Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Scoop!

Too freaking hilarious. Thank god Miss Japan won!

2) Spice Girls reunion tour later this year? That's the rumor...

3) Lindsay Lohan back in rehab! I'm not surprised. First Lindsay's little drunk driving accident and coke possession, then Mischa Barton goes to the hospital for a messy reaction to mixing antibiotics and alcohol (read: coke and shrooms), then who knows what else... All this is starting to make Britney Spears look unequivocally sane and normal.

4) Wear white again! Actually, I never followed those stupid fashion rules, mainly because I thought they were all stupid. The only thing to remember is that undergarments are required! And lovely little dresses look splendid in this sunny weather.

Monday, May 28, 2007

"Stolen" Cut Short?

I knew it! Dashboard Confessional's most recent single "Stolen," has been on VH1 and the radio for the past few months. When I saw the video for the first time, something felt oddly different about the song. It was faster. A few months later, I've finally investigated the matter and, indeed, the original track's length runs 3:53, while the video edit's length has been slimmed down to 3:20. They didn't edit out any part of the song, they just sped it up. This may help it fit into a more radio-friendly length, but it sure is a little bizarre in my opinion.

Concert Watch! - The Killers and Louis XIV

Wow. Woooow. This latest concert with The Killers was an entirely different experience than my last two. For one thing, the average age of the audience seemed much older than before. It's not that the audience is three or four years older than when The Killers first came. It's that all the young folk have either moved on or decided to go to Sasquatch and all that's left are professional twentysomethings, thirtysomethings, fortysomethings, and even a few fiftysomethings. It was certainly a very surprising thing to behold! I would expect a lot of those folks at a...I don't know...Rod Stewart concert. But The Killers! They've skewed much older! I guess it's a reflection of their newfound popularity amongst the VH1 crowd. They appear to have left the MTV crowd behind.

So be it. This was a concert experience just as good, if not better, than any of my prior experiences. We got a standing space right in front of the sound technician area, which meant that we had a lovely, sturdy barricade to lean against. Actually, it was even nicer because there was a platform raised about 3 inches off the ground that we got to stand on. It was like wearing heels to a concert, except without all the pain! That was fairly glorious. The venue itself was a marvel. I didn't realize I had been to a concert here before - back in high school, when it was still the Seahawks Stadium Events Center, I went to the Dashboard Confessional concert in that very space. Now that it's become the WaMu Theater, it seems to have been upgraded from a vast, empty warehouse to a large, handsome venue, complete with large grandstands to accommodate all those older folks. It certainly has improved with all that WaMu sponsorship money.

As for the music? The original opening act, Hot Hot Heat, was replaced with Louis XIV after Brandon Flowers' "illness" pushed the concert back a week. The only Louis XIV song I knew was, well, "Louis XIV." This, however, did not prove to be a problem. All of their songs sounded exactly the same, with the only signal that they had moved on being the changing colors of lights shining upon their band logo. How very sad. But they were pleasant enough...by opening act standards. The older people obviously did not know and did not care who Louis XIV was. The band itself looked like they got their hair cut by castoffs from Shear Genius. All in all, a rather drab, slightly-above-mediocre time.

It got better. The Killers are, without doubt, an amazing band to see live. Brandon Flowers is unarguably an excellent performer. He is a showman without compare among his contemporaries. He dresses like he cares (often in Dior Homme, sans doute). Nobody does that anymore. He doesn't look dirty. He's somewhere in the same vein as Muse and The Hives, both amazingly stylish bands, but neither of them has his slyly flamboyant, vulnerable yet somehow masculine charm. He just does what he does so damn well. He can sing. He can hold the stage. He can do it all. Even as early lighting problems threatened to dampen his shine, he still managed to command the audience as well as he ever had in the past. The audience seemed to respond better when they reverted back to their old CD, but the energy was there nonetheless. I waited for "Under the Gun," my favorite of their songs, but it never came. I didn't mind too much. He sang his heart out, which was all the more impressive when I realized that he sounded rather hoarse when simply speaking to the audience. I forgive him for last week. He's just too damn great to watch.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Movie Watch! - Son frère

