It’s my duty as a film critic to warn you that you’ll really be missing out if you skip the movies this week. After that dire 4th of July weekend, there’s suddenly a handful of excellent pictures expanding or opening: Boyhood is a one of a kind curio from Richard Linklater (of the Before... series fame) where you watch the actors age 12 years in one go since the film was shot for one week each year; Begin Again is a sweet and relaxed romance where the romance isn’t with people but with music and second chances; Land Ho! is an endearing comedy about two elderly men impulsively heading to Iceland that will immediately make you want to book a trip (I’ve been twice, to the country not the movie, and it is that special; and two dystopian sci-fi action films (Snowpiercer & Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) that may be thinly disguised agitprop on destructive economic disparity and our refusal to deal with our gun addiction, respectively, but those are worthy enough messages and the films are totally exciting with memorable acting and visuals. Support great movies!
Duty done, I must admit that if you stay inside in air-conditioned dark theaters you miss all that aggressive and welcome exhibitionism happening outdoors. So let’s combine the best of both worlds with this extremely scientific ranking of MOVIE HOTNESS IN 2014.
TWO DISCLAIMERS BEFORE WE BEGIN
1) This list is dedicated to “The Full Metal Bitch” and “The Black Widow” because Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow) and Scarlett Johansson (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) are perfect specimens and all the best moviegoers are polysexual when it comes to big screen beauty. But in order to narrow it down we’ll stick to the men.
2) Men who have been doing the same shtick repeatedly are not eligible no matter their temperature so goodbye to Jackman's claws, Channing undercover, Chris Evans' Captain Fantasy Boyfriend of America (who would be #1, duh) and so forth. We're focusing on the now.
THE 14 HOTTEST ACTOR/MOVIE-CHARACTERS OF 2014 ARE AFTER THE JUMP...
14 Tom Hiddleston as “The Great Escapo” in Muppets Most Wanted
Boyfriend Material?: Great sense of humor. Into light bondage to spice things up. Looks fiiiiine in a pair of longjohns. Is, to date, the only performance in the Muppets 35 year franchise that’s likely to cause pervy crotch-focused gifs on the internet.
Dealbreaker: Probably in a Russian gulag for a reason
13 Nick Thurston as “Blue Eyes” in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Boyfriend Material?: "Blue Eyes" is right... so soulful. This one's for the plushies... but not the bears. Blue Eyes hates the bears. Easily manipulated (a plus for you control freaks). Plus scars can give you edgy character.
Dealbreaker: Limited conversationalist. Daddy issues.
12 Logan Lerman as “Ham” in Noah
Boyfriend Material?: Desperate and cute. Totally will. (Also Logan Lerman would like to remind everyone that he is now legal and leading man ready -- Hence this photoshoot and a promising role in that Brad Pitt in the tank movie). Kind to animals which is always a good sign.
Dealbreaker: Desperate is not cute. Plus: Paralyzing Daddy issues.
11 Dawid Ogronik as "Lis" in Ida
Boyfriend Material?: For those who find musicians irresistible (but just can't with hammy Mark Ruffalo or hipster Adam Levine's Beard in Begin Again). Would like to absolutely ruin your celibacy vows.
Dealbreaker: Life on the road.
[P.S. This entry is largely an excuse to recommend Ida which is, rather improbably apart from its brilliance, one of the year's biggest arthouse hits. You know how those black & white Polish movies about nuns always have 'em lining up.]
10. Michael Ealy as "Danny" in About Last Night
Boyfriend Material? To quote his co-star "his eyes. his body... his mouth" He knows he's beautiful but is totally relaxed about it so he can focus on you. (Did you ever see him on "Almost Human". Pity that got cancelled so early. He brings the chemistry... even when playing a robot.)
Dealbreaker: 80s remakes are a pox. A pox on all our houses.
09 Everyone in Joe Manganiello's La Bare
Boyfriend Material?: Hot body, plenty of spending money (mostly $1s but still)
Dealbreaker: Vain. Never available to cuddle in the evenings. Self-employed and that job isn't going to last forever.
08 Pierre Deladonchamps as “Franck” in Stranger by the Lake
Boyfriend Material?: Extremely easy on the eyes. Extremely easy. No attitude. Outdoorsy. DTF.
Dealbreaker: Extremely limited interests. Not into safer sex.
07 Jake Lacy as “Max” in Obvious Child
Boyfriend Material?: Not controlling. Sane. Easy to charm. Totally into you even when you're being a bitch.
Dealbreaker: A bit vanilla.
