Guys, Sonja Tremont Morgan, who will once and forever be my favorite Real Bandercoot of New York Schnizzy, put her face in the bidet. OK, let's back that up. Sonja T. Morgan put her face in a bidet. Here are all the reasons why this is crazy:
1. She pronounces it "B day" as in the 24 hours after "A day." 2. She approaches this as if it is something normal. It is not. 3. She approaches this as if it is something normal that she has done before, possibly on more than one occasion, which means that she has a bidet in her house (which is weird) or that this is something she does every time she stays in a hotel with a bidet (which is weird). 4. The real purpose of a bidet is to wash the poop out of your butt. Yes, poop and butts. That means that Sonja's face is now basically covered in poop molecules. If you looked at her face under a microscope it would look like a swab of the subway platform after a bum peed on it and some sorority girl puked up six pomegranate martinis. 5. She doesn't just wash her face in the bidet, she fills it with ice, then fills it with water and ices her face. Why does one need to ice one's entire face in a context that has nothing to do with losing a boxing match? 6. Why do I want to try this? It does seem kind of fun. Except for the poop particles. 7. When LuAnn (or some other rational person) asks why Sonja doesn't ice her face in the sink, she replies, "The B Day is deeper." That actually makes a whole lot of sense. As far as I am concerned, this is the only thing that happened on the women's trip to London. In fact, it wasn't a trip to London as much as it was a trip to a hotel with a bidet that Sonja Tremont Morgan put her face in. Sure, there was an excursion to play croakee, which is the Australian version of crouquet, and some BS about how Carole Radziwill is sick of the Countess always trying to one up her in conversation like one of the Kristin Wiig characters on SNL that people talk about (but I don't watch that show because there is a severe lack of ice in bidets). That is a stupid manufactured fight. Well, sure it is annoying and my BFF 4Eva LYLAS Carole was totally right to be annoyed, but in the reel of Housewife fights, that is like when your boyfriend forgets to record something on the DVR even though you told him twice to tape it for you because you were getting home late from work and you want to see who got kicked off Glass House but then you get home and he's passed out on the couch with MSNBC on and mustard on his shirt and there is nothing on the DVR except for all the episodes of Deadliest Catch that he will never get around to watching and Fried Green Tomatoes (Fried Green Tomatoes!!!) because he is some cultural illiterate who has never seen the second best movie of Kathy Bates' career and taped it off HBO even though it is on demand and he can watch it there but no then you yell at him and he says sorry and goes back to bed. That is what this fight was like, except the Housewives would never eat mustard (all those calories!) What else happened this episode? Eh, not much. I gotta say, I like these new Housewives (especially Carole) but I think the problem is that they are actual real interesting human beings with jobs and aspirations and real money. I think that makes for boring Housewives. Like, I would actually want to have dinner with Carole and Heather (if only to make fun of the way she talks) and even ¡Que Viva! (if only to make fun of her for being a Mexican soap opera). Everyone in New York is invited to my house for dinner. That makes them cool, but not really great TV. I think the best Housewives are kind of strivers, like the ones in ATL and OC or the ones that are so filthy rich that they're using their wealth to cover up whole universes of darkness, like trying to stuff a black hole full of Benjamins. These new Housewives, well, they're a little Snoozeville, to be honest. I mean, look at ¡Que Viva! who is a Mexican soap opera but hasn't really had one subplot worth mentioning. And then, at her own anniversary party, she falls down the steps on her fake leg and gets back up and makes a joke about it and handles it like a natural graceful human being. Where is the yelling and screaming? Where is the crying and accusing Sonja of being a bad friend for making her climb up stairs? Then, at the party, her husband Taco, who is completely lacking of spice or context, gets up and gives a speech and it's nice and heartfelt and wonderful and he says, "When you fall, I feel the pain." And we all go "Awwwwwww" like Stephanie Tanner just learned a lesson on Full House and they are like normal people. Not even funny, bitchy normal people like Bethenny or the one normal person in a catacomb of banshees like Brianna (on OC) but just like a bunch of normal people who are having a normal party at the Empire room. Next:
While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
The great thing about comedian Kathy Griffin was that she was always like having a really funny friend who knew some things about Hollywood. Going to see her stand up act where she talked about her run-ins on Hollywood Squares and other D-List shows was hysterical — like you were just in her living room and she was telling only you. Then a funny thing happened and she started My Life on the D List, her Emmy-winning reality show about being on the outs in Hollywood. Suddenly she was catapulted to the B(ish)-list and her stories started to get a little bit farther removed from reality and she lost some of that scrappy-friend feel for a Hollywood shine.
Her new weekly Bravo talk show Kathy, which debuted last night, has some of that scrappy feel, but not necessarily in the same way. Kathy comes out in a gorgeous red dress her stylist picked out for her, looking thin with her hair and makeup done to perfection. This is not the pudgy broad who we saw with no makeup and badly permed hair hating to get on a treadmill in the first season of D List. She said before the show aired that she has no format in mind and is just winging it. It makes sense she starts with a little monologue, which was like a bit of her live act, but pegged to events of the day. Luckily for whoever is tasked with the bleep button at Bravo, she tapes it a couple days in advance.