Son frère (2003) - Bruno Todeschini (Le Dernier Jour) and Eric Caravaca star as Thomas and Luc, two brothers in Paris who have drifted apart over the years. Reunited after Thomas learns he has a serious blood disorder, this film by director Patrice Chéreau focuses on the resignation from life and the resolutions people have after such life-changing news. It was, in a word, intense. So emotionally intense that it was almost painful. It was, in typical French fashion, sparse, quiet, focused, and extremely symbolic. I swear only a French movie would use pubic hair as one of the story's central symbols. Well, body hair is general is important, but pubic hair becomes the strongest symbol of the protagonist's loss of dignity and resignation to continue. Todeschini's performance, which earned him a César nomination, is incredibly powerful and honest. The direction is fragile and passionate. Not a feel-good summer film by any long shot, but if you feel up to it, it's a worthy film. 7/10

Sidenote: This probably shouldn't follow a review of this movie, but Bruno Todeschini is extremely gorgeous when he isn't, well, dying. Sorry. I couldn't resist. And I really don't mind that he's 45 years old. Sorry. I couldn't resist.

TV Watch! - Sex and the City

You know? I was never the biggest fan of Carrie Bradshaw and her slutty friends. I never had HBO and had never watched a full episode. But, with Netflix on my side, I rented the DVDs. Frankly, I was blown away. Maybe it was my low expectations, but the show is smart and sharp (and I'm not just talking about the Patricia Field wardrobes). Rent it, watch it, become obsessed.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Movie Watch! - Rory O'Shea Was Here

Rory O'Shea Was Here (2004) - James McAvoy plays the titular character, a young man who wants to prove that his muscular dystrophy is no obstacle to living a full life. In Carrigmore, a home for the handicapped, he befriends Michael Connelly (played by Steven Robertson), who has cerebral palsy and has been living in homes like Carrigmore his whole life, abandoned by his father after his mother dies. Michael's condition has left him unable to speak in a way anybody can interpret easily, leaving most people to think of him as dead in the brain. Rory, of course, finds that he can interpret Michael's words and becomes his translator. Through the course of their friendship, each reveals something poignant about the stigmas society so quickly places on the handicapped. In his drive for independence, Rory shows Michael that there is so much more to live for than one can ever hope to find trapped in a home for the handicapped. James McAvoy is like a younger, slyly handsome Edward Norton. It's hard to believe that this is the same guy who played Idi Amin's personal physician in The Last King of Scotland (read my review here). He has all the devilish charm of a Scotsman and all the versatility of an actor twice his age. Despite our natural inclinations to feel sorry for his condition, McAvoy's insightful performance reveals Rory's rebellious distaste for such constant and meaningless pity, as well as the frustrated, angst-ridden front that he puts up when he himself falls into the trap of his own self-inflicted misery. There is something unexpectedly touching, even as we realize that the script's tendency to virtually exploit human emotions. Even when the script goes for the easy solution, we still feel a tender connection that we probably shouldn't, if not for such strong performances on behalf of McAvoy and Robertson. Fair enough. They've earned it. 7/10

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fall In Love With Felipe Dylon

Felipe Dylon is a Brazilian "singer" who, frankly, borders on mediocrity (in my humble opinion). But he has something no American pop star has ever had: blazingly, ungodly gorgeous Brazilian genes. So, to be honest, even if I'll never be the biggest fan of his music, I'll still appreciate his other assets.

