Friday, July 30, 2010

My Weekend Crush

You know, at first I wasn’t that into “Nikita.” Sure, the rogue assassin series reboot for the CW features one of my favorite TV archetypes: The hot girl who kicks ass. Still for whatever reason I just didn’t feel that excited. I think it’s because the CW is known more for hot gossip than killer action. But that was before I found out Maggie Q’s tattoos are real. Yes, real. Dude. Of course, I should have been on the bandwagon from the start. Asian girls got to represent. But to be honest all I knew about her was that she was in that “Mission: Impossible” threequel I never saw and had done work in Hong Kong. Well, welcome home, Ms. Quigley.

After reading about how at the TCAs and Comic-Con Maggie utterly charmed the assembled TV critics (a notoriously cranky and hard to charm bunch), I now more than impressed. Like when onstage at Comic-Con she joked about hanging out with all the other CW stars: “You can’t imagine how good looking it is backstage. I had to push the A-cups up a little.” And then at the TCA she commented on how people always think Asians automatically knows kung fu: “Yes, we wake up and do kung fu, then we brush our teeth.” And, just in case she hadn’t made all the gay gals absolutely swoon yet, she also said: “I like to wear less makeup and be tougher. (Dressing up is) exciting for people, but it’s less exciting for me.” All that and those tattoos. Sign me up, I’m in. So in. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Family ties

It’s happening! It’s really happening! It’s like the skies have opened up! It’s like the heavens are weeping – WITH JOY! The Meryl Streep/Tina Fey mother-daughter movie is happening. Sony has optioned the package, which is still in the treatment stage. But who needs a full script when you have Meryl, Tina and Stanley Tucci directing? This news is so momentous, I feel like it should be a national holiday. I feel like this should be celebrated in song. Can anyone sculpt? I feel like a statue is in order. Also, is it too early to start standing in line for my ticket?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the tentatively titled “Mommy & Me” will “spotlights the thorny and funny sides of mother-daughter relationships.” But, hell, it can spotlight whatever it wants. It’s Tina Fey. It’s Meryl Streep. If they read the phone book together for 90 minutes I’d still watch devotedly while chomping down on a tub of popcorn. In fact, the only way this movie could be more awesome is if Helen Mirren signed on to play Meryl’s lesbian lover. Oh, and then Lena Headey signed on to play Tina’s lesbian lover. What? We’re dreaming big here, people. BIG.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kiss me Kate

Oh hai, Sarah Shahi, we’ve missed you. So yesterday everyone’s favorite former fake DJ/jilted bride got verified on Twitter. Apparently she’s been tweeting up a storm from the Vancouver set of her new USA show “Facing Kate.” And she has also been trying to get for former fake happy naked times friend to tweet her back. It’s kind of adorable.

Now, clearly, in her last post I replaced the word “tweet” with another verb in my head. An action verb. A naughty action verb. What? You know you did, too. Need a visual? Scroll down.

[NSFW, also NSFAllFutureProductivity because you will stare at this for the rest of the day and accomplish nothing else. Possibly ever. Fair warning.]

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Right. So there’s that. Of course there will more than likely be considerably less impromptu kitchen table striptease moments on her new show. She plays an attorney who leaves the high profile world of law behind to become a mediator. No official pictures have been released yet (but the TCAs are this week, so fingers crossed). Sarah has tweeted photos from the set and her trailer.

That last one is part of a protest to get offshore drilling dropped by the Oceana organization. I just want to hug her, and possibly a dolphin. Sarah is an amazing mix of hot and adorable. Hotable? Adorot? Even more hotable (yeah, I went with that one) is that she misses us back. See.

At this point you’re probably scanning your TV and trying to set your DVR for her return. Well, we still have to wait until November. Until then why don’t we entertain ourselves with thoughts of possibly the greatest yet-to-be-developed Sarah Shahi show of all time: “Facing Kate Moennig.”

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Looking for a little action, ladies?

