Tuesday, June 29, 2004


So I haven't blogged in a while. Mostly because, believe it or not, I have nothing to say really and I've been uber busy in the office. This weekend though I took to domesticating myself one step further. It's quite odd, the turn of of idealistic anarchist artsy grunge girl, to self medicated bisexual club kid, to elitist ambitious superbitch, and finally to 1950's house wife? Okay, so in a very loose nutshell that my state of evolution over the past decade... oddly enough most can be determined by the men I surround myself with, darren, adam, dan, and now ben respectively.

Anyway, in my now housewifey phase... This past weekend, after becoming frustrated by clothing manufacturers designs that fail to fit my body, in well, all the right places... I remembered that most of the people my mothers generation and earlier made their own clothing. And my mom made all my clothes until I was about 12. Okay, maybe not all mothers and grandmother did this, but mine was a seamstress and I father managed garment operations, so I runs in the blood. So, I trucked off to the store to find fabrics, buttons, bows, and zippers to fashion myself a party dress. First of all came reading pattern notation for what all you need and what fabrics work for the designs and such... I didn't really understand it all. I could have called my mom for domestic advice, but she was at the beach getting tank with her friends and more piercings. At some point during the past decade, I think we switched places.

Regardless, how someone could spend all day sewing, baking, and cleaning house is mind numbing to me. First of all, how did it not drive women mad... but I guess that's what part of The Hours was about. After getting most of the way through my dress I decided to way for my mom to return for her advice. She of course critiqued my stiching and quality, basically, if my mother was the orson wells of fashion, i was roger corman.

So why am i rambling on about this stuff. I read an article this morning in the paper about how swimming and tennis clubs and country clubs are losing business and most are shutting down because people aren't interested in swimming anymore, because they have air conditioning. It's just not like the 60's according to the article. Okay, I love swimming. I love swimming so much on my lunch hour i swim laps at the gym beside my office. It's not because of the lack of interest in swimming, it's because of the lack of housewives. Okay, so I wake up a 7:30, meet ben at the restaurant by 8:15, have breakfast and make it to the office by 9:30. I then get home by 5:30 or 6:00 if there are no errands to run. If there are I get home by 7:30 or 8:00. I then eat dinner that Ben cooks, watch tv and sleep by midnight. I don't clean the bathroom, do laundry, or the dishes. I do all that stuff on the weekend. So when would I have time to go to the pool. I don't even have children. Factor them into the equation and there seams to be no time what so ever. So, unless the pools are open at 10:30 at night, I don't see how anyone besides school teachers, seniors, and children have the time to spend by the pool. My point, which probably got lost in this diatribe is, it has nothing to do with the love or apathy towards swimming.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

POPCORN: Box Office Inferno

According to CNN Money: Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' turns on box office heat - Jun. 24, 2004: "Online ticket service Fandango.com reported Wednesday that 'Fahrenheit 9/11' was making up 48 percent of advance ticket sales for the weekend ahead, compared to 11 percent for 'Dodgeball' and 9 percent for next week's 'Spider-Man 2.'"

Well after researching all overy the internet, I finally came up with a source reporting the numbers for Wednesday's opening at Lincoln center and Loew's Village 7. Granted, I would have opened up AMC 25, but that's just me. Anyway, F911 earned $49,000 down in the village and $30,000 uptown.

Hopefully this means the local venues will realize the money they are potentially missing. Nothing upsets REG more than money. I mean, they still have Jesus's money!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

POPCORN: Mock this Uneducated Conservatives

For the third time this week, I heard yet another person use the term mockumentry in referance to F911. Theses Bush supporting columnists and comentators use this title siting that Moore simply used this film to further his own political agenda. To those conservatives I would like to say... WELL DUH! Of course he did. He isn't pretending to present a non bias interpretation of the facts. Moore is sternly anti-Bush. But, just because he uses his art form to further a message he strongly believes in doesn't make this a "mock-u-mentry".

Documentries use non fiction footage to tell a story. The director or creator decides what story he wants to tell before he starts filming. Hopefully his vision slightly changes or grows as he learns things along the way. If there is no story, there is no film, there is no point. Documentries are an artistic expression, they are NOT non bias journalistic video pieces. Some directors might choose to attempt a non bias movie, but there will always be an opposing opinion. I'm sure many revisionists consider the numerous holocoust documentries pure Zionist proganda.

A mockumentry is a fictional and often comedic film shot in the style of a documentry. The definative genre piece is Spinal Tap. Christopher Guest has gone on to define this genre with brilliant improv skills of his friends including the films Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, and most recently, A Mighty Wind. A different take can be that of the Blair Witch Project which was marketed as "real" to amp up the fear factor when it was clearly false. If F911 was a mockumentry, it wouldn't be using real footage of president Bush golfing. This are real images. It would most likely take a Bush-a-like (might i suggest Will Ferrel) and purposely put him in slapstick situations with befuddling improvised dialogue. F911 is not that movie.

Before you bring out your "expert" perhaps someone in the news business to refute my defination, I studied and am degreed in film. Documentries are film, not news. The same rules, the same criticisms of bias, do not and should not apply.

Simply disagreeing with the subject matter of a documentry or even the validity of the point of view of a documentry does not make it a Mockumentry.

POPCORN: Rrrrrrrr She Blows!

Yes America, it's Fahreheit 911 week here on The Brain Drain. Hopefully, at some point this week, I will get a chance to watch this film. Yesturday, in a decision I honestly don't disagree with, F911 was given and R rating. That means all the left wing parents of conservative children with be dragging them off to the movies this weekend. Well, that is if they live in a metropolitan area.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

POPCORN: Ignoring the Fire... Trying to Find a local venue for F911

I've worked in enough movie theaters to know Monday is when the bookings come in. Eagerly, I checked Fandango and Fahrenheit 911's website to see if the Regal Entertainment Group dominated region I live in will get a copy of F911.

