Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Andrews Sisters Christmas
For a jazzy, swinging good Christmas time, nothing beats this Andrews Sisters CD. They scat their way through the classic Christmastime tunes and frankly, I can’t imagine a party without this one. The Andrew Sisters version of "Jingle Bells" has got to be the jazziest out of control Jingle Bells of them all! Let loose ladies! Also, don’t miss,“The Toys Gave A Party For Poppa Santa Claus,” a rollicking number with Bing Crosby.
Monday, December 13, 2010
This was a cute surprise. Two funny guys with nice musical abilities. Download this on iTunes to benefit Blue Star Families, an organization that helps military families. Good going Black & Segal!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Christmas Time with The Judds
Yeah, I said it. I’m highlighted The Judds Christmas album. Now, I cannot name one single song that The Judds ever recorded, but this 1987 release, is one of my all time favorite Christmas albums.
I originally had this on cassette and then actually repurchased it in the late 90’s on CD. My Christmas music collection is quite vast and I love dipping into lesser known genres. This one fits the bill to a tee!
Give this a try. Their harmonies are simply gorgeous and the tracks “Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem” and “Silver Bells” are some of my favorite renditions.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I’m one of those people that refuse to do anything Christmasy until it’s officially December. Well… it’s December! Look for lots of holiday goodies this month.
I’ll be talking about some of my favorite holiday specials and point out some things you may have missed.
Also, Song of the Week will be transformed to Christmas CD of the Week!
I hope you’ll join me and share some of your favorite holiday specials, music and traditions.
In honor of the beginning of Hanukkah, I bring you one of my favorite Saturday Night Live clips. Sadly, they did not put up the whole clip.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
A few minutes into this film quickly reminded me of why I never watched the critically acclaimed HBO show OZ. Watching prison life is absolutely brutal and I frankly like to pretend it doesn’t exist. However, Felon was my potluck pick from Castor at Anomalous Material, so I dove right in. I’ve taken so long to get this review written that I’m sure he thinks I didn’t even watch it!
I’ll start by saying that this was a good movie. It was well acted and had a strong storyline. However, it was difficult to sit through. While this film was hardly as violent as it could have been, I found the storyline very frustrating, although believable.
An average working joe (Stephen Dorff) kills an intruder and finds himself serving a prison term with hardened criminals. From the start, you can put yourself in this guy’s shoes. He finds a burglar in his young son’s room and chases him with a baseball bat. His intent is not to kill him, but he’s angry and continues to chase the rogue and hit him with the bat while they are both outside of the house. A misaimed blow to head quickly turns our main character’s life upside down.
We see how difficult it is to survive in prison and it’s unlikely that you’ll be allowed to serve your term quietly and unnoticed. Everyone has their allegiances and all you can really do is hope you’ve chosen wisely. Dorff’s character finds himself deeper and deeper into a mess as he tries his best just to survive.
The performances of the supporting characters are fantastic. Marisol Nichols turns in a fine performance as his frustrated and exhausted fiancé. We see her torment as she ties to stand by her man but begins to question if she can love the man he is becoming.
Harold Perrineau is also a standout as a corrupt prison warden. You will love hating this guy. He seems to play a lot of assholes, but he does a great job at it!
The stand-out performance, by far, belongs to the virtually unrecognizable Val Kilmer. Kilmer is in serious Brando territory here. Sure, we all get older, but it’s hard to believe this is the same guy that played Iceman in Top Gun and one of the many Batmans. The acting chops, however, are still there. He makes his character so riveting that you begin to wish the film was about him!
I will recommend this film. As a character study it was great and it’s always nice to see a good DVD film that you probably never heard of, I know I sure knew nothing about this film prior to the AM Potluck Pick. It does come with a warning though that it will make you angry, depressed and reminded of how quickly everything can be taken away from you. Hey, maybe this is a good Thanksgiving movie. You’ll certainly look around and be grateful for everything you have after spending time with this flick!
Hey, Band of Horses, if you want to get the word out that you have a cool new video, you got to let people share it! I'm getting tired of all these sites that only have share options for Twitter and Facebook. I'm a blogger baby! Don't make me walk through all the posting steps only to get a "disabled" or "unavailable" message.
So this was going to be the song of the week, but now I'm mad.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Well, tomorrow is the debut of Conan’s new late-night talk show on TBS. Everyone thought he was facing tough competition going up against Jay Leno and David Letterman.
Conan was going to have a jump on those guys by airing a half an hour before they come earlier. However, there’s one show that airs the same time as Conan and he’s the new King of Late Night. I’m talking about Jon Stewart of The Daily Show.
Sure the week they tabulated the rates all three shows were in repeats, but do you realize what a major accomplishment it is for a basic cable show to beat out the networks?
It’s also a major win for us viewers. While on the surface, it may look like it’s making Conan’s job harder, it’s actually a good thing. We will flip. We the audience will seek out quality entertainment and we won’t watch whatever comes on after the local news. There are options out there and if it means the pie gets sliced thinner, I’d rather have a small slice of chocolate cream than a huge piece of coconut, which I hate.
So I relish Stewart’s victory. It means there’s now officially diversity in the late night wars. But you and I have known that for a long time. Now the big-wigs need to take note.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Watch The Twilight Zone. Of course you have to watch, Time Enough at Last. I tried to post, but Hulu wouldn't let me. You can watch it over there.
