Hollywood: Days of Wine and Celebrities

I’ll admit I’m not the world’s foremost authority when it comes to wine; I don’t really know my from rosé from my rose b. But in my defense, I know a ton about celebrities; trust me you don’t want to go up against me in any type of entertainment trivia setting. They don’t call me Rain Man for nothing! On second thought, that could be for my penchant for not wearing underwear. Plus, I am an excellent driver.
So I thought I’d take a cue from the old NBC PSA, The More You Know, and learn something about wines in the only way that I could comprehend it; by slapping a star’s face on the bottle and seeing what sticks.
Here is a gander at which celebrities have branched out into these side endeavors; get ready for the words to flow like so much grape-made liquid.
Hollywood and Vine

hollywoodcoppolla1_1935792b The very first celebrity name that comes to mind when one thinks of vineyards and the like is director Francis Ford Coppola. In 1975, he began his winemaking venture in Napa Valley and produced his first vintage two years later. The endeavor was a regular family affair with his wife and kids stomping the grapes; isn’t that why people have kids because of free child labor?
Fast forward to 1995 and Coppola purchased the former Inglenook Winery chateau and paid more for the legendary trademark of the company than he did for the estate. I guess they made him a deal he couldn’t refuse. His Inglenook wine is made with organically grown grapes and its Chablis is in the Top 5 of bestselling wines served in restaurants.
His Francis Ford Coppola Wineries is influenced by the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen and features memorabilia from his acclaimed films. He has called the winery “a wine wonderland, a park of pleasure where people of all ages can enjoy all the best things in life – food, wine, music, dancing, games, swimming and performances of all types.” So, a Disneyland for drunks in other words.
Back in 2007, Johnny Depp bought his then-girlfriend Vanessa Paradis a vineyard estate located near St, Tropez, France. He was known to ship his wines to movie sets, such as 2009’s Public Enemies, and that fell in line with his reputhollywoodmadonna-and-drinking-wine-galleryation as a Hollywood party boy. In 2012, Depp and Paradis split and a year later he admitted that he had been sober for a year-and-a-half. Good for you, but bad for business.
Soccer stud David Beckham purchased a Napa Valley winery for a paltry seven figures for wife Victoria’s birthday this year. Damn, that Spice Girl gets everything! They have no plans to mass produce the wine, deciding to keep it on hand for family and friends. Well, that’s probably for the best, as former Real Housewives star, Bethenny Frankel already named her brand Skinny Girl. What? Vicki looks a little bit like a lollipop, just sayin’.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are an unstoppable Hollywood commodity and they have parlayed that Midas touch into the wine business. They released their first vintage rosé from their $60 million estate in Provence last year to rave reviews. And being the savvy types, they have a great loyalty program for drinkers of their Jolie-Pitt & Perrin Côte de Provence Rosé Miraval. Buy a case of wine, get a kid for free.

While most people forget that Madonna actually has a last name, and that it’s Ciccone, they can just open the cork on a bottle made at Ciccone Vineyard & Winery to edify themselves. The business is a venture between the “Material Girl” and her “Papa Don’t Preach,” Tony Ciccone, based out of Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan and is located on 14 acres, which produces a variety of wines ranging from Pinot Noir to Cabernet Sauvignon. The enterprise is a real family affair, with Madonna’s stepmother Joan acting as co-owner, her brother Mario is the Operations Manager, while her sister Paula is the Wine Production Manager. Way to keep it together in the family, Mo.
Madonna’s Evita co-star, Antonio Banderas, has also gotten into the wine game. He introduced a line of Spanish wines in 2009 with Anta Banderas. Hopefully, part of the wine-making procedure doesn’t involve substituting straining grapes through cheese cloth, in favor of utilizing his ex-wife Melanie Griffith’s excess skin from face lifts for the process.
Sting has a new Message in a Bottle vino to complete his other three wines, Tenuta Il Palagio Casino delle Vie, Tenuta Il Palagio When We Dance and Tenuta Palagio Il Sister Moon.
What? No Tenuta Il Palagio Zenyatta Mondatta! Missed opportunity there, Sting. The singer and his wife Trudie Styler purchased an in disrepair estate in Tuscany, Italy in 1999 and transformed it into a successful winery.
Since 1983, Olivia Newton-John’s Koala Blue brand of wines offers its drinkers “a taste of Australia.” But, be careful too many sips of Australia could result in becoming Slutty Sandy.

