RuPaul's Drag Race season 9 recaps

The shadiest Drag Race recaps on the web. Get ready to death drop, queens!

The Bachelorette Australia recaps

One woman, 14 desperate men, mucho LOLs. Oh, and Osher Gunsberg.

The Bachelor Australia recaps

Sequins, spray tans and sex - it's season 3 of the world's stupidest dating show.

RuPaul's Drag Race Season 8 recaps

YASS, HUNTIES! Every episode of season eight recapped for your reading pleasure. Let's get sickening!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Junk mail round up Vol 3 - SkyMall Edition

Domestic air travel in America is great. I mean REALLY great. They have hundreds of different airlines all offering different prices at different times of the day, which means you never know if you're getting the best price or being completely ripped off - it's all very exciting. Buying an airline ticket in America is just like gambling, except instead of betting $200 on black with a 50 per cent chance of return, you're putting it all on an aisle seat from New York to Boston which may or may not return due to bad weather. On the plane things get even better - firstly they make you wait in your seat, sometimes up to an hour or even MORE if you're lucky, because flights are ALWAYS delayed in America (I think it's part of their constitution, right after the bit about the right to bear arms.) When you finally take off they throw packets of weird sugary, salty peanuts and pretzels at you and then every second person in the plane reclines their seat to the absolute maximum and traps you in your seat for the rest of the flight (I think this is in the constitution too). This also means you won't be able to put your tray table down when the meal comes out, but they will have run out of the chicken by the time they get to you anyway so that's ok. Then when you touch down you'll realise the airport you've arrived at is a $70 taxi ride away from the centre of town and your hotel, which is about half what you paid to fly there in the first place.

Yep, us Aussies sure are missing out, with our efficient service, friendly staff and good food. But where Australian air travel REALLY loses out to the yanks is in flight shopping. More particularly, the in flight shopping bible that is SkyMall.

SkyMall is a 300 page chunk of junk mail provided on all United Airlines flights, possibly to distract you from the sugary, salty peanuts and the hour long wait on the tarmac.

It's one of those catalogues that screams things like "They'll never guess it's a hand vacuum!" and "Finally - a radio AND shower organiser all in one!" and features a vast array of items from the genuinely useful to the utterly ridiculous. To wit:


iCrap?


SkyMall claims this item is "perfect for the man who has everything" - I'd suggest it's perfect for the man who has diarrhea, as he's the only one likely to spend enough time in the toilet to get some use out of it. Seriously, how long are you planning on sitting on the can? And do you create a special playlist for the occasion? Maybe a bit of Salt n Pepa's Push It or The Stranglers' Golden Brown? A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall? At any rate, it's a sad day when going to the bog requires entertainment. What, two year old copies of WHO magazine just aren't good enough anymore?


Everything's easier with batteries.


Look - it's the easiest breakfast you'll ever make! See what you do is, you buy this huge piece of plastic crap for $80, then buy the batteries for it, then go out and buy some more batteries for it because you got the wrong size the first time, then take a box of cereal and fill it up, then get out the dustpan and brush because you spilled Cocoa Pops all over the bench, then read the manual and work out how to use it, then press a button and HEY PRESTO! A BOWL OF CEREAL! How much easier is THAT than just opening the box and pouring it straight into your bowl?


SkyMall's art department works overtime.


Check it out - it's a snap-on snowman decoration for your lamppost! Or is it actually a really badly drawn PICTURE of a snap-on snowman decoration done on MS Paint by some intern in the art department? You decide.


A celebration of women's bondage would have made a better sculpture.


This statue claims to be "a celebration of the bond women share and the strength they gain from one another". I thought it was a celebration of conjoined twins and the complicated surgery that can't separate them. I guess it could be either, really. This dull looking sculpture is decidedly celebration-free, in my opinion. If you really want to celebrate women bonding, get a whole lot of them together and open a few cases of champagne. Bonding AND spewing, bonus!


That's no moon...


Apparently this is a 24/7 self cleaning cat litter box. I prefer to think of it as a Kitty Death Star. Let your moggy rule the universe as he spins around the galaxy in his Litter Star, breathing harshly and using Jedi mind tricks to get mice to succumb to his every whim. According to the blurb, this gadget contains a special mechanism that changes the litter tray immediately after the cat leaves - that's if you can convince kitty to get in it in the first place. Reminds me of those electric portaloos councils have taken to installing all over the place to deter junkies and graffitti artists - I wonder if this one also plays 'Little Spanish Flea' while your cat's taking a dump?


