Monday, June 30, 2008

Shine a Light Leaves Us in the Dark

Okay, so here's my first movie review to start getting caught up. The rest won't be as verbose, but since I'm a big fan of both The Stones and Scorsese, I was left pondering what the hell went wrong with Shine a Light

At the start of this rock-doc, it shows Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese haggling over the particulars of where to film it. Mick wanted a huge venue. Marty wanted to go small and intimate. Marty won the battle and filmed this at the Beacon Theater in NYC, but it was a Pyrrhic victory and at least partially because of the location, Marty lost the war.

He went all out with the cameras and angles, and even this soulless and lackluster film will never take away from his concert masterpiece, The Last Waltz. Possibly, he was trying to make a bookend to that brilliant farewell performance from The Band as he intercut the articulate and natural storyteller Robbie Robertson and workmanlike Levon Helms and drifty-lost Rick Danko interviews amongst the concert footage.

In Light, he intercuts some rather old interview footage of Mick and Keith to give perspective, but by now, we all get it. The Stones are still going. But The Stones are also a stadium band. Jagger knows that. Scorsese, I'm sure, wanted to show a different side, but that's just not what The Stones have become. They aren't small and intimate, nor any longer particularly relevant. They coast on their catalogue, and shit, that's not an insult, because it's a fucking hell of a catalogue. But they're also a band that you pay an outrageous amount of money to be stuffed in a stadium with 50,000 other people who're getting high and drinking too much and just shouting along to "Satisfaction" as their eyes glaze over from the enormity of the stage and all the flashing lights as Mick struts his still-tiny little tush around.

In an intimate setting, The Stones still play tight, man, tight. (again, not an insult.) But the only truly intimate moment that works comes, of course, from Richards as he commands the stage and takes the mic to sing "You Got the Silver." There's still something indescribably mesmerizing about him. But the rest of the time, even with some cool guests to help pull the load, this movie just never manages to get its ya ya's out.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Italy's coach, Roberto Donadoni, got canned today. They expect to reinstate Marco Lippi, the coach who won the 2006 WC with the Azzurri, shortly. Donadoni's tenure was short, but he was given a conditional two year extension on his contract just before the Euro began. The condition, of course, being that Italy reached the semi-finals, which they didn't.

The interesting thing about this is that he's now the second person to get canned because of Italy in this tournament. Earlier in the competition, a Welsh education spokesman and chair of the finance committee had to resign after he refered to the Azzurri as "greasy wops" on a radio program.

I was utterly shocked, shocked, I tell you, to read about that incident. I thought Europeans had more intelligence and class than to make a mistake like that. Everyone knows that "wop" stands for "WithOut Papers" and is a slur specifically used for American-Italians. Honestly. Talk about picking your words more carefully. He should've just called them dagos or zips or guineas.

I don't care if it's grease or sweat, they're still hot to me.

(you knew I was gonna work in one more pic of Buffon, right?)

Spain takes on Germany on Sunday for the title. And me? I'll update you soon on all the movies I've seen in case you're in the mood for a flick.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

No Country for Old Men

For a few years, it was Petr Cech. Cech, he's a Czech goalkeeper and soccer fans enjoyed debating who was the best in the world, Cech or Italy's Gianluigi Buffon. Cech suffered a horrible skull fracture in 2006 and, though he's still outstanding, hasn't really ever been the same since. So lately, it's been Spain's (and Real Madrid's) Iker Casillas who's filled the spot on the debate. Buffon remains the fixture as the one being debated.

Though he's well aware of his stature in the pantheon of European sports and because of this cache is more often than not saddled with the spokesman job for the teams he leads, Gigi still remains humble and classy. He's been through the wringer professionally and fully vetted by the media and officials due to the match-fixing scandal a few years back. (Buffon was completely cleared.) But he stayed loyal to his busted-down Juventus team and his happy-go-lucky demeanor never wavered. Before the Azzurri began their quarterfinal match against Spain today, Buffon walked across the field and with a smile, a wink and a hug, he told his younger counterpart Casillas, "You're the best, not me." The two had a nice laugh about it. I don't know, I don't get a lot of European humor. But it was nice.

