Saturday, June 9, 2012
Tonight, the Pride Casino throws its doors open-wide at the Here Lounge in WeHo as part of the Gay Pride Weekend Celebrations!
According to handlers, revelers can expect to party-hearty into the wee hours, and get-down for a bit of debauchery, too.
There will be hot go-go-boys and a “best ass” contest, to boot!
It should be a sizzling-hot soiree which revs up at around 9 o’clock in the p.m.
Well, actually, a pre-party – with a hosted bar – kicks-off this afternoon and is expected to attract early-birds who are hot-to-trot and can’t wait to toss back a few!
Get there early, darlings, or you’ll be left out in the street!
See ‘ya there!
Bottoms up, Jane!
The other night on Dave Letterman, Jane Fonda strode out from behind the curtain - dressed to-the-nines in an chic elegant outfit - and plunked herself down on the hot seat at-the-ready to plug her new movie "Peace, Love & Understanding".
"Is it true you speak french fluently in the movie," Dave quizzed the aging - but still lovely - Hollywood superstar.
Jane nodded graciously in the affirmative.
"Was it that difficult," the toothy talk-show host probed further.
"I learned how to speak French in bed," she quipped, without batting a pretty eyelash!
Letterman's jaw literally dropped.
I suppose it slipped his foggy little head that Ms. Fonda used to be married to a notoriusly kinky film director by the name of Roger Vadim.
Jane, I learned how to speak French in Montreal, so that I could get sizzling-hot dates in-between-the-sheets.
Of course, the fact that I am Canadian, was pretty darn helpful.
As you are no doubt aware, Canucks are all bisexual - I mean - bilingual.
We should exchange notes some time, Jane.
How 'bout a little pillow talk, you and me?
Jane would do anything Vadim asked!
Posted by Julian Ayrs at 11:32 AM
Friday, June 8, 2012
"The Invisible War" is one of those films that makes you laugh-out-loud in the Theatre for all the wrong reasons.
After all, a handful of individuals interviewed in this riveting documentary (usually a spokesperson for the Military or - on occasion - top Military Brass) often utter up the most outlandish statements in defense when probed by the insightful investigative reporters who crafted this stinging indictment on the systemic cover-up of sex crimes in the armed forces today.
For example, when female soldiers confided to the filmmakers that Officers often refused to take action against Soldiers who raped or violently sexually-assaulted them, top-ranking officials usually pooh-poohed the notion on-camera that there was “no course” of action for the accusers to take.
“If they have a problem with their superior, they have simply to go up the chain of command to lodge their formal complaint,” was the usual response.
Apparently, that was one of the problems.
“The perpetrator is oftentimes their drinking buddy, so no action is taken,” accusers complained.
In the event the victim was persistent – and a complaint was filed – the charges were often dropped without even a slap on-the-wrist.
In contrast, the accusers were harassed, pressured to back down, and often treated as if they were guilty of wrongdoing.
To make matters worse, all of the investigators were men.
“I was told I would be better suited to social work than police work,” one female officer was told off-the-record.
As to the Military’s stance on the issue?
“They felt women were – not only too sympathetic – but also biased,” another female soldier accused.
If an investigation was commenced, the officers were instructed to focus on what the women were wearing, whether they had a boyfriend or not, and that sort-of-thing.
The insinuation was that the women “asked for it”, were a “tease” perhaps, or - just maybe - “deserved” what they got.
Some were advised to just put the unfortunate incident behind them and act as if nothing ever happened (if they knew what was good for them).
Those who proceeded, however, were given a stern warning, which amounted to an intimidation tactic.
For instance, the victims were informed – in no uncertain terms – that lodging a false report would result in criminal charges being brought.
Those who did “press on” usually found their careers – even their lives – in jeopardy.
One female officer – who was stationed at an outpost – reported that she was unable to ask for help from her family because her perpetrators (or their buddies) were screening all her calls from the station that handled all the communications in-and-out of the base.
