Thursday, November 30, 2006

People On Internet Message Boards Say The Darndest Things #3

This little gem is once again brought to you by Just Us Boys, this time talking about Patrick Wilson and his latest movie, Little Children:

"He has a decent ass, which he also showed in "Angels In America", but apparently there is no full-frontal in "Little Children". If he'd had the balls to show his cock like Ewan McGregor does I might go and see the movie, but since he didn't there's no point."

I had to read that twice to make sure the person saying it really was basing his decision on seeing what is apparently an incredible movie on whether or not Patrick Wilson whips his knob out. And it would seem he is. Dear oh dear.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lisey Landon can bite me

I blogged a little while back about giving up on the Booker Prize and instead my next book would be Stephen King's new book, Lisey's Story. I was looking forward to it a lot, because after some time off the boil, Cell had signalled a return to form. Well that'll teach me because Lisey's Story S U C K S. It's laboured, it's tiresome, it's structurally all over the fucking place. Most damagingly of all, the internal language of the central relationship and indeed the relationship itself is maddeningly irritating. I am hating every page of it to the point that I just ordered two new books off Amazon (Rupert Everett's memoir Red Carpets & Other Banana Skins and the apparently wonderful Special Topics In Calamity Physics) and when they arrive, Stephen King's latest effort is going in the trash. Shame.

Movies on the PCB Radar: December 2006

Ok given that it's December on Friday (scary, no?) I figured it was time for this. So let's start with what we have opening this weekend:



Not really sure why this is on my radar, I think it must be for the supporting cast and the intriguing premise. I can't abide Will Ferrell. I remember when Empire Magazine ran a feature on him a year or so back titled "The Funniest Man You've Never Heard Of". I channeled Karen Walker and intoned "honey do you know how many things are wrong with that sentence?"



This is here for more obvious reasons. It's a John Cameron Mitchell film, packed to the hilt with sex. Bring it on. I had to give up a ticket to an advance screening of this in favour of my recent trip to NYC so I am glad it's come out so quick.



And from one end of the spectrum to the other. This hasn't been the runaway smash hit expected, joining a surprisingly long list of kiddy friendly flops this year. The premise is decidedly odd but hey it looks like it could be fun.

December 8th:

Only a couple make the radar this week. There is one film opening this weekend that I am studiously ignoring. The Holiday looks like the worst kind of schmaltzy tosh around and I would sooner stick needles in my eyes than suffer through Cameron Diaz being whiny. I hate her. But anyway, on to films I actually want to see:



I've been excited about this since seeing a teaser trailer over the summer. It just looks too cute for words. And it seems unstoppable in the US, even kicking Bond into touch. So yay penguins.



Please note, I am under no illusions that the above will be a good film. It will, however, be full of pretty boys in various states of undress and who doesn't like looking at that?

December 15th:



This could be the Lord Of The Rings of 2006. Or it could be this year's Dragonheart. It's all to play for at the moment but the trailer looks exciting enough.



Tony Scott is a ridiculous hack and Denzel is so worthy it bores me senseless. And yet I want to see this. The plot looks like it's going to be incoherent to the point of insanity but it intrigues me still.



I know I know. It's wrong to want to see this. But I don't care. I love horror movies and I live in hope with each subsequent remake that one of them will be good. The Texas Chainsaw remake did scare me silly but the rest of the crop have been a joke. Well, if nothing else I can see this and hope that Michelle Trachtenberg meets the screaming bloody death she so richly deserves.

December 22nd:



Nothing says "it's nearly Christmas" like a film about the fate of the people in the iconic Iwo Jima snap, does it?

December 26th:




And the day after Christmas is the perfect time for this. I included both posters as they're so gosh darned purty. Now, the book of Perfume didn't thrill me and I HATED Run Lola Run so this is on my radar for one reason only. Ben Whishaw. He's had theatre critics frothing at the mouth for a couple of years now but I haven't seen anything he's done. He seems to be the Next Big Thing though so we'll see how he shapes up.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Royale with cheese

I saw Casino Royale over the weekend. The reviews have been very strong, it's done incredibly well at the box office, and the trailer gets me all kinds of excited. That the film itself would end up falling short is I suppose kind of inevitable.

