Summer’s almost over, but there are still some things worth seeing at the theater. We don’t mean the movies themselves, but the hot actor and/or characters they play. Here’s our rundown of the seven hottest guys in some upcoming movies.
7. Adam Brody, Lovelace. Brody is best known the nebbish Seth Cohen on The O.C., but he grows up — substantially — in the new biopic Lovelace playing notoriously well-hung porn actor Harry Reames.
6. Ashton Kutcher, Jobs. We have to confess, when he was on That ’70s Show, and even after he married Demi Moore, Kutcher didn’t do much for us. But his moments as the shoeless San Francisco college student Steve Jobs on his way to becoming the visionary computer guy kinda charmed up. The beard works.
5. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kick-Ass 2, pictured left. Taylor-Johnson has grown up — in the best possible way — in the three years since the original film, and it shows in his physique. He fills a superhero costume nicely, and there are no extruded plastic breastplates in sight.
4. One Direction, One Direction: This Is Us. The British boyband is about as hot as Justin Beiber was before he turned into a dick, so of course they get their own concert video (directed, remarkably, by Morgan Spurlock). If you’re into crooning twinks, these tight-pantsed Englishlads fill the bill.
3. Eric Bana, Closed Circuit. We admit it: We’ve had a crush on Eric Bana ever since be played a hulking murdered in the Aussie prison drama Chopper … and again when he played a real hulk in The Hulk. So when everyone caught on to him after Troy … well, we were never fair-weather fans. He seems to keep his shirt on a lot in the upcoming Closed Circuit, but we don’t care — he’s hot no matter what he does.
2. Matt Damon, Elysium. BFF Ben Affleck was the awards darling this year for Argo, but what does 42-year-old Matt care about a gold-plated statue when he has rock-hard abs as an ex-con/messiah in an action flick?
1. Liam Hemsworth, Paranoia. I have no idea what the movie is about. I don’t care. I just know I want to see it based solely on this photo.
With the economy still in a wicked mess, reports are that the latest trend in homebuying is not buying. Renters are on the rise. But are they? Real estate source Inman reported in January that it is cheaper to buy in the majority of the country’s larger cities. Keith Jurow reported last year on World Property Channel that a Harris Interactive survey found renting a better option. So which is it? We asked locals in the industry how the trends are swaying the Dallas housing market and the frustrations behind them.
Michael Litzinger William Davis Realty Uptown
The trend has affected my business significantly. The firm I recently moved to seems to be more in tune with today’s market. Their streamlined, online process requires less paperwork which makes it better for the client, a much quicker turn around for me and better for the environment.
Leasing does move property these days, and I am just glad the industry moves in some fashion whether it’s leasing or selling.
I do think the trend has affected us locally somewhat, but not nearly as severely as in most other areas. I still feel good about the Dallas market. I know Realtors in other areas that can’t say the same.
Buyers are decreasing to some degree. Even with low interest rates, I’ve had a lot of buyers come to me and then disappear.
Derrick Dawson Texas Pride Realty
As an active and producing Realtor also working in property management, I’d say the rental trend has picked up significantly, but that doesn’t mean it’s been ideal for property renters/owners or for the multi-family industry. The rental market has been stable but faces some challenges based on broken leases due to financial hardship or unemployment. Many are playing it safe by downsizing or combining rental homes based on economic conditions, being fearful of keeping their jobs and saving for the future.
Today is a buyer’s market and an ideal time to get out of the rent race. The downfall to the buyer’s market that I have seen personally is buyers and investors taking advantage of desperate people in today’s markets, possibly causing detriment to individuals or families in their time of need but also bringing down values in those areas making it harder for others to sell.
Dan Flynn Dave Perry-Miller InTown
The trend of leasing over buying has changed the way I preview properties in my area. Leasing is so hot now, I’ve looked at rentals and try to know the different apartment communities close by. Now I am much faster to respond to leasing needs.
I process far more leases to build my future list of clients. I try to educate and prepare them for the buying process down the road. Using a Realtor to find the perfect place to lease makes a lot of sense for those wanting to buy in the future but also for those who don’t really want to do the legwork.
I recently represented a seller who could not sell his property for the amount he was hoping for. Finding qualified buyers in his market and price range wasn’t easy. Another Realtor’s client was interested in leasing the property so
I had to have that conversation with my seller. The seller decided to go with the lease. While sales are still going strong, leasing has increased. While this really is the time to buy, I think all the media attention scares buyers. Potential buyers need to know that the market is stable here and we are one of the cities leading the nation in sales right now. Go buy a house now or pay more for it later both in price and interest rates.
Keith M. Thomas
Keith M. Thomas 1111 Apartment Locators
Although the economy has definitely affected us here, it is worse in other areas of the country. Dallas continues to grow and so I feel the trend’s impact on Dallas has been positive.
