Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Oscar! Oscar!

Let me start by saying I did not watch them this year. And I am very glad I didn't. All the reports seem to be that this was the dullest ceremony ever and at 4 and a quarter hours, entirely too long. When even the Fug Girls do a live blogging and can't make me raise more than an occasional chuckle, you know it's bad.

And what of the awards themselves? That there were three upsets on the night, two of which were at the expense of Dreamgirls and one at the expense of Pan's Labyrinth just further cements my opinion that the Oscars are a joke. Fair enough, Eddie Murphy learned that this is what happens when you allow Norbit to be released before the Academy have finished voting but still. That the Academy all but fell over themselves to honour Chicago a few years ago is all the more galling as it is by far the inferior film in comparison.

Melissa Etheridge winning Best Song was the other Dreamgirls upset. Now while the three nominations in one category may well have cancelled themselves out, I imagine Etheridge's win had more to do with the fact she survived breast cancer with incredible dignity. Also she's a lesbian. And her song was in Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. So with just one award, the Academy gets to feel good about itself, redress some of the stupid homophobic backlash from Brokebackgate of 2006 and show it really cares about the environment. Result!

Martin Scorcese finally, 26 years after his first nomination, took home Best Director. But did he win because he really genuinely deserved it for The Departed? Or was it more the fact that the lack of an award to Scorcese had made the Oscars an absolute laughing stock and so they thought they really should put a stop to it? You decide.

And finally, while it picked up three consolation Oscars, Pan's Labyrinth was bested when it came to the Best Foreign Film award. Whatever.

Friday, February 23, 2007

PCB the unwitting homewrecker

A week and a half ago, I was online at one of the websites I use for quick and easy sex. A man has needs, y'know? Anyway, a guy started talking to me on there and we switched to email for the finer details, including giving him my address to come round as he is unable to have guys over to his place. He comes over, the sex is rubbish and I can't get him out the door fast enough.

Yesterday, his wife showed up at my house in a fit of hysterics. She'd been through his emails and found the ones from me. Until that moment she had no idea her husband was a homo, she thought he was having an affair with another woman. I felt like I was in some bad soap opera. Luckily, she was not angry with me in the slightest, nor did she blame me at all. I assured her it was a one off and that I had absolutely no idea he was married. She asked questions that I declined to answer, suggesting it was best she ask him. I also refrained from telling her that he had been on the website I met him on for over a year and he had been telling me how he will go out to saunas for some cock. I figured her heart was already broken enough.

After ten tense and awkward minutes, she left, still crying her heart out. I imagine she went home to throw hubby out on the street. I feel awful for her and if her idiot husband tries to contact me again, he will get very short shrift indeed.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

American Doll Posse

Here's the full picture that accompanied the press release for the new album, courtesy of Undented.

The blood, the bible, the "shame" written on her hand. It seems we're heading for a return to the Tori of old. I'm officially very fucking excited for the new album.

Fuck yeah!

The new album from Tori Amos has been officially announced! Entitled American Doll Posse it arrives in stores May 1st (April 30th for the UK, mwahahahah). A world tour kicks off 4 weeks later, arriving in the UK in early July. At the moment this might be the first time since 1994 that I miss a tour as I am having to save save save, but then my obsession might get the better of me between then and now....

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

We welcome you to Spamalot

Or really it should be"A lot of Spam". I thought I would share with you some of the more ridiculous spam email titles that have found their way to me of late.

"Hot girls ready to come fuck you, PCB"
"we found hot slut for you, PCB"
"girls in your area who like money for sex, PCB"

Nothing terribly out of the ordinary there of course. Except you have to wonder why, out and out homo that I am, they're bothering to send me emails about pussy.

"These types of analyses are inherently weaker than prospective, controlled studies."
"Writers, to a degree, exist in a bubble, Iweala said, because they are removed from other people."
"at the moment, and the use of NNTP to provide newsreading"

None of these make the blindest bit of sense (the last one is in fact a sentence fragment for the love of God) and I'm fairly sure if I were to open any of the emails, none of them would have anything to do with their subject line.

But now for my favourites:

"extreme animal porn with young girls message from Dollie Armstrong"

Well thanks for the message Dollie, but I'll pass.

"striking single ladies"

This one I don't dare open in case I discover it's not about extraordinarily beautiful women who happen to be single, but is actually about smacking them in the head, regardless of their beauty.