Movie Watch! - Volver and Little Children

Volver (2006) - Almodóvar, Cuarón, and Iñárritu make up the Big Three Spanish-language directors that I'm quickly falling in love with. In Pedro Almodóvar's latest, about a close-knit family of women in the La Mancha area of Spain, there is a certain ripe, approachable tenderness that never feels fake or contrived. Every moment is genuine and honest, even as elements of magical realism seem to make his world just slightly removed from our own. Penelope Cruz looks impossibly gorgeous in her Oscar-nominated performance as Raimunda, a woman somehow finds the strength to just keep moving forward when life would seem just a little too much to handle for the average human. Raimunda's sister Sole (Lola Dueñas) is a quietly comic delight, running an illegal hairdressing operation in her apartment before she runs into the spirit of their dead mother. Daughter Paula (Yohana Cobo) deals with her father's blotto irresponsibility in a wrenching performance, balancing crude, stunted melancholy with a sort of misdirected anger that is captivating to see encompassed in a girl of her age. Their struggles seem so insane but somehow so strikingly relateable, and banded together, they become the portrait of charming, endearing familial chord and discord. 8.5/10

Little Children (2006) - I've seen enough movies about dysfunctional suburbia to make me want to move to Nebraska. However, this gem shines just a little brighter than all the others. Director Todd Field adapted the screenplay with Tom Perrotta, which earned the duo an Oscar nod. Indeed, the film has a narrator that makes the movie feel true to its novel roots. It also feels like little like American Beauty, except with adorable children instead of dysfunctional teens. Kate Winslet earned an Oscar nomination for her role as Sarah Pierce, the ever-so-slightly dowdy wife of Richard, a successful, perverted branding director. Her days consist of bringing her daughter Lucy to playdates with Aaron, the son of stay-at-home dad Brad Adamson (Patrick Wilson, DILF extraordinaire), whose wife is an alpha-female maker of PBS documentaries (Jennifer Connelly). Also in the neighborhood are the former cop Larry Hedges (Noah Emmerich), who's suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and convicted sex offender Ronnie McGorvey (Jackie Earle Henry in his Best Supporting Actor-nominated role), who lives at home with his protective, loving mother May (Phyllis Somerville). The performances are extraordinary, and although sometimes the direction feels a touch derivative at times, there is certainly much to be enchanted by in this bitingly comic portrait of self-destructive surburbia. 7/10


The Gap has a new designer! Hopefully Patrick Robinson can turn away the slowly dying chain...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I know, I know, but I just couldn't resist. It's from Vanidad Magazine from Spain or something. Gracias Balina!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Chanel Resort 2008!

It's been far too long since a bona fide fashion update, so, just in time, I present my thoughts on the Resort 2008 collections! Resort used to be the pitiful in-between season that was sort of an afterthought for designers. That's changed completely. Most designers present Resort in New York, but Karl Lagerfeld likes to take his show on the road, this time to Los Angeles. How'd it go down? Well, basically, it was the biggest fashion extravaganza in years. There were more celebrities there than at Cannes. Every "it" model was on the runway. And the clothes! Oh, the clothes! I have to say that I haven't been the biggest fan of Karl Lagerfeld's collections for the past four years. Not for Chanel, not for Fendi, not even for the various iterations of his eponymous line. I haven't fallen in love with a single Karl Lagerfeld-designed collection since the Spring/Summer 2002 Chanel Haute Couture collection. (That actually happens to be my favorite collection of all time). Nonetheless, his new Chanel Resort collection was inspired by both jetsetters and the crews working those jets, which he masterfully mixed into some ultra-chic collection that perfectly embodies Chanel's signature playful je ne sais quoi. The skinny and wide-leg jeans, the sharp but flirty little jackets, and the impossibly pretty frocks in chiffon, satin, and tweed showed just how young and sophisticated the collection could be, which is certainly a tough combination to pull off. Camilla Belle and Emmy Rossum were the perfect girls for the front row to embody this new spirit. All in all, it looks to be an absolute blockbuster collection.

Reviews of Alberta Ferretti and Dior's Resort collections coming soon...maybe pics too...

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Because it's been a whole day without him...or rather it's late and I'm bored and there's nothing more productive than this. Notice his hair evolution! It's gorgeous either way. But nothing is as gorgeous as the steel bluish/greyish Dior Homme leather jacket in that middle picture. I reaaaaaally want that jacket. Thanks to whoever I took these from!

Too Rich?