Then, for ninety minutes, the Azzurri finally came back to life and showed why they're the reigning World Cup champs. Spain is chock full of young guns. Fast and furious with technical prowess, the Spaniards had absolutely overpowered and outshot all their opponents, with David Villa, David Silva, and Fernando Torres working together in a seemingly unstoppable symphony of scoring on the pitch. But what Italy does, when they're tuned, is play best when absorbing attacking pressure to shut down and frustrate their opponents. Instead of constantly working up the field and trying to score, the Azzurri are happy to defend and take their few shots, knowing that if they can convert just once, they can probably lock down the win.

And today, that's how the Azzurri played. You could see the utter frustration rising among the Spanish team as they just couldn't orchestrate a break away or when a key tackle would be made, or, worse, when they'd finally get a shot and Buffon would save. Again, ever the gentleman and statesman for sportsmanship, it was a common sight to see the big man consoling or quieting one of the young Spanish players when they'd get worked up or pissed off about the smothering defense that they just weren't accustomed to.

Seriously. Who else would do that? Pick up the other team and dust them off and pep them up. That's just Gig, man. He's a little insane, but truly cool.

However, with both Pirlo and Gattuso yellow-carded out, Italy had a little trouble conducting their own offensive attacks. When the Italians would take possession and drive upfield with a serve to Luca Toni, he still wasn't able to convert. Before the match, all his teammates were behind him 100% and saying his time was due and he'd just been suffering from a run of bad luck. But even his strange new 'stache couldn't get his mojo back in order and he just never got the right touch on the ball to sink one.

The scoreless match continued, and even a late game substitution to bring in Del Piero didn't result in any dramatic heroics. So after ninety minutes, it was a 0-0 draw. Another half hour and a few desperate attempts from both sides later, and still no score.

Casillas, he'd notched six saves for the day. Buffon, he had nine. (Spain had 27 shots on goal as opposed to Italy's characteristically weak 10.) Now the game would be decided by penalty kicks. Though it's a crappy way to end such a match, the Azzurri aren't exactly strangers to this situation, having won the World Cup against France this way. And they aren't exactly opposed to it, either, having Buffon as their man on goal. Spain, on the other hand, had some bad juju when it came to June 22 penalty shoot outs, having lost a whopping three of them on exactly that date in pervious World Cup and Euro quarterfinals.

In case you're not familiar, the way it works is that each team gets five alternating shots. Generally speaking, one save from your goalkeeper, and you're gonna be golden, because penalty kicks are a bitch for a keeper to save. So, the tournament's top scorer, Spain's David Villa, shot first and beat Buffon. Fabio Grosso returned the favor. Spain's next kick was good. But then Casillas made a great save against Italy's De Rossi which gave Spain the crucial lead. Both teams scored again, and then, with teeth-grinding pressure on and Spain holding the advantage, Gigi did what he does and made a startling save against Spain's David Guiza to pull the Azzurri even.

But then Italy's Di Natale took a surprisingly weak shot; it was a slow roller to the corner. Casillas guessed right and had his second save.

And that was all it took, as Spain's Fabregas finished off Buffon, and all the Azzurri, with a rifle shot to the opposite corner as Gigi was caught going the other way.

Spain's talented young conquistadors advance and will take on Russia again, whom they utterly destroyed 4-1 in the group rounds. The Azzurri, they go home. Coach Donadoni may get the closest thing to a crucifixion in the press. And I'm cringing a little for Toni and Di Natale, too. Personally, I'm happy for Spain and think they have a tremendous team. But, of course, I'm also terribly sad. Sad for the loss, obviously, but also because of the advancing age of this current roster. Del Piero is certainly in his waning years for the national squad. Toni isn't a spring chicken, and Materazzi will be going quietly soon, too. (Not to mention that I never got around to posting about Mauro Cameranesi. And, with this now over and Entourage not returning until September, my summer is pretty much shot as far as "guy" entertainment on only the second official day of the season.) On the upside, Antonio Cassano played beautifully and kept his cool, as did fast-rising star Alberto Aquilani, who got a little experience with Pirlo and Gattuso booked out today.

Gigi? He'll be back. He says he wants to play on the national team until he's forty. (Gigi really is a little crazy.) Generally such a cheerful guy, I hate to see him leave the field looking like this.

As for that ongoing debate about the world's best goalkeeper? Maybe Gigi's seemingly gracious words to Casillas ended up being downright fateful for today. But, only for today.