I'm pretty frustrated because I wanted to load up lots of cool time related items for you to have fun with but it seems like the internet refuses to cooperate with me today. I've tried to upload photos using Internet Explorer, Mozilla and Chrome. Does this happen to you guys? Sometimes my copy/paste function refuses to work. If any of you have tips, I'd sure appreciate it!
Back on topic. Here's some great songs about time.
Time(Clock of the Heart) by Culture Club
And the two videos that I'm able to post:
Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
Time Will Reveal - DeBarge
Friday, November 5, 2010
I’m focusing on TV for Thanksgiving. Lots of TV shows do special Christmas episodes, but I’ve always loved when shows take on the Thanksgiving holidays.
One show that always did a great job was Friends. They may have made more Thanksgiving episodes than any other show. Although the Bratt Pitt guest role was a gem, my favorite will always be the very first one. The storyline with Joey posing for the VD posters is hysterical!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The great thing about taking part in the Netflix Potluck over at Anomalous Material is watching a lot of movies I never would have picked on my own. This week’s pick for me came from Manikandan. Her blog MoviesCrunch is a great site for checking out some cool foreign cinema.
When I looked this film up on Netflix, I found a lot of different options. There were Anime versions and live action. I watched the live action, Japanese 2008 version.
This was quite a different film for me, and I had mixed feelings about it. Story wise, it was excellcent. Light, a young criminology student, finds a notebook on the street. The cover of the book says Deathnote and inside is instructions for how to use it. If you want someone to simply have a heart attack and die, write their name in the book, and as long as you know what they look like, (to ensure someone with the same name doesn’t accidently bite the dust) they will drop dead in 40 seconds. Of course Light doesn’t believe this. He decides to try it out when his TV flashes the photo of a horrendous criminal currently in police custody. To his surprise, the guy is on the front page of the morning paper because he dropped dead. Suddenly, Light gets the bright idea that maybe he can use the Deathnote to change the world for the better.
As far as plot went, I thought this film was thought provoking. What would anyone do with that kind of power, and would it go to your head? Now, certain other elements of the film bugged me; specifically, the animated punk-rock looking character that followed Light around. This animated character, named Ryuk, looked very out of place in this live-action film. He was also supposed to be some type of comic relief/narrator and none of it worked. This animated “Death God” over-explained plot points and giggled and danced around eating apples. It annoyed me to no end.
Lastly, as I stated above, this film over explained itself, and I didn’t know if that was a type of style or just bad moviemaking. However, after having the whole film overly analyzed, it ended with a possible set-up for a part two and no real conclusion.
In the end, I was 50-50 with this one. Some things were great; other areas needed a lot more work. I did enjoy checking out a new genre and seeing the current Japanese youth culture. I just wish more of the good points prevailed.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
This song is in honor of my San Francisco Giants. No one picked these World Series Champs. But my awesome ragamuffin team really showed their spunk. As the song says, “You got no fear of the underdog. That’s why you will not survive.” GO GIANTS!
Monday, November 1, 2010
Hey, can you write a novel in a month? I'm embarking on my second National Novel Writing Month. My budget looks pretty tight this month, so I might as well stay home and write a 50,000 word novel, right?
I didn't quite make it last year, but I've brushed myself off and I'm ready to try again. Want to join me? I'm signed up as Colleenie. You can log on and be my buddy. I'd love to ceer you on.
Together we can do this.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Here I sit on Halloween Eve and I want to get into the spirit as much as possible. I’m waiting for my director’s cut of The Exorcist to come from Netflix today. I’ll let you all know how that goes. I’m thinking it’s not a good idea to re-watch it after all these years. I’m asking for it!
Last weekend I finally watched a movie I’ve wanted to see for years, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The only reason I had never seen this movie was because I wanted to go to one of those midnight showings where people throw toast and stuff. Since it didn’t look like it would ever happen, I checked to see if it was available on Netflix instant play.
This is the typical cult classic story. It originally didn’t do well in theaters, but then found this campy home with the midnight crowd who would come to the screenings dressed up and ready to jump on stage and perform the songs.
I have to say that I was quite shocked with the overt sexuality in the film. I was under the impression, since it was 1975, that there was more innuendo. This was not the case. Man, Tim Curry strutted his stuff, seduced Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick and everyone else in his vicinity, including me! What an over the top, bawdy, sexy, hysterical performance backed up with a damm good singing voice!
I’m smitten with this movie and I can see why it has endured. It’s just so out there and fun and unapologetic. It was also refreshing to see how actors and actresses used to look compared to now; Tim Curry with his crooked teeth and Susan Sarandon…wow, how nice to see an authentic Hollywood rack like that. The back of her bra was riding up so high I’m thinking, “Gee, this chick needs a professional bra fitting!” Watching her real breasts makes you wonder how fake boobs ever became so popular. More is not always better.
It was interesting to see the ultra-perfect Glee casts compared to these originals cast members who are far hotter despite or because of their flaws. Sarandon’s singing really left something to be desired, but you just love her spunk. Bostwick brings the straight-laced guy across so believably that it’s that much more shocking to see him romping around unabashedly later with Curry.
