Monday, March 25, 2019

I'd Really Love To Touch You

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Remember when Volcano and Dante's Peak both came out in 1997? Or how Deep Impact and Armageddon both struck in 1998? What about the dueling Truman Capote movies of 2005? There's a long and rich history of fertile cinematic territory getting double-dicked like that, all suddenly at once, and it looks like the 25th anniversary of Showgirls next year is ripe for that same generous treatment. It only seems right, right?

When the Tribeca Film Festival announced its schedule at the start of this month I told you about You Don't Nomi, a documentary that is playing the fest at the end of April. You can read more about it right here on Tribeca's website -- single ticket sales start tomorrow, by the way! 

But that's not the only rodeo in town, darlin' -- Jeffrey Schwartz, the documentarian behind the docs on I Am Divine, Tab Hunter Confidential, and The Fabulous Allan Carr, is currently raising funds for his own documentary on Paul Verhoeven's great trash-terpiece via Kickstarter! Called Goddess: The Fall and Rise of Showgirls, you can check out his pitch at that link; there are some great rewards for helping them out -- they mean to have that in theaters next year for when the film celebrates its 25th birthday in September.

Will one push the other down the stairs and claim victory? What will be the difference between the two? Don't know, don't care -- you better believe I will watch them both. There is no bottom to the depths I'm willing to plunge to for Showgirls dirt. It is joy, it is ecstasy, it is better than a ten-inch dick and you know it.


Ben Barnes Eight Times

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This shoot here for Flaunt Magazine is the second photo-shoot I've covered of Ben in as many weeks -- see the previous one here, and if you'd like to read the chat with Ben from this new one click here. Did anybody watch the second season of The Punisher? I don't think I even ever managed to finish the first season. Still I keep hoping they put Ben in something I feel like watching, so let's keep encouraging them. Hit the jump for the rest of this new shoot....

A Bum For All Seasons

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Even though I haven't seen the latter yet the one-two-punch of the utterly ridiculous Serenity (my review here) and this week's Harmony Korine film The Beach Bum is making me reconsider my thickly developed distaste for Matthew McConaughey. Before 2013 I was usually fine with him (he's very funny in Magic Mike) but that Dallas Buyers Oscar season really curdled my opinion and it hasn't rebounded. (Ughhh, True Detective.) But Serenity was so hysterically bad it was admirable, and The Beach Bum looks like a thing I might enjoy, and so here we are. Here we are looking back at Korine's last film, that is, with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" over at The Film Experience. Look at my shit!!!


... But the Past Ain't Through With You

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I have a scar about two inches long on my back that runs just perpendicular to my spine, and nobody can tell me where it came from. I have no memory of getting injured there and I've never had any sort of surgery (that I know of, cough alien abduction cough) -- I showed the scar to my mother recently and she didn't have a clue where it came from either. And so my brain fiddles with the past. It's like shuffling a deck of cards but the cards are neither-sided -- you flip them over and over and all you see are their backs. You're trying to make stories, a history, out of nothing -- there is a empty center to your creation, and it pulses and spreads. 

Us, Jordan Peele's really very brilliant new horror film, is about a lot of things, but I feel like this absence at the heart of one's self, this unnerving feeling of otherness buried in our bellies, marked across our skins, is at its heart. Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o) has a memory she can't make sense of, and it's haunted her for her entire life. But like with most repressed memories she finds it coming back to the surface once she revisits the site of her original trauma. More than the surface -- in the grand manner of horror films and why they matter Adelaide's trauma manifests itself with a miraculous and terrible form. Her scars take outward shape, legs, big awful sputtering eyes, a voice like tin cans.

And in expressing themselves, a perversion. We can't remember what happened to us -- the words don't come out right. The stories of our past somethings are mangled and misshapen. Our beautiful baby boys are burned up, the men we love become great big hulking monsters who bellow unintelligible nothings. Everything is flop-sided, funhouse mirrors. 

And a randomness, a chaos, becomes intermixed with and undermines our selves -- an innocent thing that wanders in, a common housefly in the science-machine suddenly spliced into our DNA; little baby broods in snowsuits wielding play-hammers -- golden scissors all the better to snip out all the bad things and make us one again. The fable of a half-remembered charity event called Hands Across America becomes, in our poisoned retellings, a sudden and spectacular atrocity -- a plague we spread locust-like across the Earth. We have no control over this violence pouring out of us. It just comes. Oozes up from the sewers. Wrong, it makes of us. Unmakes of us. Nothing but secret scars; an intimate pandemic.