I’m in kind of a tough girl phase right now. Well, it’s not really a phase. I mean, we can’t help who we like, right? I’m really feeling the lady bad asses. Perhaps it was “Salt,” which I enjoyed immensely. Angelina once famously said she wanted to be Bond, not a Bond girl and boy did she ever deliver. Asses kicked, not stirred. The ERA of action has been long overdue. Sure, we’ve had the Founding Mothers of Bad Assery: Sigourney, Linda, Action Angie. But there’s always room for more. So let’s take a look at some recent contenders.

Now, I have no idea what is happening in this trailer for “Sucker Punch.” Young women in crazy school girl outfits going all Mortal Kombat on an assortment of baddies (Samurai soldiers, Nazis, dragons!). I think it has something to do with a girl being taken to an insane asylum to be lobotomized. But plot schmot, who wants some eye candy?

[Hat tip, Ellen!]

Now, what this next clip lacks in special effects, it more than makes up with literary pedigree. If this gets made into a movie I demand Kiera Knightley and Kate Winslet star, with Emma Thompson in a supervisory role. Referee, perhaps? And, FIGHT!

And, finally, this clip involves no fisticuffs, automatic weapons or heavy artillery. But just listen to Ellen Page’s answer to the question: Who would you like to perform Inception on? Now that’s a bad ass.

You don’t have to use your fists to be tough, ladies. Your brain will do just fine.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tough it out

Michelle Rodriguez is many things. Tough. Resilient. Smoking hot in a tank top. But what she isn’t too often on screen is alive. Her characters have the unfortunate tendency to end up dead. How dead and how often? Well, off the top of my head:
Resident Evil – Dead
BloodRayne – Dead
Lost – Dead
Fast & Furious – Dead
Avatar – Dead

So, that’s a lot of resting in pieces. Now, Michelle has her own thoughts on why this keeps happening. She told at Comic-Con:

“Because I don’t take my clothes off, and I'm nobody’s girlfriend. The writers are new to the whole tough girl thing, and they don’t know what to do with [me]. We’ve got the dude who’s strong, so what do we do with the chick who’s strong? We kill her. Eventually they’ll get used to it, and maybe Salt will change a thing or two.”

Now, I haven’t always agreed with Michelle on everything, but right here she is right on the money. Hollywood doesn’t know what to do with the tough girl. And women who consistently play tough, well they really don’t know what to do with them. Oh, wait, they do – kill them.

Michelle was also her delightfully colorful and non-PC self again when speaking with The Playlist at Comic-Con. [Hat tip, Norma Desmond!] When asked about being typecast as “The Tough Girl,” she let loose. Witness.

“Oh baby, I was typecast the minute I did a film called, 'Girlfight' years ago. That has nothing to do with anything, it just to do with... you allow yourself to be typecast. If I decided I didn’t want to be typecast tomorrow I’d just go do an indie film where I play some poor girl who goes through some excruciating experience and win myself an award for crying or being raped [breaks into laughter] or playing someone with mental illness. But at the end of the day I’m not in it for the acting. If I were in it for the acting then I would be worried about people not giving me the opportunity to express my vast array of emotions on the screen.

I could give two shits. I only wanna be someone or I respect or someone that I consider interesting or fun. I’m here to entertain people and make a statement about female empowerment and strength and that’s what I've done for the last 10 years, and people can call it typecast, but I pigeonholed myself and I put myself in that box for saying no to everything else that came on my plate. Saying no to the girlfriend, saying no to the girl that gets captured, no to this, no to that and eventually I just got left with the strong chick that’s always being killed and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Nope, Michelle, nothing at all. Well, except for the dead part. Those are some mighty big swipes she is taking, but I would expect nothing less from an actor who says she isn’t in it for the acting. So how about letting the strong chick live instead? Come on, Hollywood, are you ready to be strong?

