L. Ron Hubbard

Scientology: Such Evil Will Fall

What is going on with this cult of celebrity is akin to the moment in the Batman series when it stops being a Tim Burton live-action cartoon and Christopher Nolan takes over to show us how dark and fucked up the scenario really is.  The old buffoon Jack Nicholson is no longer the Joker.  It’s now Heath Ledger’s version, a more authentic, malformed, psychopathic threat to humanity and to himself,

Joaquin Phoenix

REVIEW: ‘The Master’ Bewitches but Deceives

As readers of these pages know, insanity and religion are Siamese-twin subjects with which I have a nearly obsessive-compulsive fascination.  Back when this was still a blog—or a ‘contrablog,’ as my friend Jen Swallow coined it the other day—I ran a Schizo of the Week item every Friday that featured a character either in the news or from the streets of Hollywood who was affected by symptoms of schizophrenia, the one personality type (I am loath to use the word ‘disorder’) that specifically holds me in its thrall.

Having prefaced with that, it would be impossible for me not to be equally fascinated by Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film The Master, which comes out today in the U.S.; it is mostly about the symbiotic relationship between religion and insanity, with a subtext of the crypto-romantic relationship between a master and his favorite disciple, and how that obsession on the master’s part affects others in his inner circle.

Philip Seymour Hoffman The Master

Ring Around A Volcano


by James Killough

I know, I was supposed to post on Tuesday, but I’m not sure that properly speaking I had a Tuesday.  Well, I had sort of one, but it was in Delhi, which wasn’t really a Tuesday in the West, and we’re on a PST time schedule at PFC.  I worked flat-out all day, wrapped my last shoot a half hour before I travelled for twenty-eight hours home, eighteen of which were on a non-stop flight from Dubai to LA.  We had to skirt the volcano in Iceland and fly south.  The journey would have been more of a bitch than it was had it not been for the fact I was able to lie down and get a good night’s sleep, and gurgle when I was awake like a stupefied baby at the gazillion channels of entertainment on Emirates.

I would even be willing to endure a knee-lift like Demi if I thought I stood a chance with Kutcher.

I was going to blog from forty thousand feet, but I felt more inspired to watch inflight Hollywood crap.  Most of the plane was watching inflight Bollywood crap, which just goes to show that even when given the choice, Indians would rather keep it real with the caca; we will never prevail over them with our cinematic pablum.

Most inflight entertainment is crap that has just been released on DVD, which sort of justifies this mash-up of reviews.  In the case of Virgin Atlantic, which is more prone to have a selection of quality films side by side with the crap, they will often screen a British film that has yet to be released in the States, or an American one that hasn’t been released in the UK.  That’s what you get when a former entertainment company owns an airline: better contracts with the film companies.