Just a couple of days after watching this, I was channel surfing and caught it again on some high numbered digital channel. It was right at the beginning and I sat and happily watched the whole thing again! So I’m a new fan. I still want to find one of those midnight showings though.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Hello my ghouls! I saved the best for last. Nothing scares Colleenie Ghoulie more than the Trilogy of Terror’s Zuni Fetish doll. When I was just a little ghoulie, this was a made for TV movie of the week. I remember it like it was last week. My big sister and I climbed into my Mom’s bed so we could watch it together. It was 1975 and I was eight years old. Horror films were big in my house, but I was a wimp. Everything scared me. I just didn’t have the stomach for it. I kept trying though. This particular film was actually three vignettes all starring Karen Black. The first two sucked, I was in the clear, this was not going to scare me. Then the third and final story came on. When I saw the little doll encapsulating all my fears in this tiny, knife wielding demon…I frickin’ lost it! I was literally frozen in fear. The commercial came on and my mom and sister told me I needed to leave. This was going to involve putting my feet on the floor. NO WAY! I remember muttering, “ I can’t I can’t.” My mom told my sister to escort me back to the living room. My sister, who was thirteen at the time, was like, “Are you kidding me?” The living room was literally about ten feet away. If you opened my parents’ bedroom door, you could see my dad sitting on the living room sofa watching some sporting event. But yes, big sister had to take me out of that room and deposit me safely with dad. So I never saw the whole thing the first time around. Why would I be stupid enough to watch this again? Well, I had quite a vivid imagination. The Zuni Fetish doll in my mind was ripping off heads and eating brains. I had to watch it again to see that it wasn’t as bad as I could imagine. Really, it’s actually funny. I can get some good laughs at Ms. Black swinging that doll around and especially all the dumb decisions she makes. Couldn’t you swing the suitcase out the window? All in all though, I still don’t like this doll and I didn’t enjoy watching these YouTube clips. They have a life size version of this doll in a collectible shop in San Francisco. Everyone in my family is under oath that it would not be funny to ever buy me a Zuni Fetish doll. It would be grounds for me to completely disown them. That wraps up my month of what scares Colleenie Ghoulie. I hope you’ve enjoyed my cornucopia of horror. Happy Halloween!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
I’m in week two of the movie potluck over at Anomalous Material. This week my flick came from Anna of the blog Life of a Cinephile and Bibliophile. She recommended the 1957 Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis classic, The Sweet Smell of Success. This is one of those movies that I’d always heard about but never seen.
What a slimy bunch of creeps to spend an hour and thirty-six minutes with! This is one of those old-time films that remind you that people have always done horrible things to each other. Next time someone talks about the degeneration of our current society, point them toward this little gem.
Burt Lancaster plays JJ Hunsecker, a Broadway columnist who’s power to make or break people with a mention in his widely read column has clearly gone to his head. Tony Curtis as Sidney Falco, is a Hunsecker wannabe. He’s a crappy PR agent working out of his dingy one room apartment. He wants the type of status Hunsecker has and he’s willing to do the dirty work to get there.
These two slimeballs manipulate and threaten people left and right. They have dirty
secrets on everyone in town and they’ll use them to get their way. Falco is always begging Hunsecker to drop his clients' names into his column. Hunsecker just may throw Falco a bone if he will help to break up upcoming jazz musician’s relationship with his beloved baby sister. We see glimpses of possible character redemption in Hunsecker’s love for his sister and in Falco’s resistance to ruin the innocent musician.
My age was showing as I watched this film and recognized the young jazz musician, Martin Milner, as the guy from the 70’s TV show, Adam 12. I also spotted Darrin’s boss from TV’s Betwitched, and a handful of other old-time actors.
This was a very fast talking film and I’d love to see the size of this script compared to similar films of the same length. Tony Curtis attacks the role as Sidney Falco. He talks fast, paces, fidgets, chats up the ladies and shows a vulnerability underneath his big shot façade. I haven’t seen many Tony Curtis films and I enjoyed watching this vibrant performance. He’s a couple of years away from some of his more famous roles and it’s clear he was a star on the rise.
On the other side, Burt Lancaster had already turned in some of his most memorable performances and had nothing to prove. His give and take with Curtis is powerful and they share the screen well.
Overall, I’m glad I saw this film. I’m not sure I would have stuck with it if it wasn’t a recommendation. It did become quite melodramatic at times and the main characters were so unlikeable, it would have been quite easy to turn this off. However, I found myself thinking about these characters hours after the film was over. That in itself is the makings of a good film.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Well my little ghoulies, our time together is quickly coming to an end. I hope I’ve been serving up a nice cauldron of scares for you to enjoy. This week I want to give a nod to arguably the scariest movie of all time…The Exorcist.
I’ve spent weeks trying to find a good clip of Linda Blair doing that head spin. I have to be honest though, after re-watching the scene a dozen times on YouTube, I simply can’t do that to you guys. I found one scene where the mom is downstairs and starts to slowly walk up and I clicked the mouse to logoff before she got to the top. I couldn’t take it!
Honestly, I watched this movie a ridiculous amount of times in an effort to desensitize myself from it. Growing up, we had HBO and Showtime and I tried to watch it every time it came on. I did a pretty good job toughening myself to it except for when she spins her head completely around. It’s interesting why this bothered me so much.
Basically, this was the least effective special effect in an otherwise flawless horror film. Linda Blair clearly looked like a fake doll as the head slowly turned around. Yes, we’re back to the doll thing. I was completely freaked out by this because in some Hollywood prop department THERE-WAS-A-DOLL-THAT-LOOKED-LIKE-THAT!