In essence, The Invisible War, is a ground-breaking investigative ddocumentary that blows wide-open – what has been ‘til now – one of the “best kept secrets” in the U.S. Military.
Sadly, according to the statistics presented in the film, a female solider is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire on duty overseas.
The Department of Defense has estimated that there were 19,000 violent sex crimes in the Military in 2010 and that 20 % of all female soldiers on active duty had been assaulted.
The victims, for the most part, tended to be 18 – 21 years of age.
“They’re vulnerable and naive,” one officer stressed during the course of one candid interview.
“When the Military is at its best, we are brothers and sisters. A family. When a solider is raped, the trust is broken. The incident amounts to an act of incest, which has a devastating impact on the individual."
‘It’s a target-rich environment for a predator.”
Oscar-winning Director – Kirby Dick – was inspired to bring this story to the screen after reading an article “The Private War of Women Soldiers” by Columbia University Journalism Professor Helen Benedict.
“We were extremely surprised by the extent of the problem, how psychologically damaging it was, and the extent of the cover-up,” Dick charged.
“More than half a million service men and women have been sexually assaulted since World War II. That comes as a shock to everyone we’ve spoken to. This is my 10th film and its subject matter is the least known to the public of any of my films, even though it most widely affects our society.”
In view of that, a handful of the victims brought a lawsuit against the U.S. Military recently on the grounds that the Armed Forces – and its Military officers – failed to protect them or even provide a legitimate forum to bring charges in the aftermath of the shocking heinous crimes.
The ruling that came down was stunning.
After "finding" that rape was an occupational hazard in the military, the case was dismissed by the court.
Were the judges out of their minds – on the take – or both?
Needless to say, the ruling is being appealed.
In the meantime, there is hope on the horizon.
According to the producers of the film, two days after screening the movie, the Secretary of Defense – Leon Panetta – directed military commanders to hand over all sexual assault investigations to a higher-ranking colonel.
At the same time Panetta announced that each branch of the armed forces would establish a "Special Victims Unit" to handle the investigations.
Well, it’s a start, eh?
But, I trust you'll agree with me, that it is not enough.
There must be an independent Civilian body at-the-ready to investigate and prosecute the crimes - if and when - they occur.
A cry for justice?
Stay posted for updates.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Last night, at Mickys, studly strippers in sexy bikini underwear and festive party hats bumped-and-grinded in the front window in a bold-faced effort to lure the locals in for an exotic cocktail or two
Meanwhile, on the inside - oversize graphic images of the male “package” (posted about the packed watering hole) and a slew of hunky slaves in cages said it all.
The sizzling hot night spot was getting a jump on Gay Pride!
For most, the celebration kicks-off Friday night when the Dyke Parade winds its way around WeHo (a tradition that is looked-forward-to each year).
The evening begins with participants gathering at a rally at 7:30 p.m. - at which point - the Dyke March proceeds down Santa Monica Boulevard and back to the LA PRIDE Festival grounds for a free after-party with refreshments and music.
From where I sit, it appears that LA Pride is going to be even “bigger” (! ) and better in 2012, you betcha!
After the procession Friday night, revelers will obviously head over to a free concert at the Mainstage, where performers such as Frenchie Davis (American Idol), Beverly McClellan (The Voice) and comedienne Fortune Feimster are expected to entertain to a packed “house”.
But, hold on!
Saturday, Belinda Carlisle (Go Go’s) will also take the stage to her fans delight!
Of course, the big day to “turn-out” is Sunday, when Molly Ringwald will head up the scintillating Gay Pride Parade in her prestigious role as Grand Marshal of the festive event.
A couple of hundred thousand folks - from near-and-far - are expected to descend on the "creative city" and catch the infamous "Dykes on Bikes" (who lead the procession every year).
Also, over the weekend, there will be a lot of schmoozing, and beer guzzling, and – of course – frenzied dancing under a canopy of stars on the Festival grounds in WeHo that can’t be beat!
Bendors will be flogging their wares under multi-colored tents once again, too.
