Hilariously Epic Celebrity Photobombs

     s1600_Selfie-StickIn today’s society people are obsessed with pictures. Now there is even an invention called a “selfie stick” yes, this is a real thing. It is exactly what it sounds like. It is a damn stick with clamps on the end. I have heard of these things but never thought that anyone in their right mind would ever buy an expensive stick with clamps. But arriving at Disneyland negated my logical thoughts as there were a huge number of groups walking around using their “Selfie sticks.”  And let me tell you, that is a hilarious thing to watch. Continue reading Hilariously Epic Celebrity Photobombs

Categories of the Sports Fan: Super Bowl Mania

s1600_Super-BowlThe biggest event in American sports takes place in a little over a week. Whether you like football or not chances are that you will see part of the game or at the very least hear about it. I am of course talking about the Super Bowl. I have found several things to be true about those who watch this game. Most people fall into one of a few categories of the Super Bowl audience. Continue reading Categories of the Sports Fan: Super Bowl Mania

Into The Woods: Great if You Like Woods

Into the WoodsThis is a rave review for a movie that a lot of people did not like. It’s based on a musical I loved that a number of people did not like. The music was composed by a genius who leaves a lot of people cold. Such is the magic and mixed reviews of INTO THE WOODS.

     Here are the three biggest complaints I hear from people about the movie: 1) It’s too long. 2)  It’s too short.  (They cut stuff out.) 3) There is too much singing (it is a musical… shocking)

Several songs from the musical were absent from the movie (notably the reprise of “Agony”) but a Broadway production can last more than 2 ½. And there’s an intermission in there too. Gone are the days that a motion picture features an intermission. (Gone with the wind) So trims had to be made. Composer Stephen Sondheim wrote an original song for the movie and even that got tossed. There goes the Oscar.
The length issue usually stems from the second act suddenly turning very dark. If you’re not on board with that creative choice you’re in for a squirmy forty minutes. If you want a happy ending, don’t stay until the end.

SIDE NOTE: In the musical, act one ends with everyone seemingly living happily ever after. Act two spins all that on its head. When the musical was first tried out in San Diego, people thought the end of the first act was the end of the show. Sondheim himself had to go out to the parking lot every night and tell people to go back to the theater, there was more.

Sondheim’s music is intricate and I have to say that for me, personally, there are times when I’m awestruck by his work and other times when there are songs I do not like very much. And then a song like “No One Is Alone” comes along and he tears my heart out like no other song has.

In the case of the movie version of INTO THE WOODS, none of the basic complaints bothered me. I knew the story going in; I knew it was more song heavy than most musicals, so those weren’t concerns.  

But I had my own trepidations before seeing the film. I always hate that studios insist movie stars be cast in musicals, even if they’re not as good or as right as the Broadway cast. Russell Crowe in LES MIS…. seriously? And I saw that Meryl Streep was playing the witch. Of course she was. Hollywood thinks Meryl Streep can just do anything. Who cares if she can sing? Her singing in Mama Mia, though not bad by any means, was also not overly impressive. But you know what? She can sing. Beautifully. And she found just the right tone of humor and heartbreak. She made every moment work. Damn her. She CAN do anything. Her voice knocked me over.

Into the woods castThe rest of the cast was equally sparkling. Emily Blunt – wow. Anna Kendrick – give me her over Anne Hathaway. James Corden – what the hell is he doing giving up a movie career that’s about to take off to do a late night talk show on CBS? Chris Pine – a pleasantly decent musical comedy surprise. Tracey Ullman – another one who has so much talent and skill that she can do whatever she feels like.

The other concern I always have going into film adaptations of musicals is how weird it sounds when people on screen just break into song. On the stage there is a certain theatricality that allows you to buy it, but the harsh reality of being in the real world in movies often turns the film into something awkward really fast. The badass Sharks and Jets singing show tunes and pirouetting in WEST SIDE STORY looked ridiculous.

But since INTO THE WOODS is set in a fantasy world, the singing felt organic. I bought it. And the fact that I love the songs themselves also helped I’m sure.stars.png

I find the storyline brilliant. There is so much underneath the clever narrative about parenting and relationships and abandonment. Witches can be right. Giants can be good.

     Rob Marshall, who did an amazing job of adapting CHICAGO for the screen, was the perfect director for this project. And James Lapine, who wrote the libretto did the screenplay. What a concept – letting the writer who best understands the material write the movie.

     So I loved the film.  And I recommend it… to people predisposed to love it too.  

8 Things to Know About Frasier: 11 Years of Excellence

s1600_Frasier Normally, when a television show has been off the air for 10 years it is not blog-worthy material anymore. However, when it has been one of the most successful comedy shows of all time, like Frasier is, it makes it worth talking about.

Continue reading 8 Things to Know About Frasier: 11 Years of Excellence

Photos of Actors Behind The Scenes That will Change Your Perspective Forever

It is when the cameras stop shooting that these movie stars really finally get to unwind and enjoy their break time resulting in some pretty great pictures. These behind the scenes photos of actors on set my just change your mind forever on the characters they play…. then again, some really are not surprising.

 MGM Lions1600_MGM-LionThis just seems like a whole bunch of bad ideas done at once.

Star Warss1600_Muppets-Star-warsWho knew the land of the Muppets was so close to the Dagobah system?Empire-Strikes-BackPrincess Leia and Chewbacca are actually BFF’ss1600_Star-Wars
Even R2D2 needs a snack break from time to time.
Titanics1600_Sunck-Titanic=RaftThis settles it… they both can fit on the piece drift woods1600_The-Titanic
Apparently a sinking ship can be surprisingly relaxing…
The Shinings1600_The-ShiningLisa Burns and Louise Burns look far less creepy between their hallway haunting

Silence of the Lambss1600_Silence-of-the-lambsNo one can say no to French Fries!
Fantastic Mr. Foxs1600_Fantastic-Mr-FoxNaps are vital, regardless where you are sleeping
 Frankenstein s1600_Frankenstien
Who says monsters cant be refined?
Harry Potters1600_Harry-snape
Who says Harry and Snape can’t get along?s1600_Maggie-Smith
Maggie Smith relaxing between scenes. Amazingly, she participated in this filming while going through chemotherapy.Harry-potter
Apparently you can make friends with anyone. Voldemort and Dumbledore laughing between takes.
Ben-Hurs1600_Ben-HurApparently the ancient Romans had Vespa’s. They were way ahead of their time.
Final Thoughts
     It is pretty cool to see how the magic happens, and how believable movies manage to be despite the reality of their production.