I Can’t Decide …

… if this is the worst thing ever, simply terrible, or shock and awesome.

I love Scissor Sisters and, several years back, I watched Passions for about six weeks before I realised that nothing ever happened. The show was going nowhere, and it was going there slowly.

When last I watched Passions, Timmy was still alive, some guy had fallen through the skylight at a New Year’s Eve party and it had been New Year’s Eve for three weeks.

Timmy being dead, it appears that they had to replace her with Endora. Considering that Juliet Mills plays Tabitha, I have to wonder where Samantha is. Seeing as Endora is a mute five year old girl who communicates in thought bubbles accompanied by pop-up sounds … I don’t actually know where that thought is going but I can emphatically tell you that it ain’t going anywhere good.

Further analysis of the clip itself: Scissor Sisters are singing “Land of 1000 Words”, which you may recall from their clip shot in Scissorvision. When they perform the song, Ana doesn’t seem anywhere near as into it as she does when she’s actually on a real stage. When Tabitha cuts the song short, Jake freaks out. The best part about this freak out is that it essentially this:

Where the hell are we? Moments ago we were performing in Wembley! That’s right: Britain loves us, you ingrates!

Then comes the anger, where they look hilariously like they’re going to beat up an elderly witch and a child witch.
If Del Marquis has ever looked more threatening than that, I’ll go hide under my bed.

I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that “The Wizard”, who is a part of the stage band but is not an actual Sister, didn’t get any dialogue. I understand that these fine folks will be back to play “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” at whatever the hell club that these dull-eyed Jesse Metcalfe-lites go to so that they can plot to steal each other’s boyfriends and sell their souls and expose or cover up rich family conspiracies, so if I find that I’ll be sure to give you second by second coverage.

Thanks to the people on YouTube who filter through all of the crap so that I can take the fleeting nuggets. I couldn’t actually find this on YouTube myself, so thanks to Towleroad for working that magic.

Update: Hah! Jake Shears strikes back at some of the detractors!

For cryin’ out loud.
We bugged ’em for two years. They wrote us into a script.
We went on the show, had some good, doofy fun. It’s not like it was some evil publicity stunt the record label hatched. I even get a Kathie Lee Gifford Carnival Cruise moment in tomorrows episode. It’s not like we were looking for a daytime Emmy either. I couldn’t act my way out of a paper bag.
I think the cynics are just jealous. Who doesn’t want to be on Passions?

Having spent a large part of my night reading about Timmy’s adventures in a fantasy wonderland before finally giving up his heart to Charity (and then his actor tragically dying in real life) … sign me up! I can get there before the September 7 finale!

Heroes – episode 14


I really enjoyed the first half of Heroes. Since then we’ve suffered at the hands of an invisible Haggard-esque degaying of Zach (I don’t know: he still seems pretty gay to me), a general anti-climactic nature, boredom at the hands of Niki/Jessica, and the distinct impression that the writers are just throwing revelations at us for the sake of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like Heroes; I just think that it’s incredibly silly. I’m good at taking silly things seriously, but come on: Hiro’s father is Mr. Sulu!


Scissor Sisters at the Sydney Entertainment Centre: February 5, 2007

Monday night was the Scissor Sisters concert! Now, I’ve not been to a lot of concerts in my time: Tenacious D twice, Joanna Newsom and Smog in a double bill (I found out too late about their performance at the end of last month, though) and, of course, Kylie Minogue.

Scissor Sisters, while being friends of Kylie (is that a new euphemism?) are entirely different on the stage. Jake Shears, Ana Matronic, Paddy Boom, Del Marquis and Babydaddy totally love their audience. Nowhere have I felt more loved and accepted by people who knew absolutely nothing about me.
When you go and see Kylie, she certainly loves you, but the concert is more about focusing your adulation on her. The name of the Scissor Sisters’ concert album is We are Scissor Sisters … and so are you!
I finally understand: Scissor Sisters concerts are giant love-ins.

Warning: This entry contains profanity. There will be a further warning inside.

The Pursuit of Happyness

“You can’t do that … Never let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me.”

