Have you ever been on boat just cruising around like at some party or some other affair and some of the gears just start to make a high-pitched squealing noise? It's this ringing din that is quickly proceeded by smoke, a burning smell, and certain immobility. You know that noise. Well, that is the noise I expect to hear Kernya Moo-ah make whenever her ex-boyfriend Walter is in the same room. And it would probably have the same effect: squeal, smoke, smell, immobility, expolosion.
That was essentially all we had to deal with on last night's episode of Real Whale Watcher of Glouchester Bay, just a bunch of stuff about Kernya. Oh, there was some nonsense about Kandi moving her office (an early plug for The Kandi Factory, coming soon to Bravo?) but you know that I will not cover any sort of moving type activities in these here handy dandy recaps. Speaking of which, I feel like NeNe Leakes' whole thing about going to New York to be on fancy TV shows is kind of like moving. Can we just cut her out from the rest of the season? Nothing she does seems to have any impact on the rest of the cast (other than when she invited them to LA and then kicked them out of her house) so why are we even bothering with the pretense that she's on this show anymore? Maybe NeNe can be like a Real Housewife at large and just pop in and hang out with whatever cast she is around that week. Here is NeNe having lunch at SUR with Lisa Vanderpump and Brandi Glanville and that bitch Stassi is spilling her soup on her. Oh look, now it's NeNe swigging down white wine with Ramona Singer and Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Bilouxi Morgans. Oh look, NeNe and Teresa Gee You Dee Chay are getting in a fight because Teresa is trying to steal some of NeNe's forehead for herself. See how fun this would be? Get on it, Andy Cohen.
Before we can get to Tyler Perry Presents a Kernya Moo-ah Production of Kernya Moo-ah and Her Awful Ex-Boyfriend: All Is Not Lost – Starring Tyler Perry and Gabourey Sidibe as Kernya Moo-ahwe have to talk about Porsha Stewart. Oh, you dim bulb still aglow in the wilderness. Oh you fizzling little nymph, Porsha. This week we were back to arguing about whether not not Porsha's husband Carvell, a Cookie Puss that has come to life, controls her. He tells us, "I am in control, but I am not controlling. I am the man and I am in control but that does not mean I am controlling." OK, sure Carvell. That makes a ton of sense. He says that he is the man of the house and he controls what happens, but that does not mean he controls Portia. I think that is some sort of semantic difference that he has made up in his head and it is not actual real life. I do think he is absolutely in control of this relationship considering he has all the money, smarts, and ingenuity. Porsha has, well, she has a collection of velour sweatpants that say "PINK" across the ass, she has that.
What Porsha really wants though is a baby. She wants to have a baby so that she can lock up that Carvell Stewart money for the rest of her life. That is what she wants more than anything. No, that is cynical. I think she really loves Carvell and wants to have his babies, but I think mostly it's because she's bored and doesn't know what else to do with her life so she is doing what everyone told her she would always do: get married to a rich guy and then have babies. She doesn't have many other aspiraitons. Carvell, however, who is not controlling at all, tells her that she can't have a baby and her "career" because he wants a wife who is going to cook and clean for him and raise his baby and, even though he has tons of money, he is not going to hire a nanny. No, he wants things to be convenient for Carvell and he wants things when he wants them and he wants them they way he wants them. Though that isn't controlling, per se, he is in control. It's not asshole-ish necessarily, but he is being an asshole.
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When he tells Porsha she can't have a baby and a "career," she starts to cry. What is wrong with both of them? First of all, Porsha does not like to work. She doesn't like to do anything but shop, look at shiny things, and occasionally eat pickles (but only if she's spent an extra 20 minutes on the elliptical). She doesn't do any work. So why is she getting all upset, and why is Carvell telling her she can't do it? Just let her have a baby and throw a fundraiser or two for her family's charity every now and again. It will make her happy and feel like she has purpose and, yes, you may have to microwave yourself a Swanson Mac 'N' Cheez Bowl every once in awhile, but that should hardly be a price to pay to keep your wife off your back (and on hers, ZING!).
