Saturday, June 30, 2007

An open letter to Isaiah Washington

Shut the fuck up. Seriously. Stop your lame ass whining and move on. You were not fired because you're black. Have they fired Chandra Wilson? No. Have they fired James Pickens Jr? Again with the no. Have they fired your difficult and homophobic ass? Yup.

Since the announcement that Shonda Rimes would not be inviting you back for the fourth season of Grey's Anatomy, your public statements have done nothing but underline in red precisely why they let you go. Stating that you did everything asked of you but they still fired you and that's just mean was an eye opener. Everything THEY asked of you. Did you offer? Did you do it willingly? I'm going to guess no.

That was amusing enough, but even more hilarious was the "they should have fired TR Knight" statements that followed. Why should they? Because he stemmed the whispers and gossip about his sexuality that your argument with Patrick Dempsey caused by coming out? Because he went public after the Golden Globes to refute your "I did not call TR a faggot" statements? Because he's handled the whole situation with professionalism and a cool head while you have been a raging prick? I'm just asking.

And now, it's that old standby, that they're picking on you because you're black. This is really the last refuge of the desperate and if you really want to be given the second chance you seem to think only white people are given in Hollywood, then seriously, stop talking.

Friday, June 29, 2007

"That'd be the French"

The other day, I consulted IMDb and made a list of all the movies I've seen on the big screen in 2007. There have only been a handful of really enjoyable movies and not one of them do I want to own on DVD. Now, that is a sorry state of affairs. But, much like buses, you wait months and months for a good film and then two come along at once.

Last night I did a French movie double bill, starting with Tell No-One. Harlan Coben's novel is transplanted to Paris and with Guillaume Canet (who very few people will remember from The Beach) at the helm, it is a very confident and totally gripping thriller. Certain moments of the film do stretch credibility a tad and when all the cards are finally on the table, you may find yourself going "now hang on a minute", but the ride has been so intense, the destination is forgiven.

And then, I saw La Vie En Rose. Marion Cotillard might stand almost a foot taller than Edith Piaf and be much more attractive, but her performance puts any thoughts of physical mismatch right out of your mind. It is quite possibly the performance of the decade, totally real and completely mesmerising. The film itself is also completely involving and while it may elide some of Edith's off stage life, the point of the film is to show Edith Piaf as the diva star who shone so brightly, nobody else around her got a look in. And in that it was a complete success. An early front runner for my film of the year (admittedly against no competition at all, but still), I have to say I hope Marion Cottilard does a Helen Mirren style clean sweep of the awards for her performance here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Now I feel like I am in an Alfred Hitchcock movie

I cracked the not sleeping issue. Unlike Blood Ray, it didn't turn out to be that I was crazy. It merely transpired I needed to flip my mattress. Some of you may recall the whole bed disaster that occurred when I moved rooms. In purchasing and installing a new bedframe, the mattress got a little effed up. Now that it's been flipped all is right with my sleeping pattern.

Or at least it would be if it weren't for one small thing. The nest of seagulls on the roof opposite my bedroom window. Anywhere between 4 and 6am, they start up with the most ungodly racket of screeching that I would defy Marlee Matlin to sleep through. I'm hoping I become accustomed to the noise soon and learn to sleep through it because if I don't then I may be forced to take drastic measures. Like putting bicarbonate of soda into bread and feeding it to the fuckers.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hot Guy Monday: James Purefoy

The second and sadly final season of Rome has started showing in the UK. Just two episodes in and it has already offered up a pair of deliciously funny quotes (both from Polly Walker's magnificent Atia): "fine, fetch the German slut from the kitchen" and "Mark Anthony buggers boys like you for a morning snack".

Well speaking of Mark Anthony, James Purefoy is so very hot, isn't he? I have had a crush on him since Bedrooms and Hallways so said hotness was not news to me. But just look:

He's so dreamy.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I feel like I'm in a Stephen King novel

And to make matters worse, it's not even a GOOD Stephen King novel. For some reason I absolutely cannot fathom, I am having the worst trouble sleeping right now. It has become progressively worse this week and the past three days I have woken up at 4am and while I have dozed between then and 7am, I haven't gone back to sleep properly. I haven't had to use my alarm clock all week. It's KILLING me. There's been some stuff happening at work that usually wouldn't bother me at all, but yesterday it took the most superhuman effort not to unleash a furious stream of vitriol on a lot of my co-workers. And there's still today to get through. Whee!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hot Guy Wednesday: A Random Shirtless Hunk

So I was looking at Just Us Boys this morning, catching up on the Eye Candy, when I found the above stud in his own photo gallery layout. You'll see from the name of the website he is featured on that he is gifted in other areas too. If you want to check out said gift, click on over to JUB. While there, you'll see the best comment EVER from a silly faggot:

Nice Dick! Too bad he's fat and ugly...nature compensates?