Bottle Service, TV style
Former “Full House” star Candace Cameron and her hubby Valerie Bure are the makers of Bure Family Wines. One can’t help but wonder since Cameron is a devout Christian if they actually turn water into wine.
“Sex and the City” cast member Kyle MacLachlan has a Cabernet blend called Pursued by Bear, which is based out of Walla Walla, Washington. With the recent news that his cult hit show, “Twin Peaks,” will return to the air on Showtime in 2016, and since he hinted on Twitter that he may be returning as agent Dale Cooper; perhaps his will replace his character’s love for a cup of “damn fine coffee” in favor of a glass of “damn fine wine.” An added bonus is that if director David Lynch features more backwards talking dwarves on the new edition, drinking MacLachlan’s wine will help it make sense.

hollywoodRamona-Singer-Pinot-Grigio-Turtle-Time It’s no secret that “Real Housewives of New York City” staple Ramona Singer is no stranger to Pinot Grigio and what she refers to as “Turtle Time,” in relation to her love of the grape. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she started her own label, Ramona Pinot Grigio. Look for her new Syrah, Crazy Eyes, in the coming year.
Well there you have it, a way to impress your friends at your next Academy Awards party by busting out a wine by any of the aforementioned celebrities.
And I feel like I learned something here today.
I’m really surprised, since the wine-making business has become a lucrative side gig, that more celebrities who have had run-ins with the law for alcohol-related offenses haven’t jumped on this particular bandwagon. I mean who wouldn’t want to wash down a delicious meal with Nick Nolte’s Mug Shot Merlot or Mel Gibson’s Sugar T**ts Chardonnay? And much like a grape on a vine, that’s one to grow on.

Gaywatch: Summer Movie Preview 2011

Hollywood: Summer Movie Preview

By Tim Parks

It’s that time of year again, where heroes don’t fear to tread in their spandex tights. No, I am not talking about Pride season being in full swing, well maybe because of the spandex reference, but it’s the summer movie season y’all. And the era of the superhero blockbuster, sequels up the ying yang without the luxury of lubricants, kiddie fare, R-rated comedies (oh my!) and even the final cinematic adventure for ole Larry Porter are upon us again. Oh, his name is Harry Potter, you say? Not in my world, ok?

The short of the long of it is, it’s mainly a great time to check your brain with the usher tearing your ticket, grab a bucket of popped corn (minus the butter, it is Pride season, after all!), a large drink (no, they don’t sell Diet Water at the concession stand…I checked), and don’t forget to take out that second mortgage on your humble abode, as the Hollywood movie-making machine is self aware and looking to collect your hard-earned dollars.

Let’s see what fare may be deemed tailor-made for audiences of the pink persuasion, including Glee Live! 3D! or as it was known under its covert working title as Exclamation! Point!: The! Movie! on August 12. Trust me, there’s a virtual eye candy smorgasbord and a plentitude for your inner 13-year-old girl to get all in a dither about.

Holding Out For A Hero

X-Men: First Class welcomes Charles Xavier’s mutants to the ’60s, so Hairspray of him, no? Not really, as this is most certainly not a musical, but rather a prequel to the first three based-on-Marvel Comics films. Oh, and I guess I should count Wolverine, too. Moving along, and we’re walking…what, did you think that Hugh Jackman solo X-Men Origin vehicle was really that good? And, we’re walking…

This reboot stars James McAvoy as The Professor and Michael Assbender, err, Fassbender as Magneto, and features a slew of Stan Lee Mutant Babies, including a very young Mystique (Morgan Lily). (June 3).