Sadly, my fears were confirmed. I would like to catch a 7 p.m. showing at the 13 screen multiplex across the street from my office on Friday, but won't have that option. I wouldn't mind the 20 minute drive to the next town over to a 16 screen multiplex. Again, REG has eliminated that option as well. I will spend an hours drive into downtown Baltimore to the Charles Theater or a drive north to Harrisburg's Midtown Cinemas. If I want a theater with better seating and projection, I can drive a little over an hour east to Regal Oaks 24 where 1 screen was spared to display this film.

It's really quite sad that the small cities and large towns in middle America are not being offered a chance to see this film. I don't know what the specifics stats are, but Pennsylvania has lost more troops in Iraq than any other state in the union. Those boys and girls aren't just coming from Philadelphia. They are coming from the "Red" counties in between Philly and Pittsburgh. Shouldn't their families have a right to watch this.

Another issue I have with this distribution pattern (I hold REG's Booking system responsible not the films distributors) is that the arthouse's which dominate the platform distribution don't have automated ticket reservation systems. While I'm willing to risk an hours drive for tickets, I'd rather know they were secured with an online Moviefone-like system.

Why is the establiment making it so hard to access this film. After all, it's just a movie right?

Let One Become Two: Revisiting Secession

This morning, while perusing section A of the local newspaper, I happened upon two pages with headlines I couldn't for the life of me ignore. The first, "boatload of African migrants arrives at Spanish nudist beach" is pretty self explanatory. The second, Christian Group plans to secede from the U.S., got me thinking.

Since I was 16, idealistic, and a democrat sitting in my United State history class taught by the most brilliant teach to ever live, my political opinions have done a complete 180. Well strike that, my ideals haven't changed as much as my education and understanding of the United States government and society have. I used to be pro-life because I found abortion abhorrent. Now, I'm pro choice because I do not assume to right to enforce my beliefs on others if offered the same accord. I used to to be pro capital punishment. Now, I understand the ultimate fallibility of our justice system and how many people have been executed by mistake. I used to be a democrat because of the great good FDR encompassed. It's for the same reason I supported higher taxes and a large "parental" central government. Now, I'm a Republican because I believe the government is consists of ambitious men and it interferes more than it protects, it hurts more than it helps. I now also believe in the strong rights of states to make the decisions that is right for a majority of its citizens.

We are big. We are huge. We are a nation run predominately by men, who, for their own insecurities, believe bigger is always better. Whether it's a hummer, a rocket ship, or a tv... men like things big. Women on the other hand seem more obsessed with small things. Whether it's a desire to be petite, a cute black cocktail dress, an itsy bitsy bikini, a tiny convertible, or a perfect 5 carat rock over a television set... mothers often tell their daughters the best things come in small packages. In a smaller setting, a more socialist approach to human welfare is possible... universal healthcare for example. The groups of people are smaller and easier to accommodate. I believe that if California wants to legalize gay marriage, and Oklahoma doesn't... that should be allowed. If Pennsylvania wants freedom of firearms but Florida wants to ban them, that should be allowed.

Now, a group of Texan Christians plan to pilgrimage to South Carolina to secede from the Union, and in my humble opinion, that should be allowed. I grew up a child of divorce, and unlike some, I never championed the "Parent Trap" fantasy. My parents fought and emotionally hurt each other. I loved them both but understood that separate is better in come cases. We can't all get along. The Israelis and Palestinians can't. The Greeks and Turks can't. After thousands of years, there is still violence. So, if this group of Christians wants to secede, and take South Carolina with them... I fully support it.

Granted, this group at ChristianExodus.org is comparing itself to the Amish. I live and was raised in Amish Country. The Amish don't care what the "English" do. They farm and live as they always have. The problem, since Paul in the new testimate, is that Christians feel the need to alter everyone around them. Collectively, they have the need to prove that they are "right". Granted, they say they are saving the heathens. I believe in, because I do it, following the teachings of Jesus without infringing on the freedom of others.... Sadly, this is not the popular consensus.

So, the first exodus is scheduled in a trek to the promise land in 2006. My thought, why stop with South Carolina! I, over my breakfast, have decided that we should establish a Christian run conservative country (Redland) and have a human rights and liberty oriented secular country (The Blue Person Group).

Here is what I propose:

The New Promiseland Red Country:

The Christians are more than welcome to Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, and Both Carolinas. We can negotiate on South Dakota, Iowa, Georgia, and Kentucky. Tennessee remains non-negotiable and belongs to the "blue". Florida would be divided just south of Orlando. The Red country would get Disney World and all points north. South Florida would belong to the secular country, including the Keys. New Orleans would become a principality separate from Louisiana. LA will go to the Red and New Orleans to the Blue.

Really, wouldn't that simply make everyone happier?

Monday, June 21, 2004

THE BOX - Get ready for a December Wonderfall!

Wonderfalls, most brilliant new show second to only Arrested Development, was canceled by Fox after a mere 4 week run where the network managed to shift it's time slot neferiously.

The good news is that the boys at AICN have reported a December 7th release date for a box set of the complete series.

So, if you're wondering what to get me for Christmas this year, and you think it might be too predictable to buy my a 24 or Lord of the Rings box set... here's your answer.

Back in Blog

Hi All:

Due to an overly hectic work week and meeting with photographers and what not, I was not able to post as often as I like. Rest assured, this week things should, SHOULD, be back to normal.

Check in throughout the day and week for catch up bloggin'.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

POPCORN REVIEW: Getting "Saved!"