News: Play Money (Seattle Weekly)
This article makes me very sad. Sometimes I think there really might be such a thing as too rich. It's even more discomforting when I think about how these people don't really live all that far away, yet they have really no concept of the common person's existence. So sad!

Absurdly Effective Sales Tactics

Some recent research conducted on the subject of absurdly effective sales tactics has brought to light the following strategies:

1) Impair good judgment with sensual excess. Champagne, eerily perfect strawberries, and deliriously expensive chocolates should do the trick. Hiring attractive models who compliment every item one tries on can also be very effective. Pure evil!

2) Impair good judgment with aggressive flirtation. Please note that flirtation is only effective when the proprietor is ungodly handsome, possibly bearing a striking resemblance to Hayden Christensen or some other pretty young thing. Pure evil!

3) Impair good judgment with dazzling pretension. Who doesn't want to be part of the club? Those who are just on the border of being able to afford the lifestyle are the most eager of them all. Make the customer feel like they are earning the right to be a customer. Pure evil!

4) Impair good judgment with unexpected honesty and a comforting frankness towards the customer's appearance. It's surprising when a sales associate is honest with the customer. If the customer looks horrific in their jeans, compliment their stunning jacket and then suggest jeans that would better suit the look. Actually not that evil at all! Yay!

Saturday, May 19, 2007


More from Le Dernier Jour. Seriously, Netflix it ASAP. I'll even watch it with you. Lucky bowl.

Movie Watch! - The Last Kiss

The Last Kiss (2006) - You know, I wasn't the biggest fan of Garden State, so I had pretty low expectations. That probably helped with the pleasantly surprised feelings I had after this one. Zach Braff didn't write or direct this one, which may have helped, and actually it's a remake of a 2001 Italian film that was pretty well-received, so that may also explain something. Either way, Braff and Jacinda Barrett play Michael and Jenna, a young couple with a baby on the way in Madison, Wisconsin. Their relationship seems secure, even as the love lives of everyone around them seem to just dissolve in bitter disillusionment. Well, of course, cute as a button Kim (played by cuter than a button Rachel Bilson) comes along to throw it all off. Aching realism and uneasy revelations abound. Be prepared. But a worthy enough effort in the end. 6.5/10

Friday, May 18, 2007

TV Watch! - The Office


The third season finale of "The Office" seemed to bring a lot of this season's unanswered questions to somewhat ambiguous semi-conclusions, which can only mean that next season is going to be AWESOME. I mean, if Ryan got the job in New York, then it means Karen didn't, so what the hell is she going to do now? She won't be in New York and she probably won't want to stay in Scranton. The real answer lies in how her fall pilot performs. Tricky! I can't say I'd be too disappointed if she left. She's unbelievably cute, indeed, but that's not everything. I never thought I'd hear me say that. Yikes. This was, on several levels, waaaay more satisfying than last season's cliffhanger. This one is more joyful and optimistic. Yay!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Movie Watch! - Zodiac

Zodiac (2007) - I realized I never reviewed this movie. Go figure. Anyways, even though everybody fussed about how it edged towards 2 hours, 45 minutes, I certainly felt completely entranced the whole way through. That's a feat, especially considering Jake Gyllenhaal manages to somehow stay completely clothed the entire time. Go figure. Eerie, thrilling excitement. Well worth a watch. 8/10

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


If you haven't seen A Very Long Engagement, you really need to get on that. And by "that," I mean Gaspard Ulliel, obviously. Read my review here.

