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J.J. Hunsecker

Match me, Sidney—I'm drinking in the Sweet Smell of Success from my regular table at the 21 Club.
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Good News: East and West Coasts Now Both Protected by Real-Life Superheroes

Saturday, December 31st, 2011 - by J.J. Hunsecker

While a growing number of articles suggest that New York is slowly reverting to its bad old seventies days under Mayor Bloomberg, there’s good news for beleaguered Manhattanites. “Prowler” is now on the case:

Superheroes usually like to keep their real identities hidden, but one Brooklyn woman is taking off her mask and telling the entire world who she is.

Nicole Abramovici is “Prowler,” a 31-year-old businesswoman by day who dons a costume at night to do her part to save the world, one homeless person and abandoned animal at a time.

And, as she revealed to the New York Post, she’s not alone — she’s part of a group of real-life heroes who slip on masks and capes to do charity work.

“I dress up because I’m part of this group called Superheroes Anonymous,” Abramovici said. “The costume draws awareness to the cause, and it’s exciting and people dig it.”

Prowler’s debut in Manhattan follows up “Phoenix Jones” becoming a video phenomenon even beyond his home turf in Seattle:

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Surprisingly, Wikipedia has blown the cover for Phoenix’s once-secret identity:

Phoenix Jones(born Benjamin John Francis Fodor, 1988) is the leader of a ten-member citizen crime-prevention patrol group who call themselves the Rain City Superhero Movement, operating out of Seattle and Lynnwood, Washington. In a CBS news broadcast, Jones is shown entering a back room of an unnamed comic book store in which he changes into costume which consists of a Dragon Skin bulletproof vest and stab plating, as well as equipment including a stun baton, pepper spray or tear gas, handcuffs and a first aid kit.

Jones says he wanted to take policing matters into his own hands after a few incidents changed his mind about Seattle. The first was when Jones says that his car was broken into and his son was injured after returning to the vehicle and falling on the broken glass. Jones was told that several people saw the break-in happen, but did not intervene.According to Jones the car window had been broken by a rock with a mask wrapped around it, which Jones left in the car’s glove box. Later, Jones says that he encountered a friend being seriously assaulted outside a bar, and after calling 911 he put on the mask from the earlier break-in and “made a commotion” until the police showed up.”And I thought, why didn’t someone help him? There were seventy people outside that bar and no one did anything.”

Jones went on to develop a full costume and pseudonym, when his crime-fighting behaviour made him too recognizable. He says the best way to prevent getting mistaken for a criminal by the police is to wear a “supersuit”, although local police have expressed concern that the strange costumes may lead to emergency calls from citizens who mistake the “superheroes” for criminals. Jones says that all members of the Rain City Superhero Movement have a military or mixed martial arts background. He does not condone other people dressing up and fighting crime.

Unless they’ve previously been registered with the Justice League of America or graduated from the Xavier Institute.

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And Now, For Some Thoughts on Norway’s Butter Shortage

Friday, December 23rd, 2011 - by J.J. Hunsecker

Leave butter alone!

Apparently American comedians are getting lots of material out of Norway’s butter products crisis, because a lack of butter is something Americans find hilarious. You can’t turn on Comedy Central and not see Dane Cook cutting Norway a new one about their lack of pussycat cakes. Well, Norway’s not gonna take it anymore! Enter Tommy*, one pissed off Norwegian who’s mad as hell, and not taking it anymore! Tommy’s threatening to come and eat your American butter in front of you and your family’s eyes.

(Language and sanity warning, needless to say):

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(H/T: Jon of the Exurban League.)

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Report: Alec Baldwin Removed From Plane at LAX, ‘Abusive to Attendant’

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 - by J.J. Hunsecker

John Nolte has the details, links and Twitter screen captures at Big Hollywood; Baldwin’s own tweet (also at BH) confirms that something happened, as the New York Post reports:

What a smart Alec.

Hot-head Alec Baldwin was kicked off an American Airlines flight this afternoon in Los Angeles because he refused to turn off his cell phone, the actor said.

On his Twitter account, Baldwin wrote: “Flight attendant on American [Airlines] reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving.”

Fellow passengers stuck on the runway at Los Angeles International Airport quickly tweeted about the incident moments after it took place.

Michael J. Wolf, founder of the website Activate.com, tweeted at around 4:20 p.m. ET that Baldwin had been tossed from the flight.