While not quite a rip roaring rampage, Saved! was overly adequate entertainment for a storm plagued Monday evening. I must admit that my own propensity to fall for gay men and the absurb religious dogma of my own family had something to do with my enjoyment of this film.

Saved! has one of the best precipitating incidents in recent history: Mary (Jena Malone), A devout popular girl from a christian academy, becomes pregnant after Jesus, in a vision, tells her to save her gay boyfriend by having sex. Throw in some sexual tension between Mary's mom and Pastor Skip, some devient activity between a cripple and and the school's lone jew, and some uber bitchy Mandy Moore... and the result is a hour and a half of beautiful satire and entertainment.

Yes, it had the cliched teen movie climax at prom. And granted, the payoff is kind of overly sappy, "Why would God makes us all so different if he wanted everyone to be the same?" But, in the pro fundementalist movement of the day, anything with reason is welcomed.

Saved has some great performances from Jena Malone and scene stealers from Eva Amurri. Saved also proved a much better "adult" performace from Mac than Party Monster which was kind of ick.

I'm sure this film will offend alot of people who are too uptight. Most of them are probably sitting in the White House or on the Dover Area School Board. Either way, if you haven't be subjected to bilical trivia pursuit after a penn state football game and lots of turkey on Thankgiving or attended more than 3 vacation bible schools during the course of one summer... it might not mean as much. But in the words of that great american poet Homer, "it's funny cause it's true."

Monday, June 14, 2004

Alma Malder Going Ape over Adam and Eve

Yes... that is Adam and Eve, (not Steve). Forget about gay marriage, my former high school is deciding now if Evolution is appropriate.

This blog is pretty much used to share joy about entertainment and a venting outlet for the slippery slope George Bush has put us in. Sometimes, as is the case with The Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 911, the two mingle. Today though, I feel the need to vent about the complete absurdity that is my hometown. Forget the segregation, anti-Semitic hate crimes, race riots, school shootings, and overall moral superiority that is flagrantly displayed by those proud Americans in my hometown. The school board of my alma malter is debating evolution... yes, monkeys.

Now, I remember being called a whole host of names in certain classes. The first reason being because I'm not "white", which at Dover meant German or Scotch Irish. Granted, I am mostly German, but my Asian heritage made me standout amongst all the Millers, Schumakers, Rohrbaughs, and such. Also remember, that my area of the county were Kaiser sympathizers during WWI. They still hate Japan, the Japanese, and foreign cars because of WWII, but Hitler and Germany, not so bad in their opinion. I was also ridiculed because I thought equal rights should be extended to everyone. The card carrying members of the KKK in my government classes were not too fond of me. Did I mention these boys would carry sawed off shotguns and confederate flags to school in their pick ups. Yes, and I lived only a 1/2 hour from Gettysburg. Okay, so there are a whole host of reasons why York, PA sucks. The band Live even wrote a song about it, Shittown. Regardless, maybe that's why I grew up so liberal, to offset the evil I felt I was surrounded with.

Okay, back to the monkeys. Now, I'm not some feed-the-Christians-to-the-lions type of girl that Fox News would paint me to be. In fact, I'm quit a big fan of Jesus. To quote the t-shirt, Jesus is my homeboy. I'm also a big fan of Martin Luther King and Ghandi because each of these men had the ability to change the world for the better without violence. It's a sad irony everytime the Roman Catholic Church, George Bush, Mel Gibson, or people in my hometown use Jesus as justification for their personal violence.

At a school board meeting last week, a board member, William Buckingham, said as part of a search for a new biology book, he and others are looking for one that offers balance between the Christian views of creation and Darwin's Theory of Evolution.

After the meeting, he also said there needn't be any other considerations for the beliefs of Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims or other competing faiths and views.

"This country wasn't founded on Muslim beliefs or evolution," he said. "This country was founded on Christianity and our students should be taught as such."

Which is funny, because if you carefully study religion, most people would realize that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam while having vast differences, are more alike than not. They are monotheistic religions that stem from the same place on the planet. It's their followers, and governments of those followers, that are often different.

Is teaching creation a bad thing? No. In fact, every religion (mono and polytheist) has it's own creation myth. The book of Genesis isn't the only one. But, Buckingham doesn't want to hear any of that other bunk. I, unlike some liberals, do not feel that freedom of religion means freedom from religion. In fact, I would whole heartedly support a discussion day in science class comparing all the different myths and their similarities as well as differences. That's not what the school board wants though. I think this might be a better world if children where taught what other religions beliefs are and not just told to judge the people of those beliefs. There are people I dislike of all religions, but I dislike no one because of their religion.

"What I am saying is that when you teach only one theory (evolution), that theory becomes a fact," Wenrich said. "I'm not saying that students must believe in creation, but I do believe they must consider the possibility."

That's funny. I find it odd that Mr. Buckingham, a seemingly devout Christian, isn't aware of the "evolution" of Christianity's sanctioned beliefs. For instance, it was heresy to teach the Copernican theory that that Earth revolved around the Sun and not vice versa. Should the students of Dover be given the option they choose? The other Earth-centered theory was determined by Ptolemy who was Egyptian (and not Christian). The Roman Catholic church adopted that theory as their own. In fact, in 1992, the Pope apologized to Galileo for his work on Copernican theory. Galileo had been dead for over 350 years. Seeing that the Monkey Scopes trial took part in the early part of the last century, we have, I figure, about 250 or more years to go before my home town catches up with the rest of the progressive world.