Be sure not to miss the specialty Pavilions dotting the landscape that are sure to be fun-filled attractions too:
Folks who love western-style dancing will be thrilled to hear that Oil Can Harry’s ever-popular Country & Western tent returns once again. The Mary White Band, Tommy Young, and DJ Rick Dominique will keep those toes tapping, alright.
Hip-Hop & R&B Pavilion
The music trio Decolletage has promised to deliver up “sexy feel good fun and fashion for all”.
Other acts slated to perform include Medusa, Davetta Stone and Countre Black.
Club Papi is hosting this spanking-new dance venue which they promise will have something for everyone under the mid-day sun (and after-hours, too).
Ivy Queen and Maria Jose preside over - what will undoubtedly be - a weekend of wild high-spirited hi-jinks.
And, of course, all the nightclubs will be celebrating 'til the cows come home.
Good luck squeezing through the front (or back) door, eh?
See 'ya there!
As I strolled up Wilshire Boulevard, I couldn’t help but notice that security was tight at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
A number of the streets were blocked off – causing horrendous traffic jams, by the way –as members of the LGBT Community (and the pink mafia) waited patiently inside for the President to arrive and rally the “gay troops” who’ve been working feverishly in the trenches for “their” cause in recent months.
Barack Obama did not disappoint.
In a speech that lasted approximately thirty minutes – and as high-profile celebs like Cher and son Chaz Bono nodded in approval from their cushy seats below the podium – the Commander-in-Chief (who has come to be known as the 1st Gay President in the wake of repealing the military’s controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and supporting “Gay Marriage”) acknowledged that many strides had been made in recent years in what he referred to as “part of the country’s history of civil rights struggles – and the constant progression – to include more and more people in the possibility of the American Dream.”
The response was overwhelming.
“Four more years,” the exuberant attendees chanted, as they jumped to their feet and applauded uproarously.
Actually, yesterday had been quite a “gay” day for Barack Obama.
After meeting his obligation at the tony Hotel – one of Beverly Hill’s finest – he was whisked off to the home of “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy for a sit-down dinner for 70 at $25,000.00 a plate.
Ellen DeGeneres emceed the chi chi soiree which featured a performance by handsome heartthrob Darren Criss.
News outlets were quick to note that the “who’s who” of “gay” Hollywood were all in attendance – not only the movers-and-the-shakers – but the “shapers” of the “homo” image when it came to the portrayal of the LGBT community in Television & Film.
The high-profile guests in that regard included Max Mutchnik (creator of Will & Grace / TV sitcom), and Dustin Lance Black (“MILK” Oscar-winning screenwriter).
The hectic day started off bright-and-early in San Francisco yesterday morning and finally concluded after the President had completed his “to do” list at the end of the day.
Although some in the Republican camp were critical of the President’s big focus on fundraising in recent days - for the gay community - it was business-as-usual.
And, amounted to big bucks for Obama’s war chest to fight the good cause, you betcha!
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Once the first few scenes splashed across the screen, I instinctively sensed that I was in for a remarkable film experience.
And, when the lights went up after the credits crawled at the end, I wasn’t even embarrassed to be caught weeping openly in my plush seat at the CGV Theatre; after all, quite a few of the other filmgoers were sobbing, too!
The first few words that sprang to mind when I collected my senses?
Though the PR Staff at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival have been promoting the foreign film “Joyful Reunion” as a foodie flick, it is so much more than that, trust me.
The beautifully-crafted Independent feature sheds a mystical light on the mysteries of life - and in the process - exalts the human spirit.
The film starts off humbly enough.
The audience is first introduced to a handsome young couple (she, a host at an exclusive day spa; he, a computer game designer) who have been dating steadily in the picturesque city of Taipei.
One day, the young man - Zhang Quan – is asked to check on his dear Auntie who appears to be out-of-sorts emotionally.
He pops in one day out-of-the-blue and ascertains that the eccentric old gal might benefit from a brief stay with loved ones back home.