Imagine how I felt when about a decade later - I was innocently watching some special effects documentary on a lazy Sunday afternoon- and the host was walking by different props on the lot...AND THERE SHE WAS SITTING ON THE FLOOR IN A CORNER! I always knew she was there waiting for me.
So I will not do that to you my sweet ghouls. You are more than welcome to YouTube that head spin yourself.
Have you missed a ghoulie Friday? Catch up now!
Colleenie Ghoulie #1
Colleenie Ghoulie #2
Colleenie Ghoulie #3
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I have seen ever single episode of both of these shows and I loved these two dearly. June Cleaver was the perfect mom and housewife that none of us could ever live up to. But just when you think she was little Miss Prim & Proper, she did this hilarious cameo in the 1980 movie, Airplane.
Tom Bosley, as Howard Cunnigham, was always the perfect balance of loving, yet strict father. He was there with advice and support when needed. He apparently had some kind of falling out with the eldest Cunnigham, Chuck (I never saw that kid again after the first season) he still managed to always come through from Ritchie and Joanie.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Talking to Girls About Duran Duran
By Rob Sheffield
This happens so many times. An author writes a memoir about a cataclysmic event in their life. After the story has been told, however, they have little more to say. This was the case with the follow ups to Julie and Julia, Angela’s Ashes, Marley and Me, and Eat, Pray Love. Once you’ve told the big story, nothing else will live up by comparison.
Fortunately, this is not the case with Rob Sheffield’s new book of essays, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran. Sheffield’s first outing, Love Is A Mix Tape, chronicles his young married life and the untimely death of his wife. Sheffield is a writer for Rolling Stone and his life has a constant soundtrack. His first book was funny and beautiful and I really could feel his love and anguish, but he always kept his sense of humor and while you felt for him, you never pitied him.
His new book goes back in time to give us a glimpse into the songs and people that shaped him. Drawing on music from the 80’s, Sheffield is fearless in admitting songs he loved and the role they played in his upbringing.
Like most of us, when we remember a certain time in our life, we usually remember what song we loved too. So it’s not like Sheffield is necessarily dissecting these songs, but more so using them as vehicles to chronicle key points in his life.
What I love most about Sheffield is how unpretentious he is. This guy works for Rolling Stone and I’m sure he has met a string of great musicians; he could easy parlay this into having a cool, underground, hipster taste for bands we’ve never heard of. He could pretend he never listened to Whitney Houston, but he embraces his love for pop music and all the embarrassment that may come with it. Since I’m also a child of the 80’s, I was familiar with most of the songs covered in the book. Interestingly, though, I have never seen the video for “Shiny Shiny” that Sheffield claims was aired constantly on MTV. I don’t know how that’s possible, but the wonders of the internet cleared that up for me.
I was also never a fan of Duran Duran. It’s interesting that he chose this band of the 80’s because it’s quite true that DD will find a way to get you sooner or later. At the time, I hated them and I thought they were all weird looking pretty boys. It was their release of “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone” in 1993 that made me finally admit that I liked their songs. I then went back and enjoyed all the 80’s hits that I shunned at the time.
As I read about Sheffield’s sisters, lack of girlfriends and early jobs, I could reflect on my own 80’s experiences. The true beauty of this book is you will love hearing about Sheffield’s life and family, but it will also, hopefully, take you down the soundtrack of your life.
In honor of pointing out an 80’s band I never heard of (a task I did not think was possible), I’m posting Haysi Fantayzee”s video “Shiny Shiny” for all to enjoy.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I’m currently doing a Potluck Movie Pick with the gang over at Anomalous Material. Red set up a great idea where we all nominate movies from the Netflix instant catalog and then everyone is assigned a movie they have not seen.
Chris at Casta La Vista picked my movie for me, The Brothers Bloom. I remember seeing the trailer for this movie awhile back. It has three actors I love: Mark Ruffalo, Adrian Brody and Rachel Weisz. How could it not be great? However, it did seem to have a stylized kind of look to it and I thought it could go either way. I figured I would wait to see if it had good buzz. Well, it basically came and went.
In trying to find the negative aspects of this film, I will say that maybe people found it too slow paced and the settings a bit confusing. Certain settings and the characters’ clothing, made it appear that this film was set in the past. However, they had backpacks, cell phones and karaoke. It’s chance you take when you do something so stylized. A narrator and comic-book like graphics can be a real turn off to an audience. I, though, loved the look and feel of this movie and none of these aspects bothered me. Unfortunately, I guess there wasn’t wide enough appeal at the box office.
Stephen (Ruffalo) and Bloom (Brody) play the Bloom Brothers. Orphaned at a young age, the two brothers bounce from foster home to foster home. Ruffalo, as the older brother, hates this life and resents the other children and the carefree lives they flaunt so innocently. Brody, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to fit in and live a normal life. The constant for Stephen (Ruffalo) is his love for his younger brother. He wants nothing more than to give him what he wants. At a young age, he begins to concoct “cons” and finds he’s quite good at cheating people out of their money. Bloom (Brody) comes alive in cons because it allows him to pretend he has a completely different life. This lifestyle works for Bloom (Brody) for awhile, but it’s still not the true, honest, quiet life he craves. He desperately wants out of the con-man life, but Stephen, who loves it all, keeps pulling him back in. In typical con-movie fashion, he convinces Bloom to do one last job, to heist the very rich and very lonely Penelope ( Rachel Weisz).