My company is a fully licensed real estate brokerage company and we handle all residential and commercial real estate transactions yet, our primary business is apartment locating. We want to maintain focus on renters, but we’ve created strategic partnerships with other real estate companies and have a referral program with them. We work closely with our clients to help with all of their real estate needs.
For homes that have reasonable mortgages there is good news. In Dallas, the rental market has significantly gone up, especially from 2010 to present to a 94-97 percent occupancy rate.
Buyers become renters for two reasons: First, they are able to get a nicer home for a lower monthly payment. And second, it doesn’t make sense to buy unless you’re planning to stay. However, buyers are increasing, oddly enough. MetroTex Association of Realtors reported that last August 2010 there were 1,223 properties sold and this August 2011 there were 1,485.
It’s a landlords’ market. Rents are at a premium and good ones go fast. When I show my clients rentals, they want to think about it, I encourage them to act quickly, because the unit is gone within a day or two. Why should homeowners take a loss on waiting for a qualified buyer, when they can rent quickly and hold out for the market to improve?
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 7, 2011.
Remodeler Chris Sandlin says slow your roll before that redux
By Jonanna Widner
As a third-generation homebuilder and remodeler, it’s no surprise that Chris Sandlin opted out of a journalism career and instead chose the family business. He made the change in 2005 and with such a history of the industry in his blood already, Sandlin brings a fairly unique perspective to the market.
“I’m 30 years old, which is relatively young compared to others in my position,“ he says. “But I put a lot of time and energy into the right team of workers and sub-contractors to customers’ homes so the end result lives up to what the homeowners deserve. As a gay business owner, I’m happy in providing stellar home services to the community.”
Before moving forward with that remodel, Sandlin says to think before demolishing.
Know when to remodel: “I commonly work with homeowners to determine whether it makes more sense to remodel or move. I approach each situation openly and honestly, and try my best to suggest what I think would be best, even if that means I don’t win the job.”
Remodel before selling: “This is usually the case with older homes that have not been remodeled recently. Homeowners accept my guidance for what sells. I have a good combination of experience in the homebuilding and real estate industry.
“There is a catch-22 here. If the house sells quickly, homeowners in won’t have time to experience the finished remodel project which tends to be the kitchen or master bath.”
“This can happen very easily. Most $250,000 homes do not need a $50,000 bathroom redo, nor does a $300,000 home need a $100,000 commercial grade kitchen. A wide variety of factors need to be considered, including how long they plan to stay in the home, what’s the budget, how it adds to the home’s value.“
Budget help: “When in the budgeting/planning phase with homeowners, research the values of nearby homes, especially with remodels. This has been helpful in concrete figures regarding their remodel, as well as experienced conjectures about how the remodel will affect the home’s future value.”
Don’t rush the details: ”Too many homeowners want to rush into their project without a clear vision. Step back, assess the project and come up with a plan. With that, the end result will be everything the homeowner wants. Rushing into it without a plan will only result in more time, money and headaches.”
Going green: “This is an area I take pride in. As a certified green professional through the National Association of Homebuilders, I integrate green philosophies and I want to minimize waste factor and landfill component as much as possible.”
“I started making many green features as my standard a long time ago because I feel it’s the right way to build and remodel. I’m happy to see more homeowners interested in these options.”
DIY: “I’m happy to help prepare homeowners for what they would encounter if doing it on their own. Sometimes it works out just fine, with small jobs that don’t require licensed tradesmen or city permits. When it comes to larger jobs, people need to know if they honestly have the time to do this in addition to the day job.”DH
Republican Speaker John Boehner says House leaders will appoint a lawyer to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court, in the wake of President Barack Obama’s decision to no longer do so.
“It is regrettable that the Obama administration has opened this divisive issue at a time when Americans want their leaders to focus on jobs and the challenges facing our economy,” Boehner said in a statement. “The constitutionality of this law should be determined by the courts — not by the president unilaterally — and this action by the House will ensure the matter is addressed in a manner consistent with our Constitution.”
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi promptly issued a statement responding to Boehner’s decision.
“Aside from standing up for a discriminatory law and failing to focus on jobs and the economy, this action places Republicans squarely on the wrong side of history and progress,” Pelosi said in her statement. “In addition, this decision will burden the staff and monetary resources of the Office of the General Counsel, and given the complexity of these cases and the number of courts involved, it is likely this will cost the House hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.
“This is nothing more than a distraction from our most pressing challenges, and Speaker Boehner should follow his own advice and work with Democrats to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and responsibly reduce the deficit,” Pelosi said.
