Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Mighty Aphrodite

It won't be released until July 5th but Kylie Minogue has a new album coming out and I can't wait! As a Kylie fan since 1988, any new music by the lovely lady is always worth my attention. 2007's X was considered a commercial underperformer but I still really liked and I am excited about what Kylie has instore for this coming set. Above is the official cover art.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Safety vs. Convenience?

Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull volcano's second eruption in a month last Wednesday has caused most of Northern Europe's airspace to shutdown due to safety concerns. Experts fear that the the volcanic ash in the sky could fly into the engines of airplanes. The grounding of flights departing from and arriving at the affected airspace has extended from Thursday til Sunday evening and it is likely that the ban will continue well into the week ahead. Airlines are calling for the flights ban to be reviewed and are even conducting their own flying tests.

The economic impact of this unprecedented ban can only be estimated but beyond the losses that must be absorbed by the air travel industry, I feel a great deal of sympathy for many travelers who have been hit by this, especially the ones who are unable to return home. As much as it would suck to have to postpone or cancel your holiday plans because you can't fly out, I would say that it would suck a great deal more to be at the other end of your holiday and not being able to return home. Imagine having to spend night after night at the airport as you restlessly await the announcement that flights are resuming, which many people are having to do since they either can't get a hotel room or can't afford the extra nights of accommodation added to their trips.
Are the aviation safety authorities being overly cautious or are we are all being too cavalier and too impatient in demanding that flights resume immediately. After all, would I really want to get on a plane if I was more clear about the risk and implications of flying at this time. Take a look at the picture above - would you want to fly through that? Perhaps what this all boils down to is the failure of the safety authorities to fully communicate to the general public the severity of the hazards of air travel in the event of volcanic ash dispersion. Spread the word, not the ash.

The Ghost of Tony Blair

This weekend, I went to see Roman Polanski's 'The Ghost' and I haven't been able to get it out of my head. Roman Polanski's very public legal troubles have almost overshadowed this fascinating thriller but I believe that it will stand as one of the most enthralling movies of 2010. Adapted for the screen by Polanski and Robert Harris, from the latter's own novel, the movie is about a ghost writer working on the autobiography of a once-popular former British Prime Minister named Adam Lang who now faces calls for indictment for his involvement in a very unpopular war. Sounds familiar? All similarities to Tony Blair are entirely intentional.
Pierce Brosnan is a formidable presence as our beleaguered former Head of State while Ewan McGregor is fantastically droll (there were certain moments when he reminded me of a younger, more handsome Ricky Gervais - no offense, Ricky) as the unknown ghost writer. I must also mention what a joy it was to see Kim Catttrall so engaging in a role other than Samantha Jones and to see Olivia Williams run away with the entire film for her portrayal of the fiercely intelligent and questionable wife of the former PM (a wonderful contrast to her lovely performance as a kind-hearted schoolteacher in the recent Best Picture Oscar nominee 'An Education').

While subtlety is the key to the success of the thriller element of the movie, it is the transparent allusions to Halliburton, Condoleeza Rice, Robin Cook and the Blairs themselves that make this film such a timely and entertaining political satire. Polanski has already won the Best Director award at this year's Berlin Film Festival. I sincerely hope that this film will be remembered come next year's movie awards season.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The battle for Wisteria Lane heats up

Last week, former Desperate Housewives star Nicollette Sheridan filed a lawsuit against ABC and the show's creator Marc Cherry. She claims in her suit that she was physically abused by Cherry after she complained about him to the network. I found it all rather suspicious since Nicollette was written out of the show over a year ago....if this really happened, why would she wait so long before going public with it. No doubt, there's bad blood between her and the show. This whole mess just got a bit juicier since the four remaining original stars of the show, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria Parker and Marcia Cross, just issued a statement to People magazine in support of Cherry and praising their set environment as an 'amazingly positive experience', in contrast to Sheridan's claim that it was a hostile working environment. Who's telling the truth and who's lying? Maybe everyone is doing a bit of both but perhaps this kind of unpleasant attention is exactly what this six year old program needs in order to regenerate public interest in it. I, for one, am looking forward to watching how this real-life primetime soap opera plotline unfolds...


Today is Wan Songkran, the traditional Thai New Year's Day. Thai people mark this occasion by turning April 13th into a water festival. People throw water at one another to symbolize the cleansing of the past in preparation for a new beginning. I feel moved to acknowledge the start of a new year because Thailand has been through a great deal of turmoil in the past year, especially in the past few days. I have, too, and there is nothing more appealing to me than the prospect of washing away the troubles of my past and being open and ready to receive and experience the riches and wonders of my future.

Tina Fey rocked SNL!

Did anyone else catch Tina Fey hosting Saturday Night Live last weekend? I've watched it a few times and I am still thinking about some of the skits. I liked Tina's impersonation of Dina Lohan (especially telling considering that Tina worked with Lindsay on 2004's 'Mean Girls' so one can only imagine what of Dina's insane stagemom persona Tina must have witnessed firsthand) and her piercing rebuke of the whore that is Bombshell McGee. Tina brought a great deal of heart and sincerity to the show and her maternal influence could be felt in the sweet, if not altogether that funny, skit set at the high-school dance. I must also give props to Nasim Pedrad who is proving herself to be quite an invaluable addition to the SNL cast. The only thing that I thought was unnecessary was the rehash of Tina's iconic Sarah Palin impression during the 2008 US Presidential Election. It doesn't matter that the skit poked fun at the former governor of Alaska's idiocy; it's just a waste of time to keep bringing up her name and prolonging that lame-brained quitter's 15 minutes of fame. Oh, by the way, how cute did musical guest Justin Bieber look, even if he does look like a lost extra from 'The L Word'. Are we sure that he isn't pulling a Brandon Teena on the world of pop music?

Tina Fey's new movie 'Date Night' just opened at No.2 at the US box office and opens in the UK on April 21st...I am so there.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Less than two months to go!!!

The final version of the trailer for Sex and the City 2 was released today and boy, does it deliver!!! I love how just a month ago, John Corbett was telling the press that the return of Aidan Shaw in the sequel to 2008's smash hit big-screen adaption of the iconic HBO series was a false rumor and here he is, featured prominently in the trailer. Just when you thought, how are they going to make another movie when Carrie got married at the end of the last film...
Also, I gotta say that I'm lovin' the ladies being taken out of New York City and transplanted in Abu Dhabi rather than the obvious choices of going to London or Paris (mind you, they already did that, haven't they), that's being truly cosmopolitan!