Green Lantern stars Ryan Reynolds in a very tight green superhero suit as the titular character. Ok, where was I? Ryan Reynolds in a very tight green superhero suit. Damn, I can’t shake that visual, alright my professional writing hat is back on. So, Ryan Reynolds headlines this flick as a cocky test pilot named Hal Jordan, who is bestowed a magical ring by an alien race to defeat a threat to Earth, in the guise of the evil Parallax. Cocky. Ryan Reynolds. Dammit, my hat fell off! (June 17)  

Former Fantastic Four flamer Chris Evans takes on another superhero role as Captain America: The First Avenger, who starts out the film as 90 pound weakling Steve Rogers and is constantly rejected by the military he wants to serve. Don’t ask, don’t tell? That is until he is finally accepted and takes part in a secret experiment “Operation: Rebirth,” which should have been called “Operation: Hot,” as he emerges from his chrysalis of doses of vita-rays and Super-Soldier Serum that must have been high in protein (nudge to the wink) as a bonerfide, um, bonafide stud muffin. Oh yeah, this 1940s-based character takes on the Nazis and stuff…did I mention he looks hot doing it? (July 22)

Hey! There is a remake of Conan The Barbarian coming with Jason Momoa taking over for Arnold Schwarzenegger, so I guess that means he’ll move into Maria Shriver’s former marriage bed? Or the pantry with former household staff, I’m just sayin’. (August 19)

Kid’s Stuff

 

Cars 2 is this summer’s Pixar entry to one of its least popular blockbuster season movies …what, no sequel to Finding Nemo? I’ll admit the original tale of Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson and his jacked up nose) does grow on you with subsequent viewings, and this time out the Radiator Springs gang heads off to compete in the World Grand Prix, as Mater (Larry The Cable Guy) does double duty as a spy. (June 24)

It seems pretty irresponsible to market the story of a “video head cleaner” pioneer to unsuspecting children and parents with Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Oh, it’s a Jim Carrey vehicle about a man who inherits six penguins? That’s good, ’cause we wouldn’t want kids to make the same mistake as me by pouring a bottle of Rush into their VCR…yes, they still make them!  (June 17)

Let’s breakdown The Smurfs, shall we? That’s rhetorical; you’ll read my analysis and like it, got it? The former ’80s Saturday morning cartoon featured a village of little blue gentlemen festooned in a sassy white pant and matching white hat ensemble, minus shirts, while they lived in mushroom houses in a village under the watchful gaze of Papa (Daddy?) Smurf, and only had one female (Smurfette) to serve as a Smurf hag.

Maybe the show and movie should have been re-christened and spelled as capital G to the A and add a Y, ’cause all that’s missing is a rainbow flag.

The big screen adaptation plotline transports them from their ’shroom homes to the wilds of New York City with Gargamel in hot pursuit, and features vocal talents provided by Neil Patrick Harris (gay), Hank Azaria (gay adjacent), Katy Perry (hello, it’s Katy), Jayma Mays(Emma on Glee), Alan Cumming (sssuper gay, my tire’ssss leaking) and Wolfgang Puck (?). Oh yeah, that makes it much less smurfin’ gay, really (August 3).  

I’ve Come Down With A Case Of Sequelitis

As previously mentioned, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Deux, chronicles “the boy who lived” (Daniel Radcliffe) as he encounters his much-anticipated final battle with He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named (Ralph Fiennes), or he’s known in some circles as Donald Trump. It all comes down to a climatic showdown between good and evil, guess if I could read I’d know who wins…sigh. (July 15)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon serves as a cautionary tale for the ages, really. If you’re Megan Fox don’t talk smack about directorMichaelBay, if you do then you won’t be in this third outing for the Autobots and Decepticons with Shia LaBeouf. Sucks to be you, Megan! (July1)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes brings into sharp focus the adage, “Was this trip necessary?” As the 2001 Tim Burton remake was akin to a monkey throwing poop at movie audiences – didn’t Helena Bonham Carter’s make-up look eerily like Michael Jackson? Hold up, this one stars James Franco in an origin story of how the world eventually goes ape, and hopefully he’ll be in a loin cloth! (August 5) 

He’s Bringing Laughter Back

Justin Timberlake has two, count ’em, two new movies out this summer with Bad Teacher and Friends with Benefits. Yeah. That’s better than working on a new CD; it’s only been five years, JT!