While some employers are going out of their way to diversify their workforces, others appear to be purposefully discriminating against job applicants. Managers of Downtown, the bar in Britain's Manchester that's aimed at the university crowd, and which has been open only a week, posted a job listing on their Facebook page that read: "Looking for flyerers/pr people for Downtown. Ideally 2 blokes/1 girl. Straight, Good looking, Outgoing etc. 20 hours per week, £6 an hour. Hours may vary. Interested?" After complaints, the job posting was revised to eliminate the word "straight" with "regardless of orientation, sexuality, race etc." Why such a big deal? Aside from discrimination based on sexuality being illegal? Oh, because the owners of Downtown also run AXM, the Manchester gay club whose owners write on their website about being a "gay company, and we are damn proud of that."
Steve Jobs taking second medical leave of absence from Apple: "At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company. I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple's day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011. I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy."
Irish-Brazilian couple are first to have civil partnership recognized: "Cunningham and Vilar, a Brazilian citizen, held their civil partnership ceremony in Northern Ireland last year. Ireland officially began to recognise civil partnership in the Republic on 13 January 2011 – and that date was also the very day the couple visited the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service to try to sort out Vilar’s residency."
Cameroon government upset that EU is funding LGBT groups: "The EU is funding the 'Project for Assistance and Guidance to Sexual Minorities' with €300,000. The project is backed by the associations Sid'ado, Cofenho (the Collective of Families of children with homosexuals), and Association to Defend Homosexuals (ADEFHO), the main LGBT rights group founded by Alice Nkom, a well-known Cameroonian lawyer."
Student at Halton Catholic school in Ontario, Canada speaks out for Gay-Straight Alliances: "My school is not very open. Most kids just don’t come out. They’re afraid. When I came out in Grade 9, I was bullied pretty bad. It would have been really nice to have a GSA for support…Kids should be able to call the group what it is and use the word 'gay' in the title. A GSA means acceptance. It means kids are not alone. It means they are not shunned."
House Republican Leader D.J. Bettencourt confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday that jobs and the economy will be the top priorities on an agenda to be announced Thursday. Bettencourt says there’s widespread agreement that social issues will have to take a back seat.
It’s good to see that in at least one state — thus far anyway — Republicans who rode November’s tsunami appear to be living up to their commitment to focus on fiscal issues.
Expect more civil disobedience from GetEQUAL, One Struggle One Fight and Pride at Work later today in San Francisco.
A protest aimed at Speaker Pelosi for failing to get a floor vote on ENDA will shut down Market Street with a banner that states: “Pelosi: When Jobs are Lost, the Market Stops.” The protest is scheduled for 5:00 PM PST. Here’s a quote from GetEQUAL’s press release explaining the protest:
“We pay taxes, contribute to the economy, and create American-paid jobs that provide products and services world-wide. Yet we continue to be treated unequal and Speaker Pelosi has the power to bring us one step closer to being fully-protected American citizens – and workers,” said Dan Fotou, a California GetEQUAL supporter and participant in today’s rally. “As Speaker Pelosi and other members of Congress are out campaigning to keep their jobs, they should know we have every intent of continuing our campaign to keep our jobs, too. Speaker Pelosi has said that ‘our impatience is justified’ – but what isn’t justified is the unfulfilled promises she continues to make to the LGBT community. It’s time for Speaker Pelosi to do the right thing and schedule an immediate vote on ENDA.”
Yes. Members of Congress expect us to give them our money and our time so they can keep their jobs. It’s time for them to follow through on the promises to protect the jobs of LGBT Americans. (I hope to post photos and/or video later tonight.)
Last night, those same three groups disrupted Rep. George Miller’s debate with a similar ENDA message. Miller chairs the House Education and Labor Committee, which is still sitting on the ENDA bill. A hearing was held last .
Also, this morning, several ENDA protesters were arrested in Rep. Chris Carney’s office in Williamsport, PA. Zack Ford has the details on the ENDA phone swarm to Carney, the protest in the office and the arrests.
Many, many ENDA promises have been made — but not kept.
The protesters are just asking Pelosi and the other Democrats to do what they said they would do.
With all the breaking news around here lately, we just now noticed this little nugget in our Inbox from this morning — audio from Gov. Rick Perry’s now-infamous quote last week concerning same-sex marriage and job creation. In case you missed it, here’s what Perry said, according to the Texas Tribune:
“There is still a land of opportunity, friends — it’s called Texas. We’re creating more jobs than any other state in the nation. … Would you rather live in a state like this, or in a state where a man can marry a man?”
Stewart Price, who uploaded the YouTube audio clip and sent us the link, apparently caught only the latter part of the quote, and it turns out that Perry actually said, “… or do you live want to live in a state where guys can marry guys?”
Be careful, though, we’ve heard that if you listen to the audio backwards, it will turn you into a closeted Republican.