“On an AA flight at LAX. Alec Baldwin removed from the plane. We had to go back to the gate. Terrible that everyone had to wait.”

Henry Hyde could not be reached for comment.

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Forget Wall Street: Occupy Hollywood!

Saturday, November 5th, 2011 - by J.J. Hunsecker

In the National Post, Rex Murphy writes that by “limiting their wrath to the sharks and swine of Wall Street,” the assorted Occupy gangs may be “shortchanging themselves:”

There are many venues and theatres of greed other than the stock market. And they are tenanted by agents of ferocity and appetite equal to any gold-lusting shill at an investment bank. Greed has many McMansions, and they are all worth the “occupying.”

Has anyone, for example, apart from her jilted “husband,” thought of occupying – Kim Kardashian?

Of course, I mean “occupy” purely in its fashionable protest sense. Occupy her, not for being even more formidably vulgar and avaricious than Paris Hilton, a truly Olympic distinction. No – occupy her for running a tawdry TV spectacle called (hand over mouth, please) Kim’s Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event, selling the rights, drowning in the publicity and then announcing the “divorce” a mere 72 days into the staged connubial farce.

Various reports – one from the New York Post, for instance – put the revenues from this mockery, the flow of cash to Kardashian Inc., at something over $17-million. Is it possible – yes I’m reverting to the great cliché without the smack of an apology – that we live in a world where children starve for want of a dime a day, while this bloated, vacuous ego gets to rake in $17-million for a gaudy, inane travesty? If greed’s the target, and vulgarity a bonus, then Occupy Kim Kardashian. Occupy the whole dam clan of Khardashians for their shameless cupidity.

Occupying Hollywood would have an additional economic benefit — lowering energy costs:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, known for her role as Elaine on the popular sitcom “Seinfeld,” has released a video urging President Obama to reject the permit for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. She joins a number of other celebrities and activists who have spoken out against the pipeline, and will be participating in the November 6 Tar Sands Action protest at the White House.

You can’t complain about Big Oil keeping energy prices high, when Big Hollywood is determined to artificially prop them up. But then, as PJM CEO Roger L. Simon learned the hard way earlier this week, Hollywood isn’t too thrilled with the notion of freedom these days.

Or as Arthur Chrenkoff once wrote, Mr. Gorbachev, bring back that wall!

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Video: A Star is Born ’76, The Wardrobe Tests

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 - by J.J. Hunsecker

Get down with your Superfly Parliament Funkadelic wardrobes, Babs and Kris!

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(For our earlier look at this time capsule of just how terrifying the seventies could be, click here.)

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‘Gordon Ramsay’s Dwarf Porn Double Percy Foster Dies in Badger Den’

Friday, September 16th, 2011 - by J.J. Hunsecker

Australia’s Herald-Sun is apparently trying to muscle in on the New York Post’s “Headless Body in Topless Bar” territory. In any case, the combination of (1) famous person (1), death, (2) an unusual locale and both the words ‘Badger’ and ‘Dwarf’ in the headline make for black comedy gold:

A DWARF porn star who was Gordon Ramsay’s double has been found dead in the most bizarre of circumstances, according to UK tabloid The Sunday Sport.

Percy Foster’s 107 centimetre (3’6″) body was discovered in a badger’s den in Wales.

The report says the 35-year-old was found, “deep in an underground chamber by Ministry of Agriculture experts ahead of a planned badger-gassing program.”

Investigators have not ruled out the possibility of suicide, according to the report.

Don’t crush that dwarf, hand me the badger, to paraphrase the Firesign Theater.

(Via blogger Moe Lane, who writes, “It’s not that I can’t beat the title — it’s that I can’t even beat the URL text: gordon-ramsays-dwarf-porn-double-percy-foster-dies-in-badger-den/ )

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Ex-Presidents to Rise Again

Monday, September 12th, 2011 - by J.J. Hunsecker

Sometimes it just makes sense to update a Hollywood classic. The clothes, the haircuts, the pop culture references, the camera techniques, lighting styles, and film stocks can all seem outdated after several decades. Polishing the surfaces and bringing in some new actors to relive a beloved old legend from the vaults and expose it to a whole new audience, that’s what storytelling is all about.

Or maybe somebody just wants to see Johnny Utah chasing a bank robber wearing a George W. Bush mask.

