Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
One of our great Jazz musicians, Frederick Dewayne Hubbard, has exited the planet at the age of 70.
A contemporary of Charlie “Bird” Parker, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis... Hubbard had a unique style that matured over the years.
More about the life of this great artist at The New York Times.
A lot of people are talking about Clint Eastwood’s latest film... Grand Torino. But I just finished watching his daughter Allison’s directorial debut, Rails & Ties.
My fellow Philly native Kevin Bacon co-stars with the always fabulous Marcia Gay Harden in a film that delves deep into the core of human emotions in the face of the most difficult of circumstances.
Also of interest is the soundtrack to the movie, featuring the music of Clint’s son, Kyle.
Clint must be a proud papa!
Some people don’t like “thinking movies.” You know... those motion pictures that are like a disassembled puzzle with the pieces slowly moving into place until you see the big picture? Films like Crash, Paris, Texas, and 3 Needles. When I saw this film, I was thinking, here goes another one that the pundits on IMDB will label “The Worst Film Ever.” However, I appreciated the intricate web weaved as the stories of the various characters all came together. The Air I Breathe has a stellar cast:
- Oscar® Winner Forest Whitaker
- Oscar® Nominee Julie Delpy
- Oscar® Nominee Andy Garcia
- Golden Globe Nominee Kevin Bacon
- Golden Globe Nominee Sarah Michelle Gellar
- Brendan Fraser
- Emile Hirsch
The Air I Breathe is an awesome film!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Wow... the oldest man in the United States, George Francis, has exited the planet after 112 years.
His 81-year-old son, Anthony Francis, said this about his remarkable father:
He lived four years in the 19th century, 100 years in the 20th century, and eight years in the 21st century. We call him the man of three centuries.
The late Mr. Francis experienced segregation in the South but lived to vote for the first African-American president. What a wonderful legacy!
You can read more about the life of this amazing man in The Los Angeles Times.
I prefer Ryan Reynolds in movies where he shows off his chisled abs... gets his rump kicked by some tough guys... and then bounces back to win the day.
At least, I would like to see Ryan shoot some smart-alek comments as the film progresses. But Ryan in a chick flick?
I was convinced of Ryan’s virtuosity in a chick flick (ahem, I mean... romantic comedy) when I saw the movie, “Definitely, Maybe”.
The film features an all-star cast and everybody (including the precocious Abigal Breslin). Add this film to your list!
One of the things I like about Asian cinema is how films don’t necessarily have to have happy endings. But, then again, from the Asian point of view, perhaps an ending is happy from an existential point of view if not from the point of view of somebody shoving popcorn in his or her face.
I also like the fact that Asian cinema doesn’t require a hot sex scene to establish the depth of a relationship.
All that being said, when I watched the film Beyond Hypothermia, I was immediately taken by the sultry, sexy lead. But the lead... and the theme of this film... was sort of the antithesis of Kathleen Turner’s classic Body Heat. The protagonist in this film has a lower than normal temperature. She also has a lower than normal libido. But, there is a guy who sells hot noodles... and his hot noodles warm the cockles of her heart.
Okay... that’s enough from me. Check out Beyond Hypothermia for yourself!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I was listening to Pastor Mike Macintosh today talking about the situation in the Middle East with hundreds of rockets aimed at and/or fired at Israel... and retaliatory strikes by the Israeli armed forces. This has been going on for days... and yet we are just hearing about it now...
Mike related these events to Biblical prophecy... and it is eye opening when we consider how the nations of the world are bankrupt... the ongoing Jihad is putting pressure on Israel and who knows what they are plotting against the USA...
I guess the bottom line is... do your best to enjoy life while you can. Who knows what tomorrow brings?
Saturday, December 27, 2008
With GOP rhetoric like, consorting with terrorists and terrorist fist bump behind us, you would think that our President-elect is finally getting the respect that he deserves.
Well... you might be wrong.
Have you seen the Fox News article that a leader of the Republican National Convention has been distributing a CD that contains, among other things, a song parody by Paul Shanklin, sung to the music of “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” Barack the Magic Negro?This is considered to be simply light political parody.
Interesting article in the Los Angeles Times about escalating violence by Inglewood police officers against unarmed suspects.
- One man was shot four times for pulling up his baggy pants
- Another was shot for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk with a rolled-up t-shirt
- Another was tasered in his genitals
Then there was the related story about women being raped and photographed during strip searches by the same police department.
I guess “To Protect and Serve” is intepreted differently in some locales...