OK, Kernya Moo-ah. Cynthia warned her last week that Peter was throwing some Making Men Healthy, Why the Y Chromosome? party for men's health and that he invited Walter because he and Walter hit it off on the group trip to Anguilla. I think all of this is fair. You can't fault Peter for making friends, and you can't expect Cynthia to intervene in the guest list for her petty grievances. She also gave Kernya plenty of advance notice so that she could act accordingly.
Kernya shows up at the party with Jamal Anderson on her arm. Sure, he might have been arrested for suspicion of cocaine possession and driving under the influence, but he is fine and probably a little rich form his days in the NFL so good for Kernya. She is wearing a long white gown and her hair is done beautifully and she is just killing it. Sure she is a scarecrow set on fire on the inside, but on the outside she is pulled together nice and tight. She says that she is on a date with Jamal, but that it is not a romantic date. So, what kind of date is it? Is it a, "I know you have a girlfriend, but I need a hot rich guy to pretend to be my date to make my ex-boyfriend jealous" kind of date? That's what it seems like to me.
Kernya gets all bent out of shape that Walter is there, and she is convinced that Peter is going to sit her next to Walter becuase she says that is who Peter is. No, it is not. If there is anything we have learned about Peter it is that he tries to avoid drama, so Kernya thinking that was going to happen just proves how narcissistic and paranoid she really is. Also, that is something Kernya would have done, so she just assumes that everyone else would do it to her. She is not sitting next to Walter, she is sitting next to the rest of the crew. See, Kernya. Shut up.
She informs them that she is having a costume party where everyone, including the men, have to show up as iconic black women in film and she, of course, is going to tell the women how they should dress. "OK, Cynthia, I like you and you always wear a huge weave, so you get to be Diana Ross. Phaedra, we're still in a fight, so you have to come dressed as Big Momma from Big Momma's House 2: The Revenge of the Spanx. Kandi, we're on good terms so you can be Tina Turner. NeNe, well, I'm still pissed she wouldn't let us in the house, so she can be Medea. Oh, and Porsha, you can be Halle Berry in B*A*P*S."
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Yes, this is what happens, so even when she feels she is being wrongly wronged and slightingly slighted, Kernya still has room to tell Porsha that "Halle Berry in B*A*P*S" is how she sees her — as a ghetto con lady in a movie that is appallingly bad.
But the worst problem of all at the Testicals for Vesticals party was the bow ties that all the men, particularly Peter and Apollo, were wearing. Guys, a little fashion tip: bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to bow ties. If the bow is wider than your head, it's a no no. It just means that your head is going to look comically small and you'll come off as some sort of Joker-esque idiot who doesn't know how to dress. No one wants that. Well, maybe you do, but if you do, well, maybe you should be the ones who have to dress as Halle Berry from B*A*P*S.
Walter shows up at another party, and this time it isn't really OK. Well, first Kernya had to go dress shopping with Cynthia and talk all about the first party. Cynthia tells Kernya that Walter was all talking with the guys about how they didn't have sex (in fairness to Walter, they did ask him before he brought it up). Kernya gets upset and then alleges that Walter is gay on the DL and that is why he didn't want to sleep with her. Then she says, "I don't care about Walter at all." Well, for someone who doesn't care about Walter she sure does expend a lot of energy trying to avoid him and talk shit about him. Maybe she should look into what not caring means.