I wonder if this man would support the teaching of the mass genocide committed by early "Americans" on the East Coast. How about teachings of the Civil War Draft, and the draft riots of New York City? Would he support the teaching of Japanese internment camps? Would he support teaching of opium and marijuana cases used simply to drive out the Mexicans and Chinese from our borders? There are many things I was and was not taught during my years at Dover Area High School, creation is just one of them. But, then again, I could recite the book of Genesis by the age of 5. (Yes, how many Christians know who Seth was, huh?) And guess what, I still believe in Darwin.

In the end, all teachings are a choice. I'm sure their are children who come home after studying WWII. Their grandfather sits them down and tells the child that everything they learned in school regarding the holocaust was a lie perpetuated by the Jews. We don't stop teaching the horrors of the holocaust, do we? Regardless of personal religious beliefs, this is a public school. What children are taught outside the setting of the school regarding religious views is completely protected by the first amendment. But, I will never allow my child to go to a school so dominated by such hypocrisy. Final note, I really hope Mrs. Keagy chooses "Inherit the Wind" as the school play this fall.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

POPCORN: Jumping Jehovah, Regal steals Icon's Passion


Apparently, Regal Entertainment Group (Regal Cinemas, United Artist Theater Circuit, etc.) is being greedy with Jesus's money. According to numerous sources,Mel Gibson's Icon entertainment is suing the exhibitor for $40 million dollars of Passion money yet owed to Icon. I see it now, during this weekends showing of Harry Potter, Mel and his "disciples" run into theaters throughout the county knocking over registers, screaming sacrilege... he might even sing a little ditty from JC Superstar while he's at it. After all, it's Blood Money! If I were REG, I'd pay up. The man has proven he's not afraid of using the press and manipulating religion to create hysteria. I hope the CEO of REG isn't Jewish, Arab, Shinto, Buddhist, Hindu, or even a woman for that matter. Break out the crosses, it's time for a good ol' corporate crucifixion.

ATTN: Darren... KIDMAN plans retirement


My good friend Darren, if you don't know him personally, has and idol, a goddess, a sexual fanstasy, a living doll of inspiration... and she is Nicole Kidman. I woke up this morning and flipped on the Today Show. I'm guessing Darren taped it, but if not... there is big news. She talked alot about retiring. Maybe that's why she works so hard now, turning out 2 or 3 pics a year. I have often critized her mothering skills. I mean, how good of a mother can you be when you're always on set. I've been on them, it's long hard work. Then again, I realized she's the "talent". So while the crew is struggling to the get the lighting just right, she can mother for hours on end. Regardless of her mothering skills, she stated how she loves acting but she gives so much to every performance that she she loses a bit of herself each time. In that retrospect, she wants to retire before she loses herself completely. When's her 40th birthday, Darren? You might want to start counting down the days.

Here are photos from what I consider Miss Kidman's greatest rolls. Darren will surely disagree, if only because I don't mention To Die For .

This photo is from the train station scene from The Hours. This single scene is the most powerful, poignant, and personally impacting scene I have ever witnessed. Her portrayal of Virgina Wolfe earned Kidman an Oscar.

From Frumpy to Fabulous... Moulin Rouge revived the musical genre in Golden Age Glitz and Glam not scene of film since My Fair Lady.

THE BOX - The Jury's In... or How I Learned to Love Busch


Due to a water garden project gone array, I unfortunately missed the first episode of The Jury. I did have a chance to catch the second though which aired at 9 p.m. To my shock and awe, there was Adam Busch. I yelled out "holy shit, baby, it's Warren... and he's HOT!". To those of you who might be as much of a geek as myself, recognize Adam Busch as Warren, the sex-bot building sci-fi leader of the evil trio on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (5th & 6th seasons). Busch's character met an untimely demise when, after shooting Willow's (Alyson Hannigan) lesbian lover Tara (Amber Benson), he was skinned alive by "black magic" Willow. Eh, he kind of had it coming. Anyway, most all of the press on The Jury has been about the creative team and Billy Burke and Shalom Harlow... which generated an "OOHH, Shalom Harlow.... mmmm" from my boy. Also, my observant boy pointed out, "How can their really be a star of a show called The Jury, shouldn't the cast change every week?" Yes, it does, but the legal teams and courthouse staff remain the same. Speaking of Shalom, I think I saw her for a brief 2 seconds last night? What's with that. Like I said, I didn't see the first show.

Burke & Harlow

Anyway, is it worth tuning into? Yes, if you're around, but it's not quite the appointment setting television of 24. It has beat Law & Order: Trial by Jury to the punch which is always good. The directing was great, the editing better than most tv shows, and the general story gimmick works. Although, I wasn't too big on the actual actors in the Jury room, this isn't the drama of 12 Angry Men. Who knows how the show will develop... if you're home on tuesdays it's worth a glance. Might I say again, Adam Busch is HOT... he reminds me of someone I once knew too, I just can't remember who.

The Gipper

So some have thought it odd that I as a Republican blogger have not yet commented on the untimely death of President Reagan. Simply put, it's because my mother always told me that if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing. But, hey, when did I ever listen to my mother. While the Gipper is credited with ending the Cold War and boosting the economy with "reaganomics", he single handedly skewed the Republican party away from small government longing for fiscal responsibility to a moral army of conservative Christians crusading for American souls. Yes.... That's where Bush gets it from. Anyway, I call myself a liberal republican and I'm engaged to a libertarian socialist, and yes, I'm aware of what an oxymoron all of it is. Every party has it's good (FDR & Nixon) and it's bad (LBJ & Bush(s). I guess that makes me an independent, but in PA you can't vote in the primaries if you're an independent. So, like all things political, the Republican philosophy is great in theory, and bad in practice... but I had to register as something.

Monday, June 07, 2004

THE BOX: Tune in Tuesday!

