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Thursday, August 31, 2006

R.I.P., R.I.P., R.I.P.

They say it comes in threes. This week, three influential talents in Hollywood that you might not have known about have passed away: Glenn Ford, Ed Benedict and Joseph Stefano.

Glenn Ford
(Actor, Blackboard Jungle, Superman)
May 1, 1916 – August 30, 2006

Actor Glenn Ford starred as the teacher in Blackboard Jungle and played Pa Kent in the 1978 Superman movie. His other memorable roles include Gilda and The Courtship of Eddie's Father (the movie, not the TV series starring the kid who would go on to become a hardcore punk singer in real life).

Ed Benedict
August 23, 1912 – August 28, 2006

Cartoonist Ed Benedict was a designer and layout artist who started out working for Tex Avery at MGM. He'd soon move on to Hanna-Barbera, where he designed Quick Draw McGraw (who, I suspect, would later influence the drawling speech patterns of Dr. Phil McGraw), The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss and other icons of the golden age of animation. Heavens to Murgatroyd.

Joseph Stefano
(Screenwriter, Psycho)
May 5, 1922 - August 25, 2006

Screenwriter Joseph Stefano wrote the screenplay to Psycho (and added the famous shower scene, which wasn't in the book) and co-created the TV series, The Outer Limits.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Gymkata, Gotta Gotta

If you like your martial arts action movies to have a little flair (and by "flair" I don’t mean Steven Seagal in a silky kimono -- I mean more like a karate master busting out a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Cartwheel followed by a sassy dismount), then you’ll be happy to hear that Gymkata is finally being released on DVD.

You insult my honor. Let's settle this on the parallel bars.

Answering the age-old questions of "What if ninjas weren’t really all that cool?" and "What if Mary Lou Retton could kick my ass?" Gymkata serves up an action movie with the chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter concept of martial arts meets gymnastics. And it’s all made to sound really, really authentic by adding "-kata" to its name.

The movie originally came out in 1985 and is finally seeing the light of day on DVD thanks to internet voting in’s DVD Decision 2006. The road to Netflix queuedom started with 30 obscure Warner Bros. movies, but only 10 of them could be voted into DVD circulation. Think of it as the Thunderdome for DVDs, where 30 movies enter but only 10 movies leave, and along the way there are some really fabulous somersault dismounts and balance beam work. has just announced which 10 winning movies have been made available for pre-order (though it seems they've upped the total to 12 titles), and Gymkata made the cut, earning a January 2007 release. Back in June, I made a blog posting urging people to vote for the movie, and maybe it worked. Whether or not it sells big when it’s released in January is another story, but if it tanks, it’d be proof yet again that internet buzz is too often overblown Snakes on a Plane-style. And that could be embarrassingly painful... like a throwing star tossed by a ninja in a leotard.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Snakes in a Hissyfit

Boo! Hiss! America, you've let me down. After all the nationwide rallying behind Snakes on a Plane, New Line Cinema finally delivered the exact reptilian kick-assery you asked for, but most of the country didn't even bother to show up to see it on opening weekend. The movie's internet fanbase would lead you to believe that the film would premiere at more than a disappointing $15.2 million, but it's like someone switched the marquee to say Pulse or Step Up or "also starring Rob Schneider."

The snakes on a plane find out the in-flight movie is "You, Me and Dupree"

So maybe snakes aren't the creepiest thing to ride in a plane now that John Mark Karr has flown stateside, but the movie is still hands down the most exhilarating flick of the summer. The film's true genius, however, lies in its ability to reveal how overrated the power of the internet really is. Surprise -- MySpace friends don't translate into actual people who'd really like you in person, home movies still suck when they're on YouTube and web darling Dane Cook is even more unfunny in real life.

But strangely the internet hype was right about Snakes on a Plane -- it's one of the best movies of the year, and here's why:
  1. Snakes bite people everywhere you want to see a snake bite someone (Yes, there. And there.)
  2. Snakes pop out of everywhere on a plane that you'd want a snake to pop out of
  3. Samuel L. Jackson does his trademark badass speech and isn't promptly eaten by a shark
  4. Samuel L. Jackson doesn't play a Jedi
  5. It's a movie about herpetology, and that just sounds funny
  6. It makes for fun theater pranks like this
The only shortcoming for Snakes on a Plane was that there was a kickboxer on board who didn't actually get to kick any snakes, and there was a GINORMOUS snake on board that didn't get enough screen time to get kicked. Oh, and you couldn't even be bothered to see it yet. To paraphrase Sam Jackson, get your motherfucking asses in the motherfucking theater.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Hot Duff

Perhaps it's not readily apparent, what with all the time and attention we give to her mortal enemy, Lindsay Lohan, but we here at Hands in the Air are fascinated by one miss Hilary Duff. Her calendar hangs prominently in our apartment (we even let the month she posed with her sister stay up!), a tiny picture of her is nestled between Jesus and Mary on this incredibly fashionable wall hanging (it lights up!) that Jason gave me a few birthdays ago, her music is featured in pretty much all of our iPod playlists and, of course, we own much in the way of "stuff by hilary duff," including folders, notebooks, magnets and pens.