Since Madonna’s next tour will probably be sponsored by AARP, it is nice to see new young talent taking on Madge’s catalog of music. Here is a lovely ingénue, or should I say chanteuse, who does a mean washing machine (at least, until the cameraman decides the neck of the guitar is more interesting than her body).
Thursday, December 25, 2008
It was heartbreaking to read, on Christmas day, that Eartha Mae Keith (a/k/a Eartha Kitt) has exited the planet after 81 years of making our lives more magical.
Variety refers to her as an international symbol of elegance and sensuality. Kitt was a true diva who earned two Emmy® Awards, two Tony Awards®, and a Grammy®.
Kitt was a groundbreaking performer who rose from the Jim Crow South to become an internationally celebrated performer. In our opinion she was the BEST incarnation of Catwoman on the old Batman series.
Christmas morning... I am trying to figure out what to do for the day and I come across this movie. It came out 28 years ago... and I don’t know if I ever saw it before.
A pedigreed cast of some of the greatest actors... four Academy Awards... how did I miss this?
Ordinary People was a compelling film. Every scene was packed with powerful expository and the hidden subtext of a society in which everything has to look okay... even when it is totally foobar’ed.
Rent this film!
A housewife told her husband that she wanted a very special Christmas present that year.
The husband asked, “What would you like as a present this Christmas?”
She replied, “This year, I want the best present ever. Do you know what that is?”
“No, dear” he replied, “What would that be?”
She answered, “On Christmas morning, I want to go out to the garage and see something that I can make go from zero to 200 in six seconds.”
The husband rolled the idea around in his head for a long while. “Well...” he started to say.
The wife, not to be dissuaded, added... “I have worked hard to make you and the children happy. I think that I deserve this!”
The husband finally nodded and agreed, “On Christmas morning, you will find something in the garage -- the top-of-the-line, latest and greatest model -- and I guarantee you will be able to make it go from zero to 200 in six seconds.”
She squealed excitedly... jumping up and down and smothering her husband with kisses.
Over the next weeks, the anticipation grew greater and greater... to the point where she felt she could hardly stand it.
Finally, Christmas morning arrived. The husband came upstairs, having been to the garage, and woke his wife with a kiss. She rolled over and looked at him with great anticipation. He simply smiled with a wry wink.
She threw on her pajamas and robe and excitedly ran downstairs and out into the garage to see her Christmas present.
Sitting in the middle of the garage floor was something that her husband picked out especially for her... something that he knew she could make go from zero to 200 in six seconds...
A brand new...
Police are still searching for the husband’s body.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
WormyT had me fooled for a minute. But hey, this is a good idea. Except, of course, for Garfield as Snarf.
Of course, I am waiting for a live action version of Joe Oriolo’s Hercules cartoon. I wonder who they would cast as Newton. Newton. Mmmm-m-m-m-m-m!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Jim Carrey’s latest film Yes Man took in roughly three-million dollars more than Will Smith’s Seven Pounds. While that may be a small amount from Hollywood’s perspective, I wouldn’t mind having three million dollars in my Christmas Savings Account right now. For that matter, I wouldn’t mind having a Christmas Savings Account at all.
I was hoping to find that picture from the MTV Awards where Carrey tries to force his tongue on a disgusted-looking Smith... but alas Google is not the miracle cure that we all thought it would be...
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Many people have expressed anger at President-elect Obama’s selection of Rick Warren to do the invocation at the inauguration.
I guess their problem is Rick’s stance on Proposition Eight. Hmm...
It may be difficult, however, to find any evangelical who has an entirely accommodating stance in regard to gay and lesbian issues.
- Historic levels of debt
- Skyrocketing expenditures with two wars
- Failure of banks
- Collapse of insurance companies
- Proposed bailout of the automotive industry
Perhaps, to address the state of the economy, Obama should have Reverend Ike do the invocation...
After all... you can’t lose with the stuff he use...
Friday, December 19, 2008
This is devastating news for those of us who are Trekkers.
Majel Barrett Roddenberry was there from the beginning and through to the end.
It is hard to imagine Star Trek without her.
Read about her life and career -- and see a fabulous pictorial -- at The Los Angeles Times.
A boy uses his prodigious musical gifts to find his parents, unaware that they have begun a similar journey to find him.
...it sounded like the most boring movie on earth. I recognized the names...
- Keri Russell
- Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (King Henry the 8th on Showtime’s The Tudors)
- Terrence Howard
But, as I watched this film, I quickly realized how wrong I was. Not only were there even more top-knotch talent in this film, including Mykelti Williamson and a wonderful cameo by Robin Williams as a musical Fagin of sorts.