am a brilliant Housekeeper….I divorce them, then keep the house!” The funny thing is you know she probably really means it!

Sadly Eva Gabor who had a reasonable career of her own and would find lasting fame as the star of TV’s Green Acres, (and purveyor of wigs beloved of drag queens everywhere) died in 1995, from food poisoning, two years later her mother, the amazing 102 yr, old Jolie Gabor died as did Zsa Zsa’s lesser known sister Magda.

Zsa Zsa is now the only surviving Gabor sister and she has had a run of bad luck recently a car accident in 2002 left her partly paralized (she successfully sued the driver, her hairdresser for $2m) Then in 2005 a stroke confined her to her fabulous home in Bel Air (formerly owned by Elvis). She was also forced last year to sue her daughter for attempting to illegally access her somewhat confused mother’s fortune. Thought he glamour may have faded a little, no one can deny the Gabors were pure magic they were the first of what we now call celebrites i.e. no real talent but huge personalities and famous for just being their fabulous selves.

So Zsa Zsa Gabor along with the other fabulous Gabors we salute you Dhalink as a true Queen of Camp!

Click below to see one of Zsa Zsa's Hissy fits

See a Clip Of Zsa Zsa's hilarious workout video here
More Queens of Camp here

Zsa Zsa at Amazon