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Weekend Crush

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really more of a Team Lena kind of gal. Still I’ve always liked Piper Perabo and thought her cute as a button. A button that gets to kiss Lena Headey. But I never really felt that, well, umpf that makes my knees wobble and my pulse quicken. That is until now. Seeing her fight and flash that smirk. Seeing her kick ass and keep her cool in those tightly tailored suits. It’s all working for me, even if her new show rockets unapologetically into giddy preposterousness from time to time. “Covert Affairs” is all about Piper. That slip of a girl (well, not really a girl, we’re practically the same age), doing all those feats of derring-do.

There was a moment in this week’s episode when Piper, glistening sweat from hitting the heavy bag, looks over her shoulder and it reminded me in an instant why I love women. There was a grace and poetry amid the iron and grit. That duality – the hard and the soft, the head and the heart, the light and the dark. In that moment it all came together. I saw it along the epic curve of her cheekbones, the sweeping slope of her neck – those lines you want to follow forever. This is why books are written, this is why songs are sung. This is why we try and fail and try again. Also, have I mentioned she was wearing a sports bra? Yeah, sometimes it’s also that simple. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gun it

Now, don’t get me wrong, I liked “Inception.” It was like one of those M.C. Escher paintings from you college dorm room came to life, spun around a dozen times and then spit out that guy from “Titanic” and that gal from “Juno.” Also, who doesn’t love Ellen Page in an assortment of neckerchiefs? But what I really want is a little lady action. Sure Marion Cotillard gets to brandish a weapon here and there. But I crave is the big, bad-ass ladies with even bigger guns. I mean, damn Michelle Rodriguez, damn. So now the only question is, old school or new school? Decisions, decisions.


Gail DavisAnnie’s got not one, but two guns. As it should be.

Jane FondaWell now, Ms. Ballou, I like the way you point that thing.

Marlene DietrichThis is her just hanging at the shooting range in leather pants.

Pam GrierShe wasn’t called Foxy Brown for nothing.

Audrey HepburnAdmittedly, this is just adorable. I mean, a sun hat – come on.


Zoe SaldanaModern girls know how to double-fist it, too.

Noomi RapaceNo American version needed, thank you very much.

Milla Jovovich & Ali LarterTwo girls, one shotgun. So much better.

Yvonne StrahovskiIn my dream scenario Agent Sarah Walker and Agent Annie Walker meet and compare, um, guns.

Angelina JolieYes, I know, we already had a lengthy discussion about sodium content this week. But Ebert gave “Salt” four stars, and I want it to do well this weekend. Ladies first, ya know.

So, ladies – old school or new school? Or is it just fun to be schooled, period?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wishful & Thinking

I only have one question about “Rizzoli & Isles.”

Why is this not a lesbian buddy cop show, again?

OK, I lied, one more question.

Why is a woman who looks like this and sounds like that such a nutso conservative, again?

So many missed opportunities. So. Many.

[Click any of the pictures to embiggen the regret.]

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sodium content

So the marketers of “Salt” have a new digital campaign meant to pique interest in Angelina Jolie’s new spy thriller. But try as they might, all they seem to be accomplishing is to make me worry about my sodium intake. “DON’T TRUST SALT!” “SALT MUST DIE!” “SALT KILLS!” Am I the only one who has a sudden urge to look into high blood pressure medications? Also, call me paranoid, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Mrs. Dash is behind all of this.

Look, I know they’re trying to be all mysterious. I know they want to build buzz. But come on, they’re missing the biggest marketing advantage this movie has. Hello, your movie star is Angelina Jolie. No one cares about Salt, except possibly the Surgeon General. Everyone cares about Angelina Jolie, except possibly Jennifer Aniston. Just plaster her face all over posters and be done with it. Show her with a gun. Show her kicking ass. Show her with blonde hair. Show her with black hair. Just show her. She’s Angelina freaking Jolie.

I would even prefer slightly off-center, OCD-triggering Angelina Jolie to no Angelina Jolie. Unless, of course, I’ve misunderstood the entire film’s premise and this is really a probing expose of the Morton Salt Girl. Why is she carrying an umbrella while spilling salt? Is the salt some sort of chemical weapon? Is she a terrorist? Oh my god, SALT DOES KILL!