06 Jay Baruchel as "Hiccup" in How to Train Your Dragon 2
Boyfriend Material?: Shout out to anyone who has found themselves returning to David Kawena’s “Disney Heroes” gallery to see if there were any new drawings (I know Hiccup doesn’t belong to Disney – don’t be so literal). Loyal, brave, sensitive, tactile and with perfectly maintained stubble. He'll even let you braid his hair he's so easy to chill with.
Dealbreaker: Will always love his cat/dog more than you.
05 Ralph Fiennes as "M Gustave" in The Grand Budapest Hotel
Boyfriend Material?: Love a man in uniform? So great in the sack that rich heiresses will leave him fortunes in their wills. Exceedingly cultured, educated, intelligent. Autoerotic magnetism... you need not be a beauty to turn him on.
Dealbreaker: What's monogamy? Also: Workaholic.
04 Jake Gyllenhael & Jake Gyllenhaal as “Adam” and “Anthony” in Enemy
Boyfriend Material?: Jake Gyllenhaal twice over for the polyamorous you. Otherwise how to choose between them?
Dealbreaker: Doesn't know himself. Has a bit of a dark side.
03 Anthony Mackie as "The Falcon" in Captain America: Winter Soldier
Boyfriend Material: Loyal, brave, handsome, funny. Surprisingly flexible given the musculature. Ego free since he doesn't mind playing sidekick
Dealbreaker: Shut up about Marvin Gaye and your war stories, already.
02 Zac Efron as “Teddy” in Neighbors
Boyfriend Material?: Who says you have to be boyfriends? It's not binding, it's college. Anyway... sexy, connected, totally into throwing theme parties.
Dealbreaker: Extremely into himself. No future...It's all downhill from here.
01 Luke Pasqualino as “Grey” in Snowpiercer
Boyfriend Material: So athletic he's mesmerizing in action. VGL. No opinions to speak of that you might disagree with since he doesn't speak. Will rush to your rescue every single damn time you need him.
Dealbreaker: Probably hasn't bathed in a really long time - damn you, futuristic dystopias!
In 2010 a baby girl born to an HIV-positive mother made headlines after seemingly being cured of the virus thanks to a swift treatment of antiretroviral therapy immediately following her birth. “The Mississippi Baby,” as she came to be known, was a triumph, giving the medical community insight into the potential future of treating infants born with HIV. Unfortunately the baby, according to her doctors, has come out of remission and is now showing detectable signs of the virus once again.
"Certainly, this is a disappointing turn of events for this young child, the medical staff involved in the child's care, and the HIV/AIDS research community," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Following a strict regimen of antiretroviral treatment for 18 months, blood tests for the child came back with undetectable viral loads. In the months following, the child was taken off the intense medication, seemingly maintaining her HIV undetectable state.
"Scientifically, this development reminds us that we still have much more to learn about the intricacies of HIV infection and where the virus hides in the body.” Dr. Fauci elaborated.
The return of the virus in her blood, while heartbreaking, was not entirely unexpected. Unknowingly HIV-positive, the baby’s mother did not take proper medication while pregnant with her child. The fact the baby managed to remain seemingly HIV negative for so long without medication suggests that initial efforts to treat the virus were on the right track, but not perfected, according to her doctors. She has since been put back on antiretrovirals, with doctors hoping to maintain the virus once again.
The Heise Park Pool in Galion, Ohio is a popular destination for residents during the summertime and offers a discounted pass for families. Melody Mohn and her wife applied for a Family Pass so that they could take their three children swimming, but were denied and told that the city ordinance defines a family as a mother, a father, and up to three children.
Normally this is where the story would bring up a lawsuit being filed, possible involvement by the ACLU, and a divided community. Instead, Mohn started an online petition, wrote to the mayor, and brought up the issue at a city council meeting to discuss a change in the wording of the ordinance. Mohn's pleas did not fall on deaf ears, and while it doesn't seem likely that change will happen in time for this summer, City Council Member Sarah Capretta said:
They want to make sure that they word [the ordinance] properly so that it can include more people in the city of Galion. We have a lot of grandparents taking care of grandchildren, aunts and uncles taking care of nephews and nieces and we want to make sure that we include all of those people to make everybody eligible to be able to use the facility because that is what it is there for.
You can watch the WBNS-10TV report AFTER THE JUMP...
Campaigners have attacked a Sydney judge’s comparison of incest and pedophila with homosexuality as “completely unacceptable” and an insult to people who have experienced sexual abuse, reports the Star Observer.
District Court Judge Garry Neilson comments arose in the case of a 58-year-old man who is charged with repeatedly raping his younger sister in the early 1980s.
