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Bet that was uncomfortable

news courtney

This is why it is important for headline writers to have dirty minds!


Shock, horror: Wrinkle alert!

I make no secret of the fact that I am no fan of any of the Kardashians (famous for fuck all apart from dodgy marriages and, well, actually that’s about it). But I really think it’s scraping the bottom of the barrel to be banging on about Bruce Jenner’s puckered jawline being a combination of ageing and botched plastic surgery.

Yes, he may well have had some questionable plastic surgery back in the day but holy crap … he’s a 64-year-old bloke with a wrinkly neck. Isn’t that normal? A whole lot more normal than mama Kardashian (Kris?) and her taut, line-free face. Or indeed the faces of so many Hollywood types, with their wind-tunnel look hiding any evidence of age.

Here’s the deal: as we get older, our skin loses a little of it’s perkiness. As do many of our other bits and pieces. This is how it is meant to be. I hardly think gravity is newsworthy.

OK, so he’s a slightly odd-looking bloke with slightly effeminate features (rumours are of an impending sex change surgery, which he has denied … who knows), but the wrinkly neck is probably not as bad as that of the average, normal REAL 64-year-old.

The high-waisted grandad pants (click on the link below)? Well that’s a whole other story!


Bruce Jenner reveals puckered jawline


Cohen 2013: the same but better

Leonard Cohen plays guitar

A spot of fancy lighting cast dual silhouettes of Leonard Cohen playing guitar.

Three years ago, I was lucky enough to see Leonard Cohen live in concert in Christchurch so when I bought tickets for this bonus return visit, I was expecting it to be something of a carbon copy of that concert. And I was OK with that: the 2010 show was amazing and an experience I was more than ready to repeat.

However, the biggest bonus about last night’s show was that while it was every bit as brilliant as the earlier concert, it also had a few little extra treats.

As expected, the great man himself was every bit as energetic as in 2010, skipping on stage and dropping to his knees as he opened the show. And that opening itself was something of a surprise: no support act, no mucking around, just Leonard Cohen and his incredible band suddenly appearing on stage and getting straight into it. And as with 2010’s concert, he was on his knees singing, and back up with one fluid motion time and time again and seemed to have boundless energy. I suspect no one’s told him he’s 79 years old.

The show started a few minutes after 8pm and — with just a short 10-minute or so break in the middle — finished around 11.30pm: certainly good bang for your buck for the fans.

The first half finished up with my favourite Cohen song, Anthem. I suppose it’s safe to say that what makes the man such a great songwriter is that his words carry so much meaning.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in …

Let’s compare that, shall we, to the efforts of another Canadian “singer-songwriter”, one Justin Bieber: Baby, baby, baby oooh; Like baby, baby, baby nooo; Like baby, baby, baby oooh; I thought you’d always be mine (mine).

But I digress, back to the greatness.

The “little extra treats” I referred to above included adding a violinist to his already spectacular band, reminding us that he’s a pretty decent guitarist himself, having the Webb sisters take the spotlight for a solo,and  the inclusion of a few songs from his last album and the odd one or two we didn’t get at the last concert. However, many of the classics still made an appearance: Bird on a Wire, Hallelujah, Tower of Song, Chelsea Hotel #2 and  a rendition of A Thousand Kisses Deep that sent shivers up my spine. You could have heard a pin drop as every one of us seated in that arena was transfixed by his recitation.

The audience was spellbound by every song, fully engrossed in the words the master was sharing with us. And as with all great poetry — because that’s what his songs really are — I’m sure each and every one of us found our own message in the words, taking on board meanings that tied in to what is happening in our own lives at this very moment. A quite serious medical diagnosis last year highlighted my own mortality but also, in turn, prompted me to make positive change. One again it’s Anthem, reminding me that our flaws and frailities are there for a reason, that takes centre stage for me.

Did I hear every one of the Cohen songs I wanted to hear? Probably not, but for that to happen the concert would have lasted at least another 10 hours at least.

However, what we did hear was a perfect mix of old and newer songs, performed by a singer who simply continues to improve as the years go by: his voice seems to have become even deeper, if that’s possible, and the gravelly, aged tone that very occasionally broke through gave his words even more emotion.

The humility of the man is astounding: he received a standing ovation as he came on stage, and another three at the end of the show that prompted encores, but still he thanked the audience for coming out, for sticking around for the second half of the show and for just being fans.

And there was another one of those aforementioned little extra treat for fans during that final encore: we all thought, as he launched into Closing Time, that we were hearing the final song of the show. However, he snuck in one last number that kept everyone on their feet and surprised us all: Save the Last Dance for Me.

It was interesting that an old colleague (old as in a colleague from a few years ago, not as in someone particularly old) commented on Facebook as she awaited the start of the concert that the arena was rapidly filling up with aging hipsters and their adult offspring. While I’ll lay claim to the aging part of the equation, I’m not now nor have I ever been a hipster. Truth be told, I’m probably far from Leonard Cohen’s target audience: my “wild youth” was during the early to mid-1980s, when I was rocking my pink spiked hair, black lipstick and assorted chains while listening to the Clash and the Dead Kennedys. However, as I flew home today and sat on the plane with my iPod on shuffle, I figured I’m probably not the target audience for the likes of Tupac, Justin Timberlake or Babyshambles, either. And as that thought crossed my mind, my iPod shuffled on to Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 3, and it occurred to me that perhaps target audiences don’t really matter.

I wonder how many people back in the day realised that the spikey haired chick in the black lipstick was just as likely to be listening to Verdi’s Requiem as the Public Image on her Walkman.

Leonard Cohen performs Closing Time

Even being stuck behind the Man With The Giant Head (left), who spent much of the evening moving his head from side-to-side, didn’t put a dampener on my night.



