Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Wolfman Trailer

Thanks Hulu! I had a hard time finding a site with an embed for this trailer. I can't just talk about. You have to see it! This looks fantastic! I'm a little wary though. I was burned in 1992 by Bram Stoker's Dracula. That film looked incredible, had a kick-ass opening segment and then dragged me to boring town. Still, I'm always hopeful and I'm marking my calendar for February 12, 2010.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Song of the Week

Do You Wanna Hold Me – Bow Wow Wow
When I purchased my 1983 Bow Wow Wow album entitled, When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going, let’s just say I was feeling pretty punk and cool. This album holds up and many of the tracks on this album are great for your current workout mix. Back in the day, it was quite scandalous that the lead singer, Annabella, was only 14 when the band started. All the attention went to I Want Candy, but this was always my favorite song. I still have the album. No, this isn’t the one where she’s sitting naked in the park, I guess I wasn’t quite that cutting edge, but I can still try to look cool.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Nice Rumor

So the buzz around Hollywood is that Robert Downey Jr. is being tapped to play Lestat in a film adaptation of the Anne Rice book, The Vampire Lestat. I hope this rumor is true. I’d be one of the first in line to see Robert as the hot and sexy Lestat.

Book fans (myself included) freaked out when Tom Cruise was cast as Lestat in the 1994 film version of Rice’s first vampire chronicle, Interview With The Vampire. Cruise ended up doing an adequate acting job, but he just doesn’t bring the sexy for me. Even if you do find him attractive, you’d have to admit that he doesn’t have that smoldering, dangerous quality that Robert Downey Jr. carries around effortlessly.

I’ll be keeping my eyes, ears and neck open awaiting this news!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Song of the Week

Right Down the Line – Gerry Rafferty
Ah, I love this song. Rafferty is more famous for Baker Street, and I’ll admit to forgetting about this song myself. This, of course, is why it’s my duty to remind you of it. Credit goes to my big sis for putting this on a mix CD for me several years back. As soon as those first few notes come out, you feel it. “YES! OH MY GOD, I LOVE THIS SONG!” It’s impossible for me to listen to this one time. I always hit repeat and it’s a minimum three timer. This is such a wonderful mood. It’s far superior to Baker Street. It’s in constant rotation on my iPod and is on about three of four of my playlist.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

Lost In Translation

I have this book. I always have the book, but in true Colleenie style, I never got around to reading it. I was really looking forward to seeing this movie, yet fearful that once I did, I’d never read the book.

This is the first time I feel compelled to immediately read this book, because I have a hunch that this is one of those great books that totally did not translate well to film.

The basic premise is Claire (the absolutely lovely Rachel McAdams) is in love with Henry, (Eric Bana) who unfortunately time travels against his will. This of course makes for a complicated relationship.

Some scenes are quite touching, but all the jumping around leaves you lacking emotion for any of the characters. I’m sure in the book you can get into the deeper feeling of lost and isolated that we all feel in our lives. Fantastical subject matter tends to work better on the page as we picture things the way we want and need them to be so that we can accept the storyline. Unfortunately, when someone else is in charge of bringing our imagination to page, it’s almost always going to fall short.

This also seemed to be more of a mood story. You have to get in the heads of these characters and really walk in their shoes. There’s not much happening per se. Reading can transport us and dispel what we know is real once you’re in the right groove. Although I don’t need my films to be heavily plot driven, I found this movie to be extremely boring. I kept checking my watch as the story plodded along. I just wanted them to solve their little dilemma, for better or worse, and release me back into the world.

Away We Go was a quiet little film where not much took place, but I loved those characters and wanted to hang out with them long after the film was over. I never felt connected to the characters in The Time Traveler’s Wife. I have a feeling this is one of those movie adaptations that has left the author reeling.