Anyhoo, he teams up with former flame Cameron Diaz, as a bad apple teacher for the first comedic flick, and Mila Kunis for the second outing of this remake of her Black Swan co-star, Natalie Portman’s comedy No Strings Attached. C’mon, they are soooo similar in plot! (June 17 and July 22)

Close Encounters of the Cinematic Kind

How awesome does Super 8 look? Uh, pretty awesome, which is my new catchphrase, k? Well, there’s a reason for that, the movie looking good, not my newly worded phrase; it’s from the godfather of the summer movie blockbuster, Steven Spielberg, as its executive producer and J.J. Abrams (Lost) is at its helm doing double time as writer/director. This tale of a group of 1979 era Ohio kids making a Super 8 film (that’s what the title means, hello!) when a train carrying a government car with a mysterious cargo derails has all the ear markings of vintage Spielbergian (what? it’s a real word…see Hitchcockian) elements. (June 10)

Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig star as the respective, and singular version, of Cowboys & Aliens (well, isn’t that convenient?), in which the Wild West genre gets a makeover into sci-fi territory, after a queer stranger (nope, not that kind) happens into theArizona town Absolution, circa 1873, and helps to illustrate that we are not alone. (July 29)

Usually I do not like remakes, but I have to say that both Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Fright Night are high up on my must-see list.

My memories of the source material of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark were heightened when I saw the movie’s trailer, which is a redo of the 1973 TV movie, which starred Kim Darby as a woman terrorized by little onion head creatures that lived in her basement and called out to her from the fireplace, “Sally, we want you Sally!” Pretty scary stuff for a then young Timmy Parks (how times change, no one calls me Timmy and I’m young-at-heart!). The update looks equally freaky, if only because Tom Cruise let Katie Holmes out of the house to star as the step-girlfriend of Guy Pearce’s movie daughter Bailee Madison as Sally…they want you Sally!

Colin Farrell terrorizes Anton Yelchin and his single mom, Toni Collette (you’re terrible, Muriel!), in the horror comedy Fright Night, which originally starred Roddy McDowell and that guy from Herman’s Head in the ’80s and now career obscurity, William Ragsdale. The first time around had a plethora of homoerotic moments, and starred a pre-out lesbian Amanda Bearse (Married with Children), so let’s hope this tale of a teenager and his possible vampire neighbor retains those elements, especially since Farrell is waaay hotter than Chris Sarandon was in the ’85 version, ok? (August 12 and August 19)

Cut. Print. That’s A Wrap! 

Phew, we made it through a fraction of what the summer has to offer us in terms of movie-going experiences. Shoot, I didn’t have enough space to discuss Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer…Judy Moody, eh? Sounds like someone got her first visit from Aunt Flo, and let’s hope these flicks aren’t likened to a Bummer Summer, or even the aforementioned unwanted “relative” dropping by. Until next time, that’s all of the news that’s fit to print.

Hollywood: Madonna Vs. Lady Gaga

Hollywood: Madonna Vs. Lady Gaga

By Tim Parks

Ok, if I hear one more twenty-something gay guy profess that Lady Gaga is the “new” Madonna; I will seriously lose my collective brown expletive!

This bit of exchange was overheard during a recent “spirited” conversation between me and one such dandy fellow, which left me nonplussed.

It was in reference about how Madonna is only good for “buying children” and “can’t sing or act.” Then there was this corker that he hadn’t really listened to her “because she’s Madonna!”

Oh, really!? Nice blanket statement and I didn’t know my eyes could roll back that far.

That’s like saying I hate pickles (uh, no, pickles are what I meant) and having never put my lips around one (again, a pickle is just a pickle).

But, it did get me to thinking and a slew of questions immediately rose up in the murky depths of my mind: “Isn’t there some way for these two musical talents to co-exist?” “Why not a good old fashioned Thunderdome match, where two divas enter and one leaves to reign supreme?” “What will they wear?” Hey, it’s my brain, ok?

Most importantly was how to convey that Madonna is still as viable as Gaga. But how to do so? I know, I’ll write about it…duh!

So, it’s a diva smack down, but I’m probably the one who’ll get beeyatch slapped for what I am about to say…as I try my damndest to explain that without the chicken hawk (or its female counterpart, the cougar) there couldn’t have been an egg arriving at this year’s Grammys.

The Mo You Know

I love Madonna so much, that I have given her the nickname of Mo, as she’s been ingrained in my mind, ever since our you-can-dance-for-inspiration release “love affair” began in 1983 to present – and beyond to her forthcoming one, due out next Spring, with the first single coming our way in February or March (I am not being cagey about its impending release, it’s all she would say about it, ok?). And she’s re-teaming with William Orbit (they worked on Ray of Light together) and she’s also enlisting the sevices of Jean Baptiste Kouame – who worte a good majority of hits for the Black Eyed Peas last CD, including “Rock Your Body” – there, now don’t you feel well-informed? Oh, who asked you!  