Quote of the Day

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First off props to Taron Egerton for wishing Elton John a happy birthday today by sharing that photo on his Instagram -- I think I can speak for Elton, and for nearly every gay man alive, when I saw we appreciate that. A lot. Okay now on to the subject at hand -- last week I said I wasn't going to post about Rocketman anymore if the studio was going to cut out the forty second scene of butt-out intimacy between Taron and Richard Madden in order to make the movie PG-13 a la that crap-fest Bohemian Rhapsody. And yet here I am posting? It's not just because Taron posted that picture, I promise. I am not that easily suckered into breaking my word. (Close, but not quite.) The film's director Dexter Fletcher (who, we should probably remind you at this point, was also the director brought on board after Bryan Singer left BR) actually took to his Twitter to address the controversy:
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Does that mean the scene will remain? I have no idea. After Bohemian Rhapsody gay-bashed me in the face I don't feel particularly generous towards Fletcher and whatever his usage of "no holds barred" means, although we have no idea how much of that movie ended up actually being his in the end. It's a question mark. We'll have to wait and hear from people who see the movie, I guess.
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Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Teen Witch (1989)

Polly: Well, the price of fame and fortune 
is to be envied, then copied, and finally discarded.
Louise: Says who?
Polly: I read it some place! Probably Rob Lowe.
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Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Good Morning, World

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A post shared by Lee Pace (@leeepfrog) on
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A happy 40th birthday to the pie-maker Lee Pace!
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Friday, March 22, 2019

Winston Duke Five Times

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Alright as mentioned earlier I'm not seeing Jordan Peele's Us until tomorrow night so please, if you have something to say before then... uhh, don't. I was going to say "be vague" but I don't even want vague -- I literally closed my eyes and hummed a tune when the trailer for the film played before Happy Death Day 2U a few weeks back -- I don't even want vague! But after Sunday feel free, I suppose. To tide us over here's some pictures (via) of the film's star and Black Panther bust-out Winston Duke, after the jump. Have a good weekend, y'all...

Who Wore It Best?

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polls

Now that Alexander Skarsgård got spotted doing the race-car-driver thing I can finally face somebody off with Michael Fassbender, who's been doing nothing but the race-car-driver thing for the past couple of years. You're not getting away from me that easy, Fassy!
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Graphic Novel Nirvana

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September 24th of this year is looking like a red-letter day for the certain special know-somethings among us -- two new books from two of my favorite modern cartoonists are both hitting that day. First up seen above is the new thingamajig from Charles Burns, the genius behind Black Hole and so forth -- it's called Free S**t and it's actually a collection of sketches he's been doing for years for friends and acquaintances.

"Since 2000, master cartoonist Charles Burns has been self-publishing a secret, handmade sketchbook zine titled Free S**t, exclusively for friends and VIPs. For the first time, Burns has compiled all twenty-five issues into a single pocket-sized volume for all of his fans to enjoy. Featuring finished drawings, rough sketches, process pieces, and more, the book is a revealing behind-the-scenes look at how characters and motifs in acclaimed works like Black Hole and Last Look have evolved. Black & white illustrations."

You can buy that right here. Next up and probably even more exciting because it's actual new piece of fiction and not a collection of randomness (I mean nothing against Charles Burns' Randomness, which puts Everyone Else's Randomness to several leagues of shame) is Rusty Brown, from the also-genius Chris Ware. Here's how that's described:

"Rusty Brown is a fully interactive, full-color articulation of the time-space interrelationships of three complete consciousnesses in the first half of a single midwestern American day and the tiny piece of human grit about which they involuntarily orbit. A sprawling, special snowflake accumulation of the biggest themes and the smallest moments of life, Rusty Brown literately and literally aims at nothing less than the coalescence of one half of all of existence into a single museum-quality picture story, expertly arranged to present the most convincingly ineffable and empathetic illusion of experience for both life-curious readers and traditional fans of standard reality. From childhood to old age, no frozen plotline is left unthawed in the entangled stories of a child who awakens without superpowers, a teen who matures into a paternal despot, a father who stores his emotional regrets on the surface of Mars and a late-middle-aged woman who seeks the love of only one other person on planet Earth."

I still cry every time I flip through Ware's 2003 masterpiece Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth and this seems awfully similar to that one, in form anyway -- I'm sure in those compact little pages we can expect a gorgeous pile-up of squares and rectangles that please the eye and the mind whilst shattering the heart. Per usual! Click here to buy your copy of Rusty Brown! Add on Andre Aciman's Call Me By Your Name sequel coming out a month later and this Fall is looking like a prime one for book-lovers named Me.