My husband liked this film. We rarely disagree in our movie taste, but this worked for him. He could get into these characters and their problems. As for me, I have to fall back on the crying factor. I cry at EVERYTHING! I recently cried at the movie trailer for Precious. That’s right; within two minutes I was bawling. The Time Traveler’s Wife…dry as a bone.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I have a short little rant here. I believe in freedom of speech and Sony Pictures has the right to make any movie they want. John Cusack has the right to star in this flick, and you, the movie paying audience, has the right to run and see it on November 12th.

What I want to know is, who the hell thought it would be a good idea to pair this trailer with Harry Potter? Are they also sending reps from Sony Pictures to calm down all the kids when they’re freaking out? C’mon, what were they thinking?

I really don’t care that Harry Potter is rated PG-13. We are not stupid. Everyone knows there are a slew of eight and nine years olds in the audience and you have successfully scared the crap out of them.

I personally found the trailer quite disturbing. The special effects are top-notch, which makes it all the more real when historic landmarks are collapsing and crushing people all over the world. I have no plans to see this movie. I’m not into the “we’re all gonna die” genre. Usually, if I’m plunking down $10 bucks for a movie ticket, I want to be entertained.

It was poor taste and bad judgment to attach this trailer to not only Harry Potter, but a summer flick in general. How am I supposed to gear my kids up for back-to-school when they think we’re all going to die away? Thanks for making my job a million times harder Sony Pictures!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Night Ranger

I recently found two old cassette tapes. I began making a summer mix tape in 1983. Over the years, this went from a cassette to a disk and now a playlist on my iPod. Some summer mixes were better than others. Often, I included an entire soundtrack from a summer blockbuster movie.

The two tapes I uncovered were the first two I ever made: Summer 1983 and Summer
1984. I thought it would be fun to re-construct these as playlist on my iPod. The Prince songs and big 80’s hits were easy. A large portion of the songs I already owned and merely had to move them over to a new palylist. Then there were some sucky songs I don’t want to remember listening to like, How Do You Keep the Music Playing. Oh well, most songs I still enjoy, even if they are considered tacky now.

Case in point: Night Ranger’s, When You Close you Eyes. First of all this was not even my type of music. I always referred to bands like Night Ranger as “white boy bands.” From time to time though, these songs sneak onto your playlist and there’s little you can do but to embrace them. I did not own this song anymore, but I easily found and downloaded it from iTunes. I have to admit, I’m once again hooked on this song. I’m going to lose all musical creditability! It washes me over with nostalgia and I keep listening to it over and over again.

The weather hasn’t been as hot a usual this summer and I’ve been able to take walks on my lunch hour. This is prime iPod time for me. I found myself walking on a sunny day, feeling the Night Ranger and reminiscing about summertime when I was young. I kept hitting replay, just so I could hold on to that feeling a bit longer. Oh that chorus:

When you close your eyes, do you dream about me?
When you close your eyes, do you dream about me?

I love the emphasis on the second your.

So my mind is lost somewhere in a 1984 haze when suddenly a mini van whizzes by me. It’s going way too fast on a suburban neighborhood street. I was far enough away, but I was on more of a dirt path than an official sidewalk. Faced instantly with my own mortality, I had a flash of that van taking the turn just a smidge too fast and possibly wiping me out! I would be laying there and, you guessed it, the papers would say I was listening to Night Ranger right before I bought the farm! Oh the horror.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

No Paula? Big Mistake!

The decision not to have Paula Abdul back for season 9 of American Idol is wrong on so many levels.

Paula equals entertainment. Yes, the judge banter works my last nerve often, but it’s the producers who want this, not Paula Abdul. For as much credit – and money- as they like to give Simon Cowell, it’s Abdul that creates the water cooler moments. How many times have you gone to work on Wednesday saying, “What was Abdul even talking about last night?”

I think the show is under the impression that they are at a higher caliber than they really are. This is a major “jump the shark” move on their part.

To Paula’s credit, she has always been the only judge who really understands her place. For all the negative comments you can say about Paula, she has always been grounded about her talent limitations.