There were many many plus points. Daniel Craig is the best thing to happen to the franchise in absolutely ages. I am so pleased they hired someone who is an actor first and a prime slab of beef second. His performance was wonderful and elevated the film to a whole different level. He was matched, nay outclassed, by Judi Dench as M, who may just be the best thing to EVER happen to the franchise. And when it comes to mesmerising, I was unable to take my eyes off Eva Green. She's impossibly sexy, with the most intoxicating voice AND she sure can act. Wonderful.

Unfortunately, the film is hamstrung by a plot that is, to be kind, all over the place. It's a long film and yet the plot seems rushed and shoehorned in, never being given time to breathe properly. The main baddy, Le Chiffre, is bland and dull and most unforgivably, is offed by someone other than Bond. The film's biggest fault though is the last half an hour or so, where James suddenly goes all soppy for Vesper and decides to travel around the world with her and renounce his double O status. It's hammily written and the scenario doesn't fit the characters and it totally fails to convince.

That said, I didn't hate the film, I actually quite enjoyed it. Top class performers can make you forget you're watching substandard material. The future for the franchise is undeniably bright and here's hoping the next film heads in the right direction.

Friday, November 24, 2006

PCB and the NYC Return, Part Five (Leaving on a jet plane)

And so it’s my last day in NYC already. I am having a long brunch with my dear friend Rachel, who is British but her father is American so she has just moved to NYC. She lives in the West Village in a teeny tiny apartment. I get to her place at about noon, dump my bags and we head out to a local diner for food. Whenever I see her, once we’re done catching each other up on our lives, we love nothing more than bitchy celebrity gossip. So that’s what we do.

She lives about a block and a half from Magnolia Bakery, so after we’re done at the diner, we stop by for cup cakes and red velvet cake. The place is heaving so we take it back to her apartment and spend a couple more hours of idle chatter. And then all too soon it’s time for me to leave for the airport. Thinking that as it’s a Sunday afternoon, the journey won’t be too bad to JFK, I don’t get a cab until about 4:15pm. I don’t get to JFK until a little after 5pm as it’s insanely bad traffic all the way. And the fun is only just beginning.

Having had the worst time getting out of JFK when I arrived, I now have the worst time checking back in. Rather than having each flight allocated to a set of desks, Delta has the bright idea of having all check in desks available for all international flights and just having one line. Said line is out of the terminal and down the street. My flight closes in 45 minutes. Fuck. Miraculously, they get it together and I get checked in. I then have to take my checked in baggage to a different end of the terminal as for some reason they can’t put it on the conveyor belts. I queue again to do this. I then queue once more to pass through security, which involves removing my belt, shoes, watch, ring, inhaler, loose change and god knows what else from my person. I make it to the gate at 6:15pm and luckily as the flight is only a third full, they haven’t started boarding yet.

We’re boarded and ready for take off 10 minutes early. So are 40 other planes, and we get an hour’s delay. Fun. I take two max strength Tylenol PM and the next thing I know, I’m being served breakfast about an hour outside of Gatwick. Praise be.

The idea behind such a lightning fast visit was I wouldn’t give myself time to get too attached again. It didn’t work. Within 30 minutes of being in Manhattan, I didn’t want to leave again. The trip as a whole was much more difficult and emotional than I expected it to be. I was very grateful to the network of friends I spent time with for making it as much fun as it could be though. As for what the future holds, who can say?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

PCB and the NYC Return, Part Four (Collapse into me, tired with joy)

Saturday I am leaving Joizey behind me and heading up to Eric’s apartment way WAY uptown as I’m spending my last night on his couch. I make it to his apartment with just enough time to turn around and go all the way back to make it to the 2pm show of Grey Gardens. I bought Eric the ticket as a thank you for both spending the night on his couch and the last year of support he’s provided me.

The show is fabulous even if it is two different shows. I can’t work out why they chose to extrapolate details from the documentary about their life prior to the documentary and turn it into a whole act. I honestly think the show would be better served if there was no first act and the second act was expanded and extended. In its current format, it comes off as schizophrenic, but for all I know, that may have been the point. However, it’s all about Christine Ebersole. Her performance in this show is the stuff of legend. There are good performances, there are great performances and then there are “Merman in Gypsy” kind of performances, if you know what I mean.

