Tag Archive | Russell Brand

Martin Schoeller, Portraits at Halsted Kraeutler

Russell Brand
Russell Brand (All Gallery Photos By Gail)

Hasted Kraeutler is currently hosting a major retrospective of Martin Schoeller’s unique portrait photography, which has been organized to coincide with the release of his Portraits Coffee Table Book, spanning 15 years of the photographer’s illustrious career.

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga

Schoeller’s work has a playfulness that reminds me a little it of Annie Leibovitz from back when she was all the rage. These portraits are very challenging to shoot because you can’t get a direct shot without getting yourself in the glare of the frame’s glass, so apologies for so many side angle shots, but it could not be helped. Here are a few of our favorites from the show!

Steve Carell

Steve Carell, star of The Office, has tape over his face. Clever.

Jeff Koons

I believe this shot of artist Jeff Koons was taken for his New York Magazine exposé in 2013. Gazing Ball had just opened at David Zwirner gallery. Good times.

Cate Blanchett

Here is actress Cate Blanchett. She is so beautiful, and also an excellent actress!

Zach Galifianakis

Zach Galifianakis: I saw his standup comedy routine once and it was hilarious.

Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman, also a very funny lady

Christian Bale

Everybody knows this photo of Christian Bale, which references his character in American Psycho. The movie was not very good, but I just could not bring myself to read the book.

Ozzy Osbourne

I love this photo of Ozzy Osbourne.

Michael Douglas

Here is actor Michael Douglas. Did you see him in the Liberace movie? He was amazing.

You should go see this exhibit.

Martin Schoeller’s Portraits will be on Exhibit Through January 3rd, 2015 at Halsted Kraeutler, Located at 537 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Martin Schoeller Signage

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Russell Brand Charms in Arthur Remake

Russell Brand Stars in Arthur

The 1981 comedy Arthur, starring the late Dudley Moore and the even later Sir John Gielgud, is a movie that most people recall so fondly that it’s become a bit of a celluloid sacred cow. In this now 30 year-old film, Moore played the titular character; a lovable, billionaire playboy / drunk, against Gielgud’s role as Arthur’s staid butler, Hobson; an Oscar-winning performance that was memorable for Gielgud’s many droll one-liners that continually upstaged every scene he and Moore shared. The vibrant, on-screen chemistry created by these two actors has understandably inspired a warm-fuzzy feeling in the memories of Arthur fans, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What’s interesting is the pre-emptive “Don’t Fuck With Arthur” backlash that seems to be swirling about the Internet in anticipation of an Arthur remake, starring comedic actor Russell Brand and screen legend Helen Mirren (directed by Jason Winer, due in theaters tomorrow). As if casting Brand – an actor famous for his hilarious portrayal of an out of control, licentious, alcoholic rock star – as Arthur and Helen Mirren Dame Helen Mirren, I might add – as a female version of Hobson is anything but inspired casting. Having attended a press screening of Arthur last night, please let me assuage your fears that it might take a cinematic dump on your kind regard for its predecessor. While undeniably a vehicle driven by Russell Brand’s showcase performance (because, let’s get real; the guy is a superstar in training), Arthur is a charming update on its source material that’s laugh out loud hilarious pretty much from beginning to end.

For those unfamiliar with the story, the plot of Arthur remains faithful to the original: Arthur is a perpetual Man-child, sworn to fun and debauchery and able to bankroll his endless adolescence thanks to a seemingly limitless income from the family business, Bach Worldwide. When Arthur’s outrageous shenanigans (crashing his ‘Bat Mobile’ hot rod into the Wall Street Bull) land him in jail, threatening to besmirch the company’s reputation among its investors, his mother, who runs the business with an iron fist, decides it’s time to tame him down. Through marriage to one of her ambitious young employees, Susan Johnson (Jennifer Garner), she aims to rein-in Arthur’s irresponsible behavior and keep the family name out of the tabloid headlines. The catch, of course, is that on the cusp of his engagement to Susan, Arthur meets “the woman of his dreams” in a NYC tour guide named Naomi (Greta Gerwig in a role made for her). If you’ve ever seen a Hollywood movie, you can figure out the rest of the plot for yourself.