Now it's time for Kandi's housewarming. No, I'm sorry, her houses warming. Yes, Kandi has two freaking houses in one. Her daughter Riley has a room that is so tricked out that it should be on Silver Spoons or one of those awful themed kids rooms from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Anyway, Walter shows up and no one is quite sure who invited him. Kandi knows she didn't, because she doesn't want to piss off Kernya, so she assumes Todd did. I have a feeling that Walter heard about the party and showed up knowing that he wouldn't be turned away, thinking he could make a scene. So he brings his date Clemicia, who looks like a busted drag queen version of Sheree Whitfield, and he shows up looking like an old Louis Vuitton bag (thanks for that joke Rachel Dodes Wortman) to embarrass Kernya. Now, Walter brings this date and then totally ignores her. He goes around talking to all the guys and the Housewives about her and telling them how hot and young she is but doesn't spend any time actually talking to her.
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Eventually Kernya shows up and everyone is waiting for the fight to happen, just cynically sitting around Kandi's kitchen waiting for the squeal, smoke, burning smell, and explosion that is going to come out of her head when she sees Walter but, at the last minute, Cynthia pours water on this fire and leads everyone downstairs away from Walter. When they're in the basement next to the pool and the waterfall (yes, that is a real place in Kandi's house and yes, you could smell the dank chlorine smell through the television) Kandi gives Kernya the heads up that Walter is there. Kernya freaks out, asks where the back door is (according to her, she should ask Walter because he's all about the back door) scuttles off into the night like everyone is trying to intentionally harm her.
But they don't really care, none of them. They eat their sliders and drink their drinks and have a little blueberry tart downstairs by the pool and wonder who is going to be the first to totter off her stilettos in the the curacao blue water. Finally Walter hears that Kernya has left and he takes Clemicia out onto the street and climbs into his car. He opens up the glove box and pulls out an envelope that is bulging slightly in the middle. "This is for your troubles. Thanks for coming," he says with his signature wonky grin.
She puts her manicured finger nail into the paper and pulls it open slightly, eyeing to make sure the agreed upon amount is in there. "Looks good," she says. "You sure you don't want to..." and she reaches over and rubs her hand on the inside of his thigh. He doesn't back away but he just says, "Naw. I think I'm all good." He starts the car and drives her around the way where she has parked her car, on the cul de sac where they met before the party. She doesn't say anything on the ride, just wondering how everyone gets their grass so green. Finally they get to the car and she opens the door and lowers herself onto the pavement. Before closing the door she leans in, the car seat just below her tits, propping them up in her tight dress. "I hope it was worth it. I hope she was worth it," Clemicia says. "Whoever she is."
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Bravo]
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Jay Roach’s political comedy couldn’t have come at a better time. Just as the U.S. is beginning to suffer from the fatigue that comes with enduring the final months of the heated presidential campaign between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis give us exactly what we need: a good laugh.
The Campaign stars Ferrell as Conservative Senate shoe-in Cam Newton who gets himself in a bit of a campaigning pickle – if you can call a widely publicized sexual slip-up a pickle – and prompts the powers that be (an evil duo courtesy of the always fantastic John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd) to bring in a ringer: Marty Huggins (Galifianakis). Huggins is flanked by his two trusty pugs and spends his days giving empty trolley tours of his tiny North Carolina town – a naïve happy existence that flummoxes his former political operator of a father (Brian Cox). But once Marty’s appointed campaign manager gangster Tim (a ruthless and surprisingly hilarious Dylan McDermott) Pretty-Womans the grinning familial misfit into a standard cutthroat political candidate the messy misinformation-driven games begin.
Everything we’ve ever feared or discovered about our shiny politicians during campaign season is magnified for the sake of this 90-minute cathartic joke. Right as Romney and Obama are getting headlines for the underhanded loosely regulated practice that is the campaign commercial Ferrell and Galifianakis’ characters take the seemingly lawless practice to a wonderful hyperbolic place where having a mustache makes you a friend of Sadam Hussein and splicing quotes to blaspheme your opponent is kosher. Oh wait that last part is actually true.