Yes, it's going to be a long hard wait until day 4 of 24. So, what is left on Tuesday's between now and January 2005? Check out The Jury. This new show from Fox promises to be a little more than the dominating L & O and CSI fad fare of television. The Jury is from Barry Levinson and Homicide and Oz writer Tom Fontana. Tuesday night, Fox is airing a double stuffing for the premier, 8 to 10 p.m. Oh, and for you boys, the show stars Shalom Harlow, supermodel who in her day but the cat in catwalk. If you miss it, I'm sure Fox will rerun and rerun the eps. I'll post a review on Wednesday. Even though The Simple Life is coming back to haunt us, thank god Fox remembered scripted television.

THE BOX: Holy Baked Potato... Arrested ties up it's loose ending

What once was lost is now found. Last night, Arrested Development's "lost" episode made it to air, no thanks to constant prempting by Fox. Quite possibly the best of the bunch the episode pulled no punches, from low carbs to the Iraq war. The best plot turn this side of the first season of 24, has Michael Bluth discovering that his family business was building Sadams palaces. Now Papa Bear, is on the run to avoid "light" treason charges. October, and season 2, can't come fast enough.

Sidenote: The Arrested Development site on TV Tome, has a funny anedote from David Cross, Tobias.

...the scene in which the family gorges on high-carbohydrate foods (thereby abandoning their "Atkins" regimen). After each take, most of the actors spit the food into nearby buckets. The reason, of course, was that they wanted to avoid consuming the carbohydrates. David Cross noted the irony of the fact that the fictional characters eventually recognized the absurdity of obsessive fad dieting -- a revelation that somehow eluded the real people who portrayed them.

POPCORN: Happy Trailers to You!

Darren has posted link's on his blog to new trailers for The Aviator (pic above) and Lemony Snicket (pic below). Make sure you check out The Red Room Movie Palace.

MTV: Luscious Lindsay, Killer Popcorn, & Hip Hop Ass

While us civilians will have to wait until Thursday to watch the MTV Movie Awards, reports of debauchery... and winners, are already being reported.

Hosted by Teen Queen Lindsay Lohan (Sorry Hillary Duff, your are "So, Yesterday"), the golden popcorn tubs weny to QT's Kill Bill saga and Return of the King. Apparently, there was also some trough dropping by D12. Get ready for the family friendly edited version on Thursday. If you can't wait... here are the winners:

Best Movie: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Best Male Performance: Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Best Female Performance: Uma Thurman, Kill Bill: Vol. 1
Best Comedic Performance: Jack Black, School of Rock
Best On-Screen Team: Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore, 50 First Dates
Best Villain: Lucy Liu, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 Breakthrough Male: Shawn Ashmore, X2: X-Men United
Breakthrough Female: Lindsay Lohan, Freaky Friday
Best Kiss: Owen Wilson & Carmen Electra & Amy Smart, Starsky & Hutch
Best Action Sequence: Battle at Gondor, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Best Fight: Uma Thurman vs. Chiaki Kuriyama, Kill Bill: Vol. 1
Best Dance Sequence: Seann William Scott, American Wedding

A Man for All Seasons: J. Lo Shackles Hubby No. 3

Okay, so, I'm only really touching on this well, because it's going to be news that you just can't get away from everywhere else. So, here, let's get it out there and move on.

This weekend Jennifer Lopez snagged her 3rd hubby, Marc Anthony, 5 days after he got a quickie divorce from his wife and kids. J. Lo., as she proclaimed herself, is starting to give husband stealing, diamond loving divas a bad name. She's now on husband number 3 before hitting 35. We all got to see a new side of the tablicious demanding diva over the past year... bitch rumours fly fast and furiously, including that Jenny from the block, being a more hip hop than Hollywood princess, demands to be treated extravagantly by everyone, even during brief "charity" appearances. Somewhere between Amelda Marcos, Joan Crawford, Suzanne Sommers, and Elizabeth Taylor, Miss Lopez-Noa-Judd-Anthony has definitely made a name for herself, but not through any artistic talent. I really loved her in Out of Sight too. Oh well, such potential devoured by ego. Can't wait for the J. Lo. True Hollywood Story.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Tenet Resigns from the CIA

What an election year it's shaping up to be. Today, George Tenet resigned from the CIA for "person reasons". Maybe, "I personnally hate the president" or "I feel personally responsible for the death of thousands". Who knows, but the news is by the time I turn 25, he'll be gone. Visit CNN for more on details on the current situation, W's (Karl Rove's) response, and the 911 hearings.

and That's Why They Call it Show Business

Sherry Lansing, Jonathan Dolgen, Leslie Moonves, Tom Freston

There has been some shakin' going on. This week Mel Karmazin resigned not so quietly from Viacom (CBS, MTV, Nickolodeon, Paramount, UPN, etc.) This cleared the way for the heads of the Networks (Tom Freston) and the Broadcast (Les Moonves) wings to share his duties moving up the corporate chain. Les Moonves now has more power (the guy who wouldn't air The Reagans mini). The next day Jonathan Dolgan (co chair of Paramount with Sherry Lansing)resigned because he didn't feel reporting to Freston (MTV head guy) would benefit him and the studio. Now, if that's not enough, some good might come of all of this. Mr. Eisner, the meniacal man managing Disney and former Pepsi Chair, might now have some very stiff competition. Eisner most likely will lose the Disney partnership with the uber profitable Pixar (Headed by Mr. Mac himself, Steve Jobs). Roy Disney is already leading a crusade to oust Eisner who isn't quite sitting pretty with stockholders. Eisner also was the major road block to the release of Fahrenheit 911 and The Passion of the Christ. ABC is declining and Disney's non Pixar animations aren't doing so well (Home on the Range). Eisner might just get his upcommin's yet. The sad part, WHAT THE F*CK do these people know about film... most of them anyway!