Dude, you slapped a fish …

I love the Bad Lip Reading videos. That is all.


Lambert goes acoustic

Adam Lambert performs a couple of songs live at the Sirius XM radio studio.


How stupid does he think we are/Readings, you suck

Stupid PeopleRight, it’s time for my first proper rant of the year. A double rant, in fact.

Part one of this rant is directed at Daniel Craig. Yes, he looks good in a pair of Speedos and doesn’t make a bad James Bond, but that’s not what I’m complaining about. It’s the whole The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo remake that has me mentally reaching for my imaginary Taser (oh, my mind is a truly scary place, but we’re happy in here).

Why did the aforementioned Daniel Craig feel the need to warn potential viewers to leave the kids at home? Did he think the average parent would decide a movie about a vicious serial killer, with a spot of rape and other assorted misogynous acts chucked in for good measure, would make great family viewing?

And even worse, the Daily Mail thought that him telling mums and dads to leave the kids at home was newsworthy.

The next part of my rant is directed at Readings, which unfortunately runs the one and only movie theatre in Invercargill: why does it take so long to get some movies in our city? They open everywhere else and we are left waiting like some third world backwater.

I was interested in seeing the remake of Dragon Tattoo, simply because I’ve read all three books and watched all three of the original movies and was interested in comparing this new version to those three incredibly powerful films.

It opened on December 21 everywhere. Well, everywhere but here.

I have no idea when it will make it to our fair city and I no longer give a flying fuck, having read all the bad reviews it has received (hmmm, maybe I should be thanking the morons managers at Readings for saving me a few bucks).

We might get the first one here some time before the wrap up filming on the sequel, which Sony has now confirmed will go ahead despite Dragon Tattoo’s poor performance.

This isn’t the first time a big note movie has been delayed here and it won’t be the last but I’m baffled at how it is we can get sparkly fecking vampires on our screens at the same time as everyone else but not anything that might appeal to grownups.

And Daniel Craig: stick to filling out the nice blue Speedos and doing Bond-like stuff. You’re no Sean Connery but you make a better replacement for him than for Mikael Nyqvist.



Age gets us all … even Axl Rose


Oooh, a reunion of note

Ozzy and the boys are re-forming Black Sabbath, putting out their first new album for 33 years AND going on a world tour next year.

I hope they stop off here in Kiwi land.



Please cover up


What is it with all these pop tartlets feeling the need to flash their bits about the place? Can’t they get by on talent?

After all the usual dramas in the past with Paris Hilton, Britney Spears etc being photographed out on the town without their undies on, and all the sex tapes from Paris Hilton (do I sense a trend there?) and others popping up on the net you’d think they’d know better than to put themselves in a position where their uncovered flesh might come back bite them on the bum (figuratively, not literally … because that would involve some weird flexibility issues).

Scarlett Johansson is the latest wee flibbertigibbet* be embarrassed by revealing photos of herself. Well, there were topless photos of some blonde bint who’s married to a Pomgolian footballer but I’d never heard of her and besides, it’s about as classy as one would expect from a WAG (no offence Zara, we all know that you’re not the slapper in your particular blonde-and-sportsman equation).

But I digress, enough about he of the crooked nose and back to Ms Johansson. She was one of a group of celebs who had their phones hacked and content stolen: in her case slightly revealing photos. Of course, they’ve been all over the web since then and in the scheme of things, they aren’t so bad. She actually took the photos herself, posing “tastefully” with her arse reflected in a mirror. I won’t point you in the direction of any of those photos but if you want a better idea of what they look like, check out the new trend of Scarlett Johanssoning.

She’s a very attractive young woman and a pretty decent actress (we won’t talk  about her singing though, because hearing her destroying Tom Waits’ songs makes me want to poke forks in my own ears).

And now we’ve got Rihanna upsetting that poor bloody farmer in Ireland by getting her norks out for a video. What is it with that woman? Ever since her ex went all Rambo on her she’s become pop’s wannabe bad girl, singing songs that seem to glorify violence and jet-setting around the world wearing, well, bugger all actually.

Maybe she thinks that if she flashes her bewbies, people won’t notice that weirdly square-shaped forehead of hers.

* Flibbertigibbet is a Middle English word that refers to a flighty or whimsical person, usually a young woman or pop tartlet.


Hot buns provoke God squad

You know you’ve really made it in the world of rock when you piss off the God botherers.

The Foo Fighters are trekking around the United States at the moment as part of their ginormous tour that will see them end up in Auckland in December. To promote their tour, the boys in the band put together a wee porn spoof titled Hot Buns. And what’s not to like: bare bums, a shower scene and Queen’s Body Language as a soundtrack.

It’s been popping up all over the web but the sad gits from the Westboro Baptist Church stumbled across it and spat the dummy. Westboro are the shameful bastards who are notorious for picketing at military funerals.

bumAnyway, they’re not happy about the Hot Buns clip and have had a whinge about it, threatening to picket the Foo Fighters’ concerts.

According to a story on USA Today:

the fringe Christian group complained that entertainers teach “fornication, adultery, idolatry.” It condemned Hollywood as “hard-hearted, Hell-bound and hedonistic.”

I feel cheated: entertained teach fornication, adultery, idolatry? Since when? Doesn’t everyone learn about fornication behind the bike shed at school or on Facebook?

But honestly, what is it with these fake Christians who preach at us about all the things we’re doing wrong, all the while seasoning their work with a healthy dose of hatred.

Since when did being a Christian mean hating everyone who doesn’t agree with you?



Jillian "George" Allison-Aitken

I live in the deep south of New Zealand, where smelly dairy cows are taking over from sheep in the livestock stakes. My hometown is the small but perfectly formed city of Invercargill, which is also the hometown of the original boy racer, Burt Munro. Find out more about me here.


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