Now, back to our story, already in progress…Her persona of this-is-who-I-am-you-can-like-it-or-not resonated with me, along with her take-no-prisoners approach to staying in the limelight. It only waivered once around the time of her Sex book, because I didn’t need to see her hitching a ride naked; and no, it was not because she was starkers (I had seen her Playboy and Penthouse, uh, spreads – underarm hair, gross), but because Madonna shouldn’t have to hitchhike, so gauche!

Anyhoo, I can’t believe Bruce Willis said on “Moonlighting” that no one would want her phone number after 1985! Oh, really, Brucie? Just like now when they can’t say your name without mentioning Ashton Kutcher schtuping your ex wife? Oh, you got served!

The point is… even back then I wondered why anyone would want to cross one of the most powerful, successful and richest women in showbiz history? Oh, that’s because everyone saw her as a flashin’ the panties performer, with as much staying power as a case of the clap, pre-penicillin shot (I heard that from other kids!).

Let me give it a stab, though, for s’s and g’s (shits and giggles for the abbreviation impaired).

Besides, she is also a work out, yoga and Pilates fanatic – and she’s checking out the bodies and drinking a soy latte, but we won’t go there on the rap portion of “American Life,” girlfriends. Let’s do with two words: Bad. Idea.

Oops, there’s a good chance she might either shank me to death with her money clip, or give me the squeeze of a lifetime with her freakishly buffed arms or legs, should I cross her.

And, at great personal risk, I know she doesn’t chart as high as she once did, (duck!) but I still love her music from all eras, as it reflects the changes in her personal life – so glad she got divorced, and is literally being a boy toy again.

She has stayed in our collective conscious for 28 years now, still fascinating us almost three decades (in 2015) after she rolled on the floor during her “Like A Virgin” performance at the first MTV Music Awards, and 20 years have passed since her documentary “Truth or Dare” afforded us a glimpse into her true persona (so bitchy, yay!). Yet, her career isn’t “just dust,” like her graveside observation that her mother was probably ready for a vacuum… nice manners, Mo. She’s still selling out arenas worldwide; as her “Sticky and Sweet Tour” was the highest-grossing female solo concert in history, suck on that.

I think that sometimes all of this has left me wanting to yell with clenched fists and teeth, “Hey you kids! Get off my diva lawn!” And, that’s because I think that for those of us who lived through Madonna’s “heyday” remember the collective impact she had on an entire generation afraid to face an uncertain future, with AIDS looming large on the horizon. Too deep? Too bad, it’s the truth, Ruth.

Her safe sex messages in concerts like the “Who’s That Girl” Tour and “The Girlie Show,” were clear indicators, that while she didn’t always practice what she papa don’t preach(ed); Madonna was, and is, worried about us as a community.

Surprisingly, she is sometimes mum, even with her old English accent, about what all she has done for us, and doesn’t Lourdes it over our heads that she has been our champion for, lo, these many years.

But what of the Lady?

 

Goo Goo for Gaga?

I’ll have to admit something that will dig me deeper into a gay hole. Hold up, like that’s a bad thing. I mean, I am cementing my fate with the gays. I said ce-men-ting, hee hee. I was late in boarding the Lady Gaga train, but “Paparazzi” did make me enjoy the ride to Gay Town that she has afforded fans.

So, when she came out with “Born This Way,” and it was said to be an homage, (achoo, rip off) to “Express Yourself,” well, it started this whole thought process. Please, don’t send her any hate mail, as for me, bring it!

Contrary to my laundry list of what I like about Madonna, I do enjoy Gaga for being herself; and even though all artists do borrow from each other – can you spare a cup of controversy by her trotting out of Madonna’s much-loved, ahem, trick of using religion to garner publicity? Yup. GaGa is courting said controversy with her turn as Mary Magdalene in her  “Judas” video. Oh, go skin a Muppet!

Or don’t, as it might give your Little Monsters the wrong idea, like 20-year-old Angelina Barnes who skinned a cat to wear to a recent concert…poor pussy, poor pussycat! Sick! Trust me, my mom wasn’t too thrilled when I borrowed her black bra to dress as a Madonna wannabe, it got stretched out. Moving along, and we’re walking.

