Archive for July, 2008

Morat Returns To Edgertown

HELLO EVERY PEOPLE!!!! I a come back live from seeing Abdula Obalamadingdong.  I a must say that I a not understand something on the tv box.  I a no understand how Obalamadingaling is a responsible for a the price of the gas in America country.  He a must go to the place of gas and change all a the pricing.  But, I a come a to Edgertown to once again visit with the strange person.

Today, I a go to this Flag Festival to see him a sing in a choir.  WOOLY SHEEP!!! There were a lot of a peoples on the stage under a tent to a sing the songs.  All a these peoples sitting in the chairs watching the a people look like they very hot… waving fans, pogrmas.  I a thought it a just right.  Lithwathistan summer gets up a to 102 degrees on a cool day.  So, it was a little cool for Morat.  The a people sing many, many songs about America country.  I a think I hear something like “Your Land This Is,” “Beautiful the America Country,” “Doodle Yankee,”(what a dis Doodle, Morat not understand) “America County Anthem,” and many other music songs.  Strange person, he a read Oath of Citizenship.  Morat a must think about becoming a America country citizenship.  I A LOVE AMERICA COUNTRY!!!

While I a walk with strange person back a to his home, the cousin of strange person ask if we like a ride.  Strange person say he a tired and his foot fall asleep from standing on the a rising stairs for long time.  It a been years since he a had to stand in one place for a so long (45 minutes).  I a tell him about songs of Liswathistan like “My Poor Liswathistan,” “The a Song of Sad Yanish,” or a one of my favorites, “Carry a Me to a Little Muddy Water for a Swim with a My Dog Name a Mushinta,” and “Vladamir Goes a to Flaksington.”

So… next day I a go to Christopher Columbustown to OHHO Fair.  I will a come back soon and EVERYONE WINS!!!

Is There A Word That Rhymes With Solace?

Some of the most fascinating parts of a Bond film are the opening credits. All but the original movie opens with an action packed opening scene follow by what could be considered a pre-cursor to the music video. Most of them feature tantalizing, scantily-clad (or less) beauties often in silhouette. Accompanying these scenes are 21 songs by artists of today or others who have gone by the wayside. While some of the songs have been more popular than others, only one has topped the US singles charts and two have been Academy Award nominees. In the opening to For Your Eyes Only, singer Sheena Easton became the first performer to actually appear in the video. This marked the first time the performer appeared in the credits video. One singer has performed two memorable themes. In one of the latest films, a singer/actress had a brief (THANK YOU) cameo.

After troubled performer Amy Winehouse was deemed incapable to record and Paul McCartney could not create a rhyme for the word “solace,” Alicia Keys and Jack White (?… is he the twin brother of Jack BLACK who was accidentally switched at birth?) are recording the first duet to be used as a Bond theme.

By clicking on the link, you can test your knowledge (whatever it may be) of just 10 of the 21 themes. I had to brilliantly guess on a few of them; however, I did slightly better than Dr. “Oh” No ranking. Or you can reminisce by posting your favorite Bond theme, for those who like such things. Mine is the instrumental theme to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service which is very underrated as is the movie (unfortunately… as I find it one of the best and different from most).

La Petite Maison

For a period of no less than four years, a production team has been attempting to create a musical version of one of the best-loved book and television series of all time: Little House on the Prairie . Before the series ran in the mid-1970s to ’80s, it was a collection of successful novels that dramatized the life and times of its author, Laura Ingalls Wilder, who grew up with her family in the wide plains of the South Dakotan frontier during the 1800s.

The musical, which opened at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, appears to have several differences from the tv show. Gone is the fictional town of Walnut Grove and replaced with the original Wilder setting of North Dakota. The role of Harriet Olsen seems to have been altered. She is not the typical, nosy busy body, who always seemed to have a knack for causing trouble (not unlike her daughter, Nellie) portrayed to hilarious delight on screen. However, the stage show does have at least one connection to its television predecessor that you can discover by reading the article here.

Personally, I’m not entirely sure that audiences will be as receptive to the stage show with such a drastic change to one of the television series’ supporting characters. Although the books were written in the 1930s-40s, I often found the role of Mrs. Olsen to be lacking when compared to her on-screen portrayal.

