WEIRDLAND: November 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Milk" review and video

“Milk” is the chronicle of a death foretold. Before that subway station encounter, we have already seen real-life news video of the aftermath of Milk’s assassination, as well as grainy photographs of gay men being rounded up by the police. These images don’t spoil the intimacy between Harvey the buttoned-up businessman and Scott Smith (James Franco), the hippie who becomes his live-in lover and first campaign manager. Rather, the constant risk of harassment, humiliation and violence is the defining context of that intimacy.The strength of Mr. Black’s script is that it grasps both the radicalism of Milk’s political ambition and the pragmatism of his methods. “Milk” understands that modern politics thrive at the messy, sometimes glorious intersection of grubby interests and noble ideals.

The city’s gay elite, discomfited by his confrontational tactics, keeps Milk at a distance, leaving him to build a movement from the ground up with the help of a young rabble-rouser and ex-hustler named Cleve Jones (Emile Hirsch).

[...] The culture war is unfolding, and Milk is in the middle of it. (And so, 30 years later, in the wake of Proposition 8, is “Milk.”)

“Milk” is a fascinating, multi-layered history lesson. In its scale and visual variety it feels almost like a calmed-down Oliver Stone movie, stripped of hyperbole and Oedipal melodrama. But it is also a film that like Mr. Van Sant’s other recent work — and also, curiously, like David Fincher’s “Zodiac”, another San Francisco-based tale of the 1970s — respects the limits of psychological and sociological explanation.

Harvey Milk was an intriguing, inspiring figure. “Milk” is a marvel. Source:

Emile Hirsch (Range Life) video

A musical video featuring some pictures and stills of Emile Hirsch in "The girl next door", "Alpha Dog" and "Into the wild". Song "Range Life" by Pavement.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kristen Stewart (Twilight, Adventureland)

Kristen Stewart and her co-star Robert Pattinson -Bella Swan and Edward Cullen in "Twilight" (2008)-:
Twilight (SPOILER SCENE) video:
Kristen Stewart in Greg Mottola's "Adventureland" video

Friday, November 28, 2008

Emile Hirsch (Alpha Actor)

"As for me, I'm just goin' with it".

Emile Hirsch is on his way to becoming one of the most promising actors of his generation by means of nuanced, versatile, and indelible performances. He's also a bona fide Hollywood heartthrob due to his emerald-green eyes, sculpted cheekbones, attractive self-confidence, and a slight resemblance to peers like Leonardo DiCaprio or Stephen Dorff. His most recent roles are far from the usual action hero/hottie archetype. He recently appears as San Francisco's gay activist Cleve Jones in Gus Van Sant's biographical "Milk", and has an upcoming role in Ang Lee's "Taking Woodstock", which just wrapped up in post-production and in which Hirsch plays an unhinged Vietnam vet at the historic Woodstock Festival.

In his first important roles in indie cinema — 2003's "The Mudge Boy", directed by Michael Burkeand 2004's "Imaginary Heroes" by Dan Harris, Hirsch raised his intense but subdued acting bar by portraying eccentric, sexually charged suburban boys trapped in the cinders of adolescence.

Another quality that makes Hirsch so special in his celluloid adventures is the magnetism he shares with all his love interests in his films, as we can check in this interview:

Q: Is there something you can enjoy - besides all the nerves - while doing a love scene in a movie?

Hirsch: Oh totally. I loved it. It's totally romantic.
To me, it's a very intimate thing.

One of the most memorable of Emile Hirsch's characters to date is undoubtedly Chris McCandless ("Into the Wild", 2007), a young adventurer who runs away from society and who meets Tracy Tatro (Kristen Stewart, Bella in "Twilight") in a hippie community. Their too brief flirtation is sweet in a way that brings to mind classic cinema romances.

Tracy: I'm terrible.

Chris: You are not terrible. You sing sweet.

In the film, which was written and directed by Sean Penn and based on John Krakauer's book, Tracy (a young musician) invites Chris to go take a walk to Salvation Mountain, where a wildly optimistic old man lectures the couple on love's power.
Chris: You really believe in love, then.

Old man: Yeah. Totally. This is a love story that is staggering to everybody in the whole world.

When asked what year she was born in, she tells Chris that she's only 16.