"Aggressive Investors Alert"

Well thanks for the heads up there. Do you mean they'll invest their money and take no prisoners about it, or do you mean they're investors who say, if they have one too many, are likely to get all up in your business?

So there you have a snippet of my bulk mail folder contents (I was going to say spam box but it's too early in the morning to think up a suitably nasty double entendre to go with it). Fun, ain't it?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Lost: Slight return

Maybe it’s because it was away for so long. Maybe it’s because my expectations were low. Or maybe it’s because they finally have done something I’ve been waiting for them to do all season. Whatever the reason was, Lost’s first episode back after a 12 week hiatus represented a high point for the show.

The second season of the show was decidedly wobbly and the third season’s first six episodes prior to its hiatus were also irritating rather than enjoyable. That episode seven finally granted a flashback to a new character (Elizabeth Mitchell’s Juliet) was a step in the right direction. That the flashback was an absolute doozy was purely a bonus. Answering some questions while posing a whole bunch more, I found the show genuinely gripping in a way it hadn’t been for quite some episodes. Keep it up, people.

I am highly amused by the press conference held by the producers during the hiatus though. In that conference, they stated they were already looking into ways of wrapping up the show after its fifth season and it was never their intention to take the show much past 100 episodes. Interestingly, the cited Alias as one of the shows which suffered from studio intervention. Another JJ Abrams show, they do have a very valid point as the decline in the show’s quality can be pretty much directly traced back to the episode where the studio started meddling (Season 2, Episode 13, in case anyone cares). What amused me most though was clearly the producers of Lost have short term memory loss. When Lost debuted and was an international ratings phenomenon, they were only too quick to announce that they had eight seasons of material thought out. Eight multiplied by twenty two is one hundred and seventy six. That, and the fact the producers posted on Yahoo Answers asking viewers what they thought the monster on the island really was, leads me to believe they don’t actually know themselves. Shame.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


24th March. 7:30pm. On stage seating. I may be scarred for life by seeing Daniel Radcliffe naked but still.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Look at the cuteness!

That's it. Just look.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith

I was in a pub last week that had a Celebrity Death Sweepstakes. You picked a celebrity and if they died in 2007, you would win money depending on how unexpected the death was. We were all thinking of picking someone like Keira Knightley or Nicole Richie. Nobody thought of Anna Nicole Smith. I'd've made out like a bandit.

Seriously though, this was sort of inevitable. She's clearly been exhibiting the behaviour of someone with a drink or drug (or both) problem and her life was pretty much imploding around her. It's all very sad, most especially for her five month old daughter.

The UK press is already reporting it's a suicide. Despite the fact no autopsy has been performed and the coroner has said if it wasn't natural causes, the details would be withheld in the beginning. What's worse is an internet rumour has already begun to circulate that the reason for the suicide is the court ordered paternity test that was scheduled for later this month would have revealed the father of her new daughter was her recently deceased 20 year old son. Now that is just so wrong in so many ways.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Movie catch up

Babel: Finally, after missing two opportunities to see it and continually meaning to see it while I was in NY and failing, I caught the big Oscar hopeful. It actually left me pretty cold. I didn’t really engage or connect with any of the characters and felt that on the whole this is a film to be admired rather than enjoyed. I am pleased for Adriana Barazza and her Oscar nomination as that is richly deserved. She was the only character who had any heart or warmth in the picture and her final scenes were truly devastating. I’m a little less thrilled for Rinko Kikuchi who was sullen and pouty when she wasn’t flashing her snatch around. Whatever.

Blood Diamond: Hmmm. This really is not what could be described as a worthy movie yet it seems to think it is. It clearly thinks it’s telling an IMPORTANT STORY. Unfortunately it decides to jettison it for the final third of the movie for some sub par Indiana Jones style nonsense, only to try and pick it up again in a truly awkward coda. Leonardo’s performance is very intense but it’s hamstrung by the most atrocious attempt at a South African accent. Apparently, Mr DiCaprio thinks when South African people shout, they sound American. Djimon Hounsou is utterly astonishing though and makes the whole viewing experience worthwhile.