Generations

Sunday morning while in the car with my brothers children (aged 12, 9, and 3), the song “Live and Let Die” came on the radio. I asked the three where the song by ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and his group Wings originated. The THREE-YEAR OLD quickly answered “Shrek the 3rd.” I was utterly amazed and had totally forgotten. I informed them that I am as old as the song itself to which my precocious 12 year old nephew chimed, “How do you know? Are you sure?” Roger Moore made his debut as 007, James Bond in the film Live and Let Die in 1973. I could not state the exact date of the movie’s release (I was either in diapers or still waiting to be introduced to the world myself).

The Bond film is interesting for various reasons. Like so many others in the series, LALD reflected the world around it at the time of its release. Images of the occult are used throughout much of this James Bond feature. Tarot reading, virginal sacrifices, and supernatural characters (like Baron Samedi) are on display as 007 tracks a mysterious heroin-dealer from the Caribbean to New Orleans. Jane Seymour made her major film debut as Solitaire who (as one may guess) is the fortune-telling mystic that reads tarot cards to see into the future until the suave, debonair secret agent uses a bit of his own magic.

So… like many items of popular culture, a song that was around thirty odd years ago has had a re-emergence of sorts. Funny how a three-year-old can make that clear. Once again, I am humbled… the movie Live and Let Die was released a mere 13 days prior to my birth. I wonder if my parents saw it in the theatre.

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I Swear I Only Did It For The Money

Certainly, every actor has movies or plays they would rather leave off of their resumes. Unfortunately for some of our well established and well-regarded performers, these cinematic achievements are often unearthed and put on display for the viewing public to watch and ridicule or just glance at and wonder what on earth they were thinking. For the rest of them, it is just another day at the office… making bad movies and making money (somehow) by doing it. Here are a few:

  • Marlon Brando (he played Superman‘s Kryptonian father and was paid $14 million dollars for 13 days on the set. This breaks down to nearly $1.4 million dollars a minute for his total on screen time. An excellent movie, but a miserly performance).
  • Elizabeth Taylor (her role as Wilma’s mother (did she have a name?) in the live-action Flintstone‘s movie was about as memorable as her laundry list of ex-husbands. Her payday must have been nearly as extravagant as Mr. Brando’s)
  • Ben Affleck (should be named multiple times, but it can be summed up in one word… Gigli)
  • Richard Pryor (ok… so maybe not one of our most celebrated actors… but I’m thinking the adult comic famous for his drug-addled standup of the 70s was attempting to change his image in the mid-80s when he decided to sign up for such movies as The Toy, Brewster’s Millions, both of which were relatively harmless comedies. However, he was at least in part to blame for the beginning of the end of a superhero movie franchise).
  • Sir Michael Caine (thank goodness he has his role of Alfred the butler to make up for the travesty that was Jaws: The Revenge).

Although these are quite dated to be sure, there must be other memorable (memorable to mention perhaps not so memorable to watch) examples in which well-known and established actors were only looking for their next pay check. Feel free to include your favorite “paycheck” role/movie.

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R.I.P Sophia

In the late 80s, one comedy kept senior citizens glued to their televisions on Saturday night. The Golden Girls featured 3 mature ladies living together under one roof. Dorothy, Rose, and Blanche were the three main characters. However, it was the wise-cracking Sophia (the mother of Dorothy) who stole every scene she was in. Ironically, Estelle Getty was actually 15.5 months younger than her on-screen daughter, Bea Arthur. Sophia’s acerbic wit and zingers (often directed to the promiscuous Blanche or the naive Rose) won Estelle 7 Emmy nominations and one statue for Best Supporting Actress (1988).

Estelle’s talents were not limited to the small screen. She also appeared in 80s and 90s big screen comedies. In Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, she appeared as Sylvester Stallone’s mother. She also was the head of a department store in Mannequin. Not the world’s most entertaining films but worth a mention (Mannequin was more entertaining than Sly’s mediocre attempt to be funny) .

Estelle’s career ended in early 2000. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with a severe case of dementia which later took her life.

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A TROUBLED BAT?

While reading headlines today, I came across the arrest of Christian Bale that happened on Sunday following the phenomenal opening of The Dark Knight. I have two different reactions to this. First, it seems quite interesting that mum and sis would report an assault by a 34 year-old man and then have their son/brother (a 34 year-old man) go in for questioning in conjunction with the crime. This happened the day before the London premiere of the biggest blockbuster of the summer. That sounded rather suspicious to me.  Were the two attempting to ride the coattails of the actor?