Chris leaves behind his calisthenics and reading and makes his plans for Alaska in consonance with Jack London's "Odyssey of the North". His progressive lack of discernment allows him to abandon his inchoate crush on Tracy after having played a duet with her guitar and Chris' second-hand organ from Rainey (Brian Dierker) and Jan Burress (Catherine Keener). They sang "Angel from Montgomery":

"Make me an angel
Just give me one thing
That I can hold on to
To believe in this living
Is just a hard way to go"

Rainey had confided to Chris that Tracy is lusting after him — "That poor girl's just about ready to vault herself onto a fencepost" — but he declines to make advances on her. Chris tells Tracy that he finds her pretty magical just before departing for his great adventure in Alaska.

Chris calls himself Alexander Supertramp (his errant alter-ego): "Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road", he writes down, "no longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild."
Inside the magical bus (brought in by a mining company) which becomes Chris's home in Alaska, he writes in his diary: "DAY 100 - MADE IT. BUT IN WEAKEST CONDITION OF LIFE. TOO WEAK TO WALK OUT. HAVE LITERALLY BECOME TRAPPED IN THE WILD". Shaking in pain due to starvation, he vacillates for an instant about using his rifle to end his life, but he just starts to scream out instead, anticipating in his agony the future slain warrior he's quickly transmuting into. Far behind the memories of Chris McCandless as the Emory College graduate possessed by the spirit of Thoreau, who couldn't cope with the stresses of family life and capitalist society's dark side, now triumphant in his battle of de-individuation and his eyes brimming with tears, his stomach heaving, he is waiting for an imminent death.

Sean Penn's cinematic tachisme washes us in existential romanticism and we learn a cathartic lesson about forgiveness, deism, and love (how Chris's rejection of love led him to misery and isolation). In his final fevered moments he learns this lesson even more clearly in a heartrending revelation about shared happiness (a hopeful sentence scribbled across a page) during his death throes. This theory, which differs from Krakauer's poisonous berries conclusion, makes this story more unresolved and enigmatic.
In Peter Care's "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" (2002) Hirsch plays Francis Doyle and Jena Malone plays the conflicted Margie Flynn, his first love interest in this coming of age story situated in a suffocating Catholic school. Margie falls prey to an incestuous fantasy with her brother Donnie that has led her to a suicide attempt. Francis draws comic strips portraying Margie as a romantic heroine who represents a contrast with the indomitable side of Margie's amoral explorations which Francis feels he can't control. The nameless idea of femininity turns into an epic fantasy character in the drawings while Francis is engulfed by a real girl who is ready to love him. "After the male fish hatch, they bite onto a female, like parasites. But after a while they grow into each other and share the same blood and everything... They turn into one single fish", is the example Francis uses to expound how he's already forgiven Margie's past secrets. In this scene Hirsch's understated performance slowly unfolds an irreversible maturation process before Malone's and our eyes.
In "The Girl Next Door" (2004), directed by Luke Greenfield, Hirsch plays Matthew Kidman, a meritorious senior who has been accepted into Georgetown University, but needs to compete for a full scholarship. He has a boy scout's moral fiber, but irrupting his taedium vitae, the girl next door, Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert), appears out of nowhere and hereupon Matt begins to fight for Danielle, who formerly worked as porn star and is tempted to return.
Matt is challenged to change his point of view in the process of dating Danielle, and Hirsch communicates these changes in a completely believable, approachable way: "You risk it all, you put her in front of everything, your life, all of it. And maybe the stuff you do to help her isn't so clean. You know what? It doesn't matter. Because in your heart you know that the juice is worth the squeeze. That's what moral fiber's all about."

Two scenes stood out in the romantic plot of "The Girl Next Door", one in a motel (Glen Capri) at midnight, in which Hirsch manages to pass in a few minutes from cocky to ashamed when he's reproached by Danielle: "Isn't this what you want? To fuck a porn star in a cheap motel room?"

The second, more emotive, one is when Matthew remembers (in a dressing room) at the prom the happy moments shared with Danielle and suddenly he feels incapable of shooting a porno scene. He realizes that in spite of not knowing what he's going to do next in his life doesn't matter because he's already fallen in love. Hirsch's smile when Danielle enters the set and they make eye contact is gigantic in its frankness.