Movie Watch! - Old Joy

Old Joy (2006) - Something like an extended short at just 76 minutes, Kelly Reichardt creates a quiet, tonal portrait of two men who reunite for a camping trip into the Cascades in Oregon. Daniel London and Will Oldham play Mark and Kurt, who appear to be old friends who loved to just sit back in the wild and enjoy life. The former is now a North-Face-carrying, cell-phone -toting, Volvo-driving Oregon guppie (green yuppie, practically ubiquitous in modern Portland), the latter seems lost in the city and mired in the state of unproductive existence that Mark left behind a long time ago. Mark's wife is pregnant, so this trip should be a last hurrah for old time's sake, but the two men get together and realize maybe things aren't exactly the way they used to be. Maybe things just don't stay the same forever and we just don't realize when even the closest of relationships start fading away. Far from cathartic, there is a subtle, wistful charm and a existential, haunting melancholy amongst all the glorious, terrestrial beauty, perfectly accompanied by an original soundtrack by Yo La Tengo. 7.5/10

Monday, May 14, 2007

Movie Watch! - Running With Scissors

Running With Scissors (2006) - What do you get when you put a bunch of famous people (Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Evan Rachel Wood, Alec Baldwin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Patrick Wilson, Gabrielle Union, Kristin Chenoweth...), add some choppy, sloppy editing, and top it off with a hearty dose of contrived, forced insanity? This movie is quirky to a fault, spasmodic until it bores, and terribly self-righteous. Blegh. 3/10

Friday, May 11, 2007

Movie Watch! - The Last King of Scotland

I'm finally home for the summer! Let the endless movie-watching commence!

The Last King of Scotland (2006) - The portrait of two men: one quickly descending into the disturbing reality that he has rashly created for himself, and the other falling prey to the vicissitudes inevitable of any leader who rises through a coup. James McAvoy (the former) and Forest Whitaker (the latter) never cease to captivate in this alternately gorgeous and gruesome political thriller. Kerry Washington is a wrenching marvel to behold, so delicately tangled in the aberrant webs that chance upon her. Frightfully honest performances keep this gripping story afloat. 9/10


Is it wrong that I wanted to jump James McAvoy, even after his naïveté and his arrogance secured his fate? I'd like to think not.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

More Gasp(ard)!

Because you can never have enough Gaspard...

Movie Watch! - Friends With Money, She's the Man, Spiderman 3, and Dear Frankie

Ahh! I can't believe I watched four movies yesterday!

Friends With Money (2006) - The cast is simply marvelous: Catherine Keener, Joan Cusack and Frances McDormand have eight Oscar nominations among the three of them (including McDormand's win for Fargo). And Jennifer Aniston is in there too. She's had her luck with the Emmys and the Golden Globes, but she simply can't compare to the rest of the cast. I won't even get into their male counterparts. But it's all good. It's a fairly forgettable but still quite pleasant tour through the lives of affluent Southern California 40-somethings. At 88 minutes, I'm completely okay with that. 6.5/10

She's the Man (2006) - Amanda Bynes is the embodiment of effervescent, spunky charm. Channing Tatum looks like sex. Plot is often irrelevant in this type of drivel, so just enjoy the ride. 5/10 (for eye candy's sake)

Spiderman 3 (2007) - Umm...well...I'll sure with absolute certainty that Bryce Dallas Howard is a splendid revelation and should have been in the movie more, even if they had to bleach her lovely auburn hair peroxide blonde so that she wouldn't compete with Kirsten Drunkst. It started fair enough, got a little effed up, then sort of went to ineffectual waste. I've never checked my watch during a Spiderman movie before, but this one felt long. And I've seen Grindhouse. So yea. Still, if you've seen the other two, you'll still want to watch this one. 5.5/10

Dear Frankie (2004) - Consistently one or two steps of an outright saccharine weepfest, but never quite reaches that low. Gerard Butler (of 300 and Phantom of the Opera fame) looks ungodly, ruggedly handsome and possesses an impossible sensitivity, while Emily Mortimer (the "ugly" girl in Match Point) charms as a desperate mother trying to protect her son from the truth. It very easily could've sucked, but it didn't. 7/10

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Stuck In My Head

The ads for Puma's new French 77 collection are extremely addictive. The visual stylings are enchantingly focused on the clothes and the colors and, to be frank, all the models are exceptionally beautiful. The inexplicably catchy song from the commercial is stuck in my head right now. It's "For Energy Infinite" by Marazin. It's addictive. Check out the website, there's a bunch of music in the same vein.