Squeal Magnolia

Posted on 18 Dec 2008 at 11:22am
By Daniel A. Kusner Life+Style Editor

Donnie Clark dishes on 2008 films and celebs behaving badly at the West Village cineplex


DONNIE DARK-O: Clark strikes a surly holiday pose.

Everyone’s a critic. And if you’ve sampled indie fare at Landmark’s Magnolia Theatre, chances are you’ve probably seen guest-services employee Donnie Clark.

For the past year-and-a-half, Clark has ripped tickets and worked the concessions counter for West Village customers. If you’ve ever chatted him up, you discover he’s a got an gay Sarah Palin quality — bitchy yet undeniably alluring.

At a recent screening of "The Reader," Dallas Voice asked him if he’d offer his queer opinion about this year’s films. We didn’t have to ask twice. The MySpace blogger — who uses the pseudonym "Prince of Cats" — dove right in with his "hiss list:" blackmail moments at The Magnolia, bad film trends and his three hottest actors of 2008.

DONNIES BLIND ITEMS


This Texan actor, whose demeanor inexplicably comes by way of Venice Beach and is a member of the Stiller camp, tipped an usher $20 for some after-hours one-on-one time with a fan in an empty auditorium. She was a typical Uptown gal whose halter dress kept riding up as she whooped and loudly claimed to be affiliated with "The Academy" whilst tripping over her cork wedges and clinging to the handrails.

Let’s just say "Marley" isn’t the only kennel denizen he pals around with …

A certain wholesome "American Idol" country music star threw a tantrum during a film festival. She was too delicate to use the public restroom and demanded that the employees cordon off the ladies’ room for her personal use. And she posted bodyguards outside!

"Jesus, Take the Wheel"? More like, Jeeves, take my bags!


WORST TRENDS OF 2008


Shameless Oscar bait

"The Secret Life of Bees" Hollywood takes a good book, runs it through the greed filter and churns out an overblown Lifetime movie. Team up Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson, throw in some Motown classics and you can’t lose, right? Yes you can — with sickeningly sweet honey that’s spread too thick.

"Vicky Christina Barcelona." If Woody Allen took a dump it would garner critical acclaim. It’s a sign of bad writing when you can’t — after 30 years — separate yourself from your characters. It’s also disconcerting to hear halting, analytical, peevish dialogue coming from young actresses. Yes, yes, Penelope Cruz was good — but just good. How unusual is it for a Latina to flex her "passion made me crazy" muscles? My mother is Hispanic. She plays it to the hilt and has never been nominated.

Overwrought, 3-hour period dramas
"The Duchess." If I want glittering chandeliers and five-foot-high wigs, I’ll go to The Rose Room.

"The Other Boleyn Girl." Just a bunch of bustles and pouting. This film is more interested in authentic scenery than authentic performances. Plus, Eric Bana needed to show more skin.

"Brideshead Revisited." The first 45 minutes were intriguing. But I’m so sick of watching bright gay characters portrayed as anguished victims who eventually waste away from shame and guilt. But the shot of the boys toweling off together after a skinny dip almost redeems this — almost.

Sequels that stank the 1st time
"Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2." How many washes does it take to get out the stink on a pair of denim? And why can’t our beloved Ugly Betty pick a decent film role?

"Saw V," "The Mummy 3" and "Transporter 3." When I saw the trailer for the first "Transporter," I honestly thought it was an Audi commercial. Now the director says the main character is gay. Should we give it a fourth chance? Nah.

"High School Musical 3." Why?

HOTTIES OF THE YEAR


Dominic Cooper, "The Duchess" and "Mamma Mia!" If this 30-year-old Gemini spends more shirtless screen-time, I foresee a long career.

Dev Patel, "Slumdog Millionaire" "Skins." This lean, 19-year-old black belt has won 37 martial arts medals, but he stole my heart with those big brown eyes and banging Bollywood-style dance moves in "Slumdog." That sexy British accent doesn’t hurt either. Be sure to stick around for the credits.

Lee Pace, "The Fall" and "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day." I first fell in love with this mysterious Pisces-Aries on the show "Pushing Daisies." He combined tender longing and distant pain because he could never touch the woman he loves. Lanky, built and 6’3", this dreamboat’s breakout performance was playing transsexual Calpernia Addams in "A Soldier’s Girl."

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 19, 2008.

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