This story from frequent Ferrell collaborator Adam McKay along with Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell plays on the clichés of the campaign trail and dresses them up with baby-punching and butt-licking. Right out of the gate we’re treated to Ferrell cheating on his wife with a squealing harlot in a porta-potty. The writers have no mercy for the political world and coincidentally neither do most of us. And even as the film stretches the limits of our ability to stomach schlocky gross gags it’s not entirely uncalled for. In fact this over-the-top flick is practically an extension of the way many of us view the idea of campaigning in the U.S. – the key is abject cynicism.
Raunchy gags are the name of the game but The Campaign doesn’t shirk the necessary weight of its source material. Sure Ferrell’s requisite nude scene merits a few giggles but it’s the moments that are centered on speeches and strategy that really make the film. They’re rife with spot-on frustrated commentary about the emptiness of political speeches and promises and draped in the hilarious inflections of the films’ funnymen.
But beyond the parts that make us laugh hard enough to eke out a sideways tear The Campaign actually has something that most raunchy Ferrell comedies only purport deliver: a heart-warming gooey center. We can chalk this up to Galifianikis’ Marty who represents the political fantasy we try to believe in every election: the existence of a truly honest well-meaning politician. He’s the guy who runs on the platform that “Washington is a mess” and he actually believes he can clean it up. When Cam is running his mouth about loving America Marty is the one who actually offers up idealistic solutions. To some extent Marty is a character we’ve seen before but he’s this bright spot that keeps The Campaign from becoming a long-form rant.
In addition to Galifianakis’ lovable Marty we find gems in the form of McDermott – whose phantom-like presence throughout the film is always worth a laugh – and newcomer Katherine La Nasa as Rose Cam’s gut-wrenchingly opportunistic Barbie of a wife. Oddly enough a big name like Jason Sudeikis receives low-billing this time around and perhaps it’s because his role is a rather mild one for a man who’s solidified himself as the overgrown frat-boy du jour. Still it’s Galifianakis who carries the film and Farrell’s usual shtick that provides the platform for his character’s unavoidable goodness.
The Campaign is a surprising oddly adorable summer comedy combining the disgusting cringe-worthy visuals we’ve come to expect from a Will Ferrell flick with the brains we hope for any time we see the word “political” tied to a film.
Here we have it; the list of original songs eligible for the 2010 Oscars, and it seems to serve as greater confirmation that this has been a weak year for movies. Luckily, thanks to Academy rules, they only need a minimum of two song nominations; which means we won’t see “Welcome to Burlesque” get any smug recognition just because they needed to fill a slot. (Although I wouldn’t put it past them to vote it in for real – remember when “Hard Out There For a Pimp” won?) Of course if the Academy doesn’t find enough merit in any of the songs, the category won’t see the light of the Kodak Theater, but that doesn’t seem to be too likely since the list includes two Disney animated features’ themes (and one of those consists of Randy Newman playing our collective nostalgia like a fiddle for Toy Story 3). The full list of Oscar nominations will be announced on Jan. 25 next year.
