Friday, January 22, 2010

SuicideGirls Wins LA Weekly's Sexiest Site Award

SuicideGirls were among the winners of the LA Weekly's 2009 Web Awards. The groundbreaking pinup and social media company was honored for being LA's Sexiest Site.

Co-founder Missy and model coordinator Radeo braved the chubby rain to pick up SG's plaque at a soiree held at Bardot on Thursday night. Other winners in SuicideGirls's extended family included SG columnist Wil Wheaton, who won Best Personal Blog, and SG photographer Zoetica and SG designer Courtney Riot, who picked up Coilhouse's prize for LA's Best Designed Site Aesthetic.

Hit my photo gallery for more images from the night.

Thanks to the LA Weekly's Erin Broadley for organizing and hosting the event -- and for making sure the open bar was open as soon as we arrived.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Pearl of Wisdom

Hit the House of Blues in West Hollywood last night to watch Pearl and her hubby, Anthrax's Scott Ian, raise the roof. The pair were celebrating the release of Pearl's awesome new album, Little Immaculate White Fox, which comes out today.

Those that like to rock should do themselves a favor and buy it from iTunes immediately. And while you're at it, I'd also recommend that you set your TiVos to record Jimmy Kimmel tomorrow night (Jan 20th), since Pearl will be the show's musical guest.

Check my photo gallery for more shots of last night's show, which also featured L.A. metal pranksters Steel Panther and Seattle's Witchburn.

Who Are You Honking For?

As someone who was never a huge fan of Leno or Conan (Craig Ferguson and Chelsea Lately are more my style), I still backed Team Coco when the shit hit the fan. When a David is battling a Goliath, I'll support the little guy (or girl) every time. However, now that it looks like Conan has settled his differences with NBC, and Leno is getting some instant Karma for his part in the debacle, it's time to talk about the real victims of late night TV.

In this day and age it's pretty pathetic that there's not a single network late night chat show hosted by a woman. And the sole female late night representative on cable got her gig in-part due to her special relationship with her E! TV boss. Add to that the recent Letterman intern debacle, and the fact that women (who choose not to schtup their bosses) are conspicuous by their absence even behind the scenes on late night TV, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out who the real underdog is.

I live not far from Conan's Universal City home, and as I drive past the body of curbside Conan supporters I've "honked for Coco" multiple times a day to show my support. But now his $45 million settlement package is sorted, can we honk for all the women that don't even get a shot at NBC's 12.05 time slot?

(Thanks to Scott Ian for the YouTube link.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Peter Jackson: The Lovely Bones

Transforming a beloved book into a film is always a huge risk. Alice Sebold's tale of tragedy, loss, and renewal is such a novel and Peter Jackson is the brave filmmaker who volunteered for the job.

The task was even more challenging since the book doesn't conform to any standard structure. The story is told from the point of view of Susie Salmon, a teenage girl who is brutally raped and murdered at the outset. Despite coming to such a violent and ugly end, as Susie watches her family from a place beyond death, she sees beauty in the connections and new beginnings the demise of her earthly body creates. It's this juxtaposition, that Sebold somehow made work on paper, which created such a strong reaction in readers. Many took great comfort in the author's vision of the afterlife, though Sebold wrote it from an agnostic perspective, which caused the devout to complain about her seemingly godless (and judgment-less) heaven. Others rejoiced in her ability to subvert the darkness of humanity, and in her capacity for finding light where there should be nothing but night.

There was therefore a difficult balancing act that was intrinsic to the success of the movie. The book was criticized by some for being too saccharin, yet if Jackson departed too far from its strangely uplifting tone he risked alienating its large and loyal following. Conversely, graphically depicting the rape and murder of a teen could easily be perceived as being gratuitous on screen, yet acknowledging that such a cruel and tragic event had happened was essential to the core of the piece.

Jackson worked on the screenplay with Lord of The Rings collaborators Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh (who's also his partner in life). Though the psychedelic dream/afterlife sequences allowed the team to draw on their familiar fantasy filmmaking background, the gritty, true-to-life segments, set in the suburbs of Philadelphia in the 1970s, have overtones from Jackson's earlier work - namely Heavenly Creatures (a period movie released in '94 that Jackson co-wrote with Walsh, which explored the 1954 Parker-Hulme murder).

Thus the movie will not necessarily appeal to Jackson's Lord of The Rings film fans, nor will it sit well with all who loved Sebold's book. Jackson is prepared for a mixed reaction however. Here he talks about The Lovely Bones' journey to the big screen, and his reasons for making the choices he did.

Click through to read SuicideGirls' Q&A with Peter Jackson.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sinner Takes All At AVN 2010

This past weekend, I drove out to Las Vegas for the parade of plastic toys and silicon playthings that is the AVN Expo and Awards.

I was there to support the launch of my friend Carrie Borzillo's book, the Tera Patrick memoir, Sinner Takes All. After stopping by the main stage at the Sands Expo Center on Saturday afternoon to take a few snaps of the Sinner Takes All co-authors doing their thing, it seemed churlish not to check out what else AVN had to offer. Hence, at around 5.30 PM I headed over to the Palms Casino Resort where the 27th Annual AVN Awards was being held.