He's already secured his place as a superstar of Italian sport and is rapidly hurtling toward legend. For a few more years, the debate will go on, possibly with someone else eventually filling Casillas's spot. Someday, though, it's inevitable that Gigi's name will be erased from the contemporary debate. But for now, even on a sad day for Azzurri fans, it's really easy, and a bit consoling, and actually quite delightful, to be able to say to Gigi in all honesty, and with a couple of different nuances, "You're the best."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fabio Squared

And we're back to the footballers again. Sunday, the Azzurri take on Spain in the quarterfinals. They're still somewhat smarting with the loss of team captain Fabio Cannavaro, but lucky for me they've still got two Fabios in play. The first is Fabio Grosso, who's really quite a looker, even if he always has a slightly confused appearance about him.

He's a defender who's managed to score a few dramatic goals for Italy over the past few years. More importantly, right now, he seems to be in the best form of all the back liners. And, when D&G didn't have enough of the first round of Italian soccer player undie shots, Grosso was one of the ones called upon to to help fill out the next shoot. Personally, I just give him props for not shaving his chest.

I will say it's starting to piss me off that they feature all these guys in all these different shoots, but I can't find evidence of any Gigi modeling for them. All I can assume is that since Gigi is a sort of promotional superstar in Italy, maybe he's got conflicts or something. I found an old, fuzzy shot which may have been part of a D&G layout, but I'm not sure. Although I'm supposedly talking about the Fabios in this post, I think it's clear that Buffon is my pet favorite and I like to post pictures of him, so it's going up for inspection under the ruse that perhaps someone will have some D&G ad info for me, but we all know it's really just here because I dig the Gig.

Anyhow, the final Fabio on the roster right now is Fabio Quagliarella. He's fairly new with the Azzurri. He hasn't seen too much playing time in the tournament so far, but he's a striker and we're in need of someone to score goals. I realize that Luca Toni is just having some bad luck, but I'm wondering if it's starting to fuck with his head at this point, all those missed shots. I have a feeling that Toni is pretty much untouchable, though. But just as we saw Cassano make an appearance, I wouldn't be shocked to see Quagliarella get some play time as a substitute and his star may start to shine.

What's also of note about Fabio Q? He's kind of unbelievably good looking. Like, when I try to visualize a handsome guy, the mental picture generally bears a striking resemblance to Quagliarella.

I'm not saying this should have relevance on the starting lineup, but Luca Toni has grown a strange mustache over the past couple days. Quagliarella has not. But if a 'stache helps Toni score (a goal) then I'm all for it.

Meme Meany

I've been tagged by the poetic Dennis Mahagin. Unfortunately, I'm both boring and secretive. When people used to ask me questions I didn't want to answer, I used to just shrug and coyly say, "I'm not closed off, I'm just boring." And then I'd flip the script back to them. I still flip the script, but I'll at least now admit that sometimes I don't want to answer questions about myself, no matter how seemingly inane or perfunctory they are. Some people find this strange. I just shrug. I do appreciate Dennis's attention, though, and did read his answers, which were great. So check his out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

From Soccer to Smut -- small leap 'round here, I know.

I briefly interrupt this soft-core soccer smut to bring you some hard-core short story sex. I've got a new story live at The Erotic Woman, titled "The Best Revenge." Love the pic for it, too! They're just cool.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Italy Wins!

It wasn't pretty, but Italy managed to defeat France 2-0 to progress to the quarterfinals where they'll take on Spain. Spain is tough, with a young, good looking team and goal scoring machine David Villa. And we'll also be down two of our key starters because they drew their second yellow cards. But at least the Azzurri advance!

It was in no small part to our Keeper who just keeps giving. I even noticed a sign reading "Buffon Santo Subito" (translation -- Buffon Saint Soon.) And Gigi did make a few amazing saves, but that's not so surprising. A pleasant surprise was Cassano, who dazzled with some dribbling but passed effortlessly, even though Luca Toni just could not convert any of his chances. Cassano also stayed away from the red card, which did make an appearance and crippled the French when one of them tackled Luca Toni. The French went down a man for the rest of the match, and it was Andrea Pirlo who capitalized on the penalty kick and scored Italy's first goal.

This makes me double happy, as Pirlo deserves some limelight for himself, and because he's also one of the D&G models that I'd hoped to revisit. I'd already shown you Rino Gattuso and his snarly stance in the other two photos, and that doesn't change in these. But his Milan teammate Andrea Pirlo is also featured in these shots. Gattuso and Pirlo are also the two players that will be out of the lineup against Spain due to yellow cards. But what cracks me up about Pirlo is how he sort of seems to be slinking down and back or with his head bowed as though he doesn't feel the most dignified. Such as here.