In a perfect world, films would be made by produces and executives that love film. Sounds strange and radical, I know, but stay with me. Long, long, ago in an orange grove far far away, a place called Hollywood was born. Here, people like Louis B. Mayer, Cecil B. DeMile, Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplan, Jack Warner, and Walt Disney reigned. These super-producers ran the film industry as a loving dictatorship. There was no room to cross these lads, or your entertainment career was over. But, on the up turn, these men and women loved films... they LOVED film. The bargined for the best talent contracts in the business and everyone came to work, churned out a pic, and went home to there families. This was called The Studio System.

The problem... the studio system left very few people in control and no room for artistic deviation. In Europe and Japan, their was no studio system, there was simply an all powerful director or autuer. In France, it was called New Wave. Men like Goddard, Tati, Renior, and the like sprung up with cinematic experiments rooted in the countries rich history for fine art. Film became a canvass for the next generation. So, like always, the Hollywood directors-for-hire looked to Europe for culture guidelines. Men like Alfred Hitchcock who had been scorn by the studio system (check out the backstory on Rebecca sometime) longed to have the creative freedom of the French, Italian, German, and Japanese autuers. Actors and actresses no longer wished to be tied to one major studio and looked to compete for the best parts and the best scripts in town. And so, with revolting talent, the Studio System began to crumble.

The 60's and the 70's seemed great while the industry was in anarchy. Flms like The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Midnight Cowboy, The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown, A Clockwork Orange, The Graduate, Dog Day Afternoon, One Flew Over the Coo Coo's Nest, and Manhattan came from this era of artistic freedom. Men on the streets of New York were telling gritty stories as focus racked from a crumbling Hollywood. Even big budget musicals like West Side Story had a more edgy New York setting. The American Independent was born. New York wasn't just for theater anymore.

and then... The studios, with their patriarchs gone, looked for saviors. Saddly, their cries were answered. Like weakened city states, they were each picked up by larger conglomerates (or empires) looking to make a quick buck by restoring the studios to their prior glory. But, what do business men know about film? Bring on the 80's.

Artists need businessmen yes, but this doesn't make businessmen artists. In fact, the two seem quite contray to the other, yet can, sometimes form a symbiotic relationship. The problem now more than ever, money rules. If a western makes money... every company in the country starts making westerns... or disaster films... or kitchy romantic comedies. The genre or gimmick then plays itself out. Hollywood had become a land of fad cookie cutter projects. Actors, looking for more of a challenge, started occassionly lending their talents to the NY scene which still hope for another 1970's type renaissance. While films like Pulp Fiction, Monster, and Dazed and Confused fight and claw their way out into mainstream consciousness, as a whole, the independent has never risen again to it's former power.

The modern era.. There has been some change. Well, not necessarily change as much as labling. Each studio now has it's "Independent" shingle to play to the arthouse crowd. Don't forget, each of these shingles is still owned by only a couple people from the buy outs of the passed decades. Columbia/Tri-Star is Sony, Warner Brothers and New Line/Fine Line is AOL Time Warner, Universal is General Electric, 20th Century Fox is owned by Ruppert Murdoch (global meglomaniac), Miramax and Buena Vista by Disney, and Paramount by Viacom. No one cares about the films anymore, just the money.

So, considering all of this, what hope is there? I see the film industry as very similar to the former soviet union. Yes Stalin and Lenin weren't the greatest men in the world, but on the upside, there was bread. When capitalism replaced socialism, the ring bells of freedom brought the walls down. You are free now! Be like us! But Russians soon found capitalism to be the enemy. Now they are starving and surround by gangsters and modern day pirates hording the money and the bread, blue jeans, and toilet paper. Many now long for the days of lesser freedom and more stability... the days when Russia was great. Now, I long for a studio system. Most of the studios don't ever have "studio" lots anymore. Universal City is more about theme parks then sets. Studios use independent sound stages or work in Canada. A world where films are made by those who love films.

What's this historical tirade all about. Well, I just wanted to say that I long for a world where Disney can finance great epics and use the procedes for Miramax to fund negative pick ups of independent gems. A world where there is home and community in entertainment once more. Where studio heads don't fear losing their jobs for taking a chance with originality and truely valuing talent. One day, I hope for a world where drama overshines cliche, story supercedes FX's, and work is stable. Hooray for Hollywood.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Brace Yourself for The Darren Keeny Movie Experience

Yes, like all protege's, it's time to leave the master's nest. The master, or dominatrix, being me, Miss Scarlett. Anywho, Darren, occassional contributor and often times commentator, is leaving the nest. Darren has recently has moved on to his own blog site: The Red Room Movie Palace. There is will be a perma-link on the side panel for easy access. Don't be a stranger, D-Dog... oh, I mean Darren!

THE BOX - WASP's Gone Wild!

Normally, I don't get that excited when old white men decide to sit down for a chat, but this is different, this is President Clinton. Dan Rather has scored and interview with the former head honcho to promo his memoirs, My Life, on the June 20 edition of 60 Minutes. This is most likely the first time I will ever tune in 60 minutes without my grandpa doing the tuning. Oh well, I'm getting old.

ELECTION: "Simple Choice," Find Your Candidate Test

Today I read a brilliant article, the national column by Mike Harden called "2004: Simple Choice, really." I've tried to find a link to the article but failed. Basically, Mr. Harden breaks down voting decisions to a majority answer of 12 questions. Simplification for an age of too much propaganda and inflametory commentary, not to mention the politically ignorant. Anyway, as a liberal republican, I decided to take the test. Being an ABB person, I was slightly suprised by some of my choices. My answers are in bold. Fellow Bloggers... take the test yourself and let your results in the comment window.

