Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Scarlett Johansson

Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive



I agree.

No question.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hugh Effing Jackman

The Wolverine

God bless Hugh Jackman. He's a national treasure.

I understand he's Australian, but I don't care. I'm claiming him for America.

He played the character of Logan in "The Wolverine," which marks his sixth rendition of the character, and his claim to fame.

And in this movie he exemplifies what's so great about himself.

First of all, he's in amazing shape. At the age of 44, he manages to have a bulked-up musculature with a low bodyfat percentage. This requires a tremendous amount of effort and may explain Jackman's claim that this will be his last Wolverine movie, and that's too bad. He incarnates that famous character brilliantly, and inimitably.

Here's how he pulls it off, I think:

Jackman is a big wuss.

That is to say, he's a song-and-dance man, more comfortable on a Broadway stage singing showtunes than he is growling his lines as Wolvie. But that's what makes him the perfect actor for the character.

Just as William Shatner was the ideal Kirk because he was a goofball character actor who happened to have leading man looks, so too Jackman is a gentle and jovial metrosexual who happens to have the looks to pull off a nasty, vicious character like Wolverine.

The resulting contrast is movie gold, for Jackman as it was for Shatner.

The rumor I heard was that Jackman stuck his hand in a bucket of cold water whenever he was in his trailer on the original "X-Men," because the resulting discomfort gave him the proper angry attitude the character of Wolverine required.

That's commitment. And that's Hollywood legend.

And Jackman deserves his place in the pantheon. One of the all-time sexy men. A tough guy who wasn't really a tough guy.

You rock, Hugh Jackman.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lena Headey

The Evil One

So many attractive qualities:

1) She's British.

2) She's an incredibly good actress. (Which is redundant. See point 1)

3) She's aged into the sexiest phase of any woman's life, her late thirties.

4) She's a tatted up party girl. Here's the evidence:

5) Based on interviews, she's way smarter than your average actress. (Again, see point 1)

6) She can transform herself for a part. Here she is as the prime villainess in 2012's woefully underrated "Dredd":

And as a very different kind of villainess in "Game of Thrones":

7.) She's stumbled into career success lately, as the cited movies indicate. Career success always enhances looks.

8.) She's rich. Her tax refund for 2011 was $46,000. This came out in divorce proceedings. Which leads us to our final argument.

9.) Sheeeeeeeeeeee's single!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

These People

Hot Show, Hot Cast

This trio is of course Emilia Clarke, Nicolaj Coster-Waldau and Jason Momoa.

Or, much more excitingly, Danaerys Stormborn, Jamie Lannister the Kingslayer, and the Dothraki warlord, Khal Drogo.

They play three significant characters in the blisteringly popular HBO series "Game of Thrones."

And they are some attractive examples of people, aren't they?

Sometimes stuff just comes together on a TV show, when the writing, the visual palette, the rhythm and the casting all unite for maximum effect. It doesn't happen often, but it's happening with "Game of Thrones."

The show is a sprawling epic with an ensemble cast, which means you sometimes have to sit through meandering subplots that won't pay off for another five episodes. When this happens, it's nice to have pretty actors to stare at.

"Game of Thrones" is loaded with them.

I'm trying to figure out which has a better-looking cast, "Mad Men" or "Game of Thrones."

Ultimately I think Jon Hamm pushes "Mad Men" over the top.

But still.

Good-looking cast.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Karen Gillan

Amy Pond!

Ah, the great Karen Gillan.

This British actress was an indispensable part of the greatest revival of the Doctor Who mythos since Tom Baker was dodging cybermen with the likes of Elisabeth Sladen and Louise Jameson, not to mention Mary Tamm.

It turns out, "Doctor Who" only really works when the companions are good. And the best companions are female, attractive without being too attractive, smart, inquisitive, and deeply attached to the time traveler.

Karen Gillan struck all those boxes, and now that she's gone from the show, the spark of life has gone as well. She was indispensable.

The good news is, she will reappear in next summer's blockbuster superhero sci-fi opus, "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Details of the role Gillan will play have not been revealed, although it has been suggested she will be the lead female villain.

And with that, the odds of "Guardians" being awesome just went up eighty percent.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Emilia Clarke

Dragon Lady

So I'm watching Game of Thrones these days, and it's got fifty-five different characters we're supposed to follow.

Most of these characters are mediocre at best, boring at worst, but there are two who stand out, and an episode of Thrones rises and falls on how much we get to see of them.

The first is Tyrion Lannister, played by Peter Dinklage, who is charming, funny, cynical and corrupted. But he is not good-looking. I don't care; I think he's awesome. But he's not good-looking.

On the other hand, Emilia Clarke's Daenerys Stormborn is hauntingly beautiful. More than that, though, she is unique.

I mean, just look at her. Where have you seen anyone like her? She has no comparison.

Her default expression is sad and a little scared, which is fascinating because she's one of the more powerful characters in the Throne-iverse, having command of the only three dragons left in the world.

She's also fiercely ambitious, utterly devoted, as she is, to acquiring the Iron Throne, the macguffin at the heart of the mythos, even if it means burning cities and ravaging continents.

The actress does a terrific job toggling between soft and steely. She's a marvel to watch. But it's those looks that lift her to another level. They sell her authenticity as a fantasy-world character as naturally as Leonard Nimoy's looks made us believe he was an alien from Vulcan, not just a guy wearing ear prosthetics.

And just as Leonard Nimoy in real life looks nothing like Spock -- it's not even freaky to see Nimoy smiling and laughing -- so too does actress Emilia Clarke look radically different from her fictional alter ego. Check it out:

Which is great for her. She can make a ton of money on a hit show, then go to a restaurant and not get bothered by geeky fans.

It also shows the power of casting. You put that platinum blonde wig on most actresses and they just look ridiculous. You put it on Emilia Clarke, and suddenly you're standing in front of Daenerys Stormborn of the Targaryen Clan.

(Sheesh, George Martin was bad with names.)

Emilia Clarke is good-looking. Her character, however, is great-looking.

And that's a neat trick.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Erin Gray (circa 1979)

Colonel Wilma Deering

It was a good look.

Is all I'm saying.