Neilson said that in the same manner as homosexuality was once seen as taboo, “a jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now ‘available’”.
He went on to say:
“If this was the 50s and you had a jury of 12 men there, which is what you’d invariably have, they would say it’s unnatural for a man to be interested in another man or a man being interested in a boy. Those things have gone.”
Talking to the Star Observer, New South Wales Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby policy and project officer Jed Horner said Neilson’s comments made an offensive comparison between being gay and sexual offences and were an insult to survivors of sexual abuse.
The Virgin Islands Daily News reports Senator Judi Buckley (pictured)of the U.S. Virgin Islands has proposed a new bill that would allow people in the islands' jurisdiction to marry.
Until now there has been now proposal of such kind, but Buckley says this felt like the "right time" to introduce the bill, given the ongoing action on gay marriage in the U.S.
The senator states that while she may not be still be in office by the time a decision is made on the bill (her term ends in 2015), she is happy to have started a conversation.
Buckley is not seeking reelection, and as she keeps things honest in pointing out: "when you know you're not running for re-election, it takes away the fear."
The bill Buckley has introduced offers simple amendment to Virgin Islands law, especially compared to the "marriage ban" confusion we've seen stateside in the last few months. This bill would simply change one sentence of the Virgin Islands Code: from a marriage being described as between "a man and a woman" to "between two persons."
Currently, in the Virgin Islands, same-sex couples are able to marry and get licenses in other states, and have their union recognized.
Buckley's bill is not without opposition. Church groups have banded together to create a group called "One Voice Virgin Islands," which has created a Change.org petition opposing the bill.
Big icons come in small packages. The petite pop princess Kylie Minogue is not just a gay icon, but, according to a survey printed in The Sun, she’s the biggest gay icon of all time.
You’re free to disagree, but there’s plenty more evidence in her favor. Even Rufus Wainwright named her one of his top gay icons, saying “I love Kylie, she's the anti-Madonna. Self-knowledge is a truly beautiful thing and Kylie knows herself inside out. She is what she is and there is no attempt to make quasi-intellectual statements to substantiate it. She is the gay shorthand for joy.”
She’s acknowledged and celebrated her gay audience throughout her decades-long career.
“I didn’t become a gay icon or become popular in the gay community for doing something specific. That happened just because I was being myself,” she told The Advocate last year. “When I’m on tour, I think there’s a little bit of everything there. From a row of muscle Marys and drag queens to dads, moms, grandmas, and three generations of girls – everyone is there. So I try to put into my shows and albums a little bit for everyone and I hope that colors my work in the best way.”
Whether LGBT audiences adore her for her disco-flavored dance tunes, flashy costumes or charming personality, Kylie’s fervent fans have made her an institution since the late 1980s.
See her in action in some of our favorite clips, AFTER THE JUMP …
Kylie’s first big acting gig was on an Australian soap opera called Neighbours. The episode that featured her character Charlene Mitchell’s wedding was seen by an audience of 20 million British viewers. She’s continued to act throughout the years, appearing in Moulin Rouge and a fantastic episode of Doctor Who, as well as some projects she’d probably rather forget. See a clip from her farewell on Neighbours, above.
She made the jump to music with her first single, “The Loco-Motion.” It spent seven weeks at number one on the Australian singles charts and reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100. Kylie faced resistance trying to break in as a singer after being known primarily as an actress. She told The Advocate that she thinks overcoming that criticism strengthened her connection to the LGBT community. “I really resisted being pigeonholed and perhaps that’s one reason the gay community has felt some allegiance with me. Because I didn’t want to be told I was one thing and couldn’t be another. I didn’t want to have just one color to my personality.”
The peak of Kylie’s popularity in the United States hit in the early 2000s, when she released her album, Fever. The album included singles “Love At First Sight” (above) and “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” which hit number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and was number one in more than forty countries.
Not only has Kylie performed with LGBT performers (like Rufus Wainwright and Scissor Sisters) as well as playing established gay bars (G-A-Y and Splash), but she’s also been involved with LGBT organizations, like amfAR and GLAAD. See her get introduced by Boy George and perform a sing-along version of “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” at the GLAAD Media Awards earlier this year, above.
For her most recent album, Kiss Me Once, Kylie collaborated with Sia on the track “Sexercise.” The official video features Kylie having a steamy workout session with two other women. However, we prefer the scintillating clip above, showcasing some hunky dancers. (There’s also this male cover of the song and video.)
What’s your favorite Kylie track? Do you agree with The Sun that she is the biggest gay icon of all time?