Sorry to be a drag or just an “old” queen, but, before I come off as too bitter (little late?); there are some things I am Gaga about with ole Stefani Germanotta.

There is the empowerment inherent in her music, I love that she won’t stand for a “Bad Romance,” and introduced taking “a ride on a disco stick” into our vernaculars, and has some of the best videos around – even if you spelled bathhouse wrong in the aforementioned romance gone south one. Plus, Born This Way sold a staggering 1 million copies its first week, so there?

Gaga does have a strong commitment to the gay community and has made it known in interviews that we made her what she is today, and, in turn, she made us shake our collective money makers (hey!) at the drop of a hat.

I do have some words of caution about her career trajectory, though. Just be careful on flaming pianos, girl! They burn! Seriously, (no, really) I just worry that Gaga and her meat dresses, et. al will shoot their proverbial wads too soon, and her star will fade away. Speaking of stars…opinions are like chocolate starfish, if you get my drift…oh are you downwind from my chocolate starfish? My bad! Layman’s terms, it’s just my opinion/observations through a pop culture landscape darkly.

Cut. Print. That’s A Wrap!

In a way, I could trot out the old commercial adage of “There’s always room for Jell-O,” in summarizing why these two can co-exist in a modern world. Much like the lime green with pineapple “dessert” – perhaps my affinity for Gaga has to thicken upon standing and congeal?

Since I am a die-hard Madonna fan (no, say it ain’t so!), it may have clouded my potential love affair with the Lady everyone is Gaga for. That’s not to say, I can’t open my heart to me baby, err, to GaGa, and become a Little Monster to the inth degree. I am practicing my rah rah rah rah rahs right now. Until next time, that’s all of the news that’s fit to print!

Hollywood: Everything Old is New Again!

Hollywood: Everything Old is New Again!

By Tim Parks 

Check out my take on the Hollywood recycle program, which includes going green for the upcoming “updates” of Wonder Woman, Charlie’s Angels and Dallas!

If I were Chris Crocker (no I’m not, you stop that Buddy Hinton!) I would, and will most likely, be yelling at my TV screen to “Leave Britney,err,  Dallas, Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels alone!” 

I’d probably add a patented “you sons-of- bitches” in for good measure! And this was written before I saw ole Wonder’s “new” track suit costume, aack! Enjoy!

It’s on pages 35-36 on the online version of www.ragemonthly.com

Hollywood: Chart Tops and Bottoms of the Silver Screen

Hollywood: Chart Tops and Bottoms of the Silver Screen

By Tim Parks

So… which female singers have made a smooth transition into the world of acting, and which ones have left us scratching our heads with their choice of celluloid vehicles? Well, you can see my take on it (which was inspired by the release of Burlesque) at:

http://content.yudu.com/Library/A1ppdq/RageNov2010SD/resources/index.htm?referrerUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.yudu.com%2Fitem%2Fdetails%2F239738%2FRage-Nov-2010-SD

Hollywood: The dog days of summer TV

Hollywood: The dog days of summer TV

By Tim Parks

It’s upon us, those dog days of TV viewing, where we are stuck in that in between place of season finales and their premieres come fall. So what’s a TV junkie to do? It’s a pretty scary option of weighing the odds of, gulp, going outside or staying in and aimlessly channel surfing, especially when the remote roulette falls upon another season of “Toddlers and Tiaras”; that show just ain’t right on so many levels. Just consider me Julie McCoy, your TV cruise director (minus the cocaine problem), as we navigate the sometimes choppy waters of summertime viewing.

Fortunately, there are actually some shows, while not necessarily exciting and or new, which are expecting you to come aboard to take a lookiloo.

Get Real

Bravo is making gay viewers happy by continuing their “Real Housewives” franchise and is delivering a one-two bitch slap with season two of New Jersey and the premiere of D.C.

I was a little miffed that the powers-that-be at the network made us wait an extra week to see the fight between Anne Heche (singing with a lesbian does not a lesbian make, k?), I mean Danielle Staub, Teresa Giudice, Jacqueline Laurita and daughter Ashley Holmes, and it only involved name calling and hair pulling! Hell, I could have just watched “Jerry Springer” for that kind of brawl!

