Rubber-faced comedian Jim Carrey just can't keep himself from making serious movies. His yearning, it turns out, flows from a fundamental part of his personality. As he reveals to Michael Fleming in this month's surprising Playboy interview, Carrey practices an almost monklike self-discipline. "He keeps himself sharp and hungry," says Fleming. "There are many things he doesn't eat. He exercises all the time. He doesn't seek out creature comforts, which seems unusual for a guy who makes $25 million a movie. His big concern isn't that people like him but that they understand why he does what he does." Despite his hunger for gravitas, Carrey appreciates the audience he's gained in comedy. "He doesn't keep any Golden Globes in his office, but he does have MTV Movie Awards and a TRL Wet Your Pants Award."
...The Sopranos is finally back (March 7). It's been a dull 15 months since Carmela threw Tony out of the house, Paulie smothered a little old lady and war loomed between the New York and New Jersey families. But we're sure everybody will play nice this season.
Danish maverick Lars von Trier (Dancer in the Dark) strips his spare style down to the bones with this tale of a fugitive (Nicole Kidman) who polarizes the residents of a Colorado village where she seeks refuge. Shot entirely on an empty soundstage, Dogville is an ingenious fusion of theater and cinema--and ranks with Von Trier's best.
She wasn't yet wielding a Kill Bill samurai sword, but when Uma Thurman dropped her corset in Dangerous Liaisons (1988), she was already a cut above. Just 18 years old at the time, Uma was altogether convincing as a naive aristocrat persuaded by the dissolute Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich) that she had better learn some advanced lovemaking techniques (under his unselfish tutelage, of course) or risk disappointing her more experienced fiancé. She was an avid learner, and we were avid watchers.
[dvdTitle]Matchstick Men[/dvdTitle] [releaseDate](2003)[/releaseDate] As an actor, Nicolas Cage has often embraced nervous tics and stutters, so the role of an obsessive-compulsive, agoraphobic con man would seem tailor-made for him. Still, he manages to overdo it, abetted by director Ridley Scott, who doesn't seem entirely comfortable with the rhythms of a small grifter flick after the stylistic juggernauts Gladiator and Black Hawk Down. Sam Rockwell is solid as Cage's shifty partner, and there are some amusing moments as Cage teaches his rebellious teenage daughter the tricks of his trade, but if you guess the "twist" ending--and you probably will--you'll wish you hadn't played with this Matchstick.Extras: Scott's commentary and a three-part featurette on the crafting of a crime film. [rating]2 bunnies[/rating]
[dvdTitle]Intolerable Cruelty[/dvdTitle] [releaseDate](2003)[/releaseDate] The Coen brothers wear their affection for vintage cinema on their sleeve, having set half of their oeuvre--from Barton Fink to O Brother, Where Art Thou?--in bygone eras. Although Intolerable Cruelty unfolds in the present, it belongs more naturally with screwball Cary Grant comedies of the 1940s. George Clooney fills in for Grant, natch, playing a hotshot divorce attorney who meets his match in man-eater Catherine Zeta-Jones. They look great as zippy verbal banter escalates into a life-or-death battle of the sexes, but the overt homage keeps the film from finding a heart of its own. Extras: outtakes and a special look at the movie's costume design. [rating]2-1/2 bunnies[/rating]
[dvdTitle]The Rundown[/dvdTitle] [releaseDate](2003)[/releaseDate] If you're caught between a wrestler and a rain forest and suddenly Christopher Walken pops up, then it must be this Indiana Jones -- flavored comic adventure, which sends the Rock's no-nonsense "retrieval expert" deep into the Amazonian jungle to find wayward mob scion Seann William Scott (Stifler from the American Pie movies). A scramble for lost treasure and lots of hyperstylized explosions ensue. What do we learn? Rock's the real action deal, Scott's a riot, and Walken has stolen the line "Ouch" from Sammy Davis Jr. Extras: deleted scenes, a "Rumble in the Jungle" segment on the stunts and fights, and an "Appetite for Destruction" segment on the effects. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
[dvdTitle]Schindler's List[/dvdTitle] [releaseDate](1993)[/releaseDate] Steven Spielberg's Holocaust opus isn't a breezy night at the movies. Still, it's hard to deny that this brutal, beautiful story of a German factory owner (Liam Neeson) who finds his humanity by saving Jews from the Nazi death machine is one of the most important films of the past decade. It won the first of two Best Director Oscars in Spielberg's collection, and now that it's available on DVD for the first time, it should find a place in your collection.
On its latest (untitled) album, Blink-182 trades adolescent antics for the most fully developed work of the band's career. Singer-guitarist Tom DeLonge called from backstage at a Los Angeles performance to dispel rumors that they're all grown-up.
