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His Most Attractive Feature

I recently overheard several middle-aged, female, Starbucks customers gushing over Hollywood star Ryan Gosling.

They each took turns trying to describe what it was that made him so attractive to “their daughters”:

“He can do it all: Act, direct, sing, even do a lot of push-ups with his shirt off.”

“I saw him looking good in some cut-off cord shorts and mid-ankle boots with heels.”

“He looks good when he’s wet, dry, bearded… even wearing those nerd glasses that the pastors at my church are all getting.”

The whole thing eventually devolved into a conversation about whether his eyes were better than his pecs, or his pecs were better than his abs.

I left before they started working any lower.

As I drove away I wondered if they realized that these things are also true of just about every other handsome, chiseled, actor in Los Angeles?

When I relayed this story, and my cynical comments about the common desirability of A-list leading men to my friend Jordan (who looks good dry or bearded) he told me that Ryan Gosling was actually quite a bit different than the average movie star.

“That guy works at a sandwich shop”, he said.


Beyond Thunderball

Photo: MGM

When I was 9 years old I saw my first James Bond Movie, It was the mid 60’s classic “Thunderball”. The film was a thrilling cavalcade of car chases, scuba battles, and shark bites.

This might have been one of the most amazing experiences of my life had I not been a pre-pubescent innocent trying to comprehend a twenty year-old, made for the middle-aged man, fantasy movie.

While I could follow the plot about stolen nuclear bombs and international upheaval, try as I might I could just not make any sense of the interpersonal motivations.

In children’s stories, the bad guys are obviously bad, the good guys are obviously good, and the issues are fairly “black and white”- people are bad because they do bad things and they are good because they do good things.

In this movie the bad guys did bad things, the good guys did bad things, and the girls did the worst of things!

I understood “what” the Thunderball people were doing, I just couldn’t grasp “why” they were doing it.

It didn’t make sense that two men would fight to the death over a woman.

It seemed illogical that a fighter pilot with top secret clearance would be so casual with his credentials when a lady starts rubbing her hands in his hair.

In short, I couldn’t understand why men kept making bad decisions about the future of our planet whenever women were around?

Since I’d never been to Jamaica I just assumed that maybe this is the way people behaved there?

When I asked my dad about it he said, “It’s not real”. When I asked my mom about it she said, “I had a some growing up to do.”

I felt like the Thunderball people had a lot of growing up to do.

After I’d “grown up a bit”, and by grown up a bit I mean “made several bad decisions about the future when a woman was around”, I realized that the only truly honest thing about the 007 film series was its assertion that men will attempt the ridiculous to possess a woman that they shouldn’t have.


Summer Movies, What We’ve Learned

The Summer is officially over, and as we all head back to the routines that accompany fall, I’d like to just synthesize a few of the lessons we all learned from attending the movies this summer.  For humorous purposes only.

Before you turn an old board game into a movie:

1.) Remind yourself that Video Games don’t work as movies and they’re twice as exciting as board games.

2.) Think through all of the board games available before settling on “Battleship”.

3.) Don’t sleep on Candyland… I’m just saying.

If you’re hoping to remake a Schwarzzeneggar movie:

1.) Remember that the last one didn’t need MORE action.

2.) Try not to write a part into the movie where the bad guys let the good guy work at their top secret robot factory… and if he does, don’t let him work in the assembly division… because that’s just to easy a way for him to know how to break all of your robots.

3.) Don’t forget that we all rejected Colin Farrell the first time around

If you’re hoping to remake Spider -Man:

1.) Don’t try to convince us that Peter Parker is “uncool” by showing us that he’s a handsome, skateboarding, photography hobbyist.

2.) Make the characters college students if they’re going to have high-level internship positions at multi-national biological research firms.

3.) Let us forget the old one first.

If you’re trying to turn the 1980’s into a summer musical:

1.) Just release the soundtrack.

If you’re looking to set an all-time Box Office record…

…and you are making a movie with characters named Zoozie, Toofie and Goobie, the chances are that the record you will be setting is for the worst box office opening ever.  The Oogieloves did just that this summer, and here’s how they did it:

1.) They took everything that was bad about “The Teletubbies” and blended it with everything lame about “The Wiggles.”

2.) By encouraging children to sing and dance at the theater, they also encouraged everybody else to stay home… especially the parents who are needed to drive the kids to the theater.

3.)  They asked the question, “What bad things could happen if there were no bad guys?” and the answer was apparently “Jaime Pressly sings”.

If you’re making another Men In Black movie:

1.) Don’t forget that this is the year 2012.

2.) Remember that the public still hasn’t forgotten Hancock.

If you’re making a Batman movie:

1.) Don’t have the events of the movie take place over the course of a year.  As the snowfall begins you’re merely reminding us of how long we’ve been waiting for something exciting to happen.

2.) Don’t expect us to believe that a villain can build a secret lair underneath Batman’s secret lair, and nobody important is going to notice.

3.) Having an 11 year-old girl escape from your ultra-secure prison by climbing and jumping makes it LESS believable that grown men can’t do it.

Bonus tip: Punching the bad guy in his special mask is something that a quality Batman would try RIGHT AWAY, not just at the end of the movie.


If you dress up as the Joker and go see a movie:

1.) Before going, make sure that it’s midnight, at the first showing available.  You don’t want to miss being with fans who will appreciate your efforts, plus when the movie ends fewer people will be creeped out at red lights on the drive home.

2.) Make certain that the movie you are seeing is a Batman film.

As a bonus tip: When the police ask you what your name is, don’t reply, “The Joker”… unless that’s the name on your drivers license… or your name is Steve Miller and even then it’s better to go by Space Cowboy, The Gangster of Love, or possibly Maurice.

As you suspected, drugs were mentioned in the arrest report.

If you’re making a Pixar movie:

1.) Try not to give us that Monster’s Inc. sequel you’ve been promising us.

2.) Do something current and modern.

3.) Take a stand on a social issue, something current, like girl power.


If you’re making a movie about our most beloved President:

1.) Remember that the best way to really dishonor someone is to invent things about them after they’re dead.

2.) Try NOT to work a vampire subplot into it… we’re already full-up on that around these parts.

If you’re trying to make a funny movie:

1.) Don’t just assume that people will laugh at Will Ferrell doing dumb things.  He also needs to SAY funny things.

2.) Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Ben Stiller are all wingmen.  Putting them in a movie without an A-lister is as dumb as making a movie about the neighborhood watch… oh wait.

3.) No one wants to see *Natalie Portman and Steve Carrell in the same movie, unless he is her dad… or her boss.  See, I’ve already come up with a better plot.

If you’re making a good Summer movie:

1.) Get good writers, directors, and actors together and then let computers turn them into action heroes.

2.) Make us wonder if one of the heroes might actually die.

3.) Make the new secret agent as compelling as the last one.

4.) Keep the computer generated animals familiar but fresh.

5.) Make sure there’s humor and lightheartedness alongside the explosions.

6.) Make sure that Chuck Norris has a cameo.


Have a great Back to School weekend.

I’ll see you all at The Hobbit.

*I know that this was actually Kiera Knightley in the movie, but since they look like the same person, I tried to spice the movie up by putting the better actress into it.

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