5 Off My Head: PG-13 For Bottoms

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A bit ago I railed against the rumor that Paramount is trying to cut the butts out of the Elton John bio-pic Rocketman -- the butts themselves, while no doubt very fine (I mean look at Richard Madden's), aren't really the point; the point is the gay male intimacy they're more than willing to jettison in favor of a sexless (yet financially successful) travesty like Bohemian Rhapsody. And it didn't even occur to me in the heat of the moment -- thanks to commenter Carl for pointing it out -- that PG-13 movies are fine with butts. (Hello PG rated Leonard Whiting in Romeo & Juliet, seen above.) This is all a thin gruel excuse, because a butt doesn't get you an R rating at all. In fact it's really very easy to think up multiple examples, so here are five I grabbed off the top of my head...

Cam Gigandet in Burlesque


Lou Diamond Phillips in La Bamba
(an important one for actual 13-year-old me)

Ewan McGregor in The Ghost Writer

Daniel Craig in Casino Royale,
complete with child-friendly ball torture sequence

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What are your fave PG-13 Butts?
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Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:


LeLee: You were friends with Julia...
Jack: Steinberg. She's not an agent anymore - she died.
Lee: She did? So young.
Jack: Or maybe she didn't die. Maybe she just moved
to the suburbs - I always confuse those two.
No, that's right. She got married and had twins.
Lee: Better to have died.

A happy birthday to Nicole Holofcener today! I don't begrudge getting to see Spike Lee on the Oscar stage last month, especially given what a nice celebratory respite that was between all the Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody bullshit, but I sure would've voted for Nicole's script for this movie all the same.
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Butt Cuts Scuttlebutt

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Yesterday The Daily Mail reported that Paramount, the studio behind the Elton John bio-pic Rocketman, is demanding that a brief 40-second scene of Taron Egerton and Richard Madden laying naked in bed together, butts in the breeze, be cut out of the film so it gets a PG-13 rating and can ride that shit to some of them sweet sweet homophobic dollar signs just like Bohemian Rhapsody. So far, they're reporting, director Dexter Fletcher has thankfully refused. 

Similarly, for whatever it's worth, I'm saying right here right now that I'll never watch this movie or post about it again if they do go ahead and make this cut. I'm tired, you guys. I'm tired of being theoretically accepted in the abstract sense but only if I'm not, you know, gay gay. Bohemian Rhapsody turned the grand queer legacy of Freddie Mercury into a miserable masquerade. Fuck all this noise. I'm done. Do us better, Elton John.

Relax, Said the Night Man

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Before you ask no I have not seen Us yet -- when I bought my tickets weeks back I made the tremendous logistical error of buying tickets to a buzzy horror film that Twitter is just chomping at the bit to spoil for the Saturday night of the weekend it opens, which was a real sucker's choice, and now I have to sit here and swerve out of the way of the conversation for two straight days. Don't anybody say nothing! Anyway I have seen one of this weekend's new films, the terrorism attack thriller Hotel Mumbai with Dev Patel and Armie Hammer, and it's pretty terrifying! I just reviewed it over at The Film Experience -- click here to read my thoughts on that. And check back Monday when I will presumably have thoughts on Us. (Also here's the Hotel Mumbai trailer if you missed it.)


Great Moments In Movie Staches

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When I wished Watchmen a happy 10 last week I forgot to make any mention of Jeffrey Dean Morgan's superhero mustache, and that shan't stand. No CG required on that sucker -- take that, Henry Cavill. Of course calling The Comedian a hero is a real, real, reeeal reach I suppose. Mustaches aren't for heroes! (Sexy) Bad Dudes only!
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Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Good Morning, World

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Well that was easy! I sat down at my computer this morning, not sure what I'd do for this morning's "Good Morning" post, opened up Instagram, and there was Shirtless Billy Magnussen Boxing staring back at me. I'm awake! You? Anyway do you guys think he's getting in shape for the Bond movie? I know they haven't officially announced it yet, it's only been rumored, but Billy himself hinted pretty strongly at it on his Instagram Stories last week (I didn't save it so you'll just have to take my word for it) not to mention he is, you know, in London right now, so I think we can count on those Shirtless Boxing Moves making their way up against Daniel Craig's some time in the near future, swoon.
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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Watching Armie Lift Weights...

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... makes me nervous! Doesn't he remember that time
he ripped his pec wide open??? Argh! But I'll still watch.
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Great Moments In Movie Staches

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Ooh yes, Luke Evans' High-Rise stache is a good one.
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