When the odd twosome arrive back in the bustling city, Zhang’s girlfriend – a stylish young woman by the name of Wa’er – arranges for a dinner at a high-end eatery owned and operated by her calm down-to-earth father.
At this juncture, Auntie reveals a crusty unpredictable side, which proves to be slightly embarrassing for her doting nephew.
For instance, one glance at the exotic menu, manages to trigger a wild unexpected outburst.
“$350 for one dish,” she blurts out, in disgust.
When Wa’er explains that each plate is painstakingly-prepared by hand – sometimes days well in advance of the dinner reservation – Auntie's scoffing continues.
For example - when the server arrives at the table and proceeds to enlighten the well-heeled guests about the ingredients in each dish, how the order was cooked, and what kind of nourishment the contents provide - she just about blows a gasket.
For Auntie, it’s a pain in the you-know-what, to have to sit through such nonsense.
She wants to dig in and chow down, without all the pomp and circumstance, thank you very much.
In one reflective moment, the talkative old gal casually mentions that when she was a young girl, her own father owned a restaurant which was quite successful in their region.
“Those clay pots he cooked with must be worth a fortune now, “ she conjectured, as her mind drifted off.
Wa’er and Zhang suddenly realize that a make-over might do a world of good for the elderly woman who appears to have let her physical appearance go.
Her frizzy, curly locks are a fright, for example.
The next day she is presented to the staff at the exclusive spa where Wa’er works - and they begin to work their magic - right away.
Within hours, there has been a miraculous transformation – so much so, in fact – that Auntie is upbeat, in the mood to socialize, and pining to dance once again.
In one of the most hypnotic scenes in the movie, Auntie – who is now dressed-to-the-nines and in high spirits - is led around the ballroom floor by a handsome young dance instructor she instantly becomes enthralled with.
Even the onlookers at the chi chi club are quite taken with - and surprised by - her marvelous style.
Then, an unexpected turn of events turns everything upside-down.
The young lovers have a spat, the restaurant owner contemplates the sale of the eatery for some mysterious reason, and Auntie has an unexpected vision or two which trigger memories from a dark period of her life during the War.
Her past begins to haunt her!
Suddenly, all the pieces magically fall into place, and the sun shines through.
An amazing secret is revealed!
Ah, but I won’t spoil it for you.
According to the festival organizers, "Joyful Reunion" is a follow-up to Ang Lee's memorable and well-received "EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN".
In this feature, Director Tsao Jui-yuan has weaved a remarkable tale that leaves audiences speechless and literally spellbound!
Catch it if you can when it plays at a movie theatre near you.
When Neil Patrick Harris strode out from behind the curtain and across the stage last night on the Dave Letterman Late Show, I noticed right away that he appeared to be "packing" in those tight jeans of his.
Was that a sock stuffed into his crotch, or was he just glad to see Dave Letterman?
A short while later, my jaw literally dropped once Neil was in the "hot" seat, and I caught sight of the lad stroking himself in the glare of the spotlight.
I guess the "out" performer was unaware that the camera was positioned low enough to catch what was "going on" below one leg that was propped up over the other.
The popular actor was chatting up Dave eye-to-eye when I suddenly spied the talented actor slip his hand in-between his legs and start to play with himself.
Was that a come hither look on his face, too?
Is the "How I Met Your Mother Star" into silver foxes (older dudes with grey hair) or does he just have the hots for sugar daddy types like Dave Letterman?
News at 11!
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
If you heard someone screaming out loud in your neighborhood, it was probably moi!
Last night I was lounging about, catching up on up-to-the-minute gossip on TMZ, when the subject of residual payments for performers (monies paid to actors, dancers, and singers when shows they’ve been cast on have a repeat broadcast on TV or in the overseas market) popped up.
Just as Harvey Levin noted he received a residual for one penny on one occasion, one of his reporters shouted out a warning to the former lawyer.
“There’s a spider just over your head, Harvey,” the plus-size gal shrieked.
At this juncture, the cub reporters on duty last night, got in a frenzied bold-faced effort to rid the studio of the nasty creepy-crawly.