In Act One, as Edith, she’s wonderful. Her voice is beautiful, she’s very funny but she also gives Edith depth that prevents the character from being a parody. In Act Two, as Edie, she truly comes into her own. The impersonation is absolutely dead on, but it’s so much more than that. Edie is given layers and emotions that aren’t necessarily discernible from the documentary. The Act Two opener, “The Revolutionary Costume”, is a very good song, but in Ebersole’s hands, it becomes a show stopping masterpiece. According to John, who works stage door there, that number has received its fair share of standing ovations. Quite right too. And anyone who stays dry eyed during “Another Winter In A Summer Town” has no soul. Hell, it gave me chills just typing the title.

After the show, Eric and I are having dinner with my friend Christina. She works as the kid wrangler on Mary Poppins so she has two hours between shows. When I meet her at stage door, we have the following conversation:

Me: Hi! Eric is joining us for dinner if that’s ok
Her: So is a 12 year old. Her mother couldn’t make it in to collect her.

So we had to dine with a child star. She’s been in The Forgotten and everything. Anyway, it’s fine and it’s wonderful to see her and we have fun but the not being able to swear or gossip was a scooch annoying.

After that it’s time to go back and walk the pooch before heading back down town to Beauty Bar for the main event of my trip: Guido’s party. When I arrive, he is absolutely blown away and we hug for like 5 minutes. I had daydreamed about what his reaction might be, but I didn’t expect him to cry. But cry he did. I make him stop as I am so tired and emotional at this point, crying wouldn’t be a good idea for me. It’s so wonderful to see him I can’t even tell you and this alone would make the trip worth it. Given that I had been so despondent the day before I was ready to change my flight and go home, today has really turned it all around. We catch up, we chat, we drink, it’s just lovely. But then I have to say goodbye to him and it’s my turn to cry. A lot. The realisation that he’s moving 3000 miles further away from me and I have no clue when I will get to see him again really hits me and I have a weep on him.

Eric, John and I then go to an all night diner for some food. It’s like 1:45am, so it’s perfect timing for a burger I always think. Both Eric and I are so tired by this point, we get a cab home and I am in bed and asleep by 3am. I manage to sleep until 6:45am which is better than nothing but dear God, when will this jet lag ever end?

PCB and the NYC Return, Part Three (Such a beautiful disaster)

Yes, sadly Friday of last week is when everything went to shit. Remember how I had a job interview and a date lined up for today? They both were cancelled. The person who was supposed to be interviewing me is having work done at her apartment. An idiot workman left a tool box in the middle of the floor for her to trip over, which she did, falling on to her elbow and chipping the bone in the process. She's been signed off work until Monday, and of course I leave on Sunday. She emails me and tells me to meet with a colleague of hers instead. So I do and he seems mystified as to why I am there because "we're not actually hiring right now". Great.

My date, bless him, got strep throat and was quarantined. So instead of spending the night with him, I was back on Lottie's couch. We planned to see Babel but I was too tired. I toyed with the idea of seeing a show, but was too tired. My friend Erik wanted to hang out but a big miscommunication meant that didn't happen either. So I was asleep by 10pm. Of course, I woke up again at 4am. Great.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

PCB and the NYC Return, Part Two (Travel, Arrival)

I booked my flight with Delta as it was the only direct flight I to NYC I could find out of Gatwick for the time I wanted to leave. Ideally, I wanted to fly into Newark, but I had to settle for JFK. No biggie. So I get to the airport, planning to get away with just hand luggage. My bag is one inch bigger than the maximum dimensions allowed one way and one inch shorter another way, so the capacity is still the maximum allowed. However, unless your bag fits EXACTLY into this box they have at check in, you aren’t allowed to take it on the plane. So they made me check my bag. Bastards.

It then turned out to be Delta’s inaugural flight to JFK from Gatwick, so there is canap├ęs and cake at the departure gate, which is kind of fun. The flight itself is fine except it’s not quite full and I am lucky enough that the seat in front of me is unoccupied. So of course, the unspeakable cunt in the seat next to it, moves into the empty seat and then reclines and sprawls her ass across both seats for the entire flight. I spend 7 hours with my knees jammed pointedly in her back. It’s only when I land that things start to go a little haywire. It has never taken me more than twenty minutes to get through immigration and customs and then into a cab. But I’ve always flown BA up until now. As well as my flight from Gatwick, 7 other flights from Europe arrive AT THE SAME TIME. Consequently, the immigration line looks like the line for a theme park ride at the height of summer and it takes over an hour to get through. Fun. The line for cabs was similarly ridiculous. And then, there’s some crazy storm coming apparently (there’s a tornado watch in South Jersey and everything), so everyone is leaving work early and so Manhattan is gridlocked. Having landed at just before 2pm, I finally make it to my dear friend Eric’s office at 4:45pm.