"The Girl Next Door" is a romantic comedy that has silly moments and suffers from a music video esthetic in places, but it makes its point of taking a second chance on winning the girl of your dreams with appropriate heartiness and without mawkishness.
In "Lords of Dogtown" (2005), directed by Catherine Hardwicke, based on Stacey Peralta's documentary "Dogtown and Z-Boys", Hirsch plays the real-life skateboarder Jay Adams, nailing his actual swagger, looking like a rugged River Phoenix. Not only does he perform the risky moves on the board at Venice Beach with vertiginous ease, but he also seduces Kathy Alva (Nikki Reed, "Thirteen") in a dance as smooth and charming as his skating.
In "Alpha Dog" (2006), Hirsch plays a gangster wannabe, Johnny Truelove (aka Jesse James Hollywood in real life) who goes out with a steady girlfriend, Angela Holden (Olivia Wilde), while his savvy father Sonny (Bruce Willis) mocks his masculinity, a big deal for Johnny's posse (ridiculous, tweaked out guys who follow Johnny's orders blindly). Johnny gets involved in an improvised kidnapping that ends tragically for an impressionable kid (Nicholas Markowitz, Zack Mazursky in the movie, played brilliantly by Anton Yelchin).

Among all kind of misdeeds and criminal events in this mixed-up story, Johnny and his girl's relationship is key to analyze some of the sick aspects that bedevil the upper-middle class in California's Valley. In a motel room (Glen Capri, the same motel's name than in "The girl next door"), Johnny's small vestiges of conscience bring down his sexual bravado and he has to give up on hitting the sack with an insensitive, demanding, bimbo-esque Angela — in a scene which is intermittently comical and sleazy — and this act of impotence by the macho posturing bad-ass is a symbol of his bacchanal's last days.

Nick Cassavetes’ writing and direction in "Alpha Dog" is a mix of documentary style and gritty cautionary tale (likewise "Bully" by Larry Clark). "Alpha Dog" manages to display an absurdist sense of humor that makes it more disturbing. Hirsch's distanced performance helps to blur the boundaries between the gangster-poseur and the real crook, unveiling a phoniness that adds a chameleonic quality to Hirsch's range.
And much more chaste but very funny is Hirsch's interaction with Christina Ricci (Trixie) in "Speed Racer" (2008) by the Wachowski Brothers, a deliriously visual car ride saturated in febrile colours and stroboscopic effects. The anime-styled characterizations are based on the Japanese manga racer Mach GoGoGo adapted in the '60s in its American version.

Speed is a wholesome, starry-eyed racing hero who refuses Royalton Industries' tempting offer and determines to win a futuristic automobile race. His girlfriend is the cheerful and kitschy-looking Trixie.

Speed: But when I'm in a T-180, I don't know, everything just makes sense.

Trixie: So are you saying this doesn't make sense?

Speed: Okay, this makes sense too.

Curiously, in this driving scene, Hirsch could come off even more flirtatious than the ultra-girly Christina, which proves how much Speed is into her; although his official passion is driving, Trixie drives him more than crazy. Speed promises Trixie he'll hold her in his arms and kiss her in front of multitudes if he wins the gizmobiles Prix: "Maybe at the end of some big race, when I pull into Victory Lane... I scoop you up and kiss you, with thousands of flashbulbs going off."
It's the subtle touch of Hirsch, when he leans and kisses the girl, that we file in our mental archives, that image freezes and never disappears". Published today at

Ari Graynor (Nick & Norah, Youth in Revolt)

Ari Graynor in "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist" (2008), by Peter Sollett.
I want to thank director Peter Sollett for having said that my videos (uploaded in Youtube and Facebook) dedicated to his film "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist" were amazing and my review of Rachel Cohn & David Levithan's book was so flattering of reading for him, as well as for the writers. It's so undescribable and special when the authors of the artworks you admire so much write you back grateful, it's really so encouraging!! Now the talented and attractive actress Ari Graynor (Caroline in "Nick & Norah") is also a friend of mine in Facebook. What else can I ask for? She's a gifted funny actress, who is known for her roles as Caitlin Rucker in "The Sopranos", Elvina in "CSI: Miami" and Paula Baniszewski in "An American Crime" (2007).
Her upcoming projects are "Whip It!" (2009) as Eva Destruction, starring Ellen Page and "Youth in Revolt" (2009) as Lacey with Michael Cera.

"There are few things I love more in this world than music, shy boys, Rachel Cohn books, and one night adventures (a la Can’t Hardly Wait). Needless to say I was stoked.I was especially glad at how closely it followed the book. The only parts changed were the name of Nick’s band from the Fuck Offs to the Jerk Offs, and the craziness of Caroline. The whole part about her getting lost was great. Caroline made the movie for me.