“Kill it,” one wicked dude snarled from his perch in the crowded newsroom.
At this point, I yelled at the old boob tube.
“Don’t do it!”
After all, spiders are a good luck omen, especially when it comes to money.
The fact it popped up from nowhere when the issue of “residuals” was being discussed underscores (and proves) my point, doesn’t it.
Fortunately, the gang at Fox was inclined to show mercy to the hapless little bug nearly caught in a human deathtrap.
One staffer delicately scooped up the little devil and tossed him outside in the wild.
That was a close call, wasn’t it?
For a host, Russell Brand passed the muster pretty much on the oh-so-cool MTV Awards celebration the other evening.
The sometimes outrageous English bloke - quick with the sizzling-hot one-liners – was in top-form, actually, as he poked fun at all the pomp (poop?) and circumstance that unfolded at a pretty fast clip at the Gibson Amphitheatre the other night.
No excuses, folks!
Amazingly, the upstart from across the big pond appeared to have his finger on the pulse on the American people, as he went for the jugular, in fact.
At one point, he referred to Charlie Sheen as an unstable and reckless person, stopping just short of the wicked truth.
Sheen is (and has been) the party animal of all time.
Bieber, the once squeaky-clean pop wonder from the Great White North, did not escape his rants, either.
After noting that the pint-sized heartthrob beat up a photographer, he quipped:
As far as appearances go, well, Brand did not disappoint.
Like Depp - who scurried up to the stage to accept the prestigious MTV Generation Award (performers get the nod if they’re over twenty, alive-and-kicking, and have escaped the rock star curse that has befallen such legends as James Dean, Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Morris, and Janis Joplin in the past) – Brand was sporting a rakish hat and stylish fashion (?) ensemble that consisted of torn pieces of rags sewn strategically together at whim here-and-there.
Of course, there were other highlights worth mentioning.
Jennnifer Anniston snatched up the prize for "Best Dirtbag" – a newly-created MTV honor – that some members of the paparazzi swear up-and-down is as deserving a label off-camera too.
Meanwile, Kristen Stewart won for "Best Kiss" 4th year in a row, though you wouldn’t think so in view of the fact Robert Pattinson was a no-show.
Was he tired of playing a love charade with his leading lady – and out sowing-his-oats – elsewhere that night?
Enquiring minds want to know!
Harry Potter’s cast was thrilled to snap up "Best Cast" award, by the way.
Though long-in-the-tooth now, the charming little wizard is still mighty popular, in both worlds!
And, perennial favorite - "Twilight" - scored big again with as best flick of 2012 ( for "Breaking Dawn / Part 1").
The "Best Male" performance was thrown Josh Hutcherson's way for the "The Hunger Games".
About three-quarters of the way through the broadcast I passed out in my comfy bed after tossing down an ice-cold brewskie.
Too pooped to participate?
No, just too jaded to care!
‘Til next year!
Sensuous best smoocher?
Actor's penis subject of Brand's on-camera jokes!
Monday, June 4, 2012
"Hang Loose" is a wildly funny buddy flick starring Kevin Wu (Kevjumba) and Dante Basco.
When the off-beat comedy flashes onto the wide screen, the audience is introduced to the main character “Kevin” (Wu) who has jetted off to Hawaii to attend his sister’s wedding.
Shortly after the naive lad touches down in the Island Paradise, the bachelor (he recently broke up with his steady girlfriend) is led astray by his naughty future brother-in-law (Basco).
Kevin plays the straight man – Dante’s foil, if you like – who quickly finds himself in an altercation at a local strip bar, at loggerheads with native gangsters, and what-have-you.
Though Kevjumba is famous for his zany antics on YouTube - and a myriad of other social hub sites – in “Hang Loose” his performance falls flat.
On the Internet in the rich media, his animated style works well – however – on celluloid at the local movie house he comes off kind of dull (not very photogenic, in fact).
To me, Wu appeared to be sleep-walking throughout the entire one-hundred-and twenty-or-so minutes of the storyl.
Personally, I was continually distracted by what appeared to be a plain ordinary face riddled with nasty skin eruptions here-there-and-everywhere.
Maybe it was the lighting?
When it comes to leading man status in a feature, Kevin just can't cut it in my estimation.
In contrast, Basco was hilarious, and is obviously destined to do well in the mainstream if he keeps plugging away.
"Hang Loose" is off-the-wall, spontaneous - and downright charming for the most part - due to a well-written script, quality acting by the supporting players, and excellent directing.
In particular, I was taken with the surprises which - more-often-than-not - sent the audience into gales of sides-splitting laughter.
"Were those segments off-the-cuff or written into the script," I quizzed Wu and Basco at the Q & A at the DGA a couple of weeks ago when the project first screened.
Wu underscored that those delightful celluloid moments were written in for a particular reason.
"My audience on the Internet has a short attention span. So, we devised those surprises to keep them watching."
Currently, Wu is developing projects for the web that are intended for 14 - 24 year-olds - he fessed up - when quizzed about his future plans in the biz.
The actors for "Hang Loose" are a mix of performers who act in legit movies, television, and the new rich media on the Internet.
The cast often referred to Basco as a "veteran", he joked, because he is a tad older and has kicked around the industry for a dozen years-or-so.
Unlike the old days - when actors were typecast - today the theatrical terrain is wide open.
For instance, at one time soap actors found it difficult to make the transition from daytime and night-time TV to feature film.
And, major stars rarely bothered to pursue gigs on the old boob tube.
Today, Academy Award-winning actors such as Dustin Hoffman and Shirley McClaine float between the mediums with ease without any slight being cast on their careers or reputations.
In view of that, it will be interesting to see if Internet hopefuls are able to land quality assignments in big budget studio projects with an eye to gaining a footing and a solid professional reputation in acting circles.
For Basco, that won't be any problem.
As for Wu, well, it may be iffy.
By the way, a sequel to "Hang Loose" may be on the way.
The creative team laughed that they might title it:
Posted by Julian Ayrs at 4:02 PM
When one contestant in the Miss USA competition was quizzed about what her thoughts about how on women were depicted in film and television today, the shapely beauty was - not only quick on the uptake - but close to biting off more than she could chew!
For example, without batting a pretty eyelid, she gushed in response:
"Well, we had beautiful Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. It was difficult for her (the character in the film?) in the beginning at first, but she came out on top."
Film buffs may recall that the talented actress portrayed a street prostitute who gets picked up by a trick and ends up traipsing down the aisle to wedded bliss.
A Hollywood-style fairy tale.
According to the beauty Queen - the lady-of-the-night - beat all the odds.
Was she applauding the hooker with the heart of gold, though, or the gold-digger who struck it rich?
Great role model, eh, folks?
If you’re intending to catch zany stand-up comic – Sandra Bernhard – on stage live in Los Angeles, then you’ll have to dash downtown and snap up a ticket right away.
After all, Ms. Bernhard ‘s popular act - currently a hit at the REDCAT– closes on June 10th.
The star of “King of Comedy” (who held her own against seasoned pro Jerry Lewis in the dark hilarious comedy) has been receiving rave reviews, in fact.
For your information – and in case you were unaware of it – the talented performer is quite unlike the “character” she portrays on stage.
In an interview with one of the local gay rags, Bernhard stressed that she is for the most part - intimate and honest in person - for starters.
Her behind-the-scenes persona would be boring and hideous on stage under the glare of the spotlight, she insisted, to all within earshot.
Fans can expect much of the same at the Redcat – such as mini-rants – which are her stock in trade.
Usually the cerebral outbursts are triggered by outrageous and disturbing events of the day which jolt her sensibilities.
In addition, there will be a smattering of music (soulful and upbeat tunes she'll warble) to loosen up the crowd.
Just betcha, the novel show will rock the house until her final curtain bow at the end of the week.
See ‘ya there!
631 West 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA
Sandra with DeNiro in "King of Comedy"
Posted by Julian Ayrs at 10:52 AM