Ah yes, let me just say a word about Eric. He’s been such a rock throughout the past year, I honestly don’t know what I would have done without him. I’m so excited to see him again I can’t hardly stand it. We immediately head over to Billy’s Bakery to indulge my craving for red velvet cake. He very sweetly buys me my slice and a cup of coffee. Then we wander up 8th Avenue to midtown and I try my luck at getting tickets for The Vertical Hour. Result, they have some partially obstructed view seats for $60. I am staying tonight with my equally dear friend Lottie, freshly moved to Noo Joizey from West Hollywood. I’m meeting her at 6:15pm at my favourite diner and have fooled her into thinking we’re seeing Spring Awakening. A pit stop at the Walter Kerr to say hi to another rock like friend, Jerby, pick up my cell phone charger and drop my bag in for him to look after and I’m at Renaissance Diner right on time.

It’s so exciting to see Lottie too. To find someone who is so on my wavelength about so much (though not of course everything) is a real rarity. We met 5 years ago in line at a Tori Amos concert and have been firm friends ever since. So we catch up on each other’s news and then before we know it, it’s time to head out to the theatre. We step outside to discover the much heralded rain storm has most definitely arrived. A short walk from 50th and 9th to 45th and 8th results in being absolutely soaked to the bone. Thankfully the seats directly in front of us are not sold as they’re too obstructed view-wise, so we get to hang our coats up and drip dry for the two and a half hours of the play.

And what of the play? Sadly, it’s not great. It was very weak and everything about it felt very forced. David Hare hates Americans so much that he can’t write a convincing American character anymore and thus poor Julianne Moore is struggling with some clumsy material. Through no fault of her own, she is acted off the stage by Bill Nighy. Somewhat more troubling for her is her character in it is in favour of the current conflict in Iraq and the kind of people who are going to go see the new David Hare play on Broadway aren’t going to be in favour of that. Consequently, they hate her character and her reception at the curtain call was muted, to say the least.

And then it’s time for the purchasing of the new laptop. After the horror of trying to get served in the Apple Store in Soho last summer, I decided it would be easier to go late at night to the new 5th Avenue Superstore. I was right. I am served with my new and beautiful iBook in moments. It’s so white and shiny and pretty. He needs a name though, something to reflect his streamlined beauty. I’m still thinking on it, all suggestions gratefully received. Slight hiccup in my card being declined so I had to call them and prove that it was me, I was in NY and I was trying to spend $1200. Not what you need when you’re heading into the 24th hour of being awake.

Then it’s back to Lottie’s absolutely enormous loft apartment in New Jersey. We catch up some more and I play with the new laptop and then suddenly it’s 2am and I am shattered. I crash out on the couch, safe in the knowledge that such tiredness overrules the jetlag and I’ll sleep right through to 9am at least. So I’m obviously thrilled when I wake up at 4am and despite my best efforts, I don’t go back to sleep….

To be continued.

PCB and the NYC Return, Part One

We'll start with the reasons why I decided to go back for a long weekend:

One of my dearest and closest friends lives in NYC. He has just landed a job in LA and is leaving on Dec 1st. He had a Goodbye NY party this past Saturday at Beauty Bar. I decided to fly out and surprise him at the party. Due to the top secret nature of my trip, I had to keep it very quiet, no mention of it on here at all and only a select few New York friends were told I was coming. I was there for such an insanely small amount of time, I had to restrict myself to the people I have come to know the best and and miss the most.

I also had a job interview lined up for the Friday. Plus a hot date with a guy I've been talking to online for like a year now on the Friday night. This trip had the potential to be truly life changing in those regards. I have been secretly working on a possible job connection for a few weeks, telling absolutely nobody about it. Reason being, if it all fell apart, I couldn't face having to say to everyone again that it had done so. You know?

But the real question is, how could I afford to up and fly out to NYC on such a whim? Well, remember how I work at American Express? If you work there, they will approve you for a card without doing a credit check. Well, more fool them. So I got myself a RED card and away I went. My boss was telling me how, if you get an Amex card, and you treat it well, your credit rating sky rockets reasonably quickly. I didn't think she was serious until I applied for an Egg card online after having my RED card for just 4 months. I was instantly approved, with a limit of £3500. So, when Guido was telling me of his party plans on AIM, my train of thought was literally "I can't afford to fly out and see him, so annoying. Wait a second, yes I can." And my flight was booked the next day.