Though, now that I think about it, Angelina in a movie about the Morton Salt Girl, now that’s a movie that screams Oscar. The unwanted water retention alone would nab her a nomination.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Oils. And stuff.

To be honest, at first I was the tiniest bit appalled. What is this loud show about these obnoxious teenagers whose lives seem to be an endless blur of getting drunk, getting high, getting fucked, fucking each other and fucking up royally? But then, I kept watching. First impressions are important, but they rarely tell the whole story. Setting a locker on fire at least catches your attention, right? And then, all of a sudden, I knew. I knew that this wasn’t just about kids looking to party, but about kids realizing how weird and confusing and exciting and terrifying and disappointing and beautiful life can right at the cusp of adulthood – and often well thereafter.

So, now, well – I’m a believer. I hadn’t watched “Skins” ever before. Of course I’d heard all about it. Friends had raved about it. Writers had waxed eloquent about it. But I’d never watched, until this weekend. But then, boy, did I watched. I started with season 3, for obvious reasons. I watched the first six episodes all in one setting, finishing just as the sun was starting to make its presence known. Waking up later that morning, was like waking up after having great sex with someone new for the first time. You look over and think, “I get to do this again and again. FUCKING BRILLIANT.” The next night I marathoned the last four, swallowing them whole without bothering to chew. And as we speak (well, I type, you read – semantics), I am using all of my willpower to not make a few clicks and start watching season 4. Oh, that intoxicating first blush of love when you can’t keep your hands off each other.

Skins is so many things: Hilarious, overblown, sexy, fun, heartbreaking, confounding, joyous, randy, poignant, silly, absurd, wise, disturbing, courageous and real. Also, dude, how does every teen in Britain have such seemingly effortless access to weed? But mostly they’re just good stories, spun so well that we can’t help but care what happens to every single one of these obnoxious teenagers.

Gosh, and we haven’t even talked about Naomily yet. I’ve downloaded their episodes to my iPhone and carry them around with me in my pocket everywhere I go. That’s now I feel about Naomi and Emily. I’m not sure I’ve watched another show, another scene on TV that has made my wibbly bits feel all wobbly and then my spirit feel so shattered in a less than three minutes flat. In fact, I’m sure of it. And then the cat-flap. Even if they only existed in that one episode it would still rank as one of the most nuanced, most honest, most amazing portrayals of gay teenagers to be put on screen. “So be brave, and want me back.” Man, is that not falling in love in a nutshell?

Smitten, just smitten.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Weekend Crush

I loved “The Kids Are All Right.” I really, really did – as you probably already realized. It touched me in ways that few movies have recently. I left the theater feeling so lucky, so great, so happy with the universe. I’ve mentioned that I cried like a baby, right? We’re talking Pixar tears, people. But I also laughed and cringed and fumed – the whole spectrum of human emotions. I started writing my review right away – taking notes on my phone as I headed to the parking lot. It came quickly, as all work that I feel truly passionate about does. I wanted to share this amazing movie, these brilliant performances with the world. I couldn’t wait. I was so excited. When you love something you want to share it, you want other people to love it like you love it. At the very least you want people to give it a chance.

So, imagine my surprise (though, I shouldn’t have been surprised – I blame love blindness), at the vitriolic response this movie has elicited, almost exclusively from those who have not seen the film. Now, I understand if you saw this movie and don’t like this movie. I don’t agree, but I understand and we can have a reasonable discussion about the whys and why nots. [Spoiler Alert: But, come on, you know.] And I understand if you are worried, wary, worked up by the idea of Julianne Moore’s character sleeping with Mark Ruffalo. I was, too – before I saw the movie.