After the monolog she has three visitors come out. She claims they are "civilians," but we know that's not true. One is Michelle Collins, a writer and comedian who is one of the most naturally funny people I've ever met in my life (hey, gurl, how you been?!). She's a blast to hang out with, and that comes across as she and Kathy chat about everything from the recent secret service scandal to Real Housewives farting in their Spanx. The other two are Meredith Morris, who is Kathy's assistant Tiffany's roommate, and Greg Howell, another comedian. Meredith had a hilarious story to share about seeing Wilson Phillips perform at Loehmans (yes, the department store) and this is where everything was at its best. Meredith was funny without even knowing it, Kathy was riffing with her, Michelle and Greg got into the fun, and it was just like her old stand up act. Just a bunch of girlfriends having a gab.
After the couch chat there was a silly film about Kathy interviewing her new staff (more forced bit than actual comedy) and a chat with them on stage followed by a short farewell interview with Kathy's mother Maggie, who Kathy insists on turning into a star even when she's not shining her brightest.
Yes, there were some genuine laughs during the hour and Kathy is at her funniest when she's not trying to hard. That's why the show needs a little bit more of an idea what it's going for. Once she has her segments down pat, she can relax into being herself and bitching with her guests on the couch. Kathy is always at her best when she's looking a little frazzled and seems like she's going to take out of tube of cookie dough to eat while she's talking about Toddlers and Tiaras. That's always my favorite Kathy, and I hope Kathy brings her out.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
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The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Salt the propulsive new thriller from Phillip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger Patriot Games) has been dubbed “Bourne with boobs ” but that label isn’t entirely accurate. In the role of Evelyn Salt a CIA staffer hunted by her own agency after a Russian defector fingers her in a plot to murder Russia’s president Angelina Jolie keeps her two most potent weapons holstered hidden under pantsuits and trenchcoats and the various other components of a super-spy wardrobe that proudly emphasizes function over flash.
But flash is one thing Salt never lacks for. Its breathless cat-and-mouse game hits full-throttle almost from the outset when a former KGB officer named Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) stumbles into a CIA interrogation room and begins spilling details of a vast conspiracy. Back in the ‘70s hardline elements of the Soviet regime launched an ambitious new front in the Cold War flooding the western world with orphans trained to infiltrate the security complexes of their adopted homelands and wait patiently — decades if necessary — for the order to initiate a series of assassinations intended to trigger a devastating nuclear clash between the superpowers from which the treacherous Reds would emerge triumphant.
The Soviet Union may have long ago collapsed (or did it? Hmmm...) but its army of brainwashed killer orphan spies remains in place and if this crazy Orlov fellow is to be believed they stand poised to reignite the Cold War. It’s a preposterous — even idiotic — scheme but no more so than any of our government’s various harebrained proposals to kill Castro back in the ‘60s. As such the CIA treats it with grave seriousness even the part that that pegs Salt who just happens to be a Russian-born orphan herself as a key player in the conspiracy.
Salt bristles at the accusation but suspecting a set-up she opts to flee rather than face interrogation from her bosses Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor). A former field agent she’s been confined to a desk job since a clandestine operation in North Korea went south leaving her with a nasty shiner and a rather unremarkable German boyfriend (now her unremarkable German husband). She’s clearly kept up her training during while cubicle-bound however and in a blaze of resourceful thinking and devastating Parkour Fu she fends off a dozen or so agents of questionable competence and takes to the streets where she sets about to clear her name and unravel the Commie orphan conspiracy before the authorities can catch up with her. That is if she isn’t a part of the conspiracy.
The premise which aims to resurrect Cold War tensions and graft them onto a modern-day spy thriller is absurdly clever — and cleverly absurd. But Kurt Wimmer’s screenplay isn’t satisfied with the merely clever and absurd — it must be mind-blowing. Salt is one of those thrillers that ladles out its backstory slowly and in tiny portions every once in a while dropping a revelatory bombshell that effectively blows the lid off everything that happened beforehand. No one is who they seem and every action every gesture no matter how seemingly trivial is imbued with some kind of grand significance. The effect of piling on one insane twist after another has the effect of gradually diluting the narrative. When anything is possible nothing really matters.
But spy thrillers by definition trade in the preposterous and the principal function of the summer blockbuster is to entertain. In that regard Salt more than fulfills its charge. Noyce wisely keeps the story moving at pace that allows little time for asking uncomfortable questions or poking holes in the film’s frail plot. And he has an able partner in the infinitely versatile Jolie who having already exhibited formidable action-hero chops in Wanted and the Tomb Raider films proves remarkably adept at the spy game as well.
It’s well-known that Jolie wasn’t the first choice to star in Salt joining the project only after Tom Cruise dropped out citing the story’s growing similarities to the Mission: Impossible films. But she’s more than just a capable replacement; she’s a welcome upgrade over Cruise not least because she’s over a decade younger (and a few inches taller) than her predecessor. Should Brad Bird require a pinch-hitter for Ethan Hunt he knows where to look.