13 Jun

1. Super 8/Paramount                                    Wknd/$ 37.0          Total/$  37.0

2. X-Men: First Class/Fox                              Wknd/$ 25.0         Total/$  98.9

3. The Hangover Pt. II/Warners                   Wknd/$ 18.5          Total/$216.7

4. Kung Fu Panda 2/Dreamworks                Wknd/$ 16.6          Total/$126.9

5. Pirates of the Caribbean 4/Touch            Wknd/$ 10.8           Total/$208.8

6. Bridesmaids/Universal                               Wknd/$ 10.2           Total/$123.9

7. Judy Moody/Relativity                                Wknd/$   6.3           Total/$    6.3

8. Midnight In Paris                                         Wknd/$   6.1            Total/$   14.2

9. Thor/Paramount                                          Wknd/$   2.3            Total/$173.6

10. Fast Five/Universal                                    Wknd/$   1.7            Total/$205.1


e.t. 2: The Revenge, um, I mean Super 8 opens at number one and it must be gratifying to Spielberg to finally see someone trying to make one of his movies and not constantly trying to do Star Wars or Mean Streets or The Godfather over and over again like some of his peers (even if he had to be a producer for it himself).  You’ve got Americana, you’ve got a recently deceased parent, you’ve got your soulful brown-haired hero with a vivid imagination, you’ve the group of friends who’ll apparently do anything for him, you’ve got the cute little blonde girl drawn to him (yes, two guys named Spielberg and Abrams and of course your romantic interest is a little shicksa) and JJ Abrams even goes so far as to set this in the early 80’s just like e.t.  But this is what might have happened if the government had found e.t. first and Elliot and his pals only met him after 25 years of being cooped up and fucked over by the military—and in this case the alien just happened to be the very meat-eating monster from Cloverfield (Abrams really needs to hire someone new to design his monsters).  Cuddly ain’t happening here.  And honestly, I’d actually rather see a slightly dangerous alien than one too cute for his own good. What I don’t need to see any more of is Abrams penchant for lens flares.  Don’t you know to film school to learn how not to have that horrible halo effect when a light shines in the camera?  Also, I’m not the biggest fan of nostalgia especially when the time frame of it was my actual youth!  Kids are still innocent, still ride their bikes around during summer break and still make movies only now it’s HD video.  It’s easy to tug at memories to generate these kinds of feelings, but let’s see you do it in the here and now and still manage to evoke feelings of being on summer vacation at 13.


Down one notch to number two is X-Men: First Class and the “Six Degrees of Separation of Kevin Bacon” game gets kicked up massively thanks the ensemble cast of everyone from James McAlvoy and Michael Fassbender to Rose Byrne and January Jones to small roles played by Ray Wise and Michael Ironside.  Speaking of January Jones, having never watched Mad Men I knew nothing of her acting abilities only that in her personal life she’s batshit crazy, which I kinda like.  She needs to be on her knees to Mad Men because she displays all the humanity of the diamond she turns into.  Seriously, she’s awful.  And you can’t blame the script or the direction because other people come out just fine.  It’s just her.  And even on a basic physical level it doesn’t work because the character she plays, Emma Frost, aka, The White Queen is supposed to be smoking hot, deliberately unnerving people by walking around half-naked.  January Jones again radiates all the heat of her name and is a stick figure with no hint of a curve beyond her breasts.  This was horrible miscasting on every level.  Since talent didn’t matter at all, they’d been better off casting some swimsuit model to fill out that lingerie properly and radiate some sexuality.


The Hangover Part II is down to number three and I just realized the monkey pretty much took the place of the baby from the first film as “cute, living prop.”  What’s it gonna be next time?  A dog?  Gotta be something that people can interact with that displays personality.  Ooh, maybe a kola bear!


Speaking of cuddly bears, Kung Fu Panda 2 is down to number five, followed by Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at number six and Bridesmaids at number seven and somewhere drunk in a bar are the writer and the director of The Sweetest Thing insisting that they never really had a chance, despite having a much, much bigger star and a solid comedy supporting cast of people like Jason Bateman and Parker Posey.  His last film?  Furry Vengeance.  Yeah, exactly.  Though the writer was on staff of South Park. Then again, she has funny people overseeing her there.  On her own she’s doing that crummy show, Shameless on Showtime.


Judy Moody and NOT The Bummer Summer opens at number eight and this is based on a series of successful children’s books, but unfortunately the second disappointing attempt to launch a film series built around a female protagonist as opposed to say Diary of A Wimpy Kid which has had two successful films.  But what’s significant is that also in it is Heather Graham whose last big film was something called The Hangover.  Yeah, that’s how it is kids.


Midnight In Paris holds at number eight and also in this is none other than the First Lady of France, Carla Bruni and she is pretty easy on the eyes.  Her husband is not, proving two old sayings: 1) politics is Hollywood for ugly people and 2) power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.  Actually it’s three, because she also boned fugly Donald Trump too, so money will get you laid by women who shouldn’t even be talking to you.


Thor is down to number nine, followed by Fast Five closing out the top ten at number ten.


