Tuesday, December 27, 2011

10 Random Thoughts - "Streets of Fire" edition

  1. The first 10 minutes of Streets of Fire, the infamous "rock and roll fable" from 1984, are some of my favorite minutes on film. Diane Lane as Ellen Aim and her band The Attackers singing "Nowhere Fast" are so damn hot. 
  2. I love everything about Diane Lane's Ellen Aim. I love the weird 80s/50s leather/spandex hybrid clothing she wears, I love her mullet, her lipstick. I even love that atrocious Golden Girls-style sequin box dress she wears at the end of the movie. Hard to believe she was only 19 when the film was made.
  3. The music in this movie KICKS ALL KINDS OF ASS. I've owned the soundtrack in 5 different mediums: 8-track, album, cassette, cd, and mp3. That's love, people.
  4. This film was my first exposure to Willem Dafoe. He is terrifyingly creepy (and secretly sexy? eww) as Raven Shaddock the evil leader of the motorcycle gang The Bombers. I didn't realize for a long time that he was the same actor in Platoon. Raven's white skin, weird possum mouth, and his hair gave me nightmares as a teen.
  5. Michael Pare is really not a good actor. I take that back. He has Keanu Reeves syndrome; where his voice is so monotone that he sounds really dumb, and you don't even realize how great a job he's doing until it's too late. He was easy on the eyes back then though. Not aging well however.
  6. What is Deborah Van Valkenburgh  doing these days?
  7. The 4 actors that play the doo-wop group The Sorels are a who's who of 1980s "Black Acting School" alums. If you don't understand that reference, stop, and immediately go watch Robert Townsend's Hollywood Shuffle.
  8. Bill Paxton's Clyde is like if Chet was a bartender in the 1950s.
  9. Not to gush more about the music, but the two main songs by Jim Steinman that bracket the movie are seriously in my top 500 songs of all time. I have a secret desire to sing them on stage somewhere with a full band and back-up singers behind me.
  10. If I was unlimitedly wealthy I would finance a full-musical remake of Streets of Fire. In fact, I've always thought it would make an excellent stage musical. Don't steal my idea! Patent pending!!!
Streets of Fire is currently on Netflix instant streaming. So what are you waiting for?! The soundtrack is in my car if you want to borrow that too.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cheestastic Holiday TV Movies - For the week of December 19

It's that time of year again! The month of December where my dvr(s) get filled to the brim with dozens of horrifyingly awesome, badly written/acted Christmas-themed TV movies. These films are like comforting baby food that I eat up (by the gallons) with a spoon.
Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel (and their movies-only sister channels) are the main culprits in inflicting these messes on the masses. ABC Family and AMC have their hands in there too.
Here's a list of just some of what I've consumed in the last week:

- A Dog Named Christmas 

- Mistletoe Over Manhattan, starring the chick from "Battlestar Galactica"!!

- A Princess For Christmas, oog Roger Moore is NOT aging well.

- A Holiday Engagement

- Jingle All The Way, WARNING: This one was animated. And badly. I was expecting something so stupid.

- A Christmas Wedding Tail, Hmmm...a lot of movies this year focus on dogs.

- Lucky Christmas

- Flirting With Forty, Seriously. So good, guys. Heather Locklear at her finest cougar lady.

- Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage, Hmm...Jared Padalecki is so damn hot.

I know this long list might seem crazy to most; I've wasted HOURS this week on this crap. But it makes me feel good. I still have at least 7 more movies on my Tivo. And that's not counting the dozen or more that are slated to record between now and the end of the year.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Prequel to the Oscars!

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”

When most people hear the dulcet tones of Andy Williams’ voice singing this holiday classic, visions of Christmas trees and sparkly lights come to mind. These days I almost always connect the song with the beginning of the movie awards season.
The Film Critics have announced their favorites, and SAG made their nominations last week, and now it’s the Hollywood Foreign Press’ turn.