Also featured in that ad is Gianluca Zambrotta, who played veryvery well today, so I'm done being mad at him. The only thing better than Gianluca Zambrotta's name is his oiled bod. Here's one more shot, with Pirlo really hiding in the background.

But D&G obviously didn't get their fill of the Milan midfielders and this year decided to do a calendar of the entire AC Milan team. (They do the formal dress for Milan, and for the Azzurri.) Photographed by Mariano Vivanco, Pirlo shows he's just as smoldery in his clothes as out.

But that's just not enough for D&G when it comes to Italian footballers. Azzurri defender Fabio Grosso appears in a whole different underwear campaign for them. More on that later.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Loose Cannon Cassano

Antonio Cassano is a character. That's the polite way of saying it. Another way, perhaps a more blunt way of saying it, is that Cassano is the epitome of a crazy dago.

Cassano is a young striker on the roster for the Azzurri this year even though he wasn't a part of the 2006 World Cup team. Apparently, the Italian coach is considering starting him against France tomorrow. Given Cassano's incredible talent, it would seem like a smart move. However, when you take into consideration that Cassano can draw a red card faster than I can type "red card," you also realize how dicey a move that could be.

Cassano is surely a gifted player. He was recently on the roster (alongside David Beckham) at Real Madrid, until they decided to ship him back to Italy. Basically, the kid has a passion for food and therefore a propensity for becoming a fatty. I have no trouble with that. He also, however, has the disposition of a rattlesnake, and he's just as likely to drop trou and give himself wedgies on the field as he is to threaten officials, slap people, and basically cause a whole big fucking scene. Like I said, crazy dago. Me, I'm a lover of the outrageous, so this is right up my alley as sheer entertainment. However, also being a lover of watching the Azzurri in as many matches as possible, I'm not so sure about having him trot onto the field tomorrow. Gigi, class act that he is, says he advised Cassano to just count to five before reacting to dumb shit. My advice? Score a fuckin' goal, Tony. Nothing makes people forgive more than that.

Which brings us to Christian Panucci.

Panucci is a defender and a cutie. But he also hadn't been part of the 2006 World Cup team after a tough 2002 World Cup game. (He wasn't quite on the lists with Bill Buckner, but he didn't make a lot of fans.) But he managed to be on his toes a few days ago and scored Italy's first goal in this Euro Championships, so now he's a big hero.

Anyhow, the match against France is tomorrow. That's a rematch of the World Cup finals, so it's sort of a big deal. Though, that match ended with the infamous Zinedine Zidane headbutt of Italy's Marco Materazzi, (are those names fabulous or what?) which was the strange swan song to the great Zidane's career and the clincher for Italy. Zidane is now retired, but I wouldn't be shocked to be seeing some sort of heading or butting if Cassano does take the field. I hope they pull it off. It'd be a shame to leave those other D&G underwear ads un-scrutinized.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I Dream of Gigi

Today, the Azzurri tied with Romania to stay alive in the Euro 2008. Not quite as joyous as a win would've been, but at least they're still in the hunt. Especially after another very rough call went against them. Last game, the officials allowed an offsides goal by the Netherlands to count against Italy. This time, Luca Toni scored a good header and it was tossed out when the officials wrongly called him offsides. I promise, it's not just me bitching about it. All the announcers and analysts were astounded by the poor call, too. And even with my sadly fuzzy vid caps, I can show you that Toni wasn't offsides. If he was over the white line, he'd be offsides. He's not even on the line. Fuckers.

That bad call and resulting stripped goal would've given Italy the win and nearly secured a place for them in the quarterfinals. Another ugly moment was when one of Italy's own defenders, Gianluca Zambrotta, badly misplayed a pass and allowed Romania to score a crap goal. Zambrotta is a bona fide hottie and one of the D&G undie models, but we'll get back to that another day. I'm a little miffed at Zambrotta and don't want to dwell on the bad or ugly and instead want to highlight the good of the day. Actually, not so much good as great.