So, it’s been awhile since I truly had an indulgent weekend.  Thankfully the appropriately named Libertine picked this weekend to come in and cure that.  She and her husband moved to South Carolina a few years ago and she’s been jonesing for a return, which is why she tends to make the most of every visit.  She came in Friday night, dropping by a stack of comics she bought for $5 at Flea Market to see if I could sell them on eBay. They aren’t worth much, but a even an unavailable hot woman bringing me comics constitutes at least one fantasy checked off the list.  I’d made frozen margaritas earlier so we had a drink before heading off to our usual meal of sushi, which was of course accompanied by sake, and our favorite pastime of critiquing the clothing of the people that passed by.  It’s mostly women, but that’s because they’re the only ones trying.  Men just throw on a shirt and jeans and call it a night out. Only the strong gay vibe of my neighborhood manages to break it up a little.  After that we met her galpal at Empada Mama for a little more.  Yes, we followed up our meal with drinks with another meal with more drinks, this time a large pitcher of sangria.  If you’re my friend, you know this is how I prefer to roll.  Any idiot can drink, but it takes a special person to incorporate food into every stop. But this was merely the warm up.  The main event would be the next afternoon at Smorga, one of three Scandinavian restaurants in the city, but only the one on Wall Street has the unlimited champagne brunch.  Of course like all “unlimited drinks” for brunch this means you have to consume it within a set time frame, but two hours was more than enough for us to have breakfast and knock off three-and-a-half bottles of champagne.  Soooo glad I got up and got my swim in before that.  The plan was then to see The McQueen exhibit and go shopping drunk, but the danger of getting drunk is that you give into every impulse—-which is how we wound up at a cigar shop smoking and discussing politics in the back room.  Yes, I was smoking a cigar (a small interesting one that left a sweet taste on my lips for the rest of the day).  What part of  three-and-a-half bottles of champagne do you not understand?  Now, I didn’t know this still occurred in the city but it warms my that heart that it does.  Very old world.  Ironic considering the discussion was about immigration and I was saddened that the brutha was down on it.  Of course those who were within the first or second generations if immigration were opposed. But this was only the conversation we were attempting to have.  What was interrupting it was The Libertine calling them pussies and threatening to sodomize anyone who disagreed with her.  I mean, when she wasn’t sticking her cigar in my mouth saying, “Here, suck on my cock.”  Now we joke that the reason I can’t go salsa dancing would  be that it would get me killed. I don’t salsa, she does and whomever she dances with would probably want to keep her, I’d try and stop it, leading to some guy named Salvador and his buddies stabbing me to death in the men’s room. I’d seemingly avoided that fate only to potentially get beaten to death by a bunch of otherwise good-natured gentlemen in a cigar shop.  Fortunately the galpal and I were not only able to get her out of there without incident, but the upside of breasts is that you can just ask some guy from Moscow if you can have a La Sirena cigar t-shirt and he’ll give it to you.  Next stop was The Met and it’s always embarrassing for me to go to The Met, because there’s so much amazing work there (that I manage to remember from one art history course at NYU) and I almost never go to see it.  I can even get in free thanks to my job and I still don’t go.  But I’ve got four hours to play Need For Speed on my Playstation 3.  There was a line for the McQueen exhibit, but it’s a line in The Met so you’re surrounded by Rodin as you wait. First World Problems as they say.  While a lot of the work was beautiful, The Libertine went away with an even lower opinion of McQueen personally than she had before because she found a lot of the work misogynistic as it was all about the clothing as an expression of art and very little about the comfort or identity of the woman wearing it.  To me that’s all designers so it’s just another day in high fashion. After that we did a little time in the museum as the wings nearest the exhibit were some of the most choice with Monet and Degas all in close proximity to Rodin and Matisse and there was even on Klimt on the wall.  Apparently there’s another museum nearby with more of his work.  Another museum I probably won’t be going to.  By now we were hungry again and the buzz was fading so we were off to further my lazy NYC shame as the only time I do really fine dining is also when someone comes to town.  This time it was at The Breslin on 28th street just up from the hotel, which was briefly a dorm when I was at NYU (now apparently returned to being an upscale hotel named The Carlton complete with a brassiere named Milleseme in the basement).  It’s a sister restaurant to The Spotted Pig which The Libertine also introduced me to and it is likewise some damn good eatin’.  After a drink to keep our buzz going, we had what’s called Scotch Egg and Broiled Peanuts fried in pork fat. The Scotch Egg is a giant boiled egg that’s breaded and deep-fried with proscuitto in it.  Yes, it’s as wonderful as it sounds, but their reputation now comes from their lamb burger and it is well deserved. It comes with a feta and a cumin mayo and I think I had an erection the entire time I was eating it.  For dessert we had freshly made brioche donuts with dipping sauces of chocolate, caramel and maple and that’s when my nipples exploded with delight…and my body ran down. I’d been up since 10:00 am to go swim and had been, eating, drinking, smoking and trying to contain a Libertine for almost 11 hours straight.  I’m still amazed she hasn’t put her husband in an early grave.  Then again, maybe this is the plan.  Push the burden off on suckers like me to lengthen his lifespan and shorten mine.

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