The cast of D.C. has already had its fair share of drama prior to its August 5 debut, as one of its Housewives, Michaele Salahi (gesundheit), crashed a White House State Dinner earlier this year. Oh dear, sounds like someone hasn’t listened to New York’s resident Countess, LuAnn De Lesseps, on her, um, hot track, “Money Can’t Buy You Class.”

Apparently reality TV has adopted the real estate mantra of “location, location, location,” as New Jersey and Miami seem to be where all of the action is. At some point, America’s love affair with The Garden State will hit a wall, like George Michael out for a drive.

Until then I guess it should come as no surprise, heavy emphasis on I guess, that MTV decided to move “Jersey Shore” to Florida…would it really still be considered the “Jersey Shore?”

Anyhoo, Snooki, “The Situation,” Pauly D. and the rest of Cheetos colored cast are back for more drinking, fighting, tanning, drinking, tanning, making out and more fist pumps than you’d see at a Leather Pride event!

While another drinking/fighting series, “The Bad Girls Club,” will up the roots of the show (and the ones from the girls hair featured on it) to Miami, which is funny because I thought that Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian had already taken it earlier this summer. I just can’t keep up with those Kardashians!

Meanwhile, Jersey is still basking in the orange glow of the spotlight with two inaugural series.

Oxygen’s “Jersey Couture” follows a family run business where every other cast member seems to have adopted the Jersey Shores kids’ knack for nicknames, I mean c’mon, its getting a little ridiculous that someone named Kimberly goes by “Kim” and Christina by “Chrissy.” It’s insanity, I tells ya!

Hopefully, the E! /Style Network’s “Jerseylicious” won’t leave a bad taste in the mouths of its viewers being force fed more of the state.

However, no summer would be complete without a helping of “Big Brother,” and this year there has been a gay guy (Ragan) and bisexual gal (Annie) vying for the cash money prize.

Castmate Britney was super excited that there was “a flaming homosexual” in the game, so that they could chat about boys, shopping and “Sex and the City” (the series and the movies). Way to stereotype there, Britney, now I’m off to a slumber party with my gal pals to talk about boys, shopping and “Sex and the City”…hey, wait a minute!

Even though its summer, school is in session on LOGO’s “RuPaul’s Drag U,” which brings back previous favorite contestants, and even Shannel, for a little bit of education for real women on how to become drag queens, so I take it Cher will make an appearance.

Speaking of makeovers…The L Word has been re-christened “The Real L Word” and follows the lives of six L.A. lesbians, and will conclude on the 15th with an episode revolving around going to Dinah Shore. Hmm, that’s queer.

The Written Word

Seeing as there are increasing gay and gay adjacent reality shows, it should come as no surprise that it’s starting to spill over into scripted fare. Why you could shake a stick at ’em, and in that, ahem, vein MTV trots out “The Hard Times of RJ Berger,” which showcases a 15-year-old high schooler who is all man below the belt, thanks for creeping me out MTV!

Mackenzie Phillips’ career may be rolling over in its grave with the success of TV sibling Valerie Bertinelli’s show “Hot in Cleveland,” but hopefully producers don’t throw her a professional bone and cast her as her sister, otherwise they may have to put out the call for a father figure for the gals – awkward! This show single-handedly proves that Betty White is comedy’s golden girl, as the first episode was the most watched program in TV Land’s history.

Beginning on the 16th, Laura Linney has the acting challenge of making light of having “The Big C” on her new Showtime series, while her suburban mom character will be joined onscreen by Precious actress Gabourey Cinnabuns, I mean, Sidibe and Cynthia Nixon of “SATC.” Oh, and the first episode is directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls).

“True Blood” is sinking its fangs into its third season over on HBO, and I am starting to wonder if Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) may be shape shifting into a homosexual, as he shared a rather sensual man-on-vampire scene with Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer).

Cut. Print. That’s A Wrap!

Well, it looks like I can see Puerto Vallarta off in the distance (the Mexican Riviera was a “Love Boat” hot spot destination, after all), much like I can see the fall on the horizon with its promise of new televised ways to keep us entertained…hopefully. Until next time, that’s all of the news that’s fit to print.