In any case, responding to Warner Brothers announcing a remake of 1991′s Point Break, starring Keanu Reeves and the late Patrick Swayze,  as the HitFlix Website snarks, “Nothing like remaking a film that’s barely 20 years old:”

Though the 1991 surfing/action film  “Point Break” was only a modest hit theatrically, its pop-culture cache has grown over the years, thanks lately to both the hugely-popular touring reality-play “Point Break Live!” and its status as a running joke in Edgar Wright’s 2007 cult favorite “Hot Fuzz”.

Now the Kathryn Bigelow-helmed original is being remade by Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment, with producers looking to begin the search for a director in the very near future based on a script by “Salt” screenwriter Kurt Wimmer. Alcon co-founders Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove reportedly secured rights to the original movie on the 20th anniversary of its release.

Kosove and Johnson are producing along with Michael De Luca, John Baldecchi, Chris Taylor and Wimmer.

Hollywood’s lackluster summer was widely blamed on sequel-itis and remake-mania; glad to see that they’re finally learning their lesson and avoiding repeating the same mistakes yet again.

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Madonna’s Fear and Loathing of Hydrangeas

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011 - by J.J. Hunsecker
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No wonder she was cast as Evita Peron and is releasing a film about Wallis Simpson:

I didn’t know it was possible to detest a flower. Sure, you can prefer one over another, but to loathe a flower? When a reporter at the Venice Film Festival brought an offering of hydrangeas to Madonna during a press interview, she accepted them graciously enough, but then passive-aggressively rolled her eyes and announced how much she loathes hydrangeas. Obviously, the reporter was unaware, as were we. Thank god we know now. We, the adoring public, promise never to present Madonna with hydrangeas ever, ever again.

As Bill Murray said in Ghostbusters, important safety tip; thanks Egon.


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Actress Daryl Hannah Arrested in White House Protest

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 - by J.J. Hunsecker

Back in January of 2009, Tavis Smiley of PBS told his fellow liberals, “Harry Reid, put down the crack pipe. You don’t work for Barack Obama?  We’re all working for Barack Obama.”

Evidently, Daryl Hannah didn’t get the memo.

Last year, Fox Nation reported that the actress was “disappointed” in the president:

Daryl Hannah has a bone to pick with Barack Obama: In fact, she’s mighty cross with the Leader of the Free World. Frankly, I suspect he would probably swoon at the mere sight of her – that cascade of blonde hair, those other-worldly pale hyacinth eyes, like a freshly landed mermaid’s – but I digress. For now we shall concentrate on Hannah the Eco-Campaigner.

Rather admirably, the 49-year-old has no truck with the Hollywood orthodoxy that all Republicans are villains and all Democrats heroes, but has always gone her own way. ‘I try to stay away from politics because politicians inevitably let you down as they’re always beholden to the people who put them in office,’ she says. ‘I’m pleased about the organic vegetable patch on the White House lawn, but Obama needs to put back the solar panels on the roof; Jimmy Carter put them up, Reagan took them down, and now it’s time they were reinstated. Reagan banned offshore drilling and Obama is trying to open it up again, which is terrible, especially given the recent oil spill. Then there’s nuclear power, endangered species…’ she trails off in tremulous disappointment.

So flash-forward to today, which found Daryl having gone from disappointment to a nostalgic sixties-style sit-in and getting busted by The Man:

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Daryl Hannah was arrested by U.S. Park Police Tuesday at a protest in front of the White House, a police spokesman told TheWrap.

Hannah was participating in a sit-in against the construction of a pipeline that would stretch from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

The actress was handcuffed by police after she refused to move.

She paid an $100 fine and was released from custody, a police spokesperson told TheWrap.

But if Hannah was worried about the oil spill in the Gulf last year, why is she protesting a pipeline that helps to reduce both offshore drilling and supertankers bringing oil from the Middle East? As Ezra Levant wrote last September in the blog post that accompanied his book Ethical Oil:

In Ethical Oil, I make the case for Canada’s oilsands from a liberal point of view. Here’s why.

We’ve heard the oilsands called unethical, dirty and even nasty. One propagandist actually called it “blood oil”.

But look at the alternatives: oil from places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela and Sudan. I don’t compare the oilsands against some fantasy fuel of the future that is perfect in every way. When someone invents solar-powered airplanes or wind-powered cars, let me know. Until then, let’s leave that to science fiction.

Because if the oilsands were to be shut down tomorrow, the United States would simply replace our petroleum with petroleum from somewhere else. Along with the emerging economies of India and China, they’re going to fill their gastanks with oil from somewhere.