The acting in Arthur is one of its high points, with lots of memorable supporting characters that help to flesh out the rather simple plot. Helen Mirren is fantastic as Arthur’s “Nanny” Hobson. Her and Arthur’s interactions obviously include a lot of improvisation (one of Brand’s great talents honed in his stand up comedy act) and their chemistry, as in the original, is right on. In the original Arthur, Susan (played by Jill Eikenberry) is a very sweet and beautiful socialite whom Arthur simply does not love. In the new version, Susan is a calculating and manipulative career woman whose ambition to control Arthur’s family business is all–consuming. She’s determined that Arthur marry her, whether he likes it or not – and her bullying, borderline-psycho father (Nick Nolte) is equally determined that his daughter get what she wants. Here, both Garner and Nolte create worthwhile, Love-to-hate characters out of fairly one-note roles. But it’s most rewarding to see an appealing actress like Greta Gerwig shine as Naomi, as she plays so well off of Brand’s improvisational, physical performance. After having suffered through the thoroughly unpleasent 2010 film Greenberg, (which is, seriously, one of the most dreadfully awful indie films ever made) in which she played the only likeable character, I hope she will become known for many other good roles. The Worley Gig Gives Arthur Four out of Five Stars.

Arthur Opens Nationwide on Friday, April 9th

Gail’s List of the Top Ten Sexiest Men of 2010!

Thanks to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s starring role in the current blockbuster hit, Inception, my Sexiest Men of 2008 list has been wrangling in the site traffic in huge numbers! S-E-O! This reminded me, of course, that I had somehow managed to completely overlook compiling a list for 2009, and I certainly do have a new flock of  sexy guys that I need to talk about. Let’s see what kind of traffic I can draw with this random  mix of hotness.

Alexander Skarsgard
If you enjoy watching TV shows that feature hot guys who get naked just as a matter of course during each episode, then you are probably a fan of HBO’s True Blood. In this modern, gothic soap opera that makes Dark Shadows look like a Jane Austin novel, there is really never a shortage of hot man candy to ogle. Whether you dig Sam Merlotte, the shape-shifting barkeeper; Jason Stackhouse, the brainless, horny mortal; or everyone’s favorite werewolf-with-a-heart-of gold, Alcide, good looking guys are getting naked at a pretty steady clip. HBO! But no one yanks my chain quite like the revenge-seeking vampire Viking prince, Eric Northman, as portrayed by the uber smokin’ Alexander Skarsgard. As they say down south, “Mama like.”

Russell Brand
Funny guys with drug habits are sexy. British comedian/actor Russell Brand may be clean and sober and engaged (three strikes), but I’d still do it just to cross him off my list.

Johnny Weir
Gay, straight, whatever. Figure skating champion Johnny Weir is the most beautiful man on the planet. I could look at him until myheart explodess. Have you seen his Sundance Channel TV series, Be Good Johnny Weir? It’s amazing. I love him

Demetri Martin
If you have not seen Demetri Martin’s brilliant Comedy Centeral show, Important Things with Demetri Martin, then I feel sorry for all of the hilarious sexiness you are missing out on. Demetri also has very sexy hair.

Vincent Kartheiser
Vincent Kartheiser
plays advertising dweeb Pete Campbell on the best show on television,  Mad Men. I’m still not sure after four seasons if I even like his character (he seems terribly insincere to me) but wash all that Brylcreem out of his hair and Vincent Kartheiser, despite the fact that he looks like he is only about 14 years old, is hot stuff.

Noel Fielding
My friend Ivy says “Comedians are the new Rock Stars!” and I don’t disagree. Noel Fielding is one half of the British comedy team, The Mighty Boosh. He makes me insane.

Susur Lee
Two words: Celebrity Chef. A man who can make delicious foods for me at amazing restaurants like Shang and entertain me on Top Chef Masters is the definition of sexy.