Here are Mr. Harden's 12 questions to determain your vote in 2004:

1. The golf couse is packed when you arrive to play a round. The starter offers you a chance to join one of the two foursomes. Would you choose Bush or Kerry?
Kerry. He gives me the sense he plays to win. In that case, my game would improve being pitted against a competitor.

2. Your job requires you to leave town on business for two weeks. Which candidate would you trust to watch your dog?
Bush. While not necesarily enviromentally friendly, I see him as an animal guy. I picture Bush being entertained by the puppy and not ditching the dog for more "important" matters.

3. You and your police partner are poised on the porch of a crack house, guns drawn, and about to enter. You yell "cover me". Would would you rather have by your side?
Kerry. No question, do you want the Texas ranger who's Vietnam experience involved campaign work in Alabama... or a man who came home with his life and was responsible for saving others?

4. Your sister is about to start dating again after a bad marriage and an ugly divorce. Whom would you want showing up at the door with a bouquet?
Bush. While not exactly charming, he seems weak willed when it comes to women and he comes from an oil family. He's rich and has no backbone... the perfect lap dog for a scorned woman.

5. Fate has decreed that tomorrow you will be flattened by a runaway beer truck. You must choose Kerry or Bush to finish the business of parenting your children. Which one?
Kerry. Although I would kind of fear him being an apsentee dad, I know he'd raise the children to be an intellectual with a broad view and not force different religious beliefs upon them.

6. Assume that George W. Bush and John F. Kerry are administrators of a pair of private nursing homes. Not only beholden to ther patients, they are obligated to their investors too. Compelled to place your mother in one of the homes, who would you choose to balance profits against patient care?
Bush. This is the hardest question to choose from the two. Definately a choice of two evils. I think Kerry would be much more money conscious and have the ability to run a nursing home efficiently. Efficiently being the problem. He'll have the balls to make the hard decisions. Bush on the other hand will destroy the budget and get vastly confused by the numbers, but I think he would do what he thought was best for the people and lie to the stockholders about it.

7. You are going for the big prize on "Who wants to be a Millionaire." Will it be Bush or Kerry you want for your life line?
Kerry. Is the question, did Sadam possess weapons of distruction? Kidding asside, Bush gets injured by pretzels, and was a C student. He's not the trivia wiz I want getting my back. Look how hard of a time he has simply dealing with our intelligence agencies.

8. A friend has offerd you a week free at a beach front rental as long as you don't mind sharing the place with one of the two candidates... which one?
Bush. If i'm going to spend the weekend with someone, of course I going to choose the rich playboy with the cocaine and alcohol issues. I'm sure he throws a hell of a party, especially without Laura around.

9. Lost in the wood in a January blizzard, you have only one hope for deliverance: Bush or Kerry.
Kerry. Again, Bush gets injured by pretzels. Not trusting his survival skills.

10. Imagine yourself the first lady, about to descend from the White House living quarters to an important state dinner in the east room. Catching sight of yourself in the mirror, you feel dirven to ask, "does this dress make me look fat?" Who's answer do you trust the most?
Bush. Kerry would tell me what I wanted to hear to keep me happy through dinner and insure some hot sex later that night. Bush doesn't think before he speaks. Therefor, I trust that he will reply with the first thing that pops into his head.

11. From you deathbed, you bid your kin to summon a priest that you might make your last confession. Will it be Father Bush or Father Kerry?
Kerry. I'm not Catholic, so this question doesn't weigh as heavy. But, I'd probably have alot to confess and Bush doesn't seem to have much of an attention span.

12. You and your spouse have tried without success to have a child. Advised that a sperm bank might hold the only promise of concetption, you must select between donors... Bush or Kerry?
Kerry. Okay, so my child will either have a long face or be stupid? I choose intellect over vanity. Also, addiction, not like arrogance, seems to be a genetic trait... one I'd like to by pass.

So, that's 7 for Kerry and 5 for W. Now, I remember high school. I'm 24... so it wasn't that long ago. Anyway, Mr. Kerry, like in high school a 7/12 is a Failing grade... Once again, Damned if we do, Damned if we don't.

What do you think?

POPCORN: JT reups his lease on Rent

It's on it's off and back on again. Being the hottest musical to hit broadway in decades is one thing. Transfering that to the screen in another entirely. Rent was a musical for a generation, like Hair or Jesus Christ Superstar, and now it's back on track to ensnare all those Gen Xer's back into the theater... this time on the screen.

Moulin Rogue and Chicago proved that musicals don't have to be for blue haired ladies dying to see Phantom, Les Mis, or Cats. Chris Columbus (Home Alone) is currently set to direct the rejuvinated piece with more promise of reinvention. Jumping at the chance earlier in his career, Justin Timberlake's rising star might just earn him the pary he's been desiring for so long. Justine Timberlake went from boy band to Pop Prince in one foul swoop, Justified. His solo album, live performances, and stand out hosting duties on SNL this past season, has proved JT has grown up and is more than Britney's curly haired bitch.

Mr. Timberlake has made it known for sometime that he wants to take on the role that earned Adam Pascal a Tony... and why not? His presence would bring a whole new generation to a story and production that charged the hearts and minds of so many less than a decade ago. Now, if only Taye Diggs (Chicago) and Jesse Martin (Law & Order)could get their original groove back and on... and maybe a little love for JT's rumoured bride, the Divine Cammie D, we could step into a whole new Season of Love. Yeah, you know it!