Now, you could argue said comment is sarcastic, but I don't think it is. I think it's some 7 feet tall twink who weighs 3 pounds and looks like Zac Efron or someone actually thinking the above specimen truly is fat and ugly. In which case, I officially despair.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hot Guy Monday: Hiatus

Ooops. I had all the pics set out and ready to go then I got totally sidetracked and forgot to put the entry up. So it'll have to wait until NEXT Monday now. Watch this space.

Monday, June 18, 2007

All we can do is step back in time

So I decided to re-read all the previous Harry Potter novels in readiness for book 7 next month (more about the actual books themselves later). I also decided as I would have books 5-7 in hardback, I would treat myself to re-buying books 1-4 in hardback from Amazon UK (I am nothing if not wantonly bourgeois). So I ordered them this Friday just gone and selected the free shipping option as there was no real rush to get them. The free shipping option told me the dispatch date would be today and they would arrive anywhere up to the 22nd June.

So I was a little confused when I checked my email on Friday evening to find an email telling me how pleased they were to have dispatched my order. I figured it would arrive today at the earliest. 6:55am on Saturday, the postman is hammering on my door with the parcel. I was simultaneously impressed with the speedy service but so very bitter to be woken up even earlier than I have to get up when I'm actually going to work.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

PCB's Television Round-Up, Part 4

Jesus Christ, I watch a lot of television. And with one show still running (Heroes) and several shows yet to start their UK runs (Brothers & Sisters, Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, 30 Rock, Dexter, Rome, Without A Trace), the end is nowhere in sight. Hey, I could be addicted to worse things I guess. Anyway:

Grey's Anatomy

There has been something of a backlash against this show during its third season. I can only imagine this is because the show's second season was so fucking brilliant that it set the bar too high and its return would inevitably disappoint. Expectation is a bitch.

For the most part, I absolutely loved this season. It was intense and emotionally tough going with some absolutely sterling work from Katherine Heigl. I've loved her since Bride Of Chucky (shut up) so the current wave of Heigl love sweeping the US makes me happy. Anyway, while for the most part Meredith continued to irritate me, even she had a couple of episodes which made me like her. Those were when she was dealing with her mother being suddenly lucid. The big showdown she had with her was tip top.

I was very glad I had all the episodes to watch in one go as I really could not get enough of the show and waiting week to week would have pissed me off something fierce. But then, the last four episodes of the season got lazy and slapdash, forcing some square plot points into round holes, just to allow the Private Practice spin off. Far worse, it threw in some plot twists that made ABSOLUTELY NO LOGICAL SENSE (Miranda not becoming chief resident, George failing his intern exams) just so there could be something to carry over into next season. Sigh.

Prison Break

Before I start this, I want to make it perfectly clear that I am totally aware this show is the most ridiculous load of unbelievable nonsense. That being said, season 2 kicked ass.

The show's first season was too long and the break out plot felt wayyyyyyy toooooo streeeeeeeeeetched out. I tried watching it when it aired and after the third episode I was all "oh for heaven's sake" and stopped. But the show was a hit and something kept drawing me back so I ended up buying season 1 on DVD and watching it all before Season 2 aired.

And it was infinitely more exciting than season 1. One cliffhanger episode in fact got me so riled up I committed a PCB cardinal sin and READ AHEAD because I couldn't stand the wait. I think what did it for me this season was how, amid all the insanity, there has been a shining beacon of verisimilitude and her name is Sarah Wayne Callies. Her performance has been so real and so brilliant, her reactions to situations so genuine that she has kept me coming back for more. That and they killed off that ghastly old ham Peter Stormare very early on.

Sadly, once again the season finale was a let down. Something of a recurring theme here. I have absolutely no idea what was going on in the last five minutes. Oh well.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Hot Guy Monday: Daniel Sunjata

The first time I laid eyes on Daniel Sunjata, he got naked and soaking wet. That kind of introduction is really going to stick with you, isn't it? It's been five years now since that fateful evening when I was in the audience of the world premiere run of Take Me Out and I would still climb over barbed wire for a slice of the Sunjata.

Wouldn't you?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

PCB's Television Round-Up, Part 3


What a crashing disappointment this season turned out to be. The opening four episodes were the best and most exciting the show has ever been. The stakes were high and with the detonation of a nuclear bomb at the end of episode 4, all bets were off. But, of its six seasons, 24 has managed only one that was, in my opinion, wholly satisfying (season 4). Other seasons have all suffered from either dragging out the storyline or, worse, dragging out the 24 episodes by tacking on other plots after the main arc finishes too early.

That's not to say I don't love it though and after that four hour amazing opener, I was ready for brilliance. It didn't quite arrive. The retconning decision to make Paul McCrane's character into Jack's brother (unless that was always the plan and I wasn't paying attention during his initial arc in season 5) was intriguing but having their father as the root of all evil was perhaps a scooch too much. Once the main plot was wrapped up, too early, the show meandered on and tested my patience as multiple plot strands were discarded without resolution. The season finale ending with Jack apparently contemplating suicide was hopeless. Shame.