The Holy Trinity:
A virgin (not Hilary Duff),
the guy from The Da Vinci Code and Hilary Duff

So I was totally f'in stoked to read that more stuff by hilary duff would be available for purchase in some of my favorite (no joke) stores like Wal-Mart and Target. Even more stokage occurred when I read Hils' quote about it all:

"My stuff by hilary duff Fall fashion collection reflects my personal style and taste. As a designer, I travel around the world - from London to Japan, New York to Los Angeles - to make sure my design ideas are in tune," said Hilary.

Non Duff Divers, please note the lyrics to Ms. Duff's "Wake Up."

"Could be New York, maybe Hollywood and Vine...London, Paris maybe Tokyo...There's something going on anywhere I go tonight..."

Yeah. How could she forget to mention Paris when she talked about herself as a designer?!?!? Don't you love that "As a designer" bit? It's like when Haylie calls

No seriously, do you think the person who drafted her quote about stuff by hilary duff knew about the song lyrics and they were being cute, or were they clueless, or what? I can't decide. Luv it either way.

As if the prospect of a new Hilary Duff folder (and maybe a necklace!) weren't enuff, Hil and Hay's movie, Material Girls, comes out on Friday! Since we're getting the seeing of Snakes on a Plane out of the way on Thursday, it's all about the sisters Duff on Friday!

Haylie (left, with the horse face) and Hilary Duff (right, with the giant teeth)

P.P. (post post) One last thing about Hilary--the story goes that back when they were youngins hard at work for the Mouse, Raven (-Symone) and Lindsay Lohan were roomies who had a pic of Hilary on their dartboard. That warms the cockles, don't it?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Saved by the Screech

The life of a celebrity must be so hard. There's the long hours, the lack of privacy and the need to fake actual illness in order to cover for partying too damn hard. And as if all of that weren't enough of a hassle, sometimes some crazy bitch tries to steal your videogames!

Despite any sense of justice in the universe, Dustin Diamond aka "Screech" from "Saved by the Bell," has been out of mainstream consciousness for years, but I guess that doesn't stop crazy bitches from being crazy, now does it? I'm sure that, despite his "Surreal Life"-reject celebrity status, even the "D-man" has to deal with this kind of phenomenon all the time, so when the shit hits the fan, he's prepared.

Gimmie yer money or I'll mace you! You're bankrupt? Oh for fuck's sake. Gimmie them videogames, then, Screech. And Zack Morris' phone number.

So beware crazy bitches! If you're skinny enough and can't throw a decent punch, Dustin Diamond will totally kick your girly Playstation.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Podcast Episode #007: Scotch and Pee in My Coke

Podcast #007 is ready to offend your ears! This episode features Jenni's sister Deitri, our first-ever guest who dialed in from Cleveland, Ohio to make the podcast a three-state affair (Jenni, Jason and Steve are in Los Angeles and Chris is in New York for those who didn't know). Maybe you could be our next guest, so e-mail your pleas and bribes to

Clockwise from left: Steve, Jenni, Chris and Jason. Not pictured: Deitri (or, she could be represented by the house plant)

Highlights of the episode include a story about Scotland, more original Snakes on a Plane songs and a dance song featuring the quotes of Chris.

Vote for our podcast! Show your support and vote for our podcast at Podcast Alley.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock was born 107 years ago today on August 13, 1899. To commemorate the Master of Suspense's birthday, I've photographed my toy tribute to some of his most popular and iconic films (including two of my all-time favorite movies, Vertigo and North by Northwest).

Meanwhile, M. Night Shyamalan rang in his 36th birthday last week on August 6, and in a typical anticlimactic twist, the event was a self-indulgent celebration of himself that no one could really give a crap about.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Great Ball o' Fire

For much of my adult life, I have made a study of badassitude. You see, I was born a badass, and I am proud of it.

All the world loves a badass, but I don't just want to love the badasses around me, or the badass that is me. I want to understand badassitude, I want to cultivate badassitude, I want to celebrate badassitude. Badasses deserve their time in the spotlight, too.