POPCORN: "Mean's" Mark joins "Girlfriends"

Mark Waters, director of this summers hit Mean Girls and the iconoclastic House of Yes, has treked back to Disney to helm Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Saddly, after reading the basic plot, this movie way too much resembles my own screenplay in the works, only a male version. Proving once again, if all my ideas are great. Only I'm not getting paid for them. Ironically, who was the director I most wanted to handle my screenplay in the works... yep, you guest it, W himself. Oh the irony! Waters previously joined with Disney for the breakout Lohan starer and remake Freaky Friday last summer.

POPCORN: It's Fireworks for Fahrenheit... Finally

In a deal secured between Lions Gate Films, IFC Films, and the brothers Weinstein's Fellowships Adventure Group (a temporary shingle established for the soul purposed of distributing F911), we have a release date! June 25, fireworks are gonna fly, the critics with critique, and the pompous self important commentators will release their opinions with headlines like "slanderous", "treason", "traitor", and "sleazan?" And we thought The Passion of the Christ was fun... In fact, I suspect, that many theaters will be filled with Bushites rallying ammunition for the impending debates. No matter what you think, you won't be able to escape the battle of opinion. Get ready to feed the flames as this summer heats up with Fahrenheit 911.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

POPCORN: Harvey the Hero of "911"

Harvey and brother Bob Weinstein have paid Disney $6 million for all encompassing rights to the controversal Michael Moore doc, Fahrenheit 911. Things are looking up for a July 2nd release date. The only problem is that Moore message might get lost in the summer shuffle including Spiderman's web in a weekend he has staked his claim upon. While offering effective counter programing, "911" isn't out of the water yet. The Weinstien's have 1 month to find a distributor, open markets, and manufacture the prints... not to mention generate public awareness. Surely, Fox news will generate enough heat to get the word out. The right wingers are already starting to crucify Moore's film. At this point, Lions Gate (the rescuers distributors of Dogma) look key to take on the responsibilities... hopefully it's not too late.

POPCORN: Developments in Development

This is an exciting week indeed for potential powerhouse projects:

First, Reese Witherspoon is ditching the blonde ditz/period piece alternating routine of the past couple of years to produce and star in The Reckoning, a thriller about a female New York Times photojournalist who follows a team to Cambodia to recover the bones of lost soldiers. Angkor Watt, he we come!

Speaking of blonde bombshells, a girl power pairing of Charlize Theron and Boys Don't Cry director Kimberly Pierce are going to conquer The Ice at the Bottom of the World, an independent in the American South focusing on rednecks. No superfreeze special FX required.

Mad Max gets his girl power: As if Mel Gibson hasn't made Rome look bad enough, no wait, that's right, the Jews killed Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, Mad Max is set to take on Warrior, a film about Boudicca, the Celtic/Irish queen who took down Rome... at least on her island. I'm picturing Kiera Knightly's Guinevere. Destined to be compared to Braveheart, Warrior could be a great piece of mythical history. But, will Mel include a back story for this Gothic queen or is this just a film for the Irish? Get ready for blood.

Julia Roberts, Taking on Motherhood

According to Eonline, the Today Show, People, and numerous tabloids America's Sweetheart, Julia Roberts, is pregnant with twins. Her PR camp has confirmed that the dynamic duo have a release date set early in 2005. Some other sources have claimed Miss Sweetheart has been frequenting fertility clinics and that the twin are the result of In-Vitro fertilization. After Reese, Catherine, Marcia, Kate, and most recently Gwyneth, Julia was feeling left out of the "it" circle. I see many Pea in the Pod purchases for showing off her double stuffed bod for the next 9 months.

POPCORN REVIEW: Surviving the "Day After Tomorrow"

The Day After Tomorrow 4/10

As far as special effect laden eye candy with splashes of over emotional dribble go, this summer box office blockbuster was worth the ride. While it's certainly no 28 days Later (Zombies are inherently more interesting than ice), director Roland Emmerich makes weather quite frightening to usher in the apocalypse.

Yes, it's true the Hollywood sign get swallowed by a twister and a giant wave engulfs Manhattan. But is there more to the movie? While not terribly much more, there is some. The "plot" takes us on the trek that a paleo-climatologist (ancient weatherman), Dennis Quaid, makes to find his smarter, and hotter, than average son, Jake Gyllenhaal. Of course, that develops after the screenwriters take an hour to tell us why we global warming is causing an ice age.

There was good: Debating on burning Nietzsche for life saving heat in the NYC Public Library, or saving the published word for future civilizations to appreciate.

... and bad: Wolves escape from the Central Park Zoo and randomly attack people. A subplot that was completely pointless. In fact, they aren't even killed for food... which is obviously what you would do with a wolves when you're living off Frito lay and hershey's.

While we do get the mass carnage that disaster films, and Roland Emmerich, are notorious for, it comes at a price. No, not just the ticket, but having to endure the environmental preaching throughout the film. Personally, I'm all for the environment, but this was not a film to further the cause. It certainly was not the film to "wake up" western civilization. The preaching was not in an effective eye opening way, but in a scolding parent kind of way. Politicians and commuters get there upcommin's for scorning mother nature... and she's a bitch! If you still didn't get the point, there are happy play by play commentators in the Mir space station that chime in throughout the film as well, "Have you ever seen the air so clean?".

So, with ice as the enemy, what could be a satisfying pay off. Okay well actually, we, American's, Europeans, and Japanese, were the enemy, but let's pretend it was the ice. So what could possibly be the pay off against ice? Erupting volcanoes? Giant Lasers? It's not like taking down spaceships... it's ICE! Well, I guess you'll have to watch the movie to find out. It's not cinematic greatness, nor does it have spellbinding FX that live up to the hype. But, if you're a wait-to-renter, it's best to buy a ticket or skip the film altogether... TV viewing will kill this film. The Day After Tomorrow is an adequate treat for a two hour means to beat the summer heat.