Here’s the full list of eligible songs:
• "Alice" from Alice in Wonderland
• "Forever One Love" from Black Tulip
• "Freedom Song" from Black Tulip
• "Bound to You" from Burlesque
• "Welcome to Burlesque" from Burlesque
• "You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me" from Burlesque
• "There’s a Place for Us" from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
• "Coming Home" from Country Strong
• "Me and Tennessee" from Country Strong
• "Despicable Me" from Despicable Me
• "Prettiest Girls" from Despicable Me
• "Dear Laughing Doubters" from Dinner for Schmucks
• "Better Days" from Eat Pray Love
• "If You Run" from Going the Distance
• "Darkness before the Dawn" from Holy Rollers
• "Sticks & Stones" from How to Train Your Dragon
• "Le Gris" from Idiots and Angels
• "Chanson Illusionist" from The Illusionist
• "Never Say Never" from The Karate Kid
• "To the Sky" from Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
• "What If" from Letters to Juliet
• "Life during Wartime" from Life during Wartime
• "Made in Dagenham" from Made in Dagenham
• "Little One" from Mother and Child
• "Be the One" from The Next Three Days
• "If I Rise" from 127 Hours
• "When You See Forever" from The Perfect Game
• "I Remain" from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
• "Dream Big" from Pure Country 2: The Gift
• "How I Love You" from Ramona and Beezus
• "Darling I Do" from Shrek Forever After
• "Noka Oi" from Six Days in Paradise
• "This Is a Low" from Tamara Drewe
• "I See the Light" from Tangled
• "Rise" from 3 Billion and Counting
• "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3
• "Eclipse: All Yours" from The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
• "Nothing" from Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too
• "A Better Life" from Unbeaten
• "Shine" from Waiting for ‘Superman’
• "The Reasons Why" from Wretches & Jabberers
Playing second fiddle to a more famous sibling can be rough. Just ask Fred Claus (Vaughn) a regular guy who has had to grow up under the shadow of his little brother Nicholas Claus (Paul Giamatti) aka Santa. That’s a big shadow to say the least both figuratively and literally. As an adult Fred has pretty much steered clear of his family but when he finds himself in dire need of some fast cash he calls his brother. Pleased as punch to hear from him Nicholas nonetheless makes him a deal: If he comes up to the North Pole for a visit and to help out the few days before Christmas then Fred can have the money. Fred reluctantly agrees and soon he’s being whisked off in Santa’s sleigh by head elf Willie (John Michael Higgins). But once Fred gets to the North Pole nothing seems to go right and soon he is the cause of much chaos--which unbeknownst to Fred causes Nicholas even more stress since his North Pole operation is one step away from being shut down by a cold-hearted efficiency expert (Kevin Spacey). Can Fred quit being bitter in time to save his brother’s livelihood? Of course he can. Hmmm Vince Vaughn minus the R-rated Wedding Crashers/Old School irreverence? It’s a stretch. Seeing the comic actor playing it PG is a little weird but you might enjoy how Vaughn infuses his unique energy into Fred Claus. From getting all the elves to boogie down in Santa’s workshop to going on one rant after another (on his brother: “He’s a clown a megalomaniac a fame junkie!”) to pilfering money on the street and then being chased by Salvation Army Santas it’s all good. Giamatti too seems a little out of his comfort zone as the saintly St. Nick. The actor who usually plays such endearing sad sacks has already played against type to great effect this year as the maniacal bad guy in Shoot ‘Em Up but he isn't nearly as successful in doing the flipside of that in Fred Claus. And what the hell is Kevin Spacey doing in this? As the villain of the film he fills the shoes nicely but he is almost too good at it (natch) for such a feel-good family film. Even Higgins--a character actor who is usually so hilarious in films such as The Break Up and all of Christopher Guest’s movies—has to shed the cheekiness and sugar himself up for Fred Claus. There’s also Rachel Weisz as Fred’s beleaguered girlfriend (you heard right) and Kathy Bates as the Claus boys’ mother who always sees Fred as inferior to her other son to fill out a cast of big names doing family fare. Director David Dobkin is a Vince Vaughn favorite having directed him in Wedding Crashers and Clay Pigeons but like his muse Dobkin seems a little out of place guiding this material. Granted Dobkin creates a pretty magical North Pole complete with an entire city of little dwellings a Frosty Tavern and a huge domed Santa’s Workshop. The montage of Fred delivering presents on Christmas Eve—falling down chimneys stuffing cookies in his face zooming around in the sleigh—is also well done. But overall Fred Claus is a Vaughn vehicle—even as sugary sweet and family-friendly as it is--and all Dobkin really does is turn the camera on and let the man do his stuff. Dan Fogelman's script is also so very bland full of any number of holes and only picks up once Vaughn starts to improvise. Bottom line: If you’re looking to take the kids to a sweet Christmas movie and are a Vince Vaughn fan then Fred Claus is for you.