On the other hand, Mr. Bale may be feeling a bit upstaged by the performance of the late Heath Ledger in the role of the sadistic, immoral Clown Prince of Crime. The Joker seems to be getting all the attention this time around and leaving Batman in the shadows. But as I have always thought, the hero is only as good as the villain playing opposite him. Hopefully, Bruce Wayne did not crack and attack those he swore to protect after he witnessed the murder of his parents in the dark, back alleyways of Gotham City.

Read the full article by clicking

For The TRUE Super Fans Out There

While attempting to come up with a brilliant post, I searched the “Latest Headlines” tab on my browser and came up with a link to a strange Guinness Record that a large group of people were trying to set (since it has never been done before). With the assistance of one good samaritan, the group was able to set the record. Also, check out the name of the hero who saved the day (Spelling may be off, but…). I have only one thing to say to this: Some people will do ANYTHING.

Trouble In River City Again

Before I begin, I must tell you that I am probably one of the few people who agonize even considering watching yet another production of The Music Man. I saw a high school production of it years ago, I saw it on Broadway during its most recent revival and I have seen the Robert Preston movie so many times that it just makes me want to pull my hair out (someone had the nerve to get it the DVD for me for Christmas years ago). However, I attended a local production of it and I must say that (while still not the world’s biggest proponent of the show) I really enjoyed the production.

All of the fluff and goodness were still present but the performances and entire production was very well done. I had a vested interest because some of my hometown residents were in it and some of the other people involved have been on stage with me before. The lady who played Maude Dunlop was the drama director of my high school’s production of Annie when I played Rooster. The actress portraying Alma Hix is someone I admire greatly and is a joy to know and work with.

I have to say that the gentleman in the role of Marcellus was perhaps the most talented performer on the stage. He was in our theatre’s production of School House Rock last September. He stole every scene he was in with his captivating presence and is a genuine triple threat (able to act, sing, and dance and make it look flawless).

Another scene-stealer was the young boy who stepped into the role of Winthrop. Everything about him just made you want to run up and give him a great big hug. His lisp, his shyness, everything about him was adorable. One of those fluff parts but enjoyable nonetheless.

I would have to say that the real star was the entire ensemble cast in the big production numbers. The routine for “76 Trombones” harkened back to my days in the marching band with precision drills, pinwheels, and straight lines. And yes, there actually was not seventy-six in the pit or on stage as someone sitting next to me pointed out 😀 . After the segment, the applause was so great that you would have thought that it was the show’s finale.

So, everything about the production was very well done. I am still not a fan of the show itself, but maybe in another 10 years I will be able to endure another trip to River City. I would rather watch Mr. Preston as Centauri another great con-man from The Last Starfighter.

Early Morning BatPost

Before I get into the meat of my post, I would like to apologize to my new theatre chum whose name I could not remember until tonight. All I have to do is recall the name of a state capitol that shares its name with an omelet… hopefully, it does not come to that. I am terrible.

Anywho, The Dark Knight is an interesting problem. There are pros and cons to the latest caped crusader adventure. As anyone who has access to any type of media knows, this is Heath Ledger’s swan song. His Joker is the highlight of the movie. Everything about him just reeks of sadistic villainy. Just looking at him is enough to send chills up and down one’s spine. But more than that, his entire characterization was evil to the core. I am sure that there will be parallels drawn to the performance (there already have been) and his untimely demise; yet, he was utterly phenomenal and should be remembered for it.

I found one aspect to be both a plus and a negative. I actually liked some of the depth of the key players. However, there was a bit (or A LOT) more than we needed. It seems that we knew the life story of EVERY character who has a name and this made the movie drag at times. Anyone who is remotely familiar with Batman knows that he fights to clean up the corruption within Gotham City… However, it seemed you could only count on one officer to be totally uncorruptable. I will say that it is a case of too much of a good thing. That being said, I believe that Mr. Nolan has gotten the characters and the overall atmosphere right in this film as well as Batman Begins (there are no nipples in the batsuit, and Bruce Wayne IS a playboy millionaire… although it is probably billionaire by now… and who is not above falling asleep in his own board meetings after an evening of “fun”).

So, while it was lengthy and had lots of down time between action pieces I did consider it worthwhile to be among the first to see The Dark Knight. The major action scenes were fun to watch and as I keep commenting, Heath Ledger was phenomenal as the CLown Prince of Crime. The hype about that is totally true. Plus, it was awesome just to be among friends old and new (if I can just remember names). Also, I was the only person brave enough to bring my bucket for BYOB night at the movies. We did arrive before midnight after all 😀 .

I almost forgot to mention my favorite bit. DA Harvey Dent’s line:

You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

Prophetic sentiment.

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