Michael T. Weiss
When I was in California last Christmas, I met a woman at my parents’ church who looked exactly like that character Mimi from the Drew Carey Show. After speaking with her for, oh, maybe five minutes I realized that she was completely batshit insane. But I can’t completely regret the torture of being trapped in conversation with her, because she did turn me on to DVDs of the late 90’s TV series, The Pretender, starring Michael T. Weiss, who is just criminally handsome.

Paul Rudd
If Paul Rudd were single and in love with me, he would, I believe, be the perfect man.

Owen Wilson
I can’t help but have a thing for any guy who looks like he’s taken a punch in the face and yet can still manage to make me swoon.

How about you, Dear Readers; who do you think is sexy?

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Must See Movie: Get Him to The Greek!

There’s a pivotal scene near the beginning of Get Him to The Greek where main character, A & R Rep Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) sits in a pitch meeting with his fellow record label flacks. His boss, label head Sergio Roma (Sean “P Diddy” Combs) is badgering the staff to come up with any new ideas that will infuse a desperately needed revenue stream into their flailing faction of the troubled music business. Aaron’s idea is to stage a comeback concert at LA’s Greek Theater for Rock musician Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), whose career has taken a nose dive since the release of African Child – an audacious, PC misstep of an album that turns out to be a wildly offensive, commercial and critical bomb. Aaron proposes that a simulcast pay-per-view special, re-release of Snow’s back album catalog and a live DVD of the concert will generate millions of dollars in cash for the label and give disappointed music fans what they’re most hungry for. “There aren’t any Rock Stars anymore,” Aaron argues. “Aldous Snow is a Rock Star!” And, man, is he ever right on about that. Real Rock Stars went the way of the Dinosaur long ago, and watching a movie featuring a handsome and charismatic actor who not only can play a believable decadent Rock Star but also make him hilarious and lovable, and who can fucking sing and perform? That’s almost too much to ask for. That alone is reason enough to see Get Him to The Greek: because Russell Brand is a fucking Rock Star, and this role is going to make him one hot commodity.

When Sergio green lights the Greek Theater concert idea, Aaron is charged with the awesome responsibility of retrieving the very much off the wagon Aldous from London and getting him back to Los Angeles within 72 hours and in time for the concert. What follows is a true comedy of errors, with Aaron navigating Aldous through a dense mind field of every possible licentious temptation, none of which Aldous has the willpower (or desire) to resist. Since the character of Aldous Snow was introduced to audiences in the 2008 hit, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, everyone is going to ask, “Is this movie anything like Forgetting Sarah Marshall?” Let me dash your hopes right now and confess that no, no it isn’t. Sarah Marshall was a basically a romantic comedy with a few fart jokes thrown in. Get Him To The Greek is a completely different type of movie: an all out, hard R-rated raunch-fest that is nevertheless beyond hilarious.  It just happens to have one of the same characters as the film it spins off from (here, Jonah Hill plays a different character than the Aldous Snow-worshipping cabana boy he played in Sarah Marshall). Hill, who has proven himself to be a gifted comedic actor, is great as Aaron, Diddy is impressive as Sergio (and he has some of the film’s funniest lines) and if you’ve read his outrageous autobiography, My Booky Wook, you will immediately recognize that Brand is playing his pre-rehab self to perfection. Among the excellent supporting cast are Mad Men’s Elizabeth Moss as Aaron’s girlfriend Daphne and Rose Byrne as Snow’s ex-girlfriend and fellow pop star Jackie Q. There are also many very funny cameos by stars like Meredith Viera and Lars Ulrich playing themselves. And the music can go head to head with the greatest hits of Spinal Tap. Rock & Roll!

Get Him to the Greek, Directed by Nicholas Stoller, hits theaters everywhere on Friday June 4, 2010

Kanye West: Tool of The Century!