Above is an image of Female Performer of the Year, Tori Black. You'll find oodles more red carpet images in my AVN Awards photo gallery.

After the awards I hit the Hard Rock where Tera Patrick was hosting a late night soiree at Wasted Space. See separate gallery for more images of Tera's book signing and afterparty events.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Matthew Broderick: Wonderful World

In Wonderful World, Matthew Broderick's character Ben Singer may think he's fighting "the man," the soulless god of faceless corporations, but in reality he's his own worst enemy. With his folk music career behind him, having lost his family and his copywriting job, he may be down on his luck, but it's his inability to see the light at the end of the tunnel, even when it's shining right in his eyes, that renders him impotent and leaves him without hope.

Written and directed by Broderick's longtime friend Josh Goldin, Wonderful World is a low budget film on very limited release. Its small price tag however belies its true value. With fully realized characters, a quietly powerful plot, and a solid ensemble cast, the full-of-heart film features one of Broderick's most nuanced performances to date.

I met up with Broderick in a non-descript room at West Hollywood's Standard Hotel, which had been converted into an ad hoc press suite for the day, to talk about this very special movie.

Hit the link to read my exclusive interview with Matthew Broderick at SuicideGirls.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dita Von Teese: Stripteese in Downtown and Hollywood

After interviewing Dita Von Teese for SuicideGirls, I caught up with her in the flesh at ReVamp in Downtown LA. The burlesque star was at the boutique, which specializes in limited edition vintage recreations, for an event to promote her new mini flip-book set Stripteese.

During a Q&A session which followed the book signing, Dita let slip that she'll be doing a secret preview of her new show at West Hollywood's Roxy sometime early in 2010.

I've posted more images of Dita and her fans (including mini-socialite Paris, of in a photo gallery at SuicideGirls.

Those that want to see Dita in person however should head out to Hollywood's Daily Planet Bookstore, which will host another book signing event starting at 7pm on January 6th.

Tera Patrick: A Memoir of Love And Porn

Tera Patrick has one of the most recognized names, faces - and bodies - in porn. The Asian adult film actress made her first movie in 1999 and has managed to stay at the top of the proverbial pile for over a decade. Over the course of her career she has won numerous industry awards, and was inducted into the elite AVN Hall of Fame earlier this year.

The product of a broken home, as a teenager Tera craved attention. Her ambitions were simple: she wanted to be a model and marry a rock star. She achieved her fist goal early in life when she was discovered by a talent scout at the age of 13. She subsequently signed with a Japanese agency, and moved halfway around the world to fulfill her dreams. Alone. When she was just 14. Though successful at landing assignments, without any parental supervision, Tera's life soon spun out of control.

Back in the U.S. with her legitimate modeling career behind her at 16, Tera knuckled down, passed her GED, went to college, and landed a respectable job at a nursing home. A clash of the worst kind with a bedpan however sent Tera hurtling back into modeling. By now her curvy, 5 foot 9 inch frame weighed in at a healthy 135 pounds. Since fashion was no longer an option, glamour work was the natural choice. With Playboy and Penthouse competing over her, Tera's top shelf magazine career blossomed, catching the attention of softcore movie director Andrew Blake, who produced her first X-rated film.

Tera was a natural on camera, and found immense satisfaction in her new career. Consequently her rise in the porn industry was rapid. Though Tera consistently failed to find balance in her personal life, the one place she was able to exert control was on set. There her star status allowed her to dictate exactly the kinds of scenes she was willing to do, and choose the partners she wanted to do them with.

Her vocation also brought her much closer to her second goal, since rock stars have a tendency to gravitate towards models and porn stars. Tera hooked up with Erik Schrody a.k.a. Everlast after appearing in one of his music videos. When that relationship soured she set her sights on Evan Seinfeld of Biohazard, whom she began dating in 2002.

Drawing on his music business experience, Evan took control of Tera's career as well as her heart, and advised her to end her exclusive agreement with Digital Playground, who served as both her management and production company. This led to an enforced hiatus from porn while Tera fought to be released from the deal. When Tera returned to the industry in 2004, she wanted Evan, who was by now her husband, to be the only man in her life. The pair set up their own production company, Teravision, in association with Vivid, the world's largest adult movie house, and Evan began appearing alongside his wife (using the porn name Spyder Jonez) in all their new product.

At the top of her game with a rock star by her side, having conquered the adult movie industry and taken full control of her business (or so she thought), Tera began to reflect on her career and set new goals in life. Closing the chapter on porn, Tera set about writing her memoir.

Sinner Takes All: A Memoir of Love and Porn is the result. Written with Cherry Bomb author and SG contributor Carrie Borzillo, and published by Penguin imprint Gotham Books, it chronicles Tera's path to porn stardom and the loneliness, love, and lust she experienced along the way. It's a page-turner of a book, which, like every good story, ends with the kind of twist even Tera couldn't predict.

On the eve of the book's release, I called up Tera to find out more. Read my exclusive interview with Tera Patrick at