Weisz is simply adorable! She lights up the screen and is creatively crazy with intelligence. Audiences rarely get female characters in these types of films that aren’t insipid and unbelievably idiotic. Penelope may be the Bloom Brothers “mark,” but she’s no dummy. In addition, Rinko Kikuchi as Boom Boom, is very cool, powerful and in control of her fate at all times.
The driving force of the story, though, is the relationship between the brothers. Mark Ruffalo once again turns in a fabulously believable performance. As I’ve said before, he makes it look so effortless that I think people take his talent for granted. Brody plays off of him effectively and you can feel his angst in loving his brother, yet desiring a normal, criminal-free lifestyle. It’s hard not to be touched by their deep affection for each other. Stephen strives for nothing more than to make his baby brother happy.
By the end of the film, I felt more attached to the characters than I realized. I had a fun time hanging out with The Brothers Bloom and I hope more people will check this film out. Thanks Chris!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Well, I'm not sure if this guy made a new video for us against the the Phillies, but this still gets the juices going. Colleenie is usually watching sitcoms or DVDs, but she totally supports her Giants. Pop open a beer (or two) and settle in for some great weekend baseball!
Friday, October 15, 2010
Why do you keep coming back? Will you never learn? Well today’s installment goes a little local. I grew up in San Francisco, California and for all of my formative years; I had a Saturday night date with a Mr. Bob Wilkins. My family gathered around to watch Creature Features. Each week we might be treated to a Godzilla flick, or maybe Vincent Price as Dr. Phibes! Some weeks I was fine, other times I was terrified. Mostly, they were fun and not too scary. The opening credits, however, I usually kept my eyes closed! I found one version and this is the correct theme song I remember. Early seasons though had some creepier clips, like the original Phantom of the Opera…that guy always freaked me out!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
What a grab bag of 100% professionals. 30 Rock took quite a risk this week with a live performance. Lots of shows in television history have done this as a publicity stunt, but this casts proves they are a cut above. They really took it to the next level by finding a unique solution to their signature flashbacks and even making their own “commercials.”
I really hope they get a lot of attention because they pulled off a great job. I laughed my butt off and enjoyed all the little surprises they planned.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Okay, here’s how it started. Monday I dropped my son off for school and had a few minutes to kill before getting to the office. I popped into CVS Pharmacy and was perusing the magazine section. Wait, who’s that on Ebony? El DeBarge, are you kidding me? I couldn’t believe that he’s 49 and has a new CD coming out. So I went to iTunes as soon as I got home and the single, Second Chance is available. I’m already completely hooked on this song. Listen to this song! Folks, this is R&B. My goodness, his voice is flawless and if you remember him from the 80’s and you’re wondering if he can still hit those high notes, wait till 3:07 and you will be saying, oh yeah! I can’t wait for the whole CD. El is back.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Everyone is on the Twilight bandwagon these days. Well, this old gal loves her ol’ school Anne Rice vampires. I’m not talking about the movie with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, that was a bit disappointing. I’m talking about the mid 80’s when the book became very popular and all possibilities were in the future. This Sting song was inspired by the novel. I recommend the original version off The Dream of Blue Turtles album. My dream casting for the flick was always Sting as Lestat and Daniel Day Lewis as Louis. That would’ve been very hot indeed. Maybe you’re young and you don’t realize how hot these two were back in the day. Here you go…
Monday, October 11, 2010
The devastating suicides of gay teens in the news recently, has prompted the It Gets Better Project.
I’ve posted a couple of my favorites. Thanks Tim Gunn for making me cry at work!
I was fortunate enough to grow up in San Francisco. The diversity has made me a better human being. I can’t imagine my life without my friends who are supportive, wonderful, fantastic people; their sexual orientations really aren’t on my list things I consider. I surround myself with good people, period. Young gay teens need to know that there will come a time when people will care more about your character, actions, and heart, and if they don’t choose their friends that way, you probably wouldn’t want to hang out with them.
There’s always a seat on my couch for you. Talk to someone. People care.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Like most people, I don’t know a lot about the creation of Facebook. Maybe I should because I live so close to the Silicon Valley but really, who keeps up with this stuff? I came into this film knowing what most of us know. Facebook was started as a site for college kids to connect with each other and later was opened to the general public. Like most stories about a company that went on the generate billions of dollars, it’s not quite that simple.
At its core is Mark Zuckerberg. He says he created Facebook, yet a lot of people, including his best friend, sued him for shared rights and creation. The most interesting thing about this film, is I feel, the filmmakers were trying to be very fair to Zuckerberg. Yet he comes off as such a huge asshole, it’s hard to sympathize on any level.
Don’t get me wrong. I realize for any film to be watchable, especially when it’s basically about deposition meetings, you’re going to be forced to take some liberties. However, you would think some of those creative touches would be to make Zuckerberg appear to have some redeeming qualities.
To judge this strictly as a film, it’s quite watchable for being mostly a lot of talk and no action. The standout performance definitely goes to Andrew Garfield. His real life character (Eduardo Saverin) is really the only one who changes through the course of the story. We watch as he goes from wide-eyed optimist to learning the world is a cruel place. He truly is the fully fleshed out character of the film. A lot of attention has gone to Jesse Eisenberg because he’s playing the lead, but other than his scorching opening scene, he really doesn’t have much to do. We watch Zuckerberg lurk around and throw off smart-ass remarks, but he basically lacks so much personality that it doesn’t seem like it would be a big acting challenge.