Apparently next season the show is being completely reinvented and only its real time format will be carried over. We'll see if that means a complete cast cull (don't get rid of Chloe though!) and a re-location. Whatever it means, for the love of God, people, find a plot complex enough that it can actually run the course of the season.

Ugly Betty

The best new show on television. There was a moment when it looked like Heroes would win out (and as the UK is only up to episode 17 of that show and Ugly Betty finished its run already, it still might win out, who knows?), but with one scene in one epsiode, Ugly Betty claimed the crown.

The scene? Michael Urie's deliciously evil Mark's showdown with his mother in Betty's house. It was utterly brilliant, not to mention emotionally tough going. Michael Urie was top notch in the scene and I seriously hope he is showered with awards love for it soon. The fact that the writers had the balls to NOT have that scene end happily just made me love it all the more.

So that was what did it. The fact that a show as frivolous, bitchy, hilarious and downright silly as this was not afraid to put the brakes on for some drama was what made it my victor (so far) of the recently concluded season. However, I must note my dissatisfaction with the season finale. While I don't necessarily have a problem with the overcrowding of cliffhanger plot points, what I DO take issue with is the unnecessary and frankly mean killing of Santos. At least, given Hilda's reaction in the final scene, I assume he's dead, though it was never actually stated at any point. The scene where Hilda accepted his proposal, running out to find him only to discover he'd waited for her, made this girly boy cry. The Suarez family are going to have enough to deal with in the second season (adding in all the drama from the finale, there was also the revenge on her father in Mexico, mentioned in the penultimate episode that will presumably come back up at some point) without throwing in a wholly unnecessary amount of grief for Hilda and Justin.

Friday, June 08, 2007

At World's End

I went to see the third installment of the Pirates Of The Carribbean movies the other night. Some people think if you have nothing nice to say, then you shouldn't say anything at all.

In which case, thus concludes my review of the movie.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

6 for 6/6: Rufus Wainwright

I was lucky enough to get return tickets, along with three friends, to the final night of Rufus Wainwright's five night run at the Old Vic in London. As far as I am aware, these were the only dates on the tour billed as "An Evening With" and had no opening act. I have to say I am a little huffy when it comes to Rufus. I only discovered him thanks to Lottie and when I first saw him live it was in a tiny tiny location that was fairly easy to get tickets to. Since then, he has slowly become more and more popular to the point where he now sells out gigs in seconds and charges a lot of money for them. And his newer fans are all "OMG I luv u Rufus. I have seen him five times, he's da bomb". Fuck off.

Anyway, my audience quibbles aside (I wanted to knife several people in my immediate vicinity), it was an amazing concert. The set list:

Release The Stars
Going To A Town
Sans Souci
Rules & Regulations
Art Teacher
Leaving For Paris
Between My Legs

Harvester Of Hearts
Do I Disappoint You
Foggy Day in London
If Love Were All
Nobody's Off The Hook
Beautiful Child
Not Ready To Love
Slide Show
14th Street

I Don't Know What It Is
Pretty Things
Complainte De La Butte
Get Happy
Gay Messiah

Cunningly it's the same set list for the whole tour. He has really made this into a show, a piece of theatre. He's a true performer. It's been fascinating to watch that develop over the few years I've been a fan and seeing him live. The whole of the new album was played which I love plus some Judy Garland numbers and a traditional folk song that was performed without microphones and was AMAZING. Of course, the highlight was the encores. Returning to the stage in a bath robe to perform the "I Don't Know What It Is" with the band, they left and he performed the next two songs solo at the piano, still in the bath robe. He then walked to the front of the stage, donned some blinging jewellery and some lipstick. The band returned, the bath robe removed and all he was wearing was a suit jacket, a pair of tights and a fedora. This was what he wore to perform the last two numbers. He then came back on and performed another solo folk song, without a mic. People were yelling out Rufus songs (ugh) for him to sing and he looked at the crowd and said "I am Judy Garland right now".

Sian Phillips popped up to perform the dialogue at the end of "Between My Legs" which was most interesting. In the interval, Rufus changed out of the tightest pair of striped pants I've ever seen into the lederhosen get up which was most amusing. Vocally he was a little strained in places and he totally fucked up "Tulsa" but that song is all over the place anyway. All in all, it was a quality evening and I am glad I went. I forgot my camera though so I stole the pics from another website.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Hot Guy Monday: Mark Ruffalo

I saw Zodiac last week. It is easily the best film of the year that nobody saw. There were three flawless performances from the leading men of the picture. One of them was Mark Ruffalo, who I have loved since You Can Count On Me. He's not conventionally attractive in a Hollywood or model kind of a way, but there's something about him that makes me all hot under the collar.