[gameTitle]Battlefield Vietnam[/gameTitle] ([releaseInfo]EA, PC[/releaseInfo]) World War II games have been storming the beaches for years, but Vietnam-based titles have entered the combat-game fray only recently. In this simulator, adapted from the best-selling Battlefield 1942, you control every soldier, whether swooping in a chopper or slogging through rice paddies. Use M16s to eliminate Viet Cong or, if the action gets too hot, call in a napalm strike. The only missing element is a massive hippie protest back home. [rating]3-1/2 bunnies[/rating]
[gameTitle]Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain[/gameTitle] ([releaseInfo]Sony, PS2[/releaseInfo]) There's a lethal bug on the loose. Might it be the work of international terrorists with unclear motives and an utter disregard for human life? You bet! The plot of this spy game tastes a little reheated, but the execution is fresh enough, featuring 17 missions and more than 100 weapons and gadgets. Best of all, online team play lets you and three buddies dispense hot leaden vengeance from Tokyo to Yemen. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
[gameTitle]Seven Samurai 20XX[/gameTitle] ([manufacturer]Sammy Studios,[/manufacturer] [releaseInfo]PS2[/releaseInfo]) The son of legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa gave his blessing to this reinterpretation of the classic martial arts film, but the connection ends there. Vibrant anime-inspired worlds replace the film's gritty black and white, and samurai Natoe and his six companions use deadly combo attacks on robot warriors, not on roving bandits. With so many liberties taken in the story, we expected to see Godzilla. [rating]2-1/2 bunnies[/rating]
[gameTitle]Wrath Unleashed[/gameTitle] ([manufacturer]LucasArts,[/manufacturer] [releaseInfo]PS2, Xbox[/releaseInfo]) Curvy goddesses and armies of flaming unicorns make this strategy game feel like something between Risk and a Spinal Tap concert. Players move forces on a map that transforms into a 3D arena when opponents clash for control of the same turf. That's where things go wrong: The one-on-one showdowns seem a tad generic. Either that or our fantasy of a giant chick wrestling a cyclops isn't as exciting as we'd anticipated. [rating]2 bunnies[/rating]
Altec Lansing InMotion ($150) Those 10,000 tunes on your iPod don't mean much if you can't rock an office party. Dock your iPod into the InMotion and the system pumps your mix through four full-range micro drivers. The InMotion can also use the iPod's alarm function to wake you up with your favorite song. Don't worry about sacrificing portability--the entire setup folds into a case no bigger than a paperback book.
Show Your Tits! A Bird's-Eye View of Bourbon Street
News flash: Some of the most fetching Mardi Gras revelers will lift their shirts for that seemingly worthless strand of plastic in your hand. After five years on our Bourbon Street balcony, our photographers know how to capture the party's sexiest exhibitionists. Here are a few of our favorites. See this year's models at Playboy.com.
Boning Up On the Big Easy: The Ultimate Guide to Mardi Grasc
Since 1999 Playboy.com has road-tripped to Mardi Gras. Our mission? Book a balcony, fill it with Playmates and let the tops fall where they may. Planning your trip? Go online to find out where we--and the girls--will be. Or live vicariously through our survival guide. Either way, see you on Bourbon Street!
We've always been a fan of topless ladies, which is why each year's trip to Mardi Gras brings new Playboy.com beads. The most coveted The original 1999 version, which has sold in some online auctions for $150 a pop.
Morgans are classic roadsters. Low to the ground and raucous, they drive as though they're built for speeding around corners while you're clutching a tommy gun. So it's hard to believe the car began as a poky three-wheeler when it first rolled off the Morgan Motors assembly line in England in1909. The Aero 8 will be the company's first entirely new vehicle in 68 years when it hits the States this summer, and there's already a yearlong wait for it. Under that rakish aluminum chassis is Morgan's signature handcrafted wooden subframe, but that's about where the similarities between this and previous Morgans end. The Aero 8's power plant is a BMW V8 coupled with a six-speed gearbox that takes you from zero to 60 in less than five bugs-in-your-teeth seconds. Top speed: 160 mph. With its slick wood-and-leather interior, stretched hood and retro dashboard gauges, you almost feel as if you've carjacked the Batmobile. (Don't worry, the wheel will be on the left side in the U.S. version.) The thing will run you about $95,000. Hey, topless fun doesn't always come cheap. For more info cruise over to morgancars-usa.com.
We've never met a crab we didn't like to eat, be it soft-shell, stone, king, Dungeness or peekytoe. And apparently neither has Fred Thompson, an East Coast food writer and the author of the new Crazy for Crab: Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy Fabulous Crab at Home (Harvard Common Press, $33). Who can resist a cookbook with the words crazy and fabulous in its title? With more than 100 recipes, including Chesapeake Bay Steamed Blue Crab(pictured) and one titled Fred's Pretty Darn Close to Perfect Crab Cakes, Thompson's book is everything it's cracked up to be--and more. It includes illustrations of the various types of crabs and information on how to buy and clean them, along with chapters on salads, soups, appetizersand sandwiches. Whoa! We're crabbed out. Somebody open a beer.