Justin Timberlake, on the other hand, shines as the swarmy Sean Parker. I’ve never been a fan of Timberlake’s music (sorry, that’s NOT R&B), yet his collaborations with Andy Samberg on SNL, show me that he’s a got a great sense of humor and is quite likable when he’s not singing. He turns in a solid performance and some of the best scenes are those between his character and Zuckerberg. It’s clear that Parker is a hero to Zuckerberg. This is the type of person he wishes he could be. Charismatic and comfortable with the ladies, Patrick swaps book smarts for street smarts and Zuckerberg is enamored with a figure that can naturally command so much power. With this relationship, we see that it is not traditional intelligence that impresses Zuckerberg. He’s surrounded by that at Harvard. Instead, it’s that special enigmatic power that he wants to find a way to tap into. If he can’t possess it himself, he can at least glob on to it through Parker.
Director David Fincher sure is developing an eclectic resume of films. To have hard core action like Fight Club, and then move on to this film where action charged scenes involve computer programmers writing code really super fast, is quite a challenge. He delivers a highly watchable film that could have easily been trickle-slow.
There was a lot of hype to this film and while it was quite enjoyable, you honestly could wait for this on DVD. It was interesting to watch a movie whose main premise is who is telling the truth. Yet at the same time, we the audience also need to question how much of the movie is truthful. Can Mark Zuckerberg be as truly detestable and emotionless as he was portrayed? Was Eduardo Severin that naïve and sweet? This movie is supposed to be loosely based on the book The Accidental Billionaires. However, writer Aaron Sorkin has said that he really has deviated from that original work.
If you want to see what all the hype is about, definitely see this in theaters. You won’t be disappointed. However, if you don’t have to be on the cutting edge of the next great thing, you can rent the DVD in a few months.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Welcome back little demons! So, you want to see what I’m going to serve up this week? I know some of you mentioned clowns, don’t worry, this is a clown free zone! This week I’m highlighting the 1973 film, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. This film really used the less is more theory. You only got quick glimpses of the little creatures and the creepiest thing was the whispering. The little door always freaked me out. I did watch this flick on DVD a couple of years ago and it really wasn’t scary at all. Everyone I know who saw this when they were little, though, always remembers it very well. The funny thing is, when I watched it recently, I thought I could check it off my list as movies that no longer scare me. Then, I find out it’s being remade by Guillermo del Toro. That’s not fair. Take a peak at how creepy this trailer is. It looks like there’s sleepless nights in my immediate future.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
Oh noooooo! Colleenie Ghoulie has invaded Song of the Week. What can I do? I have no control this month! So now expect a scary song every Tuesday for the month of October. First up, Rockwell’s, Somebody’s Watching Me. This is a fun song from the 80’s, but honestly, the video always creeped me out a bit. The chorus sounds so great because The King of Pop lent a hand.
Monday, October 4, 2010
I must start off by giving full credit to Karen at For What It’s Worth, for turning me on to this book. I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but look at this cover! Come on, I’m a 42 year old woman. I should not come any where near this book!
Karen’s review, though, piqued my interest. I was definitely in the mood for something different and this fit the bill.
When cheerleader Alona Dare is hit by a bus, she quickly realizes that she is dead, but still hanging around on earth. She also finds out that one of her classmates is the only one that can see and hear her. The problem is he’s the creepy goth boy, Will Killian!
The difference with this YA novel is that it wasn’t pandering. There is just enough teen lingo and references to make it believable, but not over the top. I quickly began to caring for the lead characters and the challenges that faced them. There is an underlying humor to it and that’s difficult to pull off in the teen genre. With all the serious YA novels out there with vampires and such, it’s nice to get a solid action packed story that leaned toward a lighter side.
Troubled his whole life hearing “voices.” Will spends all his energy ignoring the dead that haunt him. This gift tortures his late father and Will wants no part of it. Alona, on the other hand, cannot accept the fact she will no longer be heard. As a popular girl that everyone followed and looked up to, it’s hard to adjust to being a ghost.
Slowly, we see interesting traits emerge in both Will and Alona. Maybe they are not simply a ghost and someone who can hear the dead. They make a good team and by the climax, I cared for these characters so much, I couldn’t wait to get off work, curl up on the sofa and finish the last 100 pages.
The end sets this book up for a series and I think I’d go another round with Will and Alona. I suggest making one of those paper bag book covers so that no one makes fun of you. Then, give this one a read.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Welcome little fiends! Yes it is October, a super special month on the couch. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. As some of you may know I’m the daughter of a huge horror film fan. My dear Mom never met a monster, vampire, zombie or demon she didn’t like. I was raised on Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Cushing.
Now that I’m an adult, I’m pretty thick skinned when it comes to horror films. Frankly, most of them are not scary these days. We’ve swapped gross for scary and I’m challenged to find a film that can produce the nightmares I had as a child.
So join me this month as I dive into the archives of classic things that scared the crap out of me! I’ll be here every Friday to share another scary clip and I hope you’ll tell me some of the things that scared you. I’m feeling particularly creepy this month so expect me to highlight some other chills throughout the month. I will reserve Fridays though for my special gems.