Last King Of Scotland: Interesting. A clever screenplay that for half of the movie makes you believe Amin truly is the benevolent image he’s projecting while making you want to stab James McAvoy’s character so that when the tables turn in the narrative, you don’t really know where to put yourself. Since Forest Whitaker has chewed up all the scenery and the column inches, nobody has mentioned James McAvoy at all. Which is a shame, as he’s giving a performance just as brave as Whitaker, making Nicholas Garrigan so wholly unlikeable that when his comeuppance arrives, in one of the most unexpectedly brutal scenes I’ve had the displeasure of grimacing at in quite some time, you can’t help but think “well you had that coming”. I have never rated Forest Whitaker as an actor but here he is proof that every actor, no matter how mediocre, is capable of at least one great performance in their career. A lot of his portrayal of Amin is very loud and shouty bluster, with BIG hand gestures, which I’m always suspicious of in a performer as I often think it masks their shortcomings, but he was also chillingly convincing in his quieter moments too. Here’s hoping when he wins the Oscar at the end of the month, he actually has a speech prepared though.

Monday, February 05, 2007

TV owns my soul: Part 2

I did some maths last week. While nothing about a move to NY is certain yet, it is all looking fairly good. And while I can't sit around and daydream about it all, in some ways I have to act like it's definitely happening. And the one major way I have to do that is financially. In order to afford everything this NY dream will cost me, I have to start saving £200 a week. Every week. Starting now. This figure is not unfeasible, mercifully, but it does mean that I am in for a long stretch of not much fun. And I am totally ok with that if I know that it means when it's over, I'm living in Manhattan.

So therefore it's quite handy that two weeks from today, I will be juggling the following TV shows:

24, Lost, Ugly Betty, Prison Break, Nip/Tuck, Supernatural, The Dresden Files, Rescue Me, Bones, Medium and Heroes.

A couple of shows I originally was planning on throwing into the mix have been kicked to the kerb and once all the above end their respective seasons, I have three seasons worth of Battlestar Galactica to get through. So I think I have enough free entertainment to distract me from the dullness that will be my life.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

2 for 2/2 (a little late)

Late because I totally forgot in all the NY madness. So here are two pics of my friend Erik's cute bulldog who took quite a shine to me.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Movies on the PCB Radar: February 2007

I realise that it's already February but the two big movie releases this weekend are Notes On A Scandal and Dreamgirls, both of which I have already seen and consequently aren't actually on my radar anymore. So, next week there is:

I saw the trailer for this in front of Alpha Dog I think and I knew very little about who was in the cast, other than Sienna Miller. So I'm sat there thinking "who on earth is that playing Andy Warhol?" and so when Guy Pearce's name came up, my jaw hit the floor. I hope it's good, I really do.

Because heaven knows this won't be. The book was utter shit. And I loved the novel of Hannibal and will never forgive Ridley Scott for his travesty of a movie. So my hopes for this really aren't high. So potentially it could surprise me. But I don't think it will.

February 16th.

The eagerly anticipated follow up from the Sean Of The Dead posse. I have never seen that movie and still have less than no desire to, but having seen clips of this, I have to say it looks pretty funny. And my appreciation of Simon Pegg has increased significantly since he stole MI:III from Mr Cruise.

Finally. I toyed with the idea of buying this on DVD while I was in NYC, but for every person who loves it, there's someone else who thinks it was a poor man's The Prestige. Love Ed Norton though and I cut Jessica Biel more slack than she probably deserves, so....

It's on my radar but I am fully expecting not to like it. I love me some Gael Garcia Bernal but Michel Gondry and I have very different ideas about what makes an enjoyably watchable film. Word is that this lacks the coherent vision of Charlie Kaufman. That this film could actually make Kaufman SEEM coherent says it all I think.

The Upside Of Anger is also released today, but I saw this when it was released in the US almost two years ago. It bored me to tears then, I don't see the outcome changing now.

February 23rd

This, I have to admit, totally intrigues me. It looks like a fascinating and original idea. Jim Carrey has more than proved he is more than a shouty comedian in recent years (as much as I disliked the movie, I did think he was wonderful in Eternal Sunshine). But with Joel Schumacher at the helm, it's all to play for. Could be brilliant, could be an unwatchable disaster.

Planned to see this in NYC and then never got round to it, mainly because the general consensus was "Should have been amazing, it's actually worthy, dull and too long". That said, I could watch Angelina Jolie in pretty much anything and the same goes for Matt Damon. He's far more talented than he's given credit for and I'm really annoyed that in all the awards love being shown for The Departed, he's being ignored in favour of Marky Fucking Mark, whose performance is atrocious.