Kanye West Taylor Swift

Please Do Not Support This Man

Have you heard / read yet about the classless, douchebag stunt Kanye West pulled at the Video Music Awards last night? The way he completely upstaged Taylor Swift? Or did you maybe witness it in real time? If not, let me know and I’ll send a link to the YouTube video – assuming it hasn’t already been posted a million times to your FaceBook news feed. Gee whiz, what a tool that guy is.

I DVRd the whole VMA mess so I could watch it tonight, fast forward through 90% of the crappy parts (i.e. all the music performances) and just watch host Russell Brand being sexy and hilarious. Now it looks like I might have to watch a little bit more than that, because I also understand that this person Lady GaGa – whose music I have also never heard but whose wardrobe I know from memory – did something interesting.

But getting back to Kanye West, in every single clip I’ve ever seen of him at an awards show, he’s either interrupting someone or throwing a shit fit. I was on his side for about five minutes for what he said about George W. Bush after Hurricane Katrina, but I really don’t understand how he has fans. His best song was based on having lifted an entire Elton John song (“Someone Saved My Life Tonight”), which he then rapped over. Talent!

I remember about five or so years ago, my writer friend Nicole and I were reading the results of the Village Voice’s annual “Pazz & Jop” music critics poll, as we had probably submitted our ballots for the only ten rock-type albums that managed to get released that year. And I’ll just never, ever forget Nicole’s voice asking me quite earnestly and sincerely, “Who the fuck is Kanye West?” because he had won the top position of “Best Album Of the Year,” despite the fact that important rock critics like Nicole and me (sarcasm mode turned off) had never even heard of him.  That was the year I stopped writing CD reviews for good.

Excellent Book I Am Reading Right Now: My Booky Wook By Russell Brand

My Booky Wook

Do you know who Russell Brand is? He’s pretty (in)famous in England, but over here I guess he’s best known for his role as the womanizing rock star, Aldous Snow in Judd Apatow’s wildly hilarious comedy, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, or for causing a massive and wonderful ruckus as the “controversial” one-time host of MTV’s otherwise lame Video Music Awards a few years back. He also does a righteous stand-up comedy routine, which I have seen on HBO. Also, he’s dangerously good-looking – definitely my type, physically. I love him so much. Currently I am reading Brand’s 2008 autobiography, My Booky Wook, which details in wickedly clever prose the trajectory of the author’s life and career through sex addiction, drug addiction and what would appear to be flat out mental instability akin to whatever social dysfunction Tom Green suffers from. My Booky Wook is crammed with roll-around-on-the-floor hilarious tales of destruction and mayhem, more sex than in Eric Clapton’s bio (because he boinked everything that moved) and Snuff, Chuck Palahniuk’s porn-industry novel, combined, and certainly way more heroin use than in any book I’ve read previously – and I have read Trainspotting. It’s definitely a page-turner of the highest order and a book I couldn’t help but recommend to you, my dear readers.

Must See Comedy: Russell Brand Live in New York!

Ha-Cha Cha!

Last night I watched Comedy Central’s new Russell Brand special, Russell Brand Live in New York, and it was just fantastic. I admit I’m on a bit of a Russell Brand kick at the moment, having just re-watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall (fabulous flick!) last weekend. Anyway, you know how Comedy Central reruns all of their programming about 150 times a week, so even if you missed it or forgot to set your DVR, I’m sure you can catch it again. And you really need to, because Russell Brand is comedy genius: right up there with Lewis Black and my recent new-love, Demetri Martin. Not only is Brand eccentric as hell, a sharp dresser and gorgeous to look at, but he made me laugh out loud for solid hour that I never ever ever ever wanted to see end. My favorite parts were when he was reading his hate mail (so hilarious) and when he was making fun of American Idol winner, Jordin Sparks, because she’s a misinformed, anti-choice cow who needs to shut her mouth. Today I went on Amazon.com to find a copy of Russell’s book, My Booky Wook, but apparently it is not yet available to purchase in the US, because we suck. Somebody please get on that will you? Russell, I love you – please stay awesome and never surrender!