If only you'd had a camera the night you hooked up with that bevy of Swedish nannies. Sony's Cyber-shot U40 is a practical solution for ensuring that your next great conquest doesn't become another fishing tale to your friends who weren't there. The sleek digital is the size of a Baby Ruth candy bar (not the king-size, fat boy), so it fits snugly in your pocket. When you slide the front cover sideways, the sucker buzzes to life in less than a second and shoots two-megapixel photos. We've never toyed with a point- and-shoot camera that's easier to use or more portable. Plus, at $200, you aren't out an entire paycheck should you lose it somewhere between happy hour and closing time.
Imagine yourself dressed in the finest safari duds and clutching an antique decanter of brandy as a lion tears you to pieces in the hot flats of Botswana. At F.M. Allen, the company named after the man whom many consider to be the last of the great English (i.e., white) colonial-era hunters, you can purchase new retro luggage and safari clothes, along with real 19th century British campaign furniture and gear that colonialists used in the bush. (Head over to fmallen.com or stop by the shop at 962 Madison Avenue in New York City.) Pictured here: the new Nairobi Race Day Bag ($740), an antique spirits case housing twin crystal decanters ($2,500) and an original pith helmet ($1,200, including a carrying case). F.M. Allen will also custom-tailor an African safari for you. Cruise the wool markets of Morocco, travel by elephant through Zimbabwe, chill out with a cool drink at the stunning Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Tanzania. What are you waiting for?
One of the stars of Kill Bill--Vol. 2, Madsen says that pants with pleats never worked for him. "I think they appeal to guys with little dicks who think they can fool the world with baggy pants. I prefer old-style zipper-fly, straight-legged pants," he says. "When it comes to designers, I'm a big fan of Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada. I have a couple pairs of cowboy boots and jackets that I've worn until they're practically disintegrated. I also like the 1950s sharkskin suits the Rat Pack used to wear and the short-waisted shirts with different color panels on the front. The problem was, when I came to L.A. in the early 1980s, those were the kinds of clothes that people wore when they were trying to be trendy, and it was becoming a costume. But I still have them all in my closet."
For a spring getaway: The "shoulder season" of your favorite place. During the short transitional periods before and after peak times, travelers can save a bundle while still enjoying good weather and fewer crowds. April and May is shoulder time for the Western states, New York City and Asia. April is also ideal for European travel, but book before April 1, when airfares traditionally rise. Other shoulders: May and June for Florida; May for the Caribbean, Russia, Scandinavia and Alaska; and March through May for Australia and the South Pacific.
My boyfriend has posted a profile on a dating site. When I asked him about it, he told me it was completely innocent. He said that because I am frequently out of town on business, he wants to find "artsy" people to hang out with. His online profile indicates that he's single. When I asked him about that, he said he plans to inform any women he meets about our relationship "when and if the topic arises." How can I convince him that posting this ad is disrespectful?--M.N., New York, New York
(1) Get real. Most residents of greater Detroit don't want to live in the city, so quit pretending it exists. Incorporate the three contiguous counties into the metropolitan area, and auction the naming rights to corporate bidders.
As a flight attendant I have to reply to John Gilmore, who was kicked off a British Airways jet for wearing a suspected Terrorist button ("No-Fly Zone," The Playboy Forum, December). Gilmore is an idiot. He says he doesn't want to give his name at the gate. Does he think the government doesn't know he is flying before he gets to the airport? The only thing an ID check does is show that the person holding the ticket owns the ticket, and airlines were doing that long before 9/11. I would have kicked Gilmore off the plane too. He may have a right to wear his button, but I have a right not to fly with a passenger who may induce panic. He knows he's not a terrorist, but not everyone else can be so sure. I don't want to have to deal with that at 35,000 feet.
Below is a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 39, 45--46, 104--111 and 167, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), March 2004, volume 51, number 3. Published monthly by Playboy in national and regional editions, Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, Illinois and at additional mailing offices. Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40035534. Subscriptions: in the U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues. Postmaster: Send address change to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. For subscription-related questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Editorial: email@example.com.
The Great Coin Con--Experts call the world's most valuable coin--A Rare 1933 U.S. Double Eagle $20 gold piece--The Mona Lisa, The Forbidden Fruit and The Holy Grail. Add an eager auction house, the most prominent names in Numismatics and a government sting, and you've got the biggest coin swindle in History. Bryan Christy antes up the amazing inside story.