Though true badassitude is rare, you can find it in many surprising places.

Now, I don't know this little fella's name, but I can tell you this: little yellow computer-generated fire hat dude is BADASS. Look at his face. There's like, 85 emotions in there at once. He's concerned, but he's also a little pissed at you for having to be reminded about this shit. He is serious, but he is playful--goddammit, his eyes are playful.

He is raw power in a rotund, jaundiced, hatted package. You can smell the baditude on this mofo a mile away. You can taste it on your lips.

He's so badass, he doesn't need a name. Or a body. Or a firehose. He puts out fires (and gives safety lessons) through sheer force of motherfucking badass will. If he thinks too hard about putting out fires, the sun will go out and then we'll all be fucked. Do not make him think too hard about putting out fires, I am not in the mood to freeze to death.

Possibly the greatest thing Mr. badass fire hat yellow guy has ever appeared on is sadly not available on the internet, and I keep forgetting to bring my camera to try to take a picture of it from a moving car on my commute home, but I will try to convey the subtle beauty and force-of-nature-level impact of it. Our stoic, fire-hatted hero is placed in the center of a rippling turquoise background; ah, yes, it's the water in a pool. Arranged around him, the stirring slogan: "Children drown without a sound." And then there's some other stuff on there but I forget what it says. Something about installing fences around your pool or hiring a lifeguard or some shit.

Young, pre-fire hat badass before he learned all about fire safety.

Unfortunately, I cannot give you the pleasure of first encountering him in this setting, but this is how I first met the badass fire mascot, and I think you can understand why he's affected me so deeply. Here is a fire mascot, a bit top-heavy but undeniably masculine, dignified in his fire hat, clearly a symbol for stopping, dropping, and rolling--and he's concerned about water-related safety, and children. Is there no end to his heroism? I don't know where he keeps his heart, but it must be enormous. There are lifeguards and whoever teaches people how not to accidentally kill their children to deliver this message, but no, that's not good enough for him. He needs to get involved on a personal level. Fuck, now I'm weeping.

Damn badasses get me every time.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Spitting Images

Everyone's been told they resemble some celebrity, but most people probably wouldn't say that I could be mistaken for Eddie Murphy or Alyssa Milano. The Face Recognition demo at would claim otherwise, and the mug-matching program even suggests that I'm a dead ringer for Daisy Fuentes and Michael Caine, too. In reality, most people get me mixed up with the food delivery guy but that's another story.

A webwide sensation, the Face Recognition demo allows you to upload digital photos of yourself, and the program will scan its celebrity database to find the star you most closely resemble. The demo has people uploading photo after photo in the hopes it'll match their looks with Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, but instead it's a heartless ego-reamer, matching users' pics with the likes of such mirror-crackers as Frankie Muniz or the Snapple lady.

Once, the program actually thought a wrinkle in a shirt in one of my photos resembled Winona Ryder, so now I'm uploading photos of toast in the hopes of uncovering an image of the Virgin Mary so I can cash in on all those religious nuts and/or grilled cheese lovers. To abuse the Face Recognition program even further, I've uploaded photos of some various action figures and toys to see who their celebrity twins are. None of the celebrity toys matched their real-life counterparts, but at least that Malcolm in the Middle kid didn't come up either.

Lindsay Lohan = Elisha Cuthbert. The My Scene doll version of the 24-hour party queen resembles the 24 party pooper.

Jessica Alba as the Invisible Woman = Cate Blanchett. (Click each link to the see the actual Face Recognition results.)

The Rock = Lara Flynn Boyle. Fun fact: It takes 1,487 Lara Flynn Boyles lined up waist-to-waist to equal the circumference of the Rock's neck.

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy the Vampire Slayer = Keira Knightley

David Boreanaz as Angel (in vampire/ass-face form) = Eddie Murphy

Wonder Woman = Joan Crawford, (wire hangers = bad)

Wonder Woman Baby = Madonna

Saturn Girl = Lucille Ball

Superwoman = Johnny Depp

David Hasselhoff = Natalie Imbruglia, (so by the transitive property of equality, Natalie Imbruglia = Super Awesome.)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Daily Show to Democracy: "Suck it!"

Jon Stewart hates democracy!

I love attention-grabbing, sensationalist bullshit like that because when all I've got is a shitty blog post full of ill-conceived ideas and half-assed statistical studies, I need some crazy shit like that to make me seem important. It's what I'm good at, and apparently I'm not the only one.

