Friday, March 31, 2006

Things to do after bumming a fag.

- Aaron Eckhart is a genius actor, someone who deserves to be a huge star. Since his breakthrough role as a sexist, evil jackass in Neil LaBute's vicious, cool, controversial, cruel, funny yet not-for-the-meek IN THE COMPANY OF MEN, Eckhart has been in some big titles, like ERIN BROCKOVICH, and given some good performances. However, before this weekend, he didn't get a chance to shine like he did in LaBute's sick masterpiece. This weekend, though, Eckhart stars in THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, and early reviews suggest he's fantastic in it, making you once again love a character you shouldn't even like. The movie, based upon a Christopher Buckley novel, has a lobbyist for the tobacco industry as its hero. His sole motivation is to addict people to smoking, to lead them to believe that smoking is good and that everyone should be doing it. The previews look hilarious, and friends who've seen it tell me it's worth a look.

- I have a crush on Nathan Fillion ever since FIREFLY and SERENITY. However, since it's unclear whether we'll see him play space cowboy Mal Reynolds again, I'm inclined to support him in other movies. His latest is SLITHER, an alien-slug monster movie that just looks really, really gross ... and yet funny. Elizabeth Banks, a beautiful, funny actress who appeared in THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, co-stars and apparently has to make out with an oozy, green, mutant, alien version of her husband during the film. Besides, this photo is kinda awesome. This lady looks worse than Violet from CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.

- I saw the first ICE AGE, and it was OK. I mean, Scrat the squirrel is really funny. But the rest of the movie, with Ray Romano voicing that woolly mammoth, just didn't grab me. ICE AGE 2: THE MELTDOWN opens this weekend, and Scrat is still chasing down that acorn. Of course, when the squirrel's not onscreen, I suspect the sequel will also be shot to hell.
- Sometime this week, while trying to play a particular CD over the loudspeakers in my bookstore, I fear I broke the store's ancient multi-disc player, which used a six-disc-holding cartridge. At the point where I put the cartridge back into the player after checking the CDs, the player wouldn't read the discs, so I called a co-worker to see if he could fix it. He shoved the cartridge in there, and now it's jammed and won't play any music at all. So the bookstore is silent, and it's somewhat my fault. Anyway, the CD I was trying to play at the point where the damn machine broke was Sia's COLOUR THE SMALL ONE, which is a terrific album. Sia's voice is really smooth, her music is usually quality, and one of her songs, "Breathe Me," was used over the final scene of the SIX FEET UNDER finale.
- THE DA VINCI CODE is finally out in paperback, just in time for the movie, and I must admit that I bought myself a mass-market copy of it because I'm the last person on Earth who hasn't read it. And I was curious. (Truth be told, I bought it years ago in hardcover, but I bought it for my mother and never touched the thing.) Besides, I've not read anything in MONTHS, it feels like. If this is the book that gets me back in the habit, so be it.

- BASIC INSTINCT 2, which I'm really looking forward to seeing ... because it's gonna suck, opens today in theaters. If you're interested in seeing this with me, just to see if we can count Sharon Stone's wrinkles, let me know. The movie co-stars some guy named David Morrissey (who?) and the brilliant Charlotte Rampling (why?), and it mostly deals with Stone's character Catherine Trammell seducing her shrink in London and maybe killing people. (It's up in the air whether she was the killer in the first movie, even though the last shot of that movie featured her holding an ice pick while making out with Michael Douglas.) I saw the first movie with my parents, which is one of the reasons I ended up in therapy, so I'm kinda hoping this viewing experience will be more enjoyable.

- ASK THE DUST, directed by Robert Towne, has been playing at the Garden Hills Cinema for about a week now. It sounds like a boring movie, but, gosh, aren't Colin Farrell and Salma Hayek pretty?
- Hey, look, it's Friday, and Parker Posey's new movie ADAM AND STEVE, a gay romantic comedy with gross-out humor that also stars Malcolm Gets and the horrid Chris Kattan, is opening in Atlanta at the Landmark. Wow. I didn't see that happening at all. I've come to the conclusion that Posey only criticized me last week because she was drunk, high, elitist and crazy. Ooh ... hostile!

- The city's "Every Day Is an Opening Day" campaign is bound to get a huge boost this weekend because, har har, today is the opening day for ATL, the urban drugs-and-roller-skating drama starring rapper T.I. I suppose New York didn't fare much better, for its namesake movie featuring its theme song was a Liza Minnelli musical. But, hell, that one was directed by Martin Scorsese. Of course, since Atlanta now has a theme song, a logo, an ad campaign and a namesake movie, I guess Mayor Shirley Franklin's branding attempt has worked, for the time being. Nonetheless, who decided that the City of Atlanta's airport code should be its trendy nickname? I mean, if I were going to Dallas, I wouldn't be headed to "The DFW." I go to L.A. if I'm going to Los Angeles, I don't go to "The LAX." I can't call our city "The ATL" because, when I say it, I sound about as hip as a DJ on Star 94.
- Speaking of Liza, a restored print of her 1972 concert special LIZA WITH A Z, directed by Bob Fosse, is airing this weekend on Showtime and will be released on DVD the following week. From what I understand, the show is fantastic, trippy and very, very '70s. It, apparently, showcases everything good about Liza Minnelli, the voice and talent, the sort of thing you forget about her after reading about her alcoholism, her health problems and that marriage to the rich gay guy she beat up. And, yes, I'm gay, so I want to watch this. THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: So, if you could resurrect the career of some forgotten, where-are-they-now has-been star, who would you pick? And how, exactly, would you have them recapture the limelight?

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