First up, a clip of a movie I never saw. It was 1978, years before Anthony Hopkins would creep me out in Silence of the Lambs. I literally was unable to sleep until they finally stopped airing the trailer for this flick. Okay, I’ll just spill the beans right now. Number one fear, DOLLS. I did not own many dolls as a child. I mostly stuck to stuffed animals. One of the few dolls I owned, a Drowsy Doll, later went on the have a cameo in the 1971 horror film, The Brotherhood of Satan. What was her role? Oh, she killed the parents of the little girl who owned her! Dolls should not share the earth with us. There’s only one thing more dangerous than dolls, ventriloquist puppets. The trailer for Magic made such an impact on me that I can recite the whole thing to this day! I even remember it was directed by Joseph E. Levine. I don’t even know who that is!
Is there a movie you were ever too scared to see and did you ever face your fear and watch it?
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Gravity - Sara Bareilles
My original Song of the Week choice got bumped for this song. On Sunday I went to the Now and Zen concert in Golden Gate Park with my daughter. This was a fantastic free concert sponsored by our favorite radio station in these parts, ALICE 97.3 FM. We saw The Plain White T’s and Sara Bareilles. She gave such a wonderful performance I became a big fan. She sang this song live and I was blown away. Then my daughter informed me this song was not off her new album, but from her first one, Little Voice. I immediately responded, “Well, I think this is Song of the Week!” See how I’m always thinking of you guys!
Friday, September 24, 2010
I guess Ms. Perry is pretty boobilcious in this clip, but I don't think it was intentional. I'm glad Elmo wants to schedule another playdate. The best quote from all of this is from Perry's main squeeze, Russell Brand. He tweeted, "I guess today will not be brought to you by the number 34 and the letter D." Classic!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Let’s have a little girl power this week! I have always loved this song, even though it’s before my time. I’ve always been drawn to how empowered she was in the early 60’s. You are probably more familiar with her huge hit “It’s My Party.” For me though this is the Gore song I’m always going to spin. She may have a bouffant, but don’t mess with her!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Homage to Hughes
To continue with my Saturday double-feature romp, I saw Easy A, the new teen comedy starring Emma Stone. I wanted to wait until I got the opinions of my 17 year old daughter before writing this up. I saw this movie in the afternoon and she went later that night with a group of friends. As soon as the film ended for me, I texted her (how teen of me!) and told her that she’d totally love it. I hit the nail on the head. It’s basically my fault that I raised her to expect a little more from her movies, even the teen sex comedy ones. Her friends constantly drag her to horrible movies like 17 Again, and she knows they’re bad going in.
Easy A, however, is a gem completely raised to new heights by the winsome Emma Stone. My daughter and I have loved her since Superbad. I hope this is a break out role for her like Juno was for Ellen Page. She’s witty and sassy and the camera loves those gorgeous doe-eyes!
I’m going out on a limb and saying that if John Hughes made a movie today it would be Easy A. Now before you jump down my throat, think about it. The characters are so loveable you want to spend time with them. A couple of years from now, you’ll pass this on TBS on a Sunday afternoon and you will sit and watch the whole thing again. This is a typical John Hughes film: overly witty banter, over-blown situations and misplaced musical numbers. It’s never a secret that this film is a love letter to Hughes: Stone sings in the shower like Ferris Bueller, gives a “geek” her underwear like in Sixteen Candles and has the hunkiest guy in school suddenly into her. Everything sexual is simply implied, but everything on-screen is quite chaste.
The adult roles are where this film departs from Hughes and into its own territory. Hughes uses adults as the idiots, props and enemies, whereas director Will Gluck shows us fully developed adult characters. Not all of the adults are likeable, but it’s refreshing to see Stone’s character actually getting along with her parents and the mutual respect and trust they show each other. She actually has adults she can confide in when all the teens have turned their backs on her, and it’s nice to see them looking out for her.
Penn Badgley as our “perfect hunk” brings the typical balance of teen hotness with a strong dose of sweet relatable guy. As usual, most seventeen year old guys are not this hot, but that follows a long line of teen comedies too, so it still works.
Overall, you may think I’m giving this movie too much credit, but you have to remember how important teen movies are to you when you are in your teens. My daughter immediately came home and asked if we could get Easy A when it comes out on DVD. Sure, I shared some of the best all-time teen flicks with her, but shouldn’t she be allowed to have some of her own?
By the way, I read The Scarlet Letter in High school, so I have all the territory covered when viewing this flick!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Well, I basically had a perfect Saturday. A great Saturday is when I see a movie; a perfect one is when I see two!
I went to San Francisco to see Catfish, which is only in limited release. Like everyone, I was intrigued with the trailer and was dying to see what was going on.
For starters, I’m not going to give away any plot points but just my opinions of this film may make you feel like I’m saying too much. If you truly want to experience this yourself, stop here. If you really want someone to tell you if this is worth your time or not, read on.
This is supposedly a documentary about a guy who builds a relationship with an entire family via Facebook. His brother and friend are both filmmakers and decide to chronicle his experience.
I wondered if I was going to feel this movie was fake and to that, I have to say no. I feel this was all real. What I didn’t expect was to be the victim of poor marketing.
The trailer for this film leads the audience to believe it’s some type of shocker, which it is not. I heard a group of 20-somethings grumble on the escalator ride down after the film so I asked them, “Were you guys pissed?” They answered in unison, “YEAH!”