I was there for Paula’s rise to fame. I remember that she was a dancer/choreographer who happened to be adorable. In the age of MTV, the decision came to make her a pop star, even if she couldn’t sing. Paula doesn’t break out into song like Kara does, because she knows she needs her synthesizers! This is why she is so sweet to everyone who has the guts to get up on that stage. Paula is the only one who knows what it really feels like to be up there, and I’ve always respected her for not forgetting where she came from.

Do you remember American Idol’s first season? They hired Paula as a judge because the show was set up to find a new pop star similar to her. They wanted looks over talent. Just like Greg Brady’s turbulent Johnny Bravo incident. They just wanted someone “who fit the suit!”

Thankfully, Kelly Clarkson somehow snuck in, and no matter how hard they tried to push her to the background, the audience actually had ears and the course of the show changed forever. C’mon, remember Ryan Starr? They were clearly going for looks over substance. Kelly’s vocal talent was so out of whack with the other contestants that it wasn’t even a fair game. Unless, of course, Simon kept trying to remind everyone about forgettable you were.

Paula keeps the show grounded and helps us remember its humble beginning. Don’t think for a minute that people are going to take this show as high caliber entertainment. This is a fun, cheesy search for a POP STAR. Hello, POP STAR! We’re not looking for the next Mozart.

This is a bad move and the beginning of the end for American Idol.

Song of the Week

Every Day – Stevie Nicks
Okay, I know I flaked out last Tuesday on Song of the Week, but let’s be honest…did you even notice. Um, thought so. So, this week’s choice comes from the Stevie Nicks 1991 solo album, “Timespace.” I remember a short period in 1991 when my husband had his alarm clock set to radio instead of buzz. It was a nicer way to wake up. Often, this song was playing when it clicked on at 6am. I really like this song. I must say though, if you don’t like Stevie Nick’s unusually gravely voice, this song is not going to change your mind. If you’re a mild fan and haven’t heard this one, check it out.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Home Safe

Book Review - Home Safe
Elizabeth Berg

This was my first foray into audio books. I listen to “This American Life,” and “Grammar Girl” podcasts, but an entire book is a completely different arena.

Right now, it’s summer vacation for my kids, so I have a silent car ride to and from work. It’s nice. I can listen to whatever I want. I decided to give an audio book a try. This was one read by the author and was eight hours long.

There are definitely some adjustments to audio verses print. First of all, it takes me a while sometimes to get character names down. I often spend the first couple of chapters flipping back and forth until I get everyone nailed down. Then, at one point, she said a word I’d never heard of. What was the word? I’ll never know. If I saw it in print, I could have looked it up. Or maybe I do know that word, but never heard it pronounced. Regardless, a minute after she said it I forgot it, and I’m driving, so it’s not like I can write it down.

This was the story of a woman (Helen) who lost her husband when she was 59 years old. Helen is a writer who lives a somewhat sheltered, though satisfying, life. Prior to her husband’s passing, she would have had few complaints about her life and her future. His death not only forces her to look at what kind of person she wants to be now, but to also look back honestly at her past and her marriage.

Helen finds out, after his death, that her husband spent most of their retirement money; only at first she doesn’t know what he spent it on. The reader (or in this case, the listener) will find out. This book does tie up quite neatly, maybe a little too much so, but it was a nice story.

As someone who has not reached that age yet, it was interesting to see the mother and adult daughter relationship unfold. It was also disturbing to put yourself in Helen’s situation. To suddenly be without your spouse and your children are grown…you can feel Helen’s loneliness.

However, her character was quite as needy as the author wanted you to think. She was a successful author who went on book tours and taught classes. She had ventured more than her own back yard. She also wasn’t quite the overbearing mother either. To have her daughter be so upset because she’d buy her a sweater seemed to more illustrate that the daughter was a spoiled brat than that Helen was an overbearing mother.

This was a fun, light read that I enjoyed. I’m not sure I would read another book by this author, but the descriptions of Helen and the other writers she encounters, were the most vibrant portion of the book.