Sunday, December 1, 2019

KNIVES OUT---THE IRISHMAN






KNIVES OUT looks like it's going to be really fun and witty. Some of the reviews mentioned THE LAST OF SHEILA or CLUE. Woe.....if only that were true. KNIVES OUT has a really wonderful. talented cast---Toni Collette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas......but Daniel Craig as the pseudo-Poirot character really blows it. He uses this ludicrous and poorly-done southern accent. It ruins the film. Ana de Armas has four films coming out now. You'll see why.

The script and direction by Rian Johnson could  and should have been better. It cries out for the wit of LAST OF SHEILA. There are some moments of that spark, and the story is just interesting enough so you don't walk out 15 minutes in, as I and my friends, wanted to and decided to give it a few more minutes. We stuck with it, and it was a mild escape. Don't pay theatre prices. See this at home. What a shame--such great potential.





THE IRISHMAN is worth it whether you see it at home or in a theatre. All of the performances--De Niro, Pacino, Pesci, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale are great. This is Scorsese's GODFATHER, and it absolutely holds your attention for the three-and-a-half-hour length. I wanted it at home for food and bath room breaks--and pajamas. It's very well done, but it will not live in history the way THE GODFATHER HAS. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

THE TROUBLE WITH "CHARLIE'S ANGELS"




CHARLIE'S ANGELS ISSUES..............



Were people looking forward to this or not? Apparently not. The problem is that no one cares anymore about this franchise. I'm sad about that because I loved it. All the series episodes worked, and so did the movies with Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz. They were hot when they made those movies. And, the business wasn't filled with so many action movies and Marvel movies, etc., that action/spy movies kind of fell to the wayside. It's interesting, because MISSION IMPOSSIBLE  doesn't and neither does JAMES BOND. Simply the world has changed.

The talented Elizabeth Banks wrote the script, directed it, and starred in it---primarily, all to the good. One of the biggest things about the franchise is that we knew the girls all adored each other and had each other's backs. When the prior movies opened, we knew the actresses, and they (the characters) knew each other, too. If you're going to introduce new actresses in new characters with a known title and you start the movie with them not knowing each other, we don't know TM either. They don't care about reach other and we don't care about them. The caring happens in the last 40 minutes....way too late.

The updates to current views of women were a really good thought, but, it just took some of the magic away. Titillation, and the fact that the audience knew it was tongue-in-cheek is needed by this franchise. Political correctness hurt this movie. there was almost zero humor. Kristen Stewart is dynamite in this movie. It will only help keep her career in motion. Naomi Scott is very appealing and cute.


The breakout star is Ella Belinska. She's from England, and is British, Caribbean, and Polish descent.










The camera loves her. She'll do very well.

The other main problem was the lack of a campaign while it was shooting to make it a "must-see" movie. In today's marketplace, you ant just take adds and then blitz the girls on talk shows days before the opening. That's no time to build at all. Why didn't take each individual girl and do special things on all media. It was cool that Kristen Stewart guested on SNL, but sh e could have done that whenever she wanted. Wasted opportunity in increase your grosses, people!

Did I actually LIKE CHARLIE'S ANGELS? It was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.

The other problem for the movie, is that I was the ONLY one present in the theatre!!!!!

Monday, November 11, 2019

GOD BLESS THOSE WHO SERVE












AND I NEVER FORGET TO REMEMBER JP BLECKSMITH ON THIS DAY. HE DIED ON VETERANS DAY AT 24 SERVING IN FALLUJAH. HE WAS A SPECTACULAR YOUNG MAN.


Sunday, November 10, 2019

PAIN AND GLORY---PARASITE---OSCAR! OSCAR!



PAIN AND GLORY AND PARASITE ARE TWO MOVIES EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT FOR OSCARS.

I haven't seen JOJO RABBIT yet, but I will any second.



PAIN AND GLORY


 I love the director Pedro Almadovar. Every time I see one of this films and I'm transported, moved, surprised, and my life view is changed. He's simply remarkable at innermost journeys of the soul and psyche.  PAIN AND GLORY is his latest, and the same thrills happened to me. All of his movies are personal, and in this one, Antonio Banderas plays an Almodovar-like director-writer, and Penelope Cruz, plays his mother. I don't want to ruin it for you. Just know it is about aging and reflecting on one's life. I adored it. I haven't stopped thinking about it for days.


PARASITE

It won the Cannes Film Festival and I can certainly see why. This film is for real film buffs who love foreign films. It's a cross between Roman Polanski's REPULSION and MEET THE FOCKERS. I say that to get your attention. It's about class struggle. It starts with a portrait of a very poor family, moves into a brilliant comedy and subterfuge, and then explodes. I won't say anymore. But, I will add that many, many of the shots were cinematic genius. The frames should be individually hung in a museum. It was written and directed by  ‎Bong Joon-ho, an extraordinary filmmaker. The film is in Korean with English subtitles. Run to the theatre. It will be the highest-grossing foreign film of the year. This one is haunting my dreams.




Wednesday, October 23, 2019

SOME MOVIE THOUGHTS



WE ARE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE OSCAR ONSLAUGHT. HERE WE GO.



RENEE ZELLWEGER IN JUDY--Of course she'll get an Oscar nomination. I do think she did her best, and, in most cases, was remarkable and touching. I wish she'd lip synced to Judy's real voice.
She really had the movements and body language down pat. Most of the script is lies and there were so many scenes that never happened. It's a TV movie, but you should see it.
My biggest pet peeve---JUDY GARLAND NEVER PURSED HER LIPS--EVER. If Renee did that one more time I was going to set fire to the screen. Where was the director on this???