"Excellent. With biting sarcasm like this, democracy doesn't stand a chance! Muwahahaha!"

Forgive me for just stumbling on this now--for some of you it may be old news from over a month ago, but I missed this little nugget of column tomfoolery back in late June. Needless to say, I don't spend a lot of time reading The Washington Post's website because I find real, grown-up news boring and sorely lacking in the brand of hilarious "infotainment" that my generation so desperately craves.

I am bound, nay FORCED to reluctantly agree with everything that this column has to say. I've been watching The Daily Show since before the "with Jon Stewart" was tacked on, which made me a rather strange teenager, but whatever. Back then I can remember my youthful optimism, my bushy-tailed exuberance and zest for life. I was gonna go out and grab the world by the tail and drag it home in the back pocket of my OshKosh B'Goshes and give it noogies until it was changed to reflect all of the things I believed in like truth, justice, equality and half-days on Friday. But the years have not been kind. That doe-eyed innocent has morphed into a cynical, curmudgeonly husk of his former self and now I know why--the goddamn Daily Show!

Jon Stewart, you sonofabitch, with your Emmy-winning comedy/social commentary, have turned my world of rainbows and lollipops into a dismal realm of dimwitted politicians and corporate greed and bungled war efforts. A thousand curses upon you and your staff for showing me the foibles of our imperfect government and cleverly exposing the ridiculousness that is inherent in most of our political process. You have raped my childhood and skull-fucked my innocence, you rat bastard.

No wonder I don't want to vote anymore or be a part of the process. It has nothing to do with the fact that the two dominant political parties in this country have moved so far to the extremes of their bases that no sane person could genuinely support either of them wholeheartedly. It has nothing to do with the fact that corporations and lobbies weigh far more on the minds of our representatives than the welfare of their constituents. It has absolutely nothing to do with the constant stream of bullshit "issues" that are cooked up every election year to distract people from actual problems, because God forbid we actually fix social security, the budget, the war, education or any of that stuff. We need tighter restrictions on those damned videogames that Satan codes in a sweatshop of lost souls in the sixth circle of Hell!

The Dark Lord admires his greatest creation since Rock and Roll

And what's most disturbing of all is that, despite what a cynical bastard Stewart's show has made me, I can't stop watching. I need to get my news from somewhere, don't I? I mean, I would watch network news but they're too busy covering breaking stories like eating a lot of fast food makes you fat and the Internet is full of lonely, perverted sickos who want to violate you/your children/your pets. And the networks aren't so great at getting their messages across. I mean, half of the country STILL believes that Saddam had WMDs prior to the invasion of Iraq! That's like half the country believing that 2+2 = 5 or that gravity is optional or that Paris Hilton is not a slut--it's something that all credible evidence says is completely untrue.

So what are my options? I can either continue to watch Jon Stewart destructively, although wittily destroy democracy by disenfranchising my generation and showing me that the people in power care as much about me and mine as I do about them and theirs, or I could watch and read what passes for "real" journalism these days in which hundreds of media outlets tell me how bad things are and then chastise me in op-ed pieces for not doing anything either then or now while completely ignoring their own complicit silence in the past.

All cynical sarcasm aside, I do believe that The Daily Show demonstrates for its audience of impressionable youths and politically minded people with funny bones the startling truth that no, not many people in power give two shits about them outside of a potential vote. If you passionately care about a real issue, chances are nobody's going to raise it on the floor of any democratic body that matters. The voice of the people isn't heard much on Capitol Hill. Now some, like the guy who wrote that column, see that lesson as defeating democracy--grinding people down--and yeah, some of them might just give up on the whole mess. I can certainly understand the temptation. But I see it as a lesson in self-reliance and an impetus for change. If you really care, you can't just sit on your couch and expect things to happen the way you want to because the people in Washington certainly aren't going to get it done for you.

If you really want your voice heard, you need to say something.

Snarky, cynical images courtesy of Jason

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dear Ms. Lohan

Lindsay Lohan has recently been scolded for partying too hard in an infamous letter written by the producer of Georgia Rule, a film she's currently shooting. It seems Lindsay has been showing up late to the shoots because of "exhaustion" that her producer James G. Robinson chalks up to her late-night partying. Lindz is apparently compromising the integrity of the film -- this coming from the guy who produced such classics as Juwanna Mann.

If Lindsay decides to stop partying to concentrate on acting, what will become of the Hollywood nightlife scene? We have a letter of our own that argues against Robinson's complaint.

read the original Lindsay complaint letter from her producer here.

Then, expand our counterpoint letter by clicking on it below.