I told you before that Gigi Buffon was the best goal keeper in the business, and he proved it again today. With a lot of people criticizing the Italian team for being too old -- most of them are over 30 -- big guy Buffon proved he's not too old to beat the twenty-somethings. He had a few brilliant and crucial saves in the first half of the match. But in the final ten minutes, the officials awarded a penalty kick to Romanian striker Mutu. With the match already tied at 1-1, that should've been lights out for Italy. But Gigi saved the day big time when he totally denied Mutu. It was so demoralizing that Mutu couldn't recover. He nearly broke down into tears several times on the field and had to be removed from the game after a couple of minutes when he still couldn't pull his shit back in order. Of course, I love such a spectacle, and since I also adore Gigi, I took pictures of the whole thing. Gigi breathes and gets ready, Gigi saves(!!), Mutu crumbles, Mutu crumbles some more, poor thing, and Gigi celebrates and is the big hero of the day.

That's right. Give yourself a hand, Cap'n.

And this one, it really has no relevance; it's just for my personal enjoyment because, you know, Gigi's hot.

Also deserving a hand today is Christian Panucci, a defender who managed to score Italy's sole goal today. Not shockingly, he's quite a looker, so I'll give him his due tomorrow or so, then maybe swing back around to Zambrotta and more of those D&G ads when I'm done being mad at him.

SYTYCD -- PezKat Recap

I'm still kicking around watching SYTYCD, but I haven't really had a chance to catch it yet. (I'm lucky I managed to finish off "Top Chef" this season. And I'm so glad I did -- YAY Stephanie!) But if you're looking for SYTYCD recaps, PezKat has some really detailed ones. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Beauty of the Beast

Gennaro Gattuso cracks me up. I love him, and he's a great player. He's a midfielder whose resume can boast a couple of Champions League wins with his club, AC Milan, along with a couple of wins in surly slapfights. He is fierce. (and I don't mean that in the trendy Tyra runway way. I mean that in that near-animal kind of way.) And it's not just me who thinks so. After all, Rino is nicknamed "the snarler". So for those who like the rough-and-tumble kind of player, this is your guy. Especially because, for as intimidating as he is on the field, off the field, he's about as humble and fun-loving as they come. And, naturally, he's a hottie who can pull out the trendy-Tyra fierce when need be.

Think he gives good face? It's not nearly as impressive as the body. He, along with four of his teammates, were tapped by Dolce & Gabbana to do an underwear promotion. There is plenty to love in the series of resulting shots, not least of which is Rino's savage stance in each and every picture.

I love him up there, holding down the center, just like on the field, with that look of nearly-simmering rage, almost as though he's ready to bitch-slap the photographer. But you just know he's also secretly loving it. I love the next shot even more. While the other guys feign relaxation, he's elevated and taut, still looking ready to bite someone's head off if they make one wise crack about his purple panties.

If you think for one-second he felt self-conscious about being photographed in the nearly-nude and that's what produced that aggressive body language, think again. Gattuso was also the one who, to celebrate Italy's win in the 2006 World Cup, once again stripped down to his skivvies and ran around the field until the officials chased him down and forced him to put his pants back on. Dumb-fuck officials.

And oh yeah, there's plenty more to comment on in those pictures, and there are more pictures from the series. Perhaps we can talk about how his teammate, Andrea Pirlo, hangs his head and seems just slightly embarrassed as he slinks to the side and back in every shot. But more of those pictures and more analysis of the other guys in them after Italy's match against Romania on Friday.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Striking Hottie

Luca Toni is a good looking guy.

Now, I'm not quite sure, but I think it's a strong possibility that he knows it, even if he hasn't quite yet perfected the Blue Steel and often has a rather goofy, if pretty, appeal.

The 6' 4" striker, who now plays professionally for Bayern Munich, was a member of the World Cup All-Star Team and is one of the more, uh, shall we say, expressive players for the Italian team. And since we're talking about Italians here, that's saying a little something.

I can easily cut him slack, because believe me, if I looked like Luca Toni, I'd be touching myself all the time, too. That's him all sad up there because they took the pasting from the Dutch. Personally, I much prefer the goal-scoring, celebrating Toni.

Lanky pretty boys aren't your thing? Don't you worry. Tomorrow we're going a little more manly -- maybe even beastly -- when we move into the all-Milan midfield and I start by showing off Gennaro Gattuso to you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

He Gives a Licking and Keeps on Kicking

Today, I'd like to introduce you to one of the guy's on Italy's front line, Alessandro Del Piero.

He's cute, right? Along with being one of the sport's top earners, a "footballer of the year" award winner, and the all-time top scorer for his pro team, Juventus, he's also easily one of the sport's most respected -- and nicest -- players. Del Piero has amassed several awards for his gentlemanly comportment. Off the field, he's done an awful lot to support cancer research and has been an Olympic torchbearer.