DOWNTOWN ABBEY--It was a live postcard of beauty---landscaping, clothes, place-settings, houses. Don't look for much more than that from it. It's an "episode," but I thoroughly enjoyed the escape.



THE JOKER-----RUN TO THE THEATRE TO SEE THE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR



I put off seeing it as long as I could because I thought I'd be terrified. Friends told me I HAD to go. I prepared myself for the violence, but from the moment Joaquin Phoenix came on screen, I was mesmerized. He has pathos, rage, sweetness, innocence, terror, violence----it's one of the most extraordinary performances ever. He's right up there with De Niro in TAXI DRIVER, Tom Hanks in PHILADELPHIA, Jon Voight in COMING HOME, Peter O' Toole, Brando, Daniel-Day Lewis--to name a few. It's beyond startling. You will never forget it.



TO BE CONTINUED...............

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

JUST ANOTHER NIGHT IN LA WITH MARLO THOMAS,PACINO, DE NIRO



           AMERICAN ICONS AWARDS



I truly just went to LA to escape the horrible winds and allergies in Palm Springs. My friend, Marlo Thomas invited me to dinner. Sounded good to me.


I have known Marlo and her entire family for decades. They are yet another group of people who "adopted" me. Their love of family and their commitment to St. Jude remain constant inspirations. Turned out this dinner was the American Icon Awards where St. Jude was being given significant money.

Oh...yeah. DeNiro was presenting an award to Pacino. Stallone, Evander Holyfield, and Laila Ali were there, too, along with Robin Thicke who "sang a few songs." David Foster and Katherine McPhee were also there having just picked up their marriage license. It was just a simple night......




Marlo and Al

Rehearsing

Marlo and her brother, Tony

Marlo and Phil


Al was in rare form. After thanking everyone, he stayed on stage and randomly started doing monologues from Tennessee Williams, e.e. cummings, and Shakespeare which DeNiro laughed and then left the stage to Al.





Thursday, May 9, 2019

ONE NIGHT ONLY WEEK IN THE DESERT


           
                                                   



EACH YEAR MICHAEL CHILDERS PRODUCES A CHARITY EVENT THAT IS A CROSS BETWEEN THE TONY AWARDS AND A WEEK-LONG PARTY.

One of the best things about living in the desert is that many artists from New York are always here visiting and performing. The week of ONE NIGHT ONLY, it is a glorious madhouse. There are parties every night, and, usually one or two artists from ONO play The Purple Room right after.

This year, Lucie Arnaz and Larry Luckinbill happily ended up with Ann Hampton Callaway, Christine Andreas, and Linda Purl as houseguests. I can only tell you that each night we all gathered around the piano to watch them sing alone and together. Literally. Sometimes, we all joined in. Ann and Christine decided to do LA VIE EN ROSE as a duet at Ann's Purple Room engagement and we saw the rehearsal at Lucie's AND an unexpected one at David Zippel and Michael Johnston's house. In addition that that, Ann created on-the-spot, a beautiful song to bless their house. We are all so blessed to live in a magical place.

ONE NIGHT ONLY was a sensational show, BROADWAY SHOWSTOPPERS, featuring some songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and others from the best Broadway shows ever.

It's not fair to talk about stand-outs in a show like this, where everyone volunteers their time so money can be raised for the Barbara Sinatra Home for Abused Children. I just have to say that everyone was wonderful, but I can't stop thinking about Lucie, Ann and Liz, Valarie Pettiford, Christine, Karen Ziemba doing "With One Look," and a newcomer named Laura Dickinson.

Chairs of the show were Terri Ketover, Barbara Fromm, and the late, extraordinary Barbara Keller. The entire evening was dedicated to her.

Michael Childers, director Larry Fuller, and the cast

Michael and Larry--above-John Barrowman, Lucie, and Scott Coulter




There is also a wild after party where all the sponsors have dinner, and then the singers  from the show get up and sing whatever they want, accompanied by the amazing Todd Schroeder. It's a Broadway dream.

The singers are here all week, but the first official party is at Helene Galen's house for the sponsors and singers. It was a bit subdued this time, because everyone was upset about Barbara Keller. But, God Bless Ann Hampton Callaway, who sang a song for Barbara, where everyone was crying, and then went right into "You've Got A Friend." We all were singing along and holding each other.

The next two nights after the ONO show, Ann played The Purple Room and we all went, and then Christine Andreas played it, and we all went. We should have just slept there.


Helene's living room

John Monahan, Helene Galen, Barbara Fromm

Susan Stein and Tom Truhe


Bernie Fromm

Donna MacMillan and her guest, John Monahan, Debbie Green Miller and Doug Miller

Ann Hampton Callaway


Then, of course, Michael Holmes did his JUDY SHOW where he impersonates Judy Garland, Bette Davis, and Pearl Bailey, and knocks it out of the park each time. He is an extraordinary talent--in drag or out. We love him.





LUCIE AND LARRY'S HOUSE AND THE PURPLE ROOM:

Ann and Christime Andreas

You never knew who would show up in the living room

Im with Bradley James

Christine Andreas with us



-----------------

OH.....WHO CARES? I'M ADDING IN JOHN MONAHAN'S EASTER, AND MY SPEAKING AT THE RANCHO MIRAGE PUBLIC LIBRARY!!!!



Jill and Patty. Patty cooked almost everything! Yummm

John's decor was fabulous!



OK. I had to.

Check out the egg in Lucie's mouth

Chuck Yates

Steve Rose

Larry Luckinbill, Michael Childers, Jules and Brett

Don Amendolia loved Easter



Thank you, Debbie Green and T.J. Hicks..... Over 150 people showed up!