Homo homini rodentius est

Mutants among us

X-Men Angel

There’s a lot of hoohaw online among the Marvel fanbase about the creative liberties that Brett Ratner and the suits at 20th Century Fox took with X-Men: The Last Stand; about how Bryan Singer, who directed the previous installments, bailed on the script and the schedule (those damned suits, again!), leaving it to anyone else to deliver the mess; about the unforgivable appropriation of the revered Phoenix saga, used here as a flimsy plot device and excuse for lingering close-ups of a stolid Famke Janssen, and it’s all true, I’m sure. But the hardcore fans are missing just how significant the movie is. Even in the hands of anti-Wunderkind Ratner (whose previous credits include Santa Slay and Whatever Happened to Mason Reese — and if you have to ask who Mason Reese is, you are lucky), the story is powerful and the visuals are amazing. To boot, it’s slipping a nice little cultural timebomb right under the noses of our prissy conservative friends.
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A worthy cause

American FlagI just donated some money to these folks. They provide support to wounded vets of the Iraq war, initially in the form of backpacks full of needed stuff (did you know that hospitalized vets return stateside with little more than the clothes on their back?) and, later, with social support programs that aim to get them active again.

No matter your politics or views of the war, we have a lot of wounded soldiers coming home — because of improvements in triage the casualty ratios for this war are higher than ever. Do what you can.

[The Wounded Warrior Project]

Why Apple Matters

Apple StoreToday at 6pm, Apple opens their new 24×7 flagship store in Manhattan — and in typical Apple fashion it’s a blockbuster of design: the store itself is hidden underground and customers enter off 5th Avenue by walking into a glistening 30 foot high glass cube. People have been lined up overnight to be the first to see the spectacular as soon as it’s opened. Gary Allen, a blogger who has chronicled other Apple Store openings, is [blogging live] from the line outside.

This is why Apple matters. They succeed wildly in marrying technology to style and fulfilling our fantasies of the tech future we were promised as kids. Microsoft and Dell may have all the money — but I think people sense that Apple conciously decided to be a bit player (relatively, anyway) because it was required to maintain design and philosophical integrity. Cool.

Now where’s my damned flying car?

Gawker Stalkers Beware!

Jeri RyanThe Hollywood backlash to Gawker continues. Last night on Boston Legal, they addressed an issue ripped right from the headlines (all right, the friggin’ “blogosphere”) about a celeb who gets stallked by paparazzi with the help of a web site that just happens to post the whereabouts of stars. The star, played by the voluminous Jeri Ryan, reacts by shooting a photographer. She goes on trial… AND WINS! Subtle, huh?

Apparently George Clooney has a friend in David E. Kelley. I love how old media goes up against new media and uses its power to shape people’s perceptions by hitting every emotional button at their disposal. If stars’ locations are posted on Gawker — er, a website — it will LEAD TO HOMICIDE.

Of course the palsied fingers that scratch out Gawker will take any publicity gladly. If Clooney & Co. really want to get their attention they’ll just sue their sorry asses.

The Shambling Corpse, Part III

There’s news from, of all places, [Women’s Wear Daily], that Radar “The Little Magazine That Couldn’t” will be returning for its third ghastly incarnation. Oi vey. This is becoming very Fitzcarraldo. Or Dawn of the Dead, take your pick. According to the women’s wear gossip, [radaronline.com] — now frozen in a time warp since December of last year and still featuring up to the minute news about… Matthew Perry — will return within a matter of weeks to be followed by a return of the celebrity-sniffing rag to newsstands by September or October.

Supposedly Ron Burkle is still interested in funding it, and, considering his recent sordid dust up with the fine folks at Page Six, he may be just the fellow to re-animate the zombie magazine. Until its next inevitable demise.

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