Nice guys are hot. But Del Piero has an extra little kick going for him. (yes, pun intended.) Not since number 23 hung up his jersey have we seen such a predominately displayed tongue be so vogue -- and sexy in a silly way -- in sports.

Daniel Day Lewis said "I drink it up." When it comes to Alessandro, I lick it up.

And he's not even the hottie of Azzurri's strikers. Just wait 'til you see the tall, cool drink of acqua that's Luca Toni.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Oh No! Blue loses 3 - Zero!

Madone! Italy lost its first game in the Euro Championships to the Netherlands. Not only did they lose, they got pounded 3-0! Now they'd better beat the daylights out of Romania and France to even have a chance to progress. They looked a little lost without Cannavaro, and yeah, that first goal that the Dutch scored should've been disallowed as it was clearly offsides, but once they didn't get that call, they then got rattled and quickly allowed another goal to be scored. Two goals scored off them in five minutes! They only allowed two goals to be scored against them during the entire World Cup.

To clarify why this would be such a personal travesty for me if they don't move on, I'm gonna introduce you to some of the players on the team over the next few days. I'm sure you can imagine why I root for Italy, but the following may help illuminate why my fever for the current team runs so hot.

Their goalkeeper is Gianluigi "Gigi" Buffon. When not playing for the national team, Gigi plays for Juventus, which is pretty much the most successful of the Italian football teams. (Like, if Italian soccer was like the mafia five families, Juventus would be the Genovese family, see?) Personally, Gigi shares the international number one ranking as the world's best goalkeeper for the past twenty years. He also has manymany prestigious awards, both European and International, over the past decade as "best goalkeeper of the year" and even a couple of overall "player of the year" awards. So, you know, he fuckin' rocks. He does his job, you know? He dates a Czech model. In case you're wondering how a goalkeeper manages to score a smokin' babe, I now introduce you to Gigi.

Yeah. Seriously. I'm not shitting you here. That's him. And when he's all sweaty on the field? Even better.

You think that's good? Just wait. Tomorrow I'm gonna go to the front line and begin introducing you to the team's strikers, starting with Gigi's Juventus teammate, Alessandro Del Piero and his ubiquitous tongue.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Forza Azzurri!

I apologize for my prolonged absence. I've just been enjoying the start of summer and not watching too much TV. I have managed to catch almost all the newest flicks, but instead of a full recap of each, here's my advice if you're looking for a movie.

Iron Man -- Favreau knows how to make a crowd pleaser and Robert Downey Jr. looks amazing. Just goes to show what dirty living can do for you.

What Happens in Vegas should have stayed in Vegas. Though Ashton takes off his shirt, this still sucks.

Indiana Jones had a few cute moments but overall just blew.

Sex and the City had very little sex and waayyy too much melodrama for a summer flick. Stephanie Zacharek of Salon already wrote a review that pretty much encompasses my thoughts. It just makes me sad. Sarah Jessica Parker was, at one time, a great comedic actress. Her gawky coltishness played perfectly with her natural timing. But a big shift happened when she became a diva and I could barely stomach her. Carrie was always a little hard to take with her self-involved angst and lousy qualities as a friend anyhow. But when SJP turned to her over-the-top coquettish mannerisms and became a judgmental priss, Carrie became downright hateful, and still is in this movie. As much as they try to infuse the final scenes with an anti-materialism bent, they can't pull it off because the whole thing with her utterly ugly costumes and the pornish wedding dress spectacle screams otherwise. You can't just brush aside all that shallow materialism with a sigh and a wink after indulging and exploiting it for two full hours. I swear, there are a couple of shots of SJP where you can almost see her thinking "I'm more iconic than Greta Garbo!" She's not. It's all just grotesque. On the upside, there is still Kim Catrall as Samantha and Kristin Davis as Charlotte, who both remember to bring the funny. And they always were the best ones, anyhow. I'd kill for a friend as fiercely loyal and dedicated to fun as Samantha.

And, finally, I've discovered the single greatest benefit to being unemployed. I get to watch every single minute of my beloved Italian National Team in the Euro 2008 Championships. They're the reigning World Cup champs, and even though they've lost Nesta and Totti, and Cannavaro is out with an injury, the rest of the team returns.

I have high hopes. It also doesn't hurt that they're really ridiculously good looking. Azzurri!