Since my review has run I’ve been accused of being, in no particular order: a bad gay, an apologist for the ridiculous “lesbians-all-secretly-crave-dick” myth and – my favorite – paid by Lisa Cholodenko herself. Ha! If only! I am still, by the way, receiving angry emails. If you think I’m kidding, please witness one emailer’s decision to post our entire back-and-forth correspondence, without asking, on my review. Yeah. For real.

But this isn’t about the woe-is-me, but instead about the woe-is-this-film lament. This extraordinary movie could find itself in the strange position of being loved by everyone except the religious right and some lesbians, who both hate it on principle even though neither group – by and large – has seen the movie. Strange bedfellows, indeed.

I’ve already made my case for “The Kids Are All Right.” But don’t listen to me. Listen to the best critics in the country. This is the fifth best reviewed film in theaters right now. It has received glowing reviews from The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Entertainment Weekly and Roger Ebert – just to name a few. And gay women’s sites, besides AfterEllen, have sung its praises including AutoStraddle, SheWired along with wonderful lesbian bloggers like Scribegrrrl, Mombian, Lesbian Dad and Jenni Olson. This isn’t just a great gay movie, it’s a great movie. It’s what you want from cinema – to think and feel and empathize. And it does all of that while being subtly yet seriously subversive.

This weekend the movie opens wider to 28 more theaters around the country (and more next weekend) thanks to a very strong box office showing in limited release last weekend in NY, LA, SF and Chicago. If it’s coming to a theater near you, I would say run don’t walk. Seeing is believing, or at the very least knowing what you’re talking about if you still disbelieve.

I hate to say it, but some of the joy I felt in the theater has been muted by the response this film has received outside the theater. It hurts my heart to think that people are being so reactionary and closed-minded without seeing this film first. So this weekend I think I’ll go see it again. I want to recapture the magic and be reminded, once more, that everything is indeed all right. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gender Fuck Thursday: Special Agents

She runs. She jumps. She shoots. She looks damn good in a suit. Oh, secret agent lady. Come question me, I have information of national interest – in my pant. (Yes, yes – groan.) Piper Perabo made her debut this week into this most elite of groups. Ladies who speak softly and carry confidential credential – and a big gun, of course. In “Covert Affairs” Piper plays a young CIA trainee who gets upgraded to the big show a month early. Why? She speaks six languages. Why, really? She speaks six languages and can pass for a hooker. Why, really really? She speaks six languages and can pass for a hooker and while traveling in Sri Lanka had a brief but passionate affair with a man who said he was an English teacher but turns out to be wanted by the CIA for some reason. The show isn’t perfect, but it is plucky. And Piper, well, I’ve mentioned she looks great in a suit, right?

So in honor of Piper joining the sisterhood, how about a very special Gender Fuck Thursday welcome featuring the ladies in suits who put the “special” in “agent.”

CIA Agent Annie Walker (Piper Perabo), “Covert Affairs”If past is precedent, in one of her assignments she’ll play a lesbian.

FBI Agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster),
“Silence of the Lambs”
Jodie was kind of born to wear a suit and a scowl, no?

FBI Special Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson),
“The X-Files”
Speaking of scowl, no one shoots a better skeptical one than Scully.

CIA Agent Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski), “Chuck”Bonus points for the suit and glasses.

FBI Special Agent Renee Walker (Annie Wersching), “24”
If you play an agent odds are you’ll either be named Walker or have red hair, or both.

FBI Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), “Fringe”Someone tell me that the truth is there is Agent Dunham and Agent Scully fanfic out there.

CIA Field Agent Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner), “Alias”I wonder if she kept the red wig.

FBI Special Agent Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), “Criminal Minds”Good they’re bringing her back, even if not for every episode.

NCIS Field Agent Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), “NCIS”Leather jackets totally count.

Spanish Police Agent Pepa Miranda (Laura Sánchez),
“Los Hombre de Paco”
Granted, this is really a vest, but I choose not to quibble with people who have guns.

EDIT: Heavens, I did forget FBI Special Agent Janis Hawk (FlashForward) and Secret Service Agent Myka Bering (Warehouse 13). I must clearly be punished. Any takers?