So if the choice is not between the oilsands and perfection, but between the oilsands and OPEC, we can have a serious discussion.

As the Celebslam site noted, Daryl had to get from her home in Colorado to Washington somehow. Where would she prefer the fuel that powers the aircraft and automobiles that transported her to come from?

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Now Cruising NYC: The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck

Thursday, July 28th, 2011 - by J.J. Hunsecker

No, really:

The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck began rolling the streets of New York City in June 2009. Described by The Village Voice as “a cross between Mister Softee and Mario Batali” their menu combines traditional soft-serve ice cream with imaginative toppings such as wasabi pea dust, Nilla Wafers, Dulce de Leche, olive oil and sea salt, and other rotating offerings. These are dispensed the way ice cream should be — with humor and good cheer.

The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck is the brainchild of Douglas Quint (a professional bassoonist) and his partner, Bryan Petroff. They are thrilled that their idea of pairing “plain-old soft serve” with fun, eclectic toppings, and then selling it with a smile, has sparked both happiness and satisfied palates.

The truck has been blessed with excellent mentions from The Daily News, New York Post, Time Out NY, NBC, ABC, Logo, Change.org, and both NPR and CBC. The New York Times sums up the truck as follows: “The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck is manned by the charming Doug Quint, a bassoonist who Twitters, like a latter-day Pied Piper, his daily menu [and] location. [He] gives the same information on his website. Mr. Quint’s operation doesn’t aspire to be artisanal. He celebrates the Mister Softee tradition, with a wink.

But what would Mayor Bloomberg and Michelle Obama think? There has to be a South Park episode in this somewhere.

And why isn’t Mr. Quint aspiring to be artisanal? This seems like the perfect opportunity to bring some diversity to the ever-expanding artisnal sno-cone market that’s all the rage these days, according to the New York Times.

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As Always, Life Imitates Animal House

Thursday, July 28th, 2011 - by J.J. Hunsecker

Bluto: [thrusting six-pack into Flounder's hands] My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.

Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder, he’s in pre-med.

– From the 1978 tell-all documentary on the excesses of college fraternities, Animal House.

Headline in People magazine today, “Amy Winehouse Died from Alcohol Withdrawal, Says Family:”

Winehouse ignored doctors’ advice to step back gradually from her heavy drinking and went cold turkey in the past month, an unnamed family friend tells Britain’s Sun. Her family believes that was too much of a shock to her system, the source adds.

“Abstinence gave her body such a fright, they thought it was eventually the cause of her death,” says the source.

PEOPLE has confirmed that this is the family’s belief.

Why can’t the modern generation learn from the millennia of experience that went before them, or barring that, John Landis’ earlier, funnier movies?

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The 10 Best Cities for Bachelors

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 - by J.J. Hunsecker

As the Professor writes, this CNBC photo essay is definitely “News You Can Use:”

What’s important to single men? According to Maxim’s menu bar, it’s “gaming, girls, humor, movies, music, sports, stuff, TV and video.”

Time and money are precious, so when it comes to where  guys  live, their priorities are that it fit their budget, be close to work and close to nightlife (i.e., girls), according to a recent survey by Rent.com.

The chief reason many of these cities were chosen seems to be that women outnumber men in many of them. But as you go through the list, you may question the quality of life in many of these cities. You may also question why you’re getting your advice from Maxim’s, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.

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Absolute Ninja Warrior Vatican Assassin Lands New Fall Show

Monday, July 18th, 2011 - by J.J. Hunsecker

“Charlie Sheen is heading into Anger Management,” the London Daily Mail reports. Well, on TV at least:

It will be Sheen’s first acting role since he was fired as the star of the sitcom Two and A Half Men earlier this year after a string of public run-ins with his bosses.

‘I chose Anger Management because, while it might be a big stretch for me to play someone with serious anger management issues, I think it is a great concept,’ Sheen said.

The show will see Sheen reunited with producer, Joe Roth, with whom he worked on Major League and Young Guns.

Access Hollywood adds this quote from Roth: “Who better than Charlie Sheen to tackle ‘Anger Management?’”

Who indeed?

There’s just one catch: “No TV network has yet bought the comedy,” the Daily Mail adds. Still though, it’s only a matter of time, right? Whether the show’s a hit or not, you’re guaranteed loads of publicity.

Sooner or later.

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