If people think that The Pursuit of Happyness is depressing simply because Will Smith suffers several hardships that you would not wish to visit upon anyone on his way to the top … they probably don’t understand depression.
This film, with its infuriatingly misspelled title (infuriating, that is, until its spelling is justified), is not one that you should do any research into. Any digging will reveal that it’s a pack of lies, and a twee, predictable pack of lies at that. There’s a charm to it, and to Will Smith’s performance, but it doesn’t quite ring true.

Popcorn Taxi: The Last King of Scotland

“But you should have persuaded me!”

I would love to be the most trusted advisor of a mad dictator. I can imagine the trajectory that this would take, in stream of consciousness:

What a nice man! Check out these sheets! Ooh! A fast car, for me? How kind! Dear lord! Who is shooting at me?! Dear lord, why are we shooting at them?! OH GOD MY NIPPLES NOOOOOOO

… Nope. Still don’t want to go to Africa. The British are killing your tourism industry, Africa!

The Last King of Scotland is the first feature film from renowned director of such documentaries as One Day in September (about the Berlin hostage situation that inspired Munich), Roger Macdonald. For a first time director making a film in one of those countries without a film industry, having to train much of his crew on the job, he’s done pretty well for himself.


“We’re your Dreamgirls, and have we got news for you!”

Stories about stratospherically popular musical acts that rose from nothing have a tendency to be the same. Of course, sameness is not a crime when it’s done well. Dreamgirls has many of the popular elements of the superstar genre and, the story essentially being “borrowed” from the Supremes and Motown, so it’s not all original.
What it is is all singing, some dancing, high kicking character action! Ten years of epicness in an industry that can make you or break you!
Dreamgirls: the musical that forgets that it’s a musical, rather than a movie with songs, then suddenly remembers … and consequently takes over your world for the remainder.
From Bill Condon, the man who brought you Chicago, Dreamgirls is a musical that won’t make you feel dirty afterwards. While I don’t care about the “legitimacy” of song in musicals, this movie makes each song seem at least vaguely realistic as a story telling device, if not always good.

Pan’s Labyrinth

You mustn’t eat anything.

To say that Pan’s Labyrinth was “unrelentingly horrible” would not be entirely true. To say that its ending was sad would be entirely subjective. To say that it was “wicked awesome” would be somewhat immature yet also entirely accurate.
Pan’s Labyrinth is a movie with violence of the variety that sends entire theatres into repulsion; a movie where the right person getting stabbed can elicit cheers from the audience; a movie where the bad isn’t always bad and the good not always good.

Through Pan’s Labyrinth we are forced to remember that childhood can be a dark and terrible place, and that unless dangers are made real then nothing can be learned.


Bee throwing action!

Is it wrong to dislike Mel Gibson’s movies based on his anti-Semitic exploits? Unless that movie condemns Jewish people straight up, probably. It is not right to dislike a movie because of the personal lives of its staff, but it is okay to dislike a movie because of its overuse of slow motion, under use of dialogue for minutes at a time in which nothing but scenery happens, and general spottiness.
Apocalypto is not a bad movie: it is frequently visually and narratively arresting, but never consistently so.

Blood Diamond

“Relax, brew.”

Having come hot off the heels of The Queen, it was really strange to see Tony Blair turning the suffering of Africans into diamond money. Before that, I had made jokes about this movie being about Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly wresting diamonds from the hands of a not-so-much-evil-as-misunderstood David Bowie. What I saw was a movie that reinforced for me once again that, while the world is beautiful, humans are ugly. I reflected that I have not seen one movie that has made me want to go to Africa.

Blood Diamond is not going to make you want to go to Africa – at least the Sierra Leone of eight years ago. From the director of The Last Samurai, this is a different movie: Leonardo DiCaprio does nothing to save the people of Africa from themselves as Tom Cruise so nobly did for Japan a few years ago. It’s good, if not great, and very, very long.

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, despite being one of my favourite films of 2006, has received only two short mentions on this site, one of which was totally … Arbitrary.

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada is Tommy Lee Jones’ directorial debut, filmed in glorious and oppressive low rise. The borders of America have beautiful scenery, but not the architecture to match. The atmosphere is stifling; here is a place where the only releases are friendship and sex. This is a movie about lonely, unfulfilled people, yet it is ultimately about decency and the transcendental nature of emotions.