Here’s the thing: this is a captivating documentary and as psychological portrait, it totally works. The problem is it probably would’ve been on HBO or maybe IFC, not a theatrical release. Some marketing genius (?) decided to put this out in a different way, a là Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. The trailer sets this up to be a huge shocker, even going as far as to say the last 40 minutes will “take me on an emotional roller coaster ride I won’t be able to shake for day.” Really?
It would appear that the filmmakers are hoping to profit by the curiosity effect and once that ticket is paid and the butt is in the chair, the profit is made. I’m interested to see if there’s going to be some serious backlash of viewers feeling they were misled. I would also advise against the idea of opening this to a limited release because I’m here to tell you to save your dough and rent it on DVD, which is the better forum this film to begin with. It seems to be fashionable these days to seek any kind of attention getting spotlight, even if it’s negative. If that’s the goal, mission accomplished because I have a feeling you’re going to have a lot of pissed off people.
I wondered if I’m too jaded. Would other people be blown away by the revelations in this film? Maybe, but I think younger people and people familiar with Facebook are the demographic and I heard no gasps or whispers from them in the auditorium. Tread lightly boys…your Facebook pages may have some pretty nasty comments in a few weeks!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Lulu • To Sir With Love
Uploaded by gippo. - Watch feature films and entire TV shows.
The Love Parade - The Dream Academy
Ahhh, dreamy new wave goodness. I’m currently reading Rob Sheffield’s book of essays entitled Talking to Girls About Duran Duran. This is not one of the songs he mentions, but all his 80’s love took me on my own personal musical journey. Ode to paisley!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I have to see this. The 1920's and Buscemi? Only problem is, I don't have HBO. I hope to get my premium cable back soon. If I do, I'll have some serious catching up. If you watch this, drop me line and tell me what you think!
This should be great, but will it suffer the same fate as Arrested Development?
Are you kidding me? A zombie TV show? I'm so in!
Hmm, this one could go either way. I love David Cross, but it may be to painful to watch. We'll see!
What shows are on your Must Check Out list?
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
There’s Nothing Better Than Love – Luther Vandross and Gregory Hines
It warmed my heart to find this video. I’ve ALWAYS loved Luther, but Gregory Hines…something you must know about Colleenie, she loves her tap. Gregory was a triple threat, one of the all time greatest hoofers, a fine actor and a velvety, rich singing voice. The proof is in this video. Okay, Luther Vandross is your buddy, but that doesn’t mean you voluntarily sing a duet with him! Also, dude duets are tricky. This 1986 track, however, is a homerun. Both their voices blend nicely and I have to say my favorite parts of the song belong to Hines. I know it’s bittersweet to watch them; they left us way too soon, but be glad they shared their wonderful talents with us. Their work we have forever.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Going the Distance - Movie Review
So I gave up on movies for the summer. It appears that quite a few interesting flicks will be hitting the screen soon, so I thought I’d just sit tight. Anyway, here’s how my day unfolded…
Hubby wanted to go to work on a Saturday. Yuck! Since his office is in San Francisco though, I thought it might be a great opportunity to meet up with some friends. One friend was in from out of town and another is perpetually busy like me. Well, things didn’t work out, and I now found myself in the city with many hours to kill. Of course I’m going to go to the movies!
The buzz on Going the Distance, the new romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, is good. My local radio station and Mick LaSalle of The Chronicle both gave it a good review. I’ll add to it that this was a satisfying trip to the movies. No, it’s not making my list of all-time great romantic comedies, but I would watch this from time to time in the future.
A romance that reflects our times, this is more than young, hip urbanites trying to choose between love and a career. Remember we are on “lucky to have a job” times, and Barrymore and Long are both in suffering fields: journalism and music. Long’s character clings to a job he hates and Barrymore pounds the pavement trying to find a job, any job, in her field.
Barrymore’s character meets Long’s while she is working an internship in New York. Of course when the short-term clause of their relationship is laid out, (she’s returning home to California in six weeks) we know it will be something more.
The plot is formulaic and well-charted territory in the romantic comedy genre, so the audience is dependant on other factors to set this film apart. I appreciated the tiny differences that were thrown in. I loved the effort to make Ms. Barrymore look like she was not wearing makeup when she goes to breakfast “the morning after” with Long. I love that they have total potty mouths. I love that Long’s roommate can hear EVERYTHING going on in the bedroom from his shared wall bedroom. I also loved that as they try to make their long-distance relationship work, they often can’t afford the airfare.
Our current economy was almost its own character in this film. It played a large role in how their relationship was handled and many of the decisions they made. Although they didn’t get heavy-handed with it, it’s clear that we live in a time when it’s no longer choosing career over a relationship; it’s survival.
Barrymore and Long had a sweet, easy chemistry about them, and Drew Barrymore is just like a little packet of sugar; add her to anything and it’s instantly sweeter. I have to say though, Charlie Day completely made this movie for me. I’ve been a fan of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia since it began several years back on FX. I felt people were looking at me because I laughed extra loud at everything Charlie said. I can’t help it, the guy cracks me up! All in all, a satisfying day at the movies. It also had a pretty good soundtrack too.
So what did I do with the rest of my day? Well I prepared a little photo essay for you. I decided to take my own photo of the movie poster and I stood in line for 30 minutes for a cup o’ joe at Blue Bottle Coffee. Crazy, I know, but the hubby wasn’t ready yet, so what else did I have to do? It was good coffee!
I got a great shot of The Transamerica Pyramid and walked around the Ferry Building. All in all, a pretty good day!