Don't bet on it.


Rather optimistically placed under the heading "The Greatest Gift" comes this, the "Relax 'N Nap Pillow", the design of which is supposed to promote better breathing and posture, allowing you to "sleep like a baby". One with SIDS, perhaps. I'd like to think they actually paid a living, breathing model to pose for this photo and didn't just drag someone from the morgue.

What's that? You want MORE crazy pillows? Well ok.


Nup - can't see any problems with this.


Ok, so it'll max out your carry-on allowance, you won't be able to put your tray table down and the person in front of you might be moved to stab you in the eye with their plastic cutlery when they discover they can't recline their seat - but YOU'LL BE COMFORTABLE, RIGHT? Oh, and you'll look like a nob. BUT YOU'LL BE COMFORTABLE.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's time to go: Pirates of the Crapibbean

It is with deep sadness and regret that I bring you my latest "It's Time to Go" call - posts in which I evict people, Big Brother style, from popular culture on the grounds that they have turned, are now, or always have been crap. Past evictions can be found here, and include The Black Eyed Peas (have turned), 9am with David and Kim (is now) and Wil Anderson (always has been).

To be filed under the "have turned crap" category, I suggest should be that hulking great monolith of a movie franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean. Or, as I prefer to call it now, Pirates of the Crapibbean.

Let me start by saying I LOVED Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl. I saw it at least four times AND bought the DVD and thought it was a bloody good brainless romp with fab special effects and lots of swashbuckling. And who DOESN'T love swashbuckling? Plus it gave us all the chance to watch Johnny Depp for 120 minutes looking like this:


He can buckle my swash any time.


Regular BC readers will know I love a man in eyeliner (Prince, David Bowie) so when you throw in a bit of faux dirt and stage sweat-shine, a few dreadlocks and some facial hair, and then put Johnny Depp underneath it all, well, you've got my attention.

So it was with great excitement that yesterday, on the first day of my Christmas holidays, I journeyed across the seven seas to the video shop (well, one suburb anyway) to pick up a copy of the sequel, Dead Man's Chest.

WOULD THAT SOMEONE HAD WARNED ME OF THE HORRORS THAT LAY WITHIN AFOREMENTIONED CHEST. WOULD THAT ALL THE COPIES HAD BEEN RENTED OUT, FORCING ME TO TAKE HOME MATCH POINT INSTEAD. WOULD THAT I HAD JUST CHOSEN MATCH POINT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest is, to use pirate speak, one of the scurviest, lily-livered, lice-infested, pox-ridden dogs of a film ever made and should be keelhauled from the yardarm immediately. Not only is it shit as a standalone film, it wrecks any chance the franchise ever had of putting out an awesome action trilogy to rival Indiana Jones.

For one thing - Pirates is all about Johnny Depp's character, Jack Sparrow. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are basically foils to his wit and incidental characters in his crazy adventures. The first movie established this - Depp carried the film for the most part and it was awesome. We fell in love with his character and wanted more. So what do the writers do in the second one? Practically stuff him in Davy Jones' locker for the entire film and focus on Bloom and Knightley instead - the least interesting characters of the bunch.

In my opinion, there is only one reason why Dead Man's Chest is a failure. Well, two, actually: screenwriters Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott. The special effects are better than in the first, the locations are more amazing, the fight scenes are more thrilling - pity the plot is a cobbled together old load of utter arse.

It starts at Elizabeth (Knightley) and Will's (Bloom) wedding, which has been interrupted by seemingly the entire British navy who have come to arrest the pair for helping Sparrow (Depp) to escape his death sentence at the end of the first movie. Then for some reason the chairman of the East India Company turns up and hires Will to hunt Sparrow down and steal his magical compass. Right.

So Will hits the ocean blue, and finds Sparrow on a remote island where he has, for some reason that is never explained, become the chief of a tribe of cannibals. After some very silly scenes involving tropical fruit, they escape and get back on the Black Pearl. Right. Ok. Turns out Sparrow is looking for a key. That opens something. We don't know what. We're not even sure if HE knows what. Turns out the key belongs to a dude called Davy Jones (beautifully played in trying circumstances by Bill Nighy), who has an octopus for a face and his own crew of mutated lobsters. Will has to get the key for Sparrow, so he can get the magical compass to take back to the East India Company, so he can get Elizabeth out of jail. Except by this time Lizzie's already gotten out of jail, and somehow gotten herself on the EIC payroll too, and is now gallavanting around the world looking for Will AND Sparrow. We don't quite know how this happened. At about this point it seems quite obvious that if they all just gave up and went back home, they'd be out of jail AND free of trouble, but somehow the movie lurches on.