The 2011 Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning. And with this list, I can begin finalizing and planning my strategy for the upcoming Oscar Death Race, where I will again attempt to see every single film nominated for an Academy Award. Even though the Oscar noms won't be released for another month or so, the Golden Globes usually give me an idea of what to expect for some of the major categories.
The good thing is that I've already seen many of the nominated films. But I am a little worried about the Foreign Film category for the Globes. Except for one Spanish film, I haven't seen any of the nominated films. Eeek. I usually lock this category up during the summer at the Seattle International Film Festival where I get to see numerous foreign films and documentaries that wouldn't normally be available in even the trendiest of hipster art-houses here in Seattle. Hopefully Oscar will take a different route with their Foreign noms.
George Clooney was a big winner on many a list.Looks like I'll defninitely have to see The Descendants, The Artist, and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, all of which I already had on my to-do list. I'm still unsure about the Michael Fassbender duo or A Dangerous Method and Shame. Although since the latter features full-frontal nudity from Fassy, I can guarantee I'll be seeing that one anyway.
Let the movie cramming begin!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

HOW CAN I CHOOSE? Battle of the early 80s Cross-dressing Divas Edition

I have a VERY serious decision to make. Tonight, two of my all-time favorite films are each playing on the big screen. I cannot attend both screenings because I have yet to figure out the meta-physics of being able to be in two places at once.
The movies in question are 1983's Yentl, starring Barbra Streisand, and Victor/Victoria from 1982 starring Julie Andrews. I can't express how difficult a choice this is for me. Please help!

Here are the details:

In the Blue corner -

Yentl at the Central Cinema
Start time = 7pm
  • Pro - Central is a drink and dine venue so I can enjoy a nice glass of cab sav and a green salad while singing along with Babs and staring lustily at Mandy Patinkin and his jew-fro and awesome facial hair.
  • Another thing in this venue's favor is that it's only about a mile away from my house, so it's very convenient to get home if I've had too many glasses of wine.
  • Another pro - they sell these pigs in a blanket (turkey or tofu pups also available) that are awesome. They also make incredible fresh popcorn with real butter.
  • A potential con - unlike a lot of the Central Cinema screenings, I don't believe this one is a "sing-a-long"; so I may be ridiculed for belting out "The Way He Makes Me Feel" along with Barbra.
The music in Yentl is some of my favorite stuff to listen to, and especially sing along with. 13 yr old me could be found with her cassette tape of the soundtrack always in her Walkman. Yes, I was that dork. And for realz y'all, I had a HUGE crush on Mandy Patinkin. I had seen him on Broadway in Evita! a few years before and this movie, plus another Broadway experience (Sunday In The Park With George) pretty much cemented my love.

In the Red corner -

Victor/Victoria at the SIFF-Uptown
Start time = 8:45 PM
  • Pro - This SIFF venue is next door to my friends John and Dan's house. So while the theater doesn't serve alcohol or non-traditional movie snacks, I can always eat and drink to my heart's content at their place and then stumble to the theater.
  • I don't think I'll be any more welcome to sing out loud along with the movie here than I would be at Central Cinema.
This movie is a definitive period of childhood for me because it reminds me so much of my mother and grandmother. The three of us saw it in the theater together at the Uptown in Washington, D.C. back when they would sell soundtrack LPs and cassettes right in the lobby after the movie. I remember my mother buying the record and then a few weeks later my grandmother bought the sheet music to the songs and the three of us would spend many a weekend singing and performing the music from the movie. Years later, when they turned it into a Broadway show, a few years after my grandmother had passed away, my mom and I went to NYC to see it and we cried in the audience the whole time thinking about how much my grandmother would have enjoyed seeing Julie Andrews live.

Similarities between the two films:
  • They both involve women pretending to be men in order to pursue/fulfill their dreams.
  • I know every song from each movie by heart and can sing them on command, any time, any place, if asked. (and I'm in the mood)
  • It's a battle royale between two of my favorite divas. Barbra vs. Julie!!! Mary Poppins vs. Fanny Brice! Maria Von Trapp vs. Esther Hoffman!
So? What should I do? WHO WILL WIN?!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I failed...AGAIN

For the second year in a row I managed NOT to compose a 50,000 word book during the month of November. As usual, I appreciated and valued the challenge and the movitation that I had to even get as far as I did. It really did get my creative juices flowing. But unfortunately, I wasn't able to sustain any momentum and what with work, family stress, and preparing for 2 Christmas concerts, I ran out of steam and out of time.
Unlike my unfinished project from last year, that I quickly abandoned, I will be attempting to complete this year's novel as a gift to my friend Robert for Christmas. So yay, I have 3 more weeks!
One of these years NaNoWriMo, I will conquer you!!!