To be continued...

RIP Robert Altman

While I may have run hot and cold where his films were concerned (Pret A Porter remains one of the worst films I have ever seen, while The Player is a work of genius), there's no denying that Hollywood lost a unique and visionary filmmaker on Monday.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A summary

So, what has been happening, other than my boss not knowing what buggery was? Actually, not a huge amount. I obviously have a new laptop and the story behind its purchase is a whole entry in itself. That’s coming, so stay tuned.

I did get to see some of the movies on my radar. Starter For Ten, The Prestige and Saw III to be exact. I have to say I really enjoyed Starter For Ten. James McAvoy is always fun to watch and he elevated the material to a whole different level with the kind of performance you don’t usually see in a flimsy rom com. Rebecca Hall was also utterly fantastic as one of the two women he finds himself drawn too. Ms Hall also turned up in The Prestige as Christian Bale’s doomed wife and on the basis of these two performances, I would say she’s going to be a name to watch. The Prestige was great, though I got the feeling it has been massively over simplified from its source novel. I guessed all the twists before they happened, anyway. Scarlett Johansson gave her first below par performance, bless her. She was struggling so hard to do a British accent, she totally forgot to act. And she sounded like me when I do an impression of someone doing a bad accent, which didn’t help. Saw III was shit. Not even worth talking about.

Work trundles on aimlessly enough. The summer backlog is well and truly out of the way though, we say amen and hallelujah. Financially that’s not a good thing as it means bye bye overtime. Gutted. On the other hand, it turns out that overdraft charges have been deemed unlawful in the UK and if you go about it in the right way, you can reclaim six years worth of charges back from your bank. I went through three years worth of internet statements (thank GOD for internet banking) and mine have charged me £1046. So I’m in the process of sending letters to get it all back.

Which brings us neatly back to the story of How I Bought My Laptop. I went to New York for a long weekend. There were many reasons behind it, not just my overwhelming need to own a new laptop. The full story of PCB Takes Manhattan will follow soon enough.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Normal programming is back on the air

Later today there will be a return to the normal level of activity of this blog. Please stand by for further updates.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Deleted

Due to my blog suddenly becoming a little bit popular at work, I'm not taking any risks and deleting this entry.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Blog, Interrupted

Wednesday morning, while getting ready to go to London, I tipped over a cup of coffee. Into my laptop. The keyboard and mouse pad were initially a little unhappy but after being dried off and cleaned up, they were working fine. So I turned it off and went out for the day. I came home, turned it on to check my email. And nothing. Nada.

I checked with a mac expert who advised to dry it out thoroughly in an airing cupboard. I did, and last night it worked again, connecting to the internet just fine. However, the coffee had moved to behind the screen somehow so he advised turning it off and returning it to the airing cupboard. I did and now this morning when I turn it on, it gets as far as the grey start up screen. And no further. Shit.

I am on my housemate's desktop right now but obviously my access to that is limited. Since my cunty cunt of a boss moved desks and can see everything I am doing, my net access at work took a dive too. So blogging for the near future is going to be erratic to say the least. Sigh.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I demand a recount

You scored as Straight Acting. Heya your on the straight and narrow but still enjoy a good cute guy with a pint of beer.

Straight Acting

60%

A Big Bear

60%

The all-round cute gay guy

50%

Raging Queer

50%

S + M guy

40%

Straight

10%

Straight Queer Basher

0%

What type of Gay are YOU?
created with QuizFarm.com


This is NOT RIGHT I tell you!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Brad Pitt is all in a tizzy

Apparently considering legal action against Vanity Fair for publishing pics of him from an avant garde photo shoot without his permission. But I ask you, if you looked like this, would you really mind the world seeing the pics:



I mean, I know I wouldn't. And Just Us Boys presented themselves with their first darndest thing moment in a thread discussing how great the pics are:

"In my opinion, he's hot, but way too old." So there you have it. If you are approaching 43 and still look as good as Mr Pitt does, it doesn't matter. A 26 year old faggot has deemed you too old regardless.

In other news, it's my day off today and I have another extensive fun day in London planned. So of course, I woke up 45 minutes earlier than my alarm would go off on a work day and could NOT get back to sleep. Why, body? Why do you do this to me?