Hollywood: Summer Movies Get The Full Release Treatment

Hollywood: Summer Movies Get The Full Release Treatment

By Tim Parks

There’s a “cleanup on aisle five situation” happening in Los Angeles, and trust me…a Wet Nap ain’t gonna cut it for these next few months, somebody better stock up on Bounty; it is the quicker picker upper, after all.

Simply put, Hollywood pulls out all the stops in promoting their potential blockbusters with fast food chain tie-ins (really, I’m surprised there wasn’t a Sex and the City 2 Happy Meal! Samantha would have made for a great bendable toy, I’m just sayin’) and its full release media blitz a-go-go in Tinsel Town from May through August.

June

Tom Cruise reunites with Cameron Diaz in the romantic, yet action packed flick Knight and Day. My, that’s an interesting dichotomy for a movie; it’s almost like trying not to mention Tom Cruise and Scientology in the same sentence. Dammit! I bet you thought I’d say…never mind, as a certain person in this production is a wee bit sue happy when it comes to sexuality. Interestingly enough, the Bottom, I mean, Top Gun star is attempting to show his softer side with his turn as Roy Miller. Yeah, best way to fight a flame is with fire.

Turning a beloved TV show into a big screen adaptation ain’t nothin’new. Get ready for The A-Team to storm into multiplexes with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson taking on the role that made Mr. T. into ’80s TV star. I’ll admit it…I never watched the show, save for the episode where Boy George guest starred (go figure). So, I guess I’ll just have to wait for the inevitable gay porn tie-in, The Gay Team. Can’t wait to hear the faux Mr T. utter, “I pity the fool that can’t take all this!”

Speaking of gay porn remakes, wouldn’t Toy Story 3D be ripe for that treatment? Talk about comin’ at ya! Sex Toy Story would follow the exploits of vibrator Morning Wood and his pal Buttplug Lube Rear. Geez, you really can’t take me anywhere, except the gutter!

Oh look, they remade The Karate Kid and there’s a new Twilight movie heading our way. Next! Ashton Kutcher takes off his shirt and co-stars with gay friendly actress Katherine Heigl in Killers. Colin Farrell embarks on a different kind of fairy tale in Ondine, in which he falls for a possible mermaid. Chances are he’ll resolve that pesky Jessica Simpson query of chicken versus tuna. Nudge-to-the-wink.

Docudrama-wise, Stonewall Uprising retells the events in 1969 that eventually led to the Gay Rights Movement. See, I can be nice and not filthy, so go learn something you young monkeys.

July

Angelina Jolie slips back into her chick-who-kicks-ass wardrobe for her role as a Russian sleeper spy in Salt, which was originally written for Tommy Cruise; I’ll bet there were more than a few alterations to make his costumes fit a regular size person…Cruise is short, ok?

Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan helms Inception, which is not a film about birth. However, it does star former preggers screen teen Ellen Page (Juno). Oh yeah, it co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a “freelance dream thief,” do ya think I could make that stuff up?

Couples of all types populate the cinema in July, we have Julianne Moore and Annette Bening taking a trip to the Pink Taco, and I ain’t talkin’ about the popular eatery…or am I? They’re lesbians in layperson’s terms for The Kids Are All Right. Then we have Cyrus, which thankfully is not a biopic about Miley, and is played by mother-fixated Jonah Hill – he would have nailed the role as Miss Slouchy, though. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt play a couple on the lam in the Adjustment Bureau; I hope PETA won’t get all over them for riding on animals. Oh, lam is another term for on the run, my bad.

August

All you really need to know about the dog days of summer is that Julia Roberts is back on the big screen opposite Javier Bardem in Eat, Pray, Love. Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and our “Governator” all share a scene in the throwback to the ’80s action flick The Expendables. Oh, and they are two more 3D offerings in the guises of Step Up 3D (was that trip really necessary?), and Piranha 3D starring what’s left of Elisabeth Shue’s career.

Cut. Print. That’s A Wrap!

In thinking about this column, I couldn’t help but wonder…when did the powers-that-be in ole H’Wood decide that it was o.k. to bump up the traditional Memorial Day weekend summer movie kick off to the beginning of May? It was something you could count on, unlike Lindsay Lohan’s work ethic, and encompasses some of my favorite movie memories of waiting in long lines to see the latest buzz worthy movie. Until next time, that’s all of the news that’s fit to print!

This column was originally published in June 2010.