Apparently Sparrow owes some sort of debt to Jones, and is now being chased by a giant octopus called The Kraken which is threatening to destroy his ship and eat his crew. Clearly the only thing to do is go visit a random rastafarian witch in the swamps, which they all promptly do. She gives Sparrow a jar of dirt, which we figure will feature in some sort of comical twist later on in the film. It doesn't.

There's a few more fruity scenes on Davy Jones' boat where Will meets his long lost pirate father, who is now one of the mutated lobsters. They all play an incomprehensible game of dice which is supposed to be one of the film's most thrilling moments but isn't, and then Sparrow gets eaten by The Kraken. Leaving us with no other way to end the film than with a three second appearance by Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbosa, and the threat of a third film to finally wrap up the story.

After suffering through the entire film (I figured I'd get my Depp's worth out of it, at least) I noticed there was a second "bonus" DVD in the case. "NO MORE! GIVE ME THE LASH INSTEAD!" was, of course, my first reaction. But the special effects-loving geek in me was crying out to see how they animated Davy Jones' awesomely impressive tentacle beard.


He didn't get the memo about Movember.


Instead, I was delighted to discover a short "making of" documentary that turned out to be much more entertaining than the movie. And though I knew it was all real, it was so deliciously made it could have been a Christopher Guest mockumentary scripted by Ricky Gervais.

It starts in October, four months before the scheduled shooting date. The script is, as yet, unwritten. The two writers, Rossio and Elliott, share their insights on scriptwriting.

Rossio: You don't want to give them the script too early because then they make changes and stuff.

Elliott: You get criticism.

Rossio: You wanna give them some time, and then by the time the script is done they have to shoot what's there.

Elliott: Turn in your first draft on the first day of shooting, that's the goal!


Anyone out there still wondering why this film turned out so shit? Anyone at all? No?

The scenes involving director Gore Verbinski's dealings with Rossio and Elliott are among some of the most skin crawlingly awkward moments I've ever seen on film. When Verbinski confronts them about the unfinished script just two months before the scheduled shoot date, it's like David Brent trying to bullshit to upper management about why he hasn't done his monthly report:

Elliot: What we have now in terms of getting this draft, is getting it written.

Verbinski puts his head in his hands in despair.

Elliot: I think in terms of just getting this draft written, that's kind of how we have to go.


It's hard to imagine how a writer could allow themselves to speak in such pseudo executive jargon - and it just gets better. After using a section of the script to cast the role of the witch, Verbinski criticises Rossio and Elliott for writing "two-dimensional" characters in a badly written scene. The duo defends the scene by saying it (like the rest of the script) is still unfinished, and that they were actually working on a rewrite "at the exact moment you called us in". Sure. But it's Rossio's summary of the meeting afterwards that is the best display of Brentism:

Rossio: What I took away from it was, Gore effectively conveyed the point that he was at in the process, in terms of his need, in a way that was much more stronger than it would have been if he'd just have said 'Hey guys, I tried to cast based on that old scene and it didn't work'.


I think that means he told them to hurry the fuck up and finish the script.

And so I call mutiny on "writers" Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott, wait with trepidation for the most likely awful third instalment and say Pirates of the Caribbean: thanks for the memories, but it's time to go.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Strange Attractions Part IV

There are several reasons I shouldn't be adding to my series of posts about "Boys I Like" right now, namely:

1. As I have just returned from a month's tour of The Land With No Internet Cafes (ie: America) my time would possibly be better spent writing up rollicking and frequently saucy tales of my overseas adventures instead.

2. As a consequence of having just returned from aforementioned overseas tour, I currently have clothing in various states of cleanliness covering every available surface in my home. I should probably be putting these away right now, rather than letting them sit there glaring at me while I search Google images for photos of Johnny Depp (not this one).

3. I'm technically not "single" anymore, and writing about other men I'd like to shag seems like an entirely boyfriend-unfriendly activity to indulge in.

However - I haven't gone through my 800 million holiday photos yet (curse digital cameras!), tidying the house is boring, and even my new beau admits he'd shag Mr Depp if he could, so I can hardly be accused of emotional two-timing. Plus, I'm tired of looking at Raoul Duke's Idol Finale write up(delightful and hilarious though it is).

And so I give you my latest collection of lads I'd like to lick. Starting with:

John Mayer


Unconfirmed reports state his body is a wonderland.
Unconfirmed reports also state I did not steal this photo.


I'd like to start by saying I am fully aware that John Mayer's songs are the type of cruisey, low-fi, mellowed-out, mum-friendly guitar tunes they play in places like Starbucks and Borders to sap your brain into a state of near-catatonia so they can convince you that buying a pumpkin spiced latte and a copy of Bryce Courtenay's new book are actually worthwhile endeavours. I know this.

I am also aware that despite all evidence to the contrary John Mayer may not actually have a sense of reason, given that he has been onning and offing again with Jessica Simpson. Probably in more ways than one.

While there's not much anyone can do about the music, I think we can all forgive him for sliding between the sheets with Miss Simpson every now and again and not judge it as a character flaw - because while she may be a braindead arsehat who can't remember the words to 9 to 5, she does also look like this, which (as I understand it) is quite difficult for a man to say no to.

I am also prepared to forgive him because, strangely enough, he's also as funny as a hat full of arseholes, which goes a long way in my book. (Sorry for all the arse references right now - perhaps it's because I haven't gotten to see John's yet). So hey, maybe the whole Jessica thing was just a hilarious cunning stunt? Not to be confused with a...never mind.

Contrary to what you'd probably think he is also remarkably witty and cool in interviews, not to mention on his blog, which has become one of my regular reads. His current post explains all of the ridiculous and drunken things he plans to do while out on the town celebrating his Grammy nominations, which includes this hilarious prediction:

"(I will) Become separated from my friends and begin partying with a new crowd of gents who seem nice enough, take a ride in their van to a house in Van Nuys, where I will try my hand at gay-for-pay superstardom under the name "Jonny Lobo", filming over 300 features throughout the course of a night, becoming the hottest newcomer on the scene earning 12 AVN nominations and winning seven, before eventually bottoming out with a string of sub-par performances, a brief stint in rehab and then hopping a cab ride home before sun-up. I will tell my friends I was napping in a bush."


All of this notwithstanding, when it comes down it I really just want to lick John Mayer because - let's face it - he's a better looking version of Jack White.

Vince Vaughan circa 1996


Vince, baby, Vince!


Before he got all fat and pasty with bags under his eyes and a bag on his arm (oops sorry, I meant Jennifer Aniston) Vince Vaughan was the fast-talking, skinny suit-wearing, cocktail-drinking Trent Walker in Swingers. He was a womaniser, bullshit artist and all round dickhead, but he knew how to make a cocktail and he looked good with a cigarette. And I wanted him bad. He was so money and he totally knew it. Now, after Wedding Crashers and The Break Up the man is practically broke. Sigh. But we'll always have Vegas, baby, Vegas.

Clive Owen


Oh, to be CLOSER to Clive. See what I did there? CLOSER? Get it?


Not much to say here, except the man is fucking gorgeous. Just look at him, for goodness' sake. I mean, honestly. Can I say anything else? SHOULD I say anything else?

Benicio del Toro


!


Same goes for Benicio. I have no justification for this selection. I NEED no justification. Benicio is hot. He smoulders with the heat of a thousand burning coals covered in dencorub sitting on the side of a volcano. Next to a bar heater. With chilli powder sprinkled on it.

Although if anyone would like to settle an argument - I say Beneetchio, my beau says Beneesio. Please advise. And now for something completely different...

Julian Morrow from The Chaser


Who?


So - after Benicio and Clive I'm guessing this pick is a little surprising, but if you recall this section is actually called STRANGE attractions, and I know I've been deviating from that brief somewhat lately. So here you go - STRANGE ENOUGH FOR YOU?

Julian seems to be the more reserved one of the Chaser crew. He has that sensible, quiet vibe going on that makes me want to rip off his shirt and throw him onto something just to disrupt his calm exterior. These impulses are doubled when he's wearing glasses.

Comments, criticism and instructions on how to pronounce "Benicio" are welcome.