Cera was awkward but endearing as ever. Dennings was sassy and clever". Source:

"And while a set of photos from the set of Youth in Revolt, a comedy based on a popular novel from C.D. Payne. The film has a stellar cast, including Michael Cera, Justin Long, Steve Buscemi, Ray Liotta, Fred Willard, Ari Graynor, Mary Kay Place, Zach Galifianakis and newcomer Portia Doubleday."
"Michael Cera (Juno, Superbad) played the leading man in the adaptation of C.D. Payne’s bitingly hilarious novel about whip-smart, sex-obsessed teen Nick Twisp. Cast also includes Steve Buscemi, Ray Liotta, Justin Long, Jean Smart and Portia Doubleday". Source:

Oceans Campaign, Bubble boy

There are new additions in the IHJ gallery:Jake attending American Oceans Campaign Award Dinner (2001), below with Marley Shelton:Jake and Marley Shelton in "Bubble Boy" (2001), directed by Blair Hayes.

Emile Hirsch (Excitable boy)

A musical video featuring some pictures and stills of Emile Hirsch. Song "Werewolves in London" by Warren Zevon.

A musical video featuring Emile Hirsch in "The girl next door". Songs "Excitable boy" by Warren Zevon and "Lady" by Eugene Kelly.

Thanksgiving Party in London

Jake attending a Thanksgiving Party held at Richard Rogers' Chelsea House in London., on 27th November, 2008. Reese Witherspoon and Gwyneth Paltrow also attended the party. "Gwyneth Paltrow spends Thanksgiving with Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon at a party thrown by British architect Richard Rogers (neon green shirt and bright blue Crocs) at his Chelsea home in London on Thursday".

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Dates!

"The start of holiday season is upon us and, for many single online daters, that means spending Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by family and friends and the constant reminder that they came home stag. At Avalanche, LLC, owner of leading online dating sites, and, we wondered which celebrity our singles thought would make the best impression as a dinner date."

We weren't surprised that George Clooney and
Jennifer Aniston topped the list of ideal dinner dates for Thanksgiving as they truly represent Hollywood Royalty; both are sophisticated, charitable, gorgeous, fascinating and worldly, and could make any relative jealous while charming even the grouchiest Grandparent," said Shira Zwebner, Relationship Advisor for, and"

In a new survey of thousands of singles nationwide, we asked: You're Single this Thanksgiving and, if you could bring any celebrity home to have dinner with your entire family, who would it be? Following are the complete results:

---- --------
George Clooney 31% Jennifer Aniston 35%
Prince William 18% Reese Witherspoon 23%
Tom Brady 13% Anne Hathaway 12%
Jake Gyllenhaal 12% Jessica Biel 9%
President Elect Obama 10% Halle Berry 7%
David Archuleta 8% Mary Louise Parker 5%
Brad Pitt 3% Kiera Knightly 4%
Adrian Grenier 3% Natalie Portman 4%
P. Diddy 2% Madonna 1%


Reese reached the second place in the females group and Jake the fourth place in the males group. It's not fair, first Jake loses the title of the sexiest man alive in People Magazine to Hugh Jackman!, and now George Clooney the first one again? I'd add Mary Louise Parker is an excellent choice by the survey voters.

She drives me crazy

It's enticing to see our heroes calmly sat at their car seats while his beloved conquests take the steering wheel with zest.
Our boys sigh on the road of love... and no, I haven't forgotten Michael Cera, although he's on low profile lately.

But I hear upcoming news shaped in a comedy secret movie:

"Michael Cera has a comedy set to debut at the Sundance Film Festival. The weird thing is you've never heard of it. Cera has been filming a comedy, PAPER HEARTS, on the sly with his girlfriend Charlyne Yi (KNOCKED UP) co-starring. Not much is known about the film and that's precisely what the producers want. They're trying to keep buzz on the film relatively quiet so as to not overhype the comedy before it premieres. But word is slowly starting to leak about the film that is described as "part documentary" with music as a "key theme." Nicholas Jasenovec, who starred in a bit part with Cera in SUPERBAD, directed the film with a script by Cera and Yi."

I like Charlyne, in spite of having been deleted of her list of friends in Myspace. Maybe she got jealous, I don't know the reason yet. But we're still friends in Youtube, and that's fine with me. She and Michael make an awkwardly adorable couple. I wish both the best of luck with this movie's release. Michael will always be welcomed in my fantasy crushes-land, although now I have a new of these ones: Emile Hirsch; yeah, after so much awkwardness a girl needs a rougher ride, ok?
Of course, never forgetting (